Shannon here: Elaine Marie Cooper shares insight into her grandparents’ real-life romance. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a print copy of her latest Historical Romance, Winter’s Ravage, Book 2 in her Dawn of America series (U.S. only). Deadline: April 8th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Elaine:
When I think of a special romance in my family, I think of my Grandma and Grandpa who lived in New York City. I remember visiting them in their home frequently from our place in either Connecticut or Massachusetts.
I can even envision the smells there that always made it homey. My grandparents always had orange jello in the refrig and I thought it was VERY exotic!! The water there tasted SO good as they had those old metal glasses that kept it very cold.
As I got older, it became more difficult to speak with my Grandma. She had what they called, “hardening of the arteries.” Basically, she developed dementia, and she would repeatedly say, “Oh brother,” In her New York accent.
This is when Grandpa really glowed with his love for her, They’d sit and watch TV together and he always had his arm tenderly around her shoulder.
He was the kindest, most giving man I ever knew. All of the cousins remember how gentle he was and the wonderful holiday meals that he would fix. We were introduced to Brussel sprouts and learned to appreciate those tiny cabbages!
My Grandpa was not my biological grandfather, as my real Grandpa was killed in a work-related accident. In fact, when he died, my grandma didn’t even know she was pregnant. It was a tough life, caring for her one-year old boy and then a new baby. There was not work comp in those days, and my Grandma did not receive a dime from the company he worked for. She moved in with her widowed mother and brothers, and had to return to work.
She already knew the man who would become her second husband because they were distantly related by marriage. WWI was starting and my Grandpa went to Europe to fight against the Germans. I wonder if it was difficult since his father had come from Germany.
He returned and had no injuries that I was aware of. When he came home, he presented my Mom with a gorgeous tea set for children. It was hand painted in Bavaria and was the only heirloom that I asked my mom for and it still lives with me. 🙂
Mom was about five-years-old by then. When her mom became engaged to Grandpa, my mother was so confused as to why they gave her a “shower.” Wouldn’t she get all wet??
Grandma and Grandpa had four more children, making a total of six in their combined family.
I never noticed any difference in the way I was treated vs. the other cousins from the second marriage. We were all loved and well-fed. 😉
My mom recollected that Grandma (her mother) told her numerous times, “Marrying him was the best decision I ever made.” She was indeed blessed.
Question for Readers: If you’ve read any of my historical novels, what true events have surprised you? If not, what true events in history fascinate you?
About Elaine: Elaine Marie Cooper has written ten novels so far. Most are focused on the little-known incidents or battles in the Revolutionary War. Her passion for history started as a child and only grew with time. She has two grown sons and five grandchildren. Her only daughter died of a brain tumor in 2003. She currently lives in the midwest with her husband, and is close enough to visit her military son and triplet grands. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Winter’s Ravage:
During the savage winter of 1779-1780, General George Washington chose Jockey Hollow, near Morristown, New Jersey, to winter down the troops. When they arrived in December, snow already covered the landscape. The men were forced to build log-hut shelters while battling the elements. Food was scarce, and, at times, non-existent. Although Washington begged Congress for help to feed and clothe his men, his pleas went unheeded.
Zadok Wooding’s brother-in-law, Corporal Levi Parlee, wrote home to tell of the Army’s plight, prompting Zadok and a friend from Hartford to begin a long, freezing journey to bring the troops much-needed food and blankets.
Along the way, dangers are encountered, including a kidnapping plot against General Washington. Zadok and his party are stranded for weeks in the snow-covered land.
Meanwhile, two pregnant wives and Zadok’s mother are at home in New Haven. The women face their own dangers, and Aurinda Wooding wonders if the fledgling country is strong enough to win the war against Mother England. Will all be lost in this terrible winter?
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