John’s parents gave us this small mahogany “card table” when we bought our first home. Dad and Mother Purdy had received it as a gift or bought it for their first home – a long time ago!  It is called a card table but we have never used it for that.



We usually open it up on holidays as we did last Thanksgiving for my beautiful nieces. I love to dress up the table with a lace cloth but with Turbo Kitty, Alice running around, we settled for a cotton tablecloth Mother Purdy had used for this table during the holidays.

Turbo Kitty inspects table

So where does the versatility come in? This table can be used three ways. You have already seen two ways. It takes some work getting it from this position (My favorite because the wood looks so pretty against the wall and anything displayed on the table is enhanced by the depth of the wood.

Step 1 - close the table

Step 1 – close the table (I have added felt to protect the wall but it is not adhered to the table.)

Step 2 - Twist the table counter clockwise

Step 2 – Twist the table counter clockwise

I don’t think the table likes this part. It complains and squeals – just like us when we are asked to step out of our comfort zone.

Step 3 – Open the table, dust it and you have seating for two!

After dinner, just reverse the order and it can become a display table.

Isabel's gifts

Through the years, this little table has served as a guest table, a sideboard, tea table, dessert table, display table, sofa table, a lamp table, a place for the cats to watch the birds from our front window and as it is called – a card table. Pretty versatile, isn’t it?


Did you know that we are to be versatile as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?  We may think, “I’m a ___________” when we are really an instrument with a divine purpose. To serve wherever He calls and to do whatever He asks of us. So the next time you are asked to work in the nursery, teach Sunday School, give your testimony, pray, sing in the choir, pass out bulletins, write an article, write a book…  I have found that the more I do for the Lord; the more He will enable me to do in His name.  After all, just as this table had a designer who had made plans for versatility, the Lord designed you with talents and gifts. How sad it would be to remain a display table in the corner when He had planned for me to serve to others the Bread of Life!

You may ask, “How can I serve or speak when I am so nervous?”

1. Pray – (John 14:13-14;  James 1:5;  I John 5:14)

2. Prepare – (2 Timothy 2:15;  I John 5:10-15)

3. Practice – (2 Timothy 2:1-3, 3:14-17)

And remember, God chose an elderly man to build the ark, a shepherd to lead His people, a boy to slay a giant, fishermen to follow Him and to preach the Word, and more importantly, God Himself, left the glory of Heaven to be born in the lowliest of places to be our Savior – The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world and then He arose from the dead that we may have everlasting life!

Since He has done so much for me; how can I give Him less than He asks of me? Versatility – for Him.

“Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Colossians 3:23

What does this have to do with an old table? We were also designed for a purpose. To glorify God. To serve Him in any way that He asks – just be willing to turn and go the way He directs!

Have a wonderful week!

Love in Christ,


I Peter 3:15


What Treasured Memory is Contained in This Brown Box?

The Bulls Eye Kodak No. 2 by Eastman Kodak Co.

This interesting camera belonged to my husband’s Grandparents or his Aunt Louise who lived in Clifton Forge, VA in this house.

Long family home in Clifton Forge, VA for over 75 years.

Long family home in Clifton Forge, VA for over 75 years.

Since this camera was manufactured from 1895-1913 so we think it belonged to John’s grandfather, Clarence Long. John’s Aunt Louise lived in this home most of her life. The images on the film still in the camera may have been taken by John’s grandparents or by his Aunt Louise. Would they have left film in the camera unprocessed when they upgraded to a newer style camera? Did they simply forget all about it and stow it away in a trunk in the attic? Perhaps Grandfather Long took pictures of his bride and young children. Perhaps he took pictures of his granddaughters and his only grandson before he died in the 1960’s and no one had the heart to disturb it or it was put away with his things not realizing the film was still in the camera. What a mystery! We have been told that the film cannot processed now because the chemicals and method of developing the early film is no longer available. So it shall remain a mystery. Curiosity is almost too overpowering – this familial link to the past.

My husband found the original instruction book online. If you are interested, click on this link.

Christmas 1985. Louise Long, Emilie Long Purdy, John Purdy and Kathy.

John’s Aunt Louise Long, Mother Purdy, Dad Purdy and me on our first Christmas as a family in 1985. John is on the other side of the camera capturing the moment with his fancy manual camera.

With digital cameras, video cameras and cell phone cameras, the days of waiting for film to be developed is past. We just snap a picture and within seconds, post it on facebook for all the world to see. It wasn’t always this way.

I remember as a child, we had an old brownie camera. You held the camera in front of you and looked down to see the image and then quickly pushed the gray button on the right. Our family had one like this.

Processing film was costly so we had to choose our shots wisely and the light had to be just right! If I remember correctly, there were only twelve pictures on a roll of film. Our family couldn’t afford to have film developed often so we took one or two pictures at each occasion. Birthdays, Christmas, perhaps Thanksgiving, weddings and other special occasions. Finally, when all of the film was used up, it was carefully placed in a black tube, placed into an envelope and sent away to be developed. When they arrived, everyone was excited because we couldn’t remember what we had taken pictures of and some didn’t turn out. It was a lesson in endurance. Patience. Delayed gratification.

Next, the photographs were placed into an album of black pages with little black corners holding the picture in place. Most of our family pictures were developed in January. So our Christmas pictures from 1964 have January 1965 stamped on the ragged edges.

Next came the Instamatic cameras. Instead of loading a roll of film carefully stretching the film onto a roll on the other end of the camera, these babies had film cartridges. The process was still the same for developing the film until some drug stores and department stores began offering film processing. We still had to wait. We were thrilled when the one hour processing became available!

2013-01-15 Old unprocessed film cartridge 2013-01-15 Old unprocessed film cartridge

Do you remember using these?

And then there was the Polaroid! I thought it was wonderful. The film developed immediately without a processing fee!

Christmas for Rusty 1980

I took this picture of my little dog, Rusty with my Polaroid. Not a great picture but I had the image immediately – well, almost!  This camera came in handy in my classroom. On the first day of school, I snapped a picture of each student and labeled it on the wide lower margin of the picture and hung the pics on the bulletin board. It was a great way to learn the student’s names! I took their pictures again on the last day of school and let them take their pictures home. It was amazing to see how much the children had changed in a few short months! (We also did this in Sunday School but with my husband’s fancy camera. By the mid-eighties, we had our film developed at CVS and they put the images on a CD. (I had so much fun with those images in Print Shop Deluxe!)

And then along came the fabulous digital cameras. What a joy to capture birds in flight, a squirrel hogging the sunflower seeds and pictures of flowers that I planted each year. Of course, we have hundreds of cat pictures and wonderful shots of my child care kiddos. “Have camera – will capture that moment of smiles!”

So all of that to say, that my imagination is running wild with this old camera. What memories or mysteries does this little brown box hold?

Capturing memories did not begin with a camera, pen, paintbrush or with a pencil. It began with our Heavenly Father.

In Joshua 4 after the Lord divided the Jordon river that the children of Israel; beginning with the the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant for them to cross over on dry land. Afterward, the Lord spoke to Joshua to take out of the Jordon twelve stones from the spot where the priest had stood firm on dry ground. (One for each tribe of Israel.) They were to carry them and leave them in the lodging place where they were to lodge that night.

“And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of tribes of the children of Israel;

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, that the waters of the Jordon were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.

And these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.

Joshua 4:5-7

“Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall praise Thy works to another and shall declare Thy mighty acts.

I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

And men shall speak of the might of thy (awe-inspiring) acts; and I will declare thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy.”

Psalms 145:3-8

So you see, whenever we look at old photographs, mementos, and recite stories from the past, lets remember all that He has done for us and for the generations before us and what He will do for the generations to come.  Lets praise Him at all times and share what He has done for you with others.



Early Telephones

Isn’t this a lovely print from I love looking at pictures of life in the early twentieth century.

What kind of telephone was available when Isabel’s brother needed to call the hospital to check on their “Mama”? One like this one! He had to ride his horse to the nearest house with a telephone.

Difficult to imagine today, isn’t it? We are so used to using our cell phones for everything from talking, texting, checking email, connecting with friends on facebook, playing games, checking the weather and even watching movies.

Isabel’s family didn’t have electricity, a telephone and had a privy outside. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? If you know someone who lived in the early days of industry and technology, give them a call! They may have a great story to share with you. =-)

19th Century Historical Tidbits: Soup Digester (Reblogged. Written by Lynn Coleman)

Soup Digester

Have you ever heard of a Soup Digester? Neither had I until I read Lynn Coleman’s blog, 19th Century Historical Tidbits. I believe this is an item from 1864. If you love history or historical research, be sure to peruse her blog. Fascinating tidbits and quite useful in helping us see how our ancestors lived.

19th Century Historical Tidbits: Soup Digester.

Early electric irons, self-heating flat irons, sad irons


I have found some wonderful websites describing household items from the past. I was curious about the first electric irons. I remember my grandmother ironing with a black handled Sunbeam iron with a black and white fiber cord. In order to get out the wrinkles, she took the dry clean clothes off the line and brought them inside. She laid them one by one on the clean kitchen table and sprinkled them with water, rolling them up as she went along and then placed the items in a clean bread bag (yes, once the bread was used, the bag was washed, hung up to dry and reused) and placed the bag in the refrigerator. She took out one item at a time and ironed it until every item was neatly pressed and creased!

One more thing to count as a blessing – the steam iron! Take a look at the first electric irons by clicking on the following link.

Early electric irons, self-heating flat irons, sad irons.

In The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, Isabel and her “Mama” had to use heavy flat irons.  She would have welcomed the new electric iron!