2010 Reflections: Remembering – July 9, 2010

Emma Harder Teichroew, age 100, with her daughter
Charlotte Eliot and her great granddaughter Emma Eliot. Photo by Alissia Melka-Teichroew

2010 was a year of change for me personally, as well as for the businesses of which I am part owner. We purchased a new building and moved the offices and my residence. The Peninsula Pulse and its sister companies, Door County Living and the Paper Boy, now have a home all their own – an accomplishment that 15 years ago was just an idea in the heads of two idealists living in a one-room cabin in northern Ellison Bay.

The moves and the building purchase were no small feats, but they are insignificant when compared to the event of July 9, 2010. On that date 101 years ago, my mother’s mother, Emma Harder, was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

Emma Harder is the oldest of four girls; she overcame a mild bout of polio as a child, married Peter Teichroew, took over the family farm, had four children – 3 boys and 1 girl – and has watched and participated in their lives, as well as the lives of her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Last year as she was celebrating her 100th year, I asked her what she remembered of her childhood. She recalled that when she was three her mother asked her to go to the garden and get parsley, and she did. She also remembered playing in puddles with her sisters and being scolded for coming back into the house with muddy feet.

Incredibly humble, she deflects compliments and attention. She was talented with a sewing needle and made the clothes for the family, knitted scarves, hats and sweaters, and handmade hundreds of quilts. She made my mother’s dresses and could cut a pattern out for someone just by looking at them. She grew up in a time without shopping malls, the internet and cell phones. She made her own Christmas tree decorations out of tin cans and recalls getting cut now and then when trying to cut a star out of tin.

Her faith has kept her strong, and her love for her children and all grandchildren has given us all strength. She loves life, respects everyone and insists on not being a burden to anyone.

Quite often, in our hurried lives of the 21st century, we get caught up in all the things we are supposed to have and the things that we are supposed to give. Grandma is a reminder that faith, hope, humility, kindness and love are the greatest gifts of all.