Saturday, August 11, 2012

An Immigrant's Trunk

This is an immigrant's trunk from the 1800's.  Rare and unique. When you look at it, what do you see?  Old? Worn? Ugly? That's what it looked like to me when I was a little girl.  It sat in my Mom's basement and stored our family's camping tent.  Years later, after I was married, my Mom said she wanted to get rid of it.  At the time, I did not have the appreciation for antiques that I do now.  Rustic and primitive had not yet made its way into my heart.  But when she told me that it belonged to my great-great-grandfather and that it made the journey with him from Germany when he immigrated to the United States, I could not let it get away from the family.  I said I would take it.



It sat in my basement for a number of years but eventually found a special place in my heart and at the foot of my bed.  I sit on it every day to put on my socks and shoes.  Every day I think about the man who left the country of his birth and brought his family to the land of opportunity, the land of freedom, and land where every person is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   

Thank you, great-great-grandfather. Your trunk may be old, but it is not ugly.  It is beautiful. It is a reminder to me every day of how grateful I am to you and how blessed I am by God to be an American.  It is also amazing that your trunk has been passed down for over 100 years through five generations. It may be worn, but it still has its original paint.  I can faintly see your name stenciled on the front.  Jakob Ritter.


My great-great-grandfather Jakob had a son named Jacob, who also had a son name Jacob (my grandfather's brother).  Two months ago my daughter had a baby boy--my grandson. He's brand new. He's an American, seventh generation. His name is Jacob.

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