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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1916 Baby Book ~~ Come turn the pages with me

Ina Laura Petersen
Date of Birth July 11th, 1916

Ina Petersen where are you?

Browsing  a flea market in Colorado
I came upon a leather bound book.
Since I have a passion for leather
this book immediately caught my attention.
To my elated surprise, lying on a dusty shelf
was a baby book dated 1916.
Thus Follows:

Story of the Little Lost Book

The Book
Baby Mine

I am "The Book of Baby Mine"
I lay here on this hard dusty shelf, lost and all alone.
Strangers come and go, some pass me by, others,
pick me up and then throw me down.

How did I get here, what is this place.
I miss my family, the Petersen family,
where are you Ina Petersen?

Memories fill my little pages, the celebration of a new life.
Delicate entries made by a caring Mother
who was so taken with her precious baby girl,
she wanted the entire world to know 
Ina Laura Petersen.

When was I born
July 11th, 1916 was the date
8 pounds 0 ounces was my weight.
The day was Tuesday
Tick tock, tick tock
2 minutes past 4 said the clock.

Carefully traced tiny hand and foot prints of baby Ina.
Unlike footprints in the sand, yours are embedded forever. 

In the days of old when babes were born,
Good fairies came with gifts, you see.
Now I believe in good fairies too,
For here are the gifts they brought to me

Coat cap and booties
Hot water bottle with card
Baby ring and Baby doll
Book of Baby Mine

First Christmas
Hang my stocking, mother mine,
Let the little candles shine.
Hear the happy laughter ring,
All the world is Christmasing.
Who gave the earth this happy day,
Just a little Babe like me.
Hang my stocking, mother mine,
Let the little candles shine.

Ina's First Photograph taken in the Spring of 1917

Oh dear, oh dear what do I feel, a gentle touch, 
come closer, someone has lifted me off this shelf.
Who can this be, a lady, 
Is that you Ina Petersen?

Soft tender fingers caress my leather cover,
slowly my cover opens, 
ever so carefully pages are turning over,
Is that you Ina Petersen?

I hear a gasp of surprise then a moaning sound of delight,
she is viewing your locket of hair Ina, still tied in the pink silk ribbon.

I vividly remember the day Mother snipped this curl and placed it here,
March 1920.
You are almost 4 years old now with eyes of blue and golden blond tresses,
what a beauty you are.
I am saddened that your curl from October 10th, 1918 has been lost.

Your Firsts
You could sit without support at the age of 4 months,
you crypt at 7 months,
took your first step all alone on the date of July 3rd, 1917.
The first words you learned were
papa, kitty, mama and baby.
On February 18th, 1917 you cut your first tooth and
learned to play peek-a-boo when 15 months of age.

 Here is an outline of your little hand when you grew older,
age 2 years and 3 months.

August 1919 Denver Colorado
We celebrated your third birthday in the mountains near Denver.

Perched on this large log a family photo was snapped.
Father, mother and you Ina in the middle.
Cool crisp autumn air made you shiver a little,
Mom snuggled close to keep you warm,
You are the twinkle in father's eye and mother's little helper.
Life is good and you are loved.

Your First Professional Photograph
One Year and 11 Months
Mother knew this was going to be a special photo,
a photo she would hold dear to her heart 
and later place on this page.
A picture that would stand the test of time
a picture of her sweet Ina
 revealed to the world forever.

Round rosy checks passed down from father.
Golden curls, a cherub's smile from mother.
Crisp linen dress with just a touch of fine lace.
Little toes protruding from your sandals,
a gift from Aunt Grace.
What a beauty of innocence.

Another gasp, a louder gasp, 
my book slams shut, what is happening,
will I again be placed on the shelf?

I am now staring into the misty eyed face of that lovely lady.
Sadly she views Jack's photo, 
in a mystified trance touching it ever so lightly.
She has found my page of "honor"

Brothers and sisters
Their photographs
And dates of birth

Jack Rudolph Petersen
Born:  November 13, 1913
Died:  September 22, 1915

We did not know little Jack, Ina and me,
this was before our time.
One thing I know for sure,
Jack was special.
So special Mom put his photo here for us to cherish,
always to remember the big brother
who came first into our world 
then left way too soon.
Mom's littlest Angel

First School Days
Just so I won't forget when I'm gray
I'll write here the names of:
My First School____________________
My First Teacher___________________
My First School Chum_______________
And other important notes:____________

No school entry, no teacher or important notes,
why is this page blank?
My mind wanders now, 
Ina Petersen where are you?
Did you not go to school, 
were you ill fated like little Jack, leaving us way too soon!
Perhaps it was Mom who left us,
and father was too sad to continue your story.

Where are you Ina,
95 years would be your age now,
could you still be with us?
Did you find the love of your life;
did you become a mother,
perhaps a grandmother of a sweet baby girl?

I am a little lost book with no more stories' to share.
I sit on a dusty shelf and no one cares.

All I want is my family back,
Who will remember Ina and little Jack!
What is happening, don't hold me so tight.
Oh dear I am fearful, where am I going tonight.
Shelf I am calling you, shelf, shelf
I need your arms to comfort myself.

Once more I stare into the elated face of a lovely lady.
Her soft fingers move lightly over my leather cover,
her caring tone of speech fills the room,
calmness overtakes my pages.

Missouri Ozarks is where I call home,
I think you will like it here Ina.
Everything about this place takes me back to 1916,
when life was simple.
 I am regally displayed with many vintage friends.
We share stories of old,
some make us laugh, others are sad.

I share our story Ina....
This story that will continue to live on 
because some nice lady cared enough 
to pick me up, dust me off and take me with her.
                          Thank You Connie B                             



  1. I have my baby book. Not all pages were completed. I have one for each of my children. Put together with TLC. I often wondered would they be cheerished long after I am gone or sadly discarded. It would be wonderful if through your post you would find Ina. I am sure her mother treasured this little book. So nice you have saved it & care for it. Blessings!

  2. Connie, Such a great and enjoyable post. Love that little baby book. Thanks for sharing.

  3. what a wonderful post..you always wonder how these things get tossed away..you would think someone would want them.;) thanks for sharing Ina's story and Jacks too;)

  4. Beautiful mom! You didn't tell me about Jack and that we have the same birthday.

  5. Oh Connie you have such a way of bringing the past to life and it always touches me.. Great post as always. Very precious Baby Book and a awesome addition to your Cabin filled with treasures from the past.. I loved it and love the baby book!!

    Thanks for sharing your treasure and the Story of Ina.


  6. I love that you have given Ina's memories a new home. And I love this post. :) Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  7. Oh...you got me good with this one Miss Connie...real good...Smiles & Baby Hugs for Ina & Jack ~ Robin

  8. How grand that Ina's story has passed into your hands to be loved and remembered by a kindred soul.

  9. I love history; real history so I went inot the site Ancestry.com and found that she may have lived to the ripe age of 4 years of age. You may do some more research with the city that you purched the book from I just used Missouri and that is what I came up with but you may find some realatives from that family line! thanksfor shareing that lovely book with us!