I never met my Uncle Gustav or Aunt Carrie Seegert. They’d been gone for years by the time I was born. But I heard about them often. They were, after all, the folks who took my grandma in when her mother couldn’t care for her anymore.
Whenever we went to visit their son Gerald and his wife Dorothy in Blissfield, Michigan we’d drive past the old Seegert farm where my grandma and her cousin grew up and where Uncle Gustav raised beef cattle.
My mom made a lot of Aunt Carrie recipes and still has several dishes from that old farmhouse kitchen.
Every story of the two of them made me imagine them as warm, kind, down-to-earth people. I sure wish I could have known them.
When I started working on A Trail of Crumbs I knew that Pearl and her family needed a soft place to land. That was when I decided to model their Michigan family after our Seegert relatives. While I didn’t have first hand knowledge of my Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie, I did know their son Gerald.
Gerald Seegert was a tall man and sturdy. He had the kind of laugh that could fill the whole house. He let us roam around the farm, exploring the barns and he gave us long rides on his tractors.
And I knew his wife Dorothy who always (ALWAYS) set a pretty table and covered it with the best food. She made sure we were spoiled beyond reason with cookies and candies and bottles of Coke.
They never had children which I didn’t understand as a child. I thought they would have made the best grandparents.
Pearl Spence’s Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie are a combination of two generations of my Seegerts. Two generations of folks who valued family, hospitality, laughter, and their land. And two generations who knew what it meant to welcome family home.
Read more about Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie in The Pearl Spence Books! All three available now.