Theofiel At Ghent

The next morning, Wednesday, September 26th, Allan and I picked up Theofiel in Minneota, where he spent the night at Vin and Judy’s, and brought him to Mom and Dad’s farm at Ghent.  He had spent several days at Mom and Dad’s back in September of 1982 and he wanted to retrace some footsteps.

It was another beautiful fall day that seemed like summer.

Theofiel brought a large mum plant for Mom and a bottle of champagne for Dad.

Dad filled up our vehicle with his garden goodies including pumpkins, muskmelon, and tomatoes.

Theofiel recognized this quilt wallhanging that Mom had stitched, appliquéd, and quilted a few years ago because of online pictures he has seen of their home in Alamo, Texas —  in Sue’s Album, naturlich.

The quilt first hung in Mom and Dad’s beautiful Texas home on a golf course in a gated community where there were always rabbits running back and forth across the grassy field in their backyard. 

Much of Dad’s big farm equipment was out in the field or at the boys’ farms.  “This is old stuff,” said Dad.

Theofiel wanted a picture at the “front door,” where a huge family photo was taken when my parents were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary five years ago.  It’s also in Sue’s Album and he saw it.

We left the farm about 2 p.m. so Allan could get back to Victoria in time for his tennis match.  Thank you, Mom, for the excellent meatloaf dinner, delicious baked potato, sweet pumpkin/marshmallow dish, and the perfect pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  Thank you, Dad, for the garden produce.  We love it.

Many Jennen relatives attend or attended St. Eloi Catholic Church in Ghent, which is the hometown church of my parents.  It’s where I went to Mass every morning for the eight years that I attended the St. Eloi Catholic School.  I know it by heart and to this day I know where everybody sat on Sundays, including all of those cousins at Vin and Judy’s party. 

The cemetery, which is about a mile or so out of town, was also on our itinerary as we left Ghent, MN.

This very old gravemarker reads:  “Hubertine Jennen.  Died Oct. 26, 1899.  Aged 55 Yrs.”  Hubertine,  who was born in 1844, was the wife of Peter John Jennen (1843-1915).  They are the parents of Michael John Jennen (previous photo) or, in other words, the great grandparents of my mother and the great great grandparents of me, Susan Claeys Orsen.  Peter John’s brother Jacobus Jennen and his wife Catharina were the grandparents of our Belgian relatives Father Ferdinand, Mariette, and Benny; and Josee is in there too.

This is the tombstone of Michael John Jennen (1876-1940) and his wife Maria Helene Stassen (1879-1930), who were the parents of my Grandma Mary Opdahl and all of her eleven brothers and sisters who had those kids and cousins and Vin and Judy Bot’s party at Minneota, some of them missing, of course.

This is the marker of my Grandma and Grandpa Opdahl, and also their daughter Elaine.

Isabelle is the mother of Judy Bot and Orville, Jack, Conrad, David, whom we met at the party, and others.

My parents already have their gravemarker waiting for them.  It’s one of the nicest I’ve ever seen.

But I prefer them upright and above ground.