Tag Archive | 1920’s

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.

 

Little Isabel~ Story Time

 

Little Kristen set aside her book and followed a voice coming from the kitchen.

“Joy to the World, the Lord has come…” Nannie put a pie in the oven and wiped her hands on her festive apron and turned to her small granddaughter. “I thought you were playing,” Nannie said as she cleaned flour from the kitchen counter before picking up the child.

“Nannie, I’m bored.”

“Bored? How can you be bored when there is some much work to do before Christmas? With all of your toys, it’s hard to imagine being bored.

“Will you tell me a story? Please?”

“Of course I will tell you a story. What kind of story do you want to hear?”

“My favorite – tell me about when you were a little girl!”

“Well,” Nannie said as she lifted Kristen onto her lap, “that was a long time ago. Do you want to hear anything special?”

10417447_10203818825624347_3564944154437375154_nMadison 2

“What was Christmas like when you were a little girl?”

“That was a long time ago but I still remember Mama and Papa making Christmas for us.”

“How long ago?” Kristen asked as she shifted and found a comfy spot on Nannie’s lap.

“A very long time,” Nannie said with a smile. “Lets see, the year was 1919 when I was your age. I remember it well. Since I was too young to go to school, I helped Mama bake cookies.”

“What kind of cookies, Nannie?”

“Gingerbread boys and girls. You see, cookies were part of the tree decoration but I didn’t realize that until Christmas morning.  Mama always put a hole in the gingerbread child’s cap for the ribbon.”

“Did you get to lick the beaters?” Kristen asked as she remembered baking cookies with her Mama.

“Mama mostly used a spoon to mix the cookie batter but she had a egg beater for the eggs and wet ingredients before she spooned in the dry ingredients. Lets see,” Nannie said as she stood up with Kristen and headed for the kitchen. After rummaging through two drawers, she picked up the red handled instrument. “This is what Mama used to beat the eggs and other wet ingredients. See? You turn the handle like this and the beaters turned around and around until the eggs were nice and fluffy. Do you want to try it?”

 

eggbeater

Kristen’s eyes grew big as Nannie demonstrated how the beater worked. “How do you take it apart so that you can lick the beaters?”

“We don’t. It is all one piece. Would you like to try?” Kristen picked up the beater and turned the crank just as she had seen Nannie do. It slipped from her hands and landed on the floor.

“I’m sorry, Nannie!”

“That’s alright pumpkin. I did the very same thing the first time I tried it too. Mama just smiled and said, ‘Isabel, if you don’t get it right the first time, just pick it up and try again and again until you can beat eggs as fast as I can.'”

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

Mama Greene’s had a vision or hope for her nine children as she prayed for each child nightly.

  • For each of her children to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior at an early age.
  • That they would live according to His Word every day of their lives.
  • That they would receive an education. Her hope was that all of her children would at least graduate from 8th Grade. In the 1920’s this was considered educated among the farming communities. If they wanted to send their children to high school, they had to pay tuition which was difficult for poor families. They needed the older children to help on the farm.
  • That they would honor “Papa.”
  • That they would remain together and be close as a family.

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart is back in print and is available!

(The e-book should be available by next week.)

Please click the link below for a preview.

http://The Vision of a Mother’s Heart (Isabel’s Story) (Volume 1) by Katherine Hinch… http://www.amazon.com/dp/1515298477/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dsSXvb0G86QK0 via @amazon

Kathie Kingery Photography
PhotographerThe model for “Mama” is the real Isabel’s granddaughter, Emily.

Apron by K. Kingrey

Early Telephones

Isn’t this a lovely print from Art.com? 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. =-)

A Birthday Surprise Conclusion

 

A Birthday Surprise Conclusion

Isabel joined her family in Papa’s car just as the sun was
beginning to set upon the day. “Thank you, Papa, for such a
beautiful day. I’ll never forget it.”
Isabel cuddled Raymond in her arms and sat back in her seat to remember her first birthday
without Mama, and yet, Mama’s presence seemed to permeate
the day. She breathed a prayer of thanksgiving for Mama, for
Papa, and for a loving family and friends, asking a special blessing
upon each person.

Isabel’s Birthday Surprise Part 3

Isabel’s Birthday Surprise
Part III

“This is the best day we have had in a long time. Thank
you so much for making my birthday special,” Isabel said as
her birthday cake was presented after supper. Not only were
there gifts for Isabel, but also there were trinkets for each of the
children, including the babies, who were happy just playing
with the paper and boxes.

“This is just like Christmas,” Jimmy said. He jumped up
and down with excitement. “Except without the Christmas tree
and the snow.” Everyone joined him in laughter.
Before she had time to blow out the candles, a car horn
sounded outside. “Who could that be,” Jim said as he answered
the front door.

“Only your best friend in the world,” said a cheerful voice
from the foyer.
“Sally Anne!” Isabel ran to greet her friend and found that
she was not alone. She had brought her parents, a new baby
brother, Cookie, and Arlene Mason.
“Arlene, this is a surprise,” Isabel said as she tried to hide
her shock. “Thank you for coming.”
“You are welcome, Isabel,” Arlene said. “I came to apologize
for being so mean to you before. I hope you will forgive me.”
Isabel sensed that she really meant it. “Of course, Arlene,”
she said. She hugged her new friend. “This is the best birthday
ever. Come inside everyone, and have some cake and ice cream
before the boys eat it all.”

“Isabel,” Mrs. Albright said, “we have something for you
from your mother. She wanted you to have this. She made the
arrangements months ago, before the twins were born. I hope
you like it.” Mrs. Albright handed Isabel a large, handsomely
wrapped gift box that was tied with a large, satin bow.

Isabel’s hands trembled as she pulled the ribbon and opened
the box. Inside the tissue paper lay a beautiful drop-waist dress,
just as Isabel had seen in the windows at the stores in Roanoke.

“How did you know?” Isabel said. She choked back her tears.
“Your mama asked me to buy the fabric and pattern for her
several months ago. She did some sewing for me to pay for it,
even though I offered to pay the cost myself. She wanted to make
it for you, but she fell ill. So I had my dressmaker make it for
you. I knew Lizzie would want you to have it for your birthday.
No one in the school will have this fabric…it came all the way
from New York.”

“Oh, thank you, Mrs. Albright!” She ran to her benefactress
with a tearful hug. “This is the most beautiful dress I have ever
owned. Mama would be so happy if she could see it.”
“Well, keep looking, and you will discover a few more
surprises from Sally Anne, Mr. Albright, and me.”

Isabel lifted the dress and underneath found beautiful
gifts to match the dress. “Oh, look at this beautiful shawl. It
goes perfectly.” Isabel examined the lace wrap. “There is also a
handbag and a headband. Thank you so much. You were too
generous.”

“There are also some under things,” Sally Anne said, “but
you don’t want to show those.” Her announcement brought
laughter and good-natured teasing from the Greene boys.

“This isn’t much, Isabel,” Arlene said. She held out a small,
white box. “I saw it in the store, and it reminded me of you. I
hope you like it.”
Isabel opened the box and found a small pin with daffodils
hand painted on it.
“Oh, Arlene,” Isabel said. “It is lovely. How did you know
I like daffodils?”

“Well,” Arlene said, “I saw you pick one at your mama’s
funeral and put it into your Bible. I thought the flower must
remind you of her.”
“It does,” Isabel said with tears in her eyes, “and now they
will remind me of you too. Thank you for remembering.”

“We miss you, Isabel,” Arlene said.
“I miss you too,” Isabel said. She realized she had even missed
Arlene Mason.

“OK,” Aunt Jenny said with a box camera in hand.
“Isabel, I want to get a photograph of you with your little friends
so you can remember this day. Then we will take photographs
of everyone before it gets too dark.”

So Isabel stood with her friends for the moment to be
captured on film and cherished forever.

Good ol’ Summertime

Roanoke, VA

Roller Coaster at Mountain Park in Roanoke, VA Early twentieth century

Where did Isabel and her friends go to ride a roller coaster in the 1920’s? They went to Mountain Park in Roanoke, Virginia. There were amusement park rides as well as a pavilion and a grandstand where music was played.

Where did I go to ride a roller coaster when I was a kid?

We went to the Lakeside Park in Salem, Va. It was wonderful!

I can still feel the joy at hearing the words, “We’re going to Lakeside today!” We could hear the happy crowds before we arrived. Laughter, screams as the Shooting Star roller coaster plunged quickly, click, click, click of the cars climbing a steep hill and more screams as it quickly rounded a sharp curve – and I couldn’t wait for my turn!

As soon as one entered the park, the smells were wonderful. Candy apples, popcorn, sticky cotton candy but my first stop was the Ferris Wheel. From the top, one could practically see the entire park. Oh, what fun!

When my husband speaks of Lakeside, he remembers Cactus Joe and his wife, “Sweetie”.

  • If you have Lakeside memories, we would love to hear them.
  • What were summer activities you looked forward to as a child?
  • What or who stands out in your memories?
  • What was your best summer ever?

Please feel free to share!

History of Lakeside

Lakeside was first opened around 1920 as a pool with a sandy beach. So Isabel may have spent time here as well. I have a picture of her and my grandfather taken at Lakeside around 1936.  It was a wonderful place to go and was a big part of Roanoke and Salem’s history. We enjoyed hot summer days at lakeside until it closed in 1986.

For more information on Lakeside, go to http://salemmuseum.org/lakeside.aspx

We also had the Mill Mountain Zoo but that’s another story!

(Old photographs borrowed from http://www.oldroanoke.com Go to the site for fantastic pictures of time gone by.)

1920 Knitting Pattern for Baby Sweater and Hat

This 1920’s knitting pattern for a baby sweater and hat might have been one used by Isabel’s “Mama” when preparing for the birth of Isabel’s brothers in The Vision of a Mother’s Heart.

1170_baby_sweater_hat_knitting_PDF.pdf (application/pdf Object).

I wonder if Grandma Lizzie knitted this outfit for baby Eugene?

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart

 

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart

is now displayed at a local bookstore in Lynchburg, VA.

New Life Books & Gifts

Old Forest Road

The Lord is good!