Interview about Harriet Mirinda Black Norton
Contributor: kevsha Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Harriet Mirinda Black was born October 23, 1892 in Arizona. She married Joel Wesley Norton on May 17, 1911. Here is what my mother, Velva Lee Norton Williams, tells about her Grandma Norton.
Harriet was the only girl out of 5 brothers who were very protective of her. They didn’t like Joel Wesley but she loved him and married him anyways. She was so happy when he took her and her first two sons to Salt Lake City to be sealed.
Grandma Norton was never angry. She had humility, patience, understanding and unconditional love. She made each person feel special and like they were her favorite. When my mom, Velva, would get upset, her parents would take her next door to Grandma Norton’s house in Monticello, Utah to calm down; especially during thunderstorms. Grandma Norton would bake cookies with Velva, let her color, and always took care of her gardens. Grandma loved to be in her flower gardens and they were beautiful. She sewed on a Treble sewing machine and crocheted amazingly. Each granddaughter would get a beautiful crocheted pillowcase around her 13th birthday. The kitchen in the Monticello house was wallpapered and there was a coal stove to cook on. That meant every spring they would clean soot off the walls of the house with pink, clay like, cleaner with a funny smell.
After Grandpa died Grandma Norton moved up to Salt Lake City to be close to her daughter Alice. Velva would spend a couple of weeks of the summer there. One time Grandma fell on the ice and broke her wrist. Velva and others greatly missed Grandma Norton’s letters during the time she healed. Which seemed like a long time. Grandma Norton never complained about this or anything like it. She just dealt with it. Things never set her back. She would talk about being depressed and having the low self-esteem that runs in the family but Velva never saw it Grandma like she saw it in her dad.
When Velva graduated high school she moved from Logan to Salt Lake for a job. She lived with Grandma Norton. Grandma would always have a nice little meal ready when Velva came home. The routine was to watch Perry Mason at 9 (or if it was Saturday: Lawrence Whelk.) And have family prayer at 10. Grandma’s prayers were faithful and sincere. Even if they sounded routine or repetitious; they were not. They were always prayers of faith and humility. They walked 5 city blocks to church each Sunday. Grandma Norton would, and had since she lived in Salt Lake, spend a few days of the week at the temple. She was very dedicated and loved to be there. There was a grocery store on the corner that they would shop at or Grandma would have Velva go pick up groceries.
Grandma Norton shared stories of Grandpa with Velva. She talked about the time when she hated that he used tobacco cigarettes so she sewed all of pockets in Grandpas shirts shut so he couldn’t put the pack in there.
Grandma Norton aged into diabetes and started taking insulin in the mornings and nights. She spent so many days outside in her flower garden, in 1973 a time came when complications of this disease caused her to fall and break her hip. She was in the hospital for a couple of days and later died due to these complications. Velva’s father comforted her about not being able to say goodbye to Grandma Norton in the hospital. By then Velva had two young children. She made it to the funeral and was fascinated at the young appearance that Grandmas body had all ready taken on. When asking Velva what are the most important things learned from Grandma Norton, she mentioned an appreciation of keeping a home in order and making it beautiful, and a love for the beauty of nature.