Elmer & Grace 1927
If I could catch a wave
as it flows toward shore
I would hold its sparkling coolness
cupped within my hand,
Watch it shimmer without spilling
Until I splashed it high up to the sky
to form starry flakes of filigree
to float down upon my upturned face
to feel to taste to drink to savor
As I savor love
which I hold shimmering,
cupped within my hands
...and then let go.
~by Ali Jarvenpa
from "Half Immersed"
Grace Catherine Hoikka Koski HavenIn 1904, Kalle Hoiika and Anna Liisa Lammaslehto were married in Kuusamo, Finland. Subsequently, they emigrated to America, settling in Centerville, (Eastern) Washington where Grace was born in 1908 (her Finnish name was Lempi Katarina). She was the third of 14 children born to Kalle and Anna Liisa.
The Hoiika family eventually moved to Rosburg, Washington where they earned their livelihood as farmers and fishermen (Rosburg is situated on the Columbia River).
When she was about 14 years old, Grace left the family home to take private employment with various families as cartaker for their children, and it was while she was at an employer's store in Naselle, Washington that she met Elmer N. Koski
Elmer and Grace fell in love. They eloped to Spokane, Washington and were married in 1927. They had five children: Elmer Virgil, Robert Allyn, Grace Marlene, Patricia Ann, and Charles Henry.
For a time Grace and Elmer resided in Knapton, Washington where Elmer was employed as boom boss at a local mill. When his job was lost because of the Depression, they followed jobs to various locations in Washington and Oregon.
In the early thirties, Elmer and Grace moved to Winlock, Washington taking over the family farm after the death of Elmer's mother, Mathilda. Elmer's father, Henry, died in 1924
(When Henry Koski emigrated to America from Finland, he worked for seven years as a coal miner at Carbonado, Washington to earn enough money to bring his family over - only his youngest child, Mamie, was born in America; Elmer was born in Finland in 1901.
While working to bring his family to America, Henry attended night school to learn English and the laws of the USA so he could become a citizen.)
In 1941 Elmer died. Grace sold the farm and moved to a rented house in the south of Winlock, later buying a home closer to downtown Winlock. She worked in restaurants and at the Winlock laundry to support her home and children (from the door of the lundry she could see her home and so keep watch on her family while she worked).
In 1948 Grace married Harold R. Haven, a widower with no children (Harold and his first wife, Ann [Miller], moved to Washington in the late 1930s, coming from Illinois). Grace and her family moved to Harold's home at Mary's Corner, Washington.
Harold made his living at a variety of odd jobs, and for many years Grace worked as a nurse's aide at the MacMillian Nursing Home south of Chehalis. Eventually, they owned and operated a green house next to their home at Mary's Corner. Grace's specialty at the green house was fuchsias - they were gorgeous!
Harold died in 1986. Grace continued to live at their home at Mary's Corner until her death in 1998.
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