Story so far: Grandma Cecile had reached her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslovakia. She had crossed the United States by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. The Europa, a ship with the North German Lloyd ship line, had carried her across the Atlantic Ocean. She had reached her destination of Nieder-Mohrau and had written some letters back home. At the same time, her family back home wrote letters to her. All of those letters would take about three weeks to arrive at their destination.
A few more days had passed, Grandma Cecile had not had time to sit and write in her diary, but she did sit down to write another letter home.
|Start of Grandma's letter|
Nieder-Mohrau,June 22. 1936.
My dear children & grandchildren:
I want you to know I am here at my sisters, and am feeling quite good again; only first I was shaken up to some extent.
This country looks very good, the fields are certainly a fiest [feast] for the eye, everything is green and the people are making hay. The barns are build a lot bigger as they were at the time I was working around here. There are so many new houses and how swell they look; there is rarely a place to be found that is the same as when I left. I do have fun to hunt up something that is the old way yet.
Nider-Mohrau, postcard format photo
And when I came to the graveyard my parents grave looked so forlorn towards all the monuments, my sister Mina has one too already for the girl that died last Jan., their father in law had it all fixed up.
My sisters are both hard workers but Mina has it a little better than Gustie in spite that Gustie is a pretty rich one. They get up at 1/4 to four in the morning & work like cr. fools all day long. I don't see how they can stand it; but Gustie is just about once more as heavy as I am so I guess it must not hurt her. At Schallner ["Hedwigs" is written in above the name "Schallner"] it is supposed to be worse.
Grandma Cecile, Gustie & Wihelm Weiss
Hermann is here he came to see me rightaway and he helped in the hay there yesterday he said he didn't want to go over today he doesn't like it.
When I see an old acquaintens [acquaintence] (yesterday I've seen Tost Anna) they look so worn out I just can't get over it. One of their sons got married (I was told) they gave him about 100 tousend [thousand] cronen as a wedding gift. I am invited to come to many places but how in the world could this be done, they are always in the fields and on Sun. I want to go with my Sisters to see some wonders of nature.
Last Sun. we went to Karlsdorf to see Papa's birthplace, when we got there we have not found Aschers anymore they are both dead also the son that was feebleminded. That house was so clean inside and out they are expecting sommerfrischlers from some city to move in and as I was told they make good money by renting houses out like that. That village is so build up too Papa would not know it anymore.
They have no priest at present here in Mohrau just early Mass on Sun. and if I am not mistaken I believe I would not like to be a priest here.
And now how are you all at home, I hope everybody is well I received Betty & Stella's letter yesterday, how tickled I am & thank you very much. I don't think I will stay here very long and I'll be very glad to get home, tell Papa he can expect me in a short time. I like it in a way, but it is a tousent [thousand] times nicer at home. People got so money hungry here my dollars wouldn't go very far. The autos are running by here every once in a while and make a terrible dust to Karlsbrunn. So take care of yourself & write once more, before I lieve [leave].
 - Not sure if this postcard is from this trip, but it was included with Grandma's materials. It was not mailed but has writing on the back, it looks like Hermann Schiebel's handwriting.
Translation by my friend Al Haunold:
|Back of the postcard|
What is indicated here is our parent’s house. Since the village street has been reconstructed, there are some changes, as well as the hill, we always called it the “bishop’s hangout” and added to the house of the hired servants is a stable for the animals
In the background you can see a new house, it is a “Konsum” or grocery store
I assume you can figure that out for yourself
If you click on the photo to get an enlarged version of it, you will see a house in the center, to the right, with a line drawn under it. This must have been the Schiebel family home, where Cecile, Gustie, Mina, and their brothers all grew up.
The blue scribbles on the back of the postcard below the writing were added by "some mischievous children with crayons" many years later.
 - Elfrieda Bernt, Mina's daughter who died earlier
 - Hermann Schiebel, Grandma's youngest brother
So Grandma Cecile had started to feel less anxious and enjoy herself, but was still ready to head for home. The photograph shows her with her sister Gustie, and Gustie's husband Wihelm Weiss. Grandma wrote in German on the back of the photo. My friend Al translated that as "Gustie, the brother-in-law and I myself". The building in the back is probably Gustie & Wilhem's house (house #39 in the village).
As before, I inserted the paragraph breaks just to make it easier to read. Grandma wrote it in one block of text.
Again, to see the pictures up close, click on any one of them and you will be able to scroll through them. And check out the linked words to read more about what a "sommerfrischler" is and what Karlsdorf looks like today.
Story to be continued......