Tag Archive | Isabel

Piecing a Memory

When I saw this picture of a little girl sewing on a toy sewing machine, it made me think of my grandmother, Isabel!

When I saw this picture of a little girl sewing on a toy sewing machine, it made me think of my grandmother, Isabel!

Why does this remind me of my grandmother?  She gave me a toy sewing machine for Christmas one year and a miniature sewing basket “just like hers!” I had so much fun piecing together pieces of cloth to make something special for my dolls. You might say that when we are reminded of pieces of childhood, we are piecing memories. Precious memories of our loved ones to share with our children, grandchildren and in our case, nieces and nephews.

A toy sewing machine and sewing box just like my Grandmother Isabel's!

A toy sewing machine and sewing box just like my Grandmother Isabel’s!

Decades have passed since that Christmas Eve but when I saw that little girl with her toy sewing machine, a flood of memories of my grandparents filled my heart. Granny was so excited about that gift because she knew it was the “perfect gift!” I had always admired her sewing basket and  she had found a tiny one just like hers.

Isn’t it funny how seeing something familiar can bring back memories?

The smell of coffee perking or bacon frying in the morning transporting us home and giving a sense of security and warmth. Remember crawling out from under a nice warm quilt to dress for breakfast, knowing your Mom or Grandmother would be at the stove humming a tune?

Perhaps our Heavenly Father planned it that way so that we will remember all that He has done for us!

How many precious gifts from His loving hand have we cast aside, grown away from or hidden away? Search your heart, rummage through the scrapbook of your life and see the good and perfect gifts that only He can give.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

James 1:17 (NKJV)

The best gift of all – His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in Him

should not perish but have everlasting lasting life.

For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world,

but that the world through Him might be saved.”

John 3:16-17

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 6: 23

Who could ask for a better gift than eternal life? We can’t work for it, we can’t be good enough. That is why Jesus came as a tiny baby – completely man and completely God – that He would become the sacrificial lamb for you and for me on the cross of Calvary. He conquered death and arose from the dead three days later. So that we may have everlasting life. This is Love!

A sewing machine and tiny sewing basket was Granny’s way of showing her love. I accepted it without hesitation and with glee! God gave His only begotten Son because He loves you and me. I just had to share this wonderful news with you, dear reader. Won’t you receive His gift today?

 

Good Housekeeping Cover copied from Pinterest vintagecottagehome.blogspot.fr

Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy ~ part 1

Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy was posted in 2012 but I thought someone may enjoy reading the story again as we prepare for the most wonderful day of the year – Christmas!
Christmas Joy

Isabel’s Story
By Katherine Hinchee Purdy

Isabel’s long curls bounced as she jumped and clapped her hands. “Papa’s coming, Papa’s

coming,” she sang while skipping into the kitchen where Mama was taking out a tray of ginger

bread men from the oven.

“Isabel,” Mama softly chided the child, “you will be out of energy before we trim the tree if you

keep that up!  Besides, Papa and the boys have work to do before they bring the tree into the

house. Climb up on the stool and help me decorate some of the cooled cookies.”  Mama

walked around the kitchen work table, tied Isabel’s hair back with a ribbon, placed Isabel’s

Christmas apron over her head, and tied it in the back. “Have you washed your hands?”

“Yes ma’am,” Isabel said as she picked up a flat butter knife and began spreading frosting on a

butter cookie.  “Mama, do you want me to add some banilla?”

“I think you mean vanilla, dear. I have already added the ingredients while you were skipping around the room.”

“Oh, may I add some ba- I mean vanilla next time?” Isabel asked as Mama carried the empty bowl to the dish pan.

“I’ll bet baby Sylvia wishes she could help too!”

Mama looked at the baby in the cradle in the corner and smiled. “Perhaps next year she can

help. Maggie is only three years old but she did a wonderful job helping with the first batch of

cookies.”

Isabel looked over at her sister napping on the cushioned chest against the back wall, covered

with her favorite quilt. She envied her sister but refused to give in to the urge to nap since she

had declared herself “too old” to nap on her fifth birthday. Besides, if she napped she might miss

something and this little girl didn’t want to miss anything.

Mama turned to the stove and gently used the spatula to remove the cookies from the pan and

placed them on a cooling rack and then stepped into the back porch and returned with a napkin

holding a disc of cooled dough for another batch. While Mama’s back was turned, Isabel quickly

ran her finger around the bowl of icing and quickly popped her finger into her mouth just as Mama

returned to the kitchen.

“Save the icing for the cookies Isabel or you’ll ruin your appetite for supper.”

“Yes ma’am,” Isabel whispered and lowered her head. “I’m sorry.”

“No need to be sorry, child. I did the same thing this morning. The temptation was too great. Just

one more taste and then you can put a ribbon hole in this last batch of gingerbread boys so that

we can hang them from the tree.”

“May we have just one gingerbread boy today?”

“No dear,” Mama said as she placed the  cooled cookies into a tin. “If we eat them now, we won’t have any to place on the Christmas tree for you to nibble on Christmas day. Besides, we won’t have any to give away to our neighbors who don’t have children at home anymore. You know how Christmas cookies and gingerbread men always cheer up our lonely friends.”

“Yes, Mama,” Isabel said slowly and looked at the golden boys looking up at her with frosted features. “If we drop one on the floor may we eat it?”

“Perhaps if it is truly an accident, we could all share a bite.”

“Oh,” Isabel sighed and went back to work.

“Mama,” Isabel said as she carefully used a small dowel to place a hole in the last gingerbread

boy’s head. “I wish we could cel-eeee”

“Celebrate” Mama said with a smile.

“Cele-brate Christmas every day!”

“That would be lovely dear but we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We only have one birthday each

year. Besides, if we celebrated every day, don’t you think you would get bored?”

“Oh no,” Isabel said with a smile, revealing a space where a new, permanent tooth was just

beginning to show. “I can never get tired of Christmas.”

Just as she placed the last ribbon hole in the gingerbread boy, the back porch screen door

squeaked.

 

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.

Isabel’s Birthday Surprise Sample 2 from The Vision of a Mother’s Heart

Happy Birthday Surprise Part II

“Happy birthday, Isabel,” rang out as Papa’s Model T pulled
into Jim’s yard. Isabel swallowed a lump in her throat as she
looked around at her older, married siblings, nieces, nephews,
aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents waiting at such an early
hour to greet her on her eleventh birthday.

“What’s everybody doing here?” Isabel asked.
“We are here to celebrate your birthday with you,” Grandma
Betty said. “You didn’t think we would forget your day just
because your mother is not here, did you?”
“No, but the other children have had birthdays, and we
celebrated quietly at home, with just us.”

“That was because they had you to make their day special.
We knew you would bake a cake and make a big ‘to do’ for them
at home. Also, it was too soon, you know.” Grandma Betty held
her arms out to baby Raymond and was rewarded with a loud
squeal. She lifted him from Isabel’s arms.

“It sure is nice to eat a big ol’ delicious breakfast and not
have to cook it,” Isabel said. She fed Ralph his soupy oatmeal,
because he had not yet mastered holding a spoon.
“Well, you need not worry about cleaning up either,” Lena
said. “We have that covered, don’t we, Gracie?” Nine-year-old
Gracie smiled as she cleared the table, and Maggie jumped up
to offer her assistance. Isabel just enjoyed the moment.

“Why don’t all of you girls go outside and enjoy yourselves
while Grandma Betty and I love on these babies for a while,” Lena
said. She reached for Raymond as he jumped towards her.
“Play?” Isabel said.
“Yes, play,” Lena said. “You know, where you run and act
silly and just be a child again.”
“I think I have forgotten how.”
“Well then,” Grandma Betty said, “it is best that you
remember while you can. Go outside and enjoy yourself.”

Isabel left instructions for the twins and followed her sisters
and nieces and young aunts outside to play, feeling somewhat
exhilarated and yet strange to be treated as one of the children
again.

“Oh, what a shame,” Grandma Betty said as Isabel stepped
outside the door. “The poor thing has already lost most of her
childhood. If only Avil would let go of his pride and allow the
children to stay with some of us until he gets back on his feet,
I think everything would be okay.”
“I know,” Lena said, “but he’s “Papa”. What can we do?”

Isabel did not wait to hear the answer; she already knew.
There was nothing to do but to obey Papa. She shook dreary
thoughts from her head and looked at the smiling faces
surrounding her.

“What shall we play?” Isabel looked to Maggie, who looked
to Gracie.
“Why don’t we play Mother, May I?” Gracie said. She lined
everyone up for the game. “Isabel, you can be mother, since it
is your birthday.”
Isabel stood in front of the group and took a deep breath.
“OK,” she said, “take one giant step forward.”
“Mother, may I?”
“Yes, you may,” Isabel said with a giggle. “This is fun, isn’t
it? I had forgotten.”
It didn’t take long to finish the game, and Isabel became
bored with playing and was ready to go back inside to the babies.

“Oh, Isabel,” Gracie said with mock dismay,
“you aren’t fun anymore.”
“I know,” Isabel said. “But I promise to work on it. Maybe
we can play something else later.”

When Isabel entered the house, she heard Ralph crying and
knew that she had been missed. Her heart swelled with love for
her little brothers, who needed her.

 

How to drive a Ford Model T – YouTube

How to drive a Ford Model T – YouTube.

 

In The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, “Papa” drove a Model T Ford. In my research for a chapter in the sequel where Papa teaches thirteen-year-old Isabel how to drive, I ran across this video in my research.
I had asked my father, Charles McReynolds about the car and he had two important but surprising points to include.

1. The Model T had three pedals on the floor. The middle pedal is “Reverse” and the right pedal is the brake – No gas pedal!

2. When cranking the car to start it, it was important to hold the thumb close to the hand – “don’t use the thumb. If the crank backfires it can break your thumb off or at least will break the thumb.” Ouch!

In my research I also found that if the weather is cold, one must use one’s left hand to turn the crank. If the right hand is used, it could break the right arm. Scary, wasn’t it?

My grandmother, Isabel wanted to learn to drive at the age of thirteen because that is the age her two older brothers learned to drive. I can see why Papa was hesitant. Did he teach her to drive?

We’ll learn the answer in the sequel, Hope Beyond The Sunset!

Until next time,

Kathy

Joshua 1:9 (KJV)

Handkerchiefs

In the Vision of a Mother’s Heart, handkerchiefs are often mentioned. Isabel saved one that her “Mama” had embroidered for her and is again mentioned in the sequel I am currently working on, Hope Beyond The Sunset.

Notice the folded handkerchief in this photograph. It belonged to my grandmother, Isabel.

Apparently, even as a child I loved “old fashioned” things. I had a clear idea of gifts perfect for my grandmother. Talcum powder with the big, fluffy powder puff, a broach with pansies painted on it (even though I never remember her actually wearing broaches or pins) and always thought the greatest gift was a pretty hankie. I don’t know how old I was when I gave this hankie to Granny but she returned it on my wedding day to carry on that day and to keep. She also gave me the pansy broach (I will write about this later) and a double string of pearls which I passed down to my sister when she got married.

I love this hankie and think of her every time I open my music/trinket box. Now that I am older, I realize she could have been offended by my stereotype gifts but she always graciously received each gift as if it was “just what she wanted!”

I have several vintage hankies passed down from family members and some “new vintage” hankies that I have ordered through the years. I have thought about making a quilt, pillows or “something” to display them while creating a legacy to pass down to other family members some day.

I ran across this website and thought others who have an affection for hankies too will enjoy this site too. Perhaps you will see one that reminds you of your grandmother!

Do you have a story or craft relating to vintage handkerchiefs? I would love to read about it!

http://www.nanaluluslinensandhandkerchiefs.com/

“It will be Alright, Child”

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart
From Chapter 40

     Scenes of the night before flashed before Isabel in vivid colors.
At times events moved quickly, and the times when Isabel needed
to move quickly, she seemed to be stuck in quicksand, unable
to move at all. She reached out to pick up her crying brother to
carry him away from the burning house, but she could not reach
him, and the flames inched nearer the child until she could smell
the smoke and hear his hoarse cough. She cried out for help,
but her voice was uncooperative. She screamed, but there was
no sound. Finally, in urgency, she cried out to the Lord for help.
She felt a hand gently stroke her hair.

“It will be alright,
child,” a voice whispered in her ear.

When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee and through the rivers they shall not oveflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned: neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the LORD God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior…”
Isaiah 43:2-3a  KJV

www.youtube.com/watch