Every summer, my family made the August drive from New Jersey up to my grandparents’ cottage on Little Sebago Lake in Maine. We spent one or two weeks enjoying walking in the woods, swimming and taking boat rides around the lake. My father only had one week of vacation so if my mom, my brother and I were gone for two weeks, there were always postcards and letters home.
Here is a postcard I wrote to Nana, in 1963, exactly 53 years ago:
The cottage was very rustic, with no potable running water and no hot water at all unless it was boiled. The potty was outside in a little outhouse – not fun when it was cold and rainy – and the only heat was in the main cottage coming from the fireplace.
In spite of a lack of modern conveniences, the summers spent at the cottage were filled with fun and I have many years of happy memories. Hard to believe it was over half a century ago!
Here is a photo sent to my grandmother, Julia Scerbak Sabo, living in Passaic, New Jersey about 1921 or 1922. Her parents, Michael and Anna (Murcko) Scerbak are sitting in their home in Udol, Slovakia with their youngest son, Stefan, in between them. Stefan was born in 1917 and looks to be about five years old here. Julia left Udol in November 1910 and never met her baby brother.
Michael, Anna and Stefan Scerbak
This photo was likely a big deal. Perhaps a roving photographer came to the village to make some sales. Michael is dressed neatly, Anna is in the typical ethnic dress style for the time and young Stefan has his hair neatly combed and is holding a bouquet of flowers.
This photo is well worn. My grandmother must have handled it frequently. By this point in her life, she hadn’t seen her parents for twelve years.
‘Tis the Season and I love antique Christmas decorations, photos and memorabilia. My grandmother was a saver – not really a packrat, just a saver of family mementos and I’d like to share this one first. I grew up helping Nana organize her Christmas card list and although I wrote messages on the cards for her in her later years, she always signed the cards herself. Apparently, when my grandfather was alive (he died in November 1936) and they had comfortably become part of the new middle class, they bought cards with their names imprinted. Nana had one or two left over each year, which she saved. This card was sent to friends and family sometime between 1926, the year my father was born, and 1935, my grandfather’s last Christmas. It is also the only card I have that was from the three of them as a family.
I am very thankful that Nana kept these!