Anna Maria Schreiter, lover of nature

Anna Maria Schreiter (standing) with three of her sisters

Like her mother before her, and like her two daughters after her, my maternal grandmother, Anna, had “a way” with plants and animals. When I think of her, which I do often, I almost always picture her in her garden or tending to her flocks of chickens.

This was an ancestor I actually got to know, even though I am her very youngest grandchild. She is also my namesake, which makes me happy and proud.

“Little” Anna meets Grandma Anna, at Grandma’s house

My maternal grandparents lived in Minden City, about 50 miles from the town where I grew up in Michigan. We used to drive up several times a year for Sunday dinner. She was a great cook: her chicken and dumplings were especially delicious, and the accompanying vegetables were often freshly picked from the garden. I might have even picked them myself!

And, yes, the chickens were more than just pets.

Anna and her hens at the cottage in Forestville, Michigan. The “turkey coop” behind Grandma later became the van Raaphorst/Riedel family cottage!

When my parents and I lived in Michigan, Grandma and Grandpa were still living in the “Red House,” which had a gigantic garden, or so I remember it. After my grandfather’s passing she moved across the street to the “Little White House,” and the garden, like the house, shrank, but she couldn’t bear to give it up entirely.

The two Annas, sitting in the garden of the “Little White House,” about 1958

Thank you, Grandma, for passing on your love of plants and animals that I, also, have inherited! And happy 146th birthday on March 26, 2018!