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Egg Shampoo and Rainwater: Sample Chapter from The Vision of a Mother’s Heart (Katherine H. Purdy)

The weeks of rain showers reminde me of one of my favorite chapters in

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart!

 

 In 1924 some things were done differently. Isabel’s family had a pump in the kitchen but it only pumped cold water. Families who lived in the country only took a full bath once a week as well as washing their hair. In order to conserve water during a dry season, families kept a rain barrel under the gutter to catch rain water. If you were creative, you could turn a chore such as washing your hair into a play time. My grandmother talked about washing her hair in the rain and allowed her children to do the same. When I was a child, I wanted the same experience but was told there was too much pollution in the air.  So, lets enjoy Isabel and her two sisters experiencee from Chapter 22 of The Vision of a Mother’s Heart.

Egg Shampoo and Rainwater

“WELL,” MAMA said as she placed the last loaf of bread into the oven, “tomorrow is Sunday, so we need to wash your hair, girls.”

“May we wash our hair in the rain?” Isabel asked as she looked outside at the cool, steady rain from the kitchen window.

“You always say that rain water smells good and we won’t have to use up the well water for our hair.” Isabel smiled as she made the last comment, knowing Papa was worried that the well would go dry before the end of the summer.

“Well,” Mama said, “I suppose it would be alright as long as you agree to come back inside at the first sound of thunder.

Go upstairs, and put on your bathing clothes so you will not mess up your work clothes.”

“Yes, Mama,” Isabel said. She headed for the back steps to her room. Maggie and Sylvia followed and then passed her on the steps.

“Oh boy,” Sylvia raced to their room. “I love playing in the rain.”  ”Sylvia said as she quickly dressed.

“Well,” Isabel said, “we are not playing in the rain; we are washing our hair.”

Isabel said. She pulled out her bathing I wish Mama and Papa would allow us to wear the new style like everyone else.

These old things are heavier than our regular dresses. Besides, they look ugly, and they are no good for swimming.  The last time we went swimming, I nearly drowned because my clothes were full of water and dragging me under water.”

“I remember,” Maggie said. She giggled and watched Isabel make funny faces at the offending fabric.

“Ye gads,” Isabel said. She attempted to button the dress portion of her swimsuit.

“Isabel,” Maggie said, “you just used God’s name in vain.”

“No I didn’t. I just said the same thing everybody says.”

“Mama wouldn’t like it..”

“Oh, Maggie,” Isabel said to her sister, who was also struggling with her suit, “you are such a goody-goody sometimes.

Besides, I said g-a-ds and with a little g – like the Roman gods, you know.”

“That does not make it right, Isabel. It is still using God’s name in vain,” Maggie said.

 Isabel decided to drop the issue.

“I’m telling Mama you’re swearing,” Sylvia said as she headed for the bedroom door.

“Please don’t tell her.  It will only upset her, and I promise never to say that again.” Sylvia twisted the doorknob, and Isabel spoke up once more.

I will give you a nickel if you don’t tell.”

“Okay,” Sylvia said. She took the coin from Isabel and Now shut your eyes, and don’t peek!”

Even with her eyes closed, Isabel could hear Sylvia placing the coin under her mattress for safekeeping. Next, Isabel could hear a soft thud as Sylvia removed her hand from under the mattress and a trashing sound as her hands were smoothing out wrinkles from the covers.

As if we didn’t know where she keeps things she doesn’t want us to see,” Maggie said as Sylvia exited the room.

“What do you mean?” Isabel questioned with suspicion.

Sylvie always puts her money and other secret treasures under her mattress. Didn’t you know? ”

“No,” Isabel said.

Maggie said with a smile. “You keep your diary in that old hatbox in the far right corner of the closet,

and the key to unlock it is on a string hanging behind the picture on the wall.”

“Maggie Greene,” Isabel said, “you’ve been snooping.”

Maggie said sweetly as she walked to the window and pulled back the curtain, revealing the old climbing tree a few feet from the house.

“If you want to hide something in our room, you should close the curtain or make sure no one is sitting in the tree reading. ”

“Margaret Louise Greene,  it’s impolite to spy on people; you should have let me know ”

“I saw your diary and you wrote that you have a boyfriend.”

“I do not have a boyfriend!”

Isabel and Arnie sitting in a tree…” Maggie chanted as she took off down the steps with Isabel close behind.

“No running in the house, girls,” Mama said as they entered the kitchen. They slowed their pace to a quick walk as they stepped outside

into the pouring rain.

“Now girls,” Mama said as she stepped onto the back porch. “Lather your hair twice, and be sure to get the suds out.

I will mix up the rinse and be back in a few minutes.”

The three girls twirled around in the rain until their hair was completely wet and then stepped back onto the porch.

“Here,” Isabel said. She picked up the jar of shampoo. “I’ll pour some on your hair, and then you can pour some on mine.”

She poured the amber liquid onto Maggie’s head and massaged it into her sister’s hair. Next, Isabel turned and repeated the

 same for Sylvia. Then Maggie poured the slimy liquid onto Isabel’s head.

“Work up a good lather,” Isabel said as she worked the shampoo through her own long hair.

“Sylvie, it looks you’re wearing a crown on your head. Maggie, let’s see how high we can pile the suds on your head.”

The girls giggled as they made funny figurines on their heads.

“We should rinse it off or the suds will make our head itch.: Isabel quoted Mama, who warned them each time they washed their hair.

“We know that,” Maggie said and then raced off the porch to rinse the suds from her hair and was followed by her sisters.

 

The girls danced around in the rain again as they attempted to rinse out the offensive lather.

“Oh no,” Isabel said, “the rain is slacking off.”

“Let’s do the second lather before it stops altogether,” Maggie said.

 

They ran back to the porch and repeated the procedure. Just as they stepped off the porch, the sky seemed to open up

with the heaviest rain they had seen all year.

Sylvia said. She twirled around, allowing the rain to wash her face as well as whisk away the shampoo.

“My hair feels softer already and smells good too,” Isabel said.

 

Mama stepped onto the porch with a tray containing three jars. She handed Isabel the jar with an amber-colored liquid.

“Apple cider vinegar to rinse your pretty brown hair.”

Isabel wrinkled her nose as she drenched her hair with the pungent rinse. “It stinks,” she said.

“It will make your hair nice and shiny, and it will wash away the suds,” Mama said.

She handed the jar of lemon juice to Maggie and then poured the liquid from the remaining jar on Sylvia’s head and worked it through her hair.

“Why do we have to use lemon juice?” Sylvia asked.

“Because you have blonde hair; it will make it shine like the sun. Now, run back into the rain and rinse.”

The girls obeyed their mother and stepped back onto the porch to squeeze all of the water out of their hair.

Isabel ran her fingers through her hair as she pushed the water out and then squeezed.

“Do you hear that?” she said. “Squeaky clean.”

“Perfect!” Mama said and handed each daughter a dry towel. “Now squeeze the water out of your suits, and go inside.”

 

After changing from their wet clothes, Isabel and her sisters returned to the kitchen to sit by the stove to dry their hair as they

enjoyed freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate.

“I love washing my hair in the rain,” Isabel said.

“Me too,” the younger girls agreed.

“Yes,” Mama said, “I’m thankful for the rain which will help the crops grow and will help keep my family clean.”

 

The argument between Isabel and Maggie was lost in the suds and washed away with the raindrops.

 

The Vinton School

Vinton School (William Byrd first High School) (2014_02_18 18_15_37 UTC)

Photo provided by Angie Bell Chewning

In the story I posted for Memorial Day, “Isabel” (my grandmother) attended The Vinton School while living with relatives. She loved that school and since she spoke of it so often when I was a child, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to attend the same school. By then, the 4 classroom building sat at the bottom of the hill where the High School, William Byrd stood. Of course, it was just the little building when Granny was a student. I understand there was a common room in the middle of the building which was used as an auditorium, gym and cafeteria. The four classrooms opened into the larger, common room.

My grandparents lived close enough William Byrd that we could hear band practice. It was great! My cousin, Debbie taught me a couple of cheers and we would hop around to the beat of the drums.

My stepfather’s younger sister was a student at “the high school” and I loved looking at her yearbooks; dreaming of the day I would also be a “Terrier.” That day finally came the fall of 1970. Since the building on the hill was built in the early 1930’s, the steps were worn with age. Framed pictures of graduating classes lined the halls. (I was late for class once because I was looking for a familiar face on the wall.)

New William Byrd High School on the hill

Photo provided by Angie Bell Chewning

I was delighted to discover that my math class and I think an art class were located in the school my Grandmother had attended. The little building at the bottom of the hill which was once known as, “The Vinton School.” That “hill” was very steep. Not only did we get a lot of exercise getting to Math class but once or twice when it was snowing, I discovered sliding, rolling or tumbling down that hill was not fun. And now, that is part of my history too. My favorite teacher at William Byrd Intermediate (Middle School) was Tina Cook. She was a believer who wanted to serve the Lord too. She was an organist at her church and to my delight, a counselor at the same Bible Camp my friends from Church and I attended.

My class was in this location for one year only. There were so many sixth-graders moving up to William Byrd Intermediate (on the hill) there wasn’t enough room for us. So we got to go to the new, modern Wm. Byrd High School in the eighth grade. It was exciting, but I missed the history in the old building.

Imagine all of the stories within the walls of these old buildings! My grandmother was there only a short time but I’m so glad she told me about it! Just remember, when you tell your children and grandchildren stories about the “good old days” they are probably listening even when you think they aren’t.

Blessings,

Kathy

Summer Reading

Are you looking for something different for your young daughter to read this summer? You and Grandma might enjoy it as well.

The Vision of a Mother's Heart by Katherine Hinchee Purdy (2)

Family and Christ centered fiction inspired by a true story. Setting is rural Virginia in 1924-25. Laugh at the children’s silly antics, sing with Mama, cry with Isabel and her family when tragedy strikes and imagine how you would have taken care of two-month twins and other siblings when you were only ten years old.

Life was far from perfect but filled with love.

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart is available in paperback through Amazon.com.

 

Exploring in Crabtree Falls, VA

This post was written in the fall a few years ago. I am looking forward to visiting in the spring this year. When we do, I will post pictures! Crabtree Falls, VA is beautifu any time of the year. Great for hiking.

After we left the falls, we drove to a wonderful country store. There is also a dining area but we were too late for service. They allowed John to snap pictures. Besides a store, there are rental c…

Source: Exploring in Crabtree Falls, VA

We Celebrate Today Because He Lives!

Miss Madison

As a child, Easter meant a new dress, hat, gloves, shoes, purse and everything that a little girl needs. Of course, there was the filled basket of candy (I gave most of mine to Mom. I just liked anything with marshmallow or carmel.) and a pretty flower to wear. Orchids were popular then. Also fun Easter Egg hunting is still popular today.

1604442_552440884874398_674899506_nMadison Easter Egg Hunt Kathie Trent Kingrey

Dying the eggs were so much fun; I remember the smell today. But what does that have to do with Easter? It doesn’t really. The fun traditions have nothing to do with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Hinchee Family Easter 1969

Hinchee Family Easter 1969 Our first Easter as Redeemed, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter 1969 Kathie and Robin Trent, Steve, Kathy and Melissa Hinchee

Best friends ready to go to Easter Service 1969

 

We had much to celebrate that first Easter as believers. For the first time, I realized what Easter is truly about. It is about the great sacrifice that paid for my sin on the cross. Jesus willingly gave His life for you, for me, for those who followed Him, for Peter who denied Him, for the scoffers who cried “Crucify Him!” and for the thief on the cross who believed Christ – the sinless, perfect Son of God didn’t deserve death on the cross but that he and the other thief did deserve this death.

d18b87c74002d069443780c0167cc0ec (2014_04_18 04_35_45 UTC)

He was buried in a borrowed tomb which was sealed with a stone too big and heavy for man to move. Three days later, He arose from the tomb. He lives! And so my friend, Happy Resurrection Day. We celebrate because He lives! (Sing “One Day” with me!) Just think, He loves you! Isn’t this Joy so much better than candy? I know it is!

Love,

Kathy

7c075486b70d6f5ec1f1f44a2d6661aa (2) (2014_04_18 04_35_45 UTC)

Overshadowed

This is one of my favorite songs. I used to sing it often. I thought someone may need the lyrics today.

Katherine H. Purdy

Overshadowed

Overshadowed

How desolate my life would be,
How dark and dreary my nights and days,
If Jesus’ face I did not see,
To brighten all earth’s weary ways

CHORUS
I’m overshadowed by His mighty love
Love eternal, changeless pure.
Overshadowed by His mighty love
Rest is mine, serene, secure.
He died to ransom me from sin,
He lives to keep me day by day,
I’m overshadowed by his mighty love,
Love that brightens all my way.

With burdened heart I wandered long,
By grief and unbelief distressed;
But now I sing faith’s happy song,
In Christ my Saviour I am blest.

Now judgment fears no more alarm,
I dread no death, nor Satan’s power;
The world for me has lost its charm,
God’s grace sustains me every hour.

Overshadowed

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Congratulations, Ron!

Missy Cat in the Heart of the Tree A Christmas Story By Katherine Purdy Cover

A big Congratulations to Ron Sumner, our friend and illustratior for

Missy Cat in the Heart of the Tree

Liberty University professor brings Broadway touch to ‘Brigadoon’

Please click the link below to see pictures of the fabulous backdrops and Ron’s story.

http://www.newsadvance.com/lifestyles/liberty-university-professor-brings-broadway-touch-to-brigadoon/article_0af9141b-10c8-5838-8b6f-3efff6b03883.html?mode=story

God has given Ron many talents. Illustrations is one. He is a husband, father, professor, fabulous painter, illustrator, writer and friend. Congratulations, Ron!

Great is the Lord

Katherine H. Purdy

ice

“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.”

Psalms 145:3-5

This gorgeous photograph was taken by my friend, Kathie T. Kingery.

Kathie Trent Kingery

Miss K’s Photography

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