Tag Archive | Little Isabel

Little Isabel’s First Tea Party ~ Part 2 ~ Anticipation

Miss Madison10441101_10203141061280662_7210698404753137386_n

Little Isabel awakened to the song of the rooster who delighted in crowing as soon as the sun peeped through the curtain of darkness. A shaft of light through the curtain cast a glow about the room. Isabel stretched and reached for her favorite item of the week – her first tea party invitation. She looked at the picture of  little girls on the card drinking tea and eating cake.

   ~*~

“Just one more sleep,” Mama said last night after bedtime prayers. Isabel tried to sleep but every time she closed her eyes, she thought about the upcoming tea party. .

“My eyes won’t stay closed. I want to go to the tea party now!”

“I’m sorry Dear but Sally Anne isn’t ready for your party yet.”

“How come?
“Well, Mama said softly as she pushed Isabel’s hair back, “there is much to prepare for a tea party – especially if it is also a birthday party.  Sally Anne’s mother and Mrs. Cookie will bake special treats, they will set a pretty table and Sally Anne will probably have a new dress to wear for her special occasion. So you see, they want everything to be perfect for the party.”

“Will they have cake?” Isabel licked her lips in anticipation. “Chocolate cake?”

“Perhaps.” Mama answered with a smile. “Is that the kind of cake you would like for your birthday?”

“Oh, yes Mama!” Isabel sat on her knees and clapped at the thought. “With candy flowers on it too! Will they have cookies?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Mama said as she eased the child back under the covers. “There may be finger sandwiches too.”

“Finger sandwiches?” Isabel popped up again but this time with trepidation as she looked down at her hands.”

” Finger sandwiches are very small sandwiches.  So small that you can pick them up with your fingers and eat daintily. Just like a lady or a princess.. Now go to sleep. The faster you go to sleep, the more quickly time will pass. Besides, we have a busy day tomorrow. Remember? We are going berry picking and then after dinner we will add hair to the dolly we made as Sally Anne’s gift. Then there will be one more sleep before the party.”

“Yes ma’am.” Isabel said as she pressed her invitation close to her face. “It smells sweet like peppermint.”

“Indeed.” Mama said as she kissed the child’s forehead and pulled the covers up to Isabel’s chin. “Sweet dreams, little ~*~

Isabel stretched again and slid her legs over the side of the bed. “Good Morning!” she called to her two older brothers on the other side of the curtain wall that separated their rooms. When no one responded, she called again. “It’s morning. Wake up Eugene. Wake up, Curtis!”

~*~

After breakfast, Isabel stood on a stool beside Mama at the sink. “I love washing dishes!”

“You are my good helper, Isabel!”

A bright smile lit her face at Mama’s compliment. At that very moment, baby Maggie banged on her high chair with her rattle.

“Baby Maggie wants to help too,” Mama said with a smile as she washed the dish cloth and dish towel and hung them on the rod by the stove to dry. She scooped up the baby and led Isabel back into her room. “While I’m changing baby Maggie, you may put on the clothes I laid out for you on your bed.”

Isabel ran into her room and returned to Mama with a pair of her brother’s old overalls. “Oh-oh Mama. You put Curtis’ clothes on my bed. I can’t find my dress.”

“Since we are going berry picking, I thought it would be better if you wear pants today. I don’t want the mosquitoes and chiggers to bite you.”

Isabel’s eyes grew large at the thought of bugs chowing down on her. “Mama, do I have’ta go?”

“Certainly. Berry picking is fun – especially if you dress properly. There’s no need to be afraid. I will be right there with you.”

“Mama, are you wearing overalls too?”

“Oh yes. I will wear a pair of Papa’s dungarees. We might look funny but we will be protected from the sun and insects. Besides, no one should see us.” Mama laughed as they changed into the “boys” clothes and checked out there image in the mirror.

“I look like a boy,” little Isabel said as she looked at herself in the mirror.”

“You could never look like a boy, dear. Come and sit down at the vanity and we fix your hair so that no one could mistake you for a boy. Okay?”

“Yes, Mama.” Isabel began to smile as Mama parted her hair, pulled up one side in one hand and wrapped twine around the little tail, tied it securely, and repeated the process with the other side. “They look like piggy tails,” Isabel squealed and shook her head, watching the pig tails bounce.

“Now,” Mama said as she securely pinned the coverall straps to prevent them from falling off Isabel’s tiny shoulders. “How’s that? Did you noticed I embroidered little hearts on your pants? No little boy would wear that!”

Isabel studied Mama’s handiwork  and twirled around. “They don’t swish like a dress,” Isabel said as she tried to get her pants to swish with her. She giggled as Mama cinched the belt to Papa’s dungarees and joined Isabel in twirling. “You’re right. They’re not as much fun to wear but we won’t get insect bites or scratches from briars. Now, off to the berry patch!”

Isabel and Mama rode in the buggy to the nearest berry patch. “Just think, Isabel. Soon we will have our own berry patch and not have to pay a penny to anyone to pick them.” Isabel grinned as Mama pulled baskets out of the back of the buggy. “We need as many berries as we can carry. We will have preserves and jam to last all winter! Just remember to put more berries in the baskets and less into your mouth. Okay?”

By the end of the day, Little Isabel had been washed, fed and into bed before sunset. When Mama checked on her an hour later, Isabel was still sleeping soundly with her doll on her arm and the invitation in her hand. Goodnight, little Isabel. Tomorrow you will attend your long awaited tea party!

10325235_10202865876681219_1845478870380044845_n

Photos used with permission.

Little Isabel’s First Tea Party ~ Part 1 ~ The Invitation

10013312_552442084874278_741931352_nMadison skipping KTK

“Mama, Mama!” Little Isabel called as she skipped on the bottom of the steps leading to the back porch.

“Isabel,” Mama said as she walked up to the screen door, wiping her hands on her apron. “What’s wrong?”

“I got a letter! See? Mr. Ratcliffe said it’s just for me!” Isabel said as she waved an envelope above her head.

“A letter?” Isabel looked back to the mail man as the screen door squeaked and closed with a gentle clap.

“Good morning, Mr. Ratcliffe,” Mama said as she reached for the mail.

“Mornin’ Mrs. Greene, hope you don’t mind that I gave the little one her mail,” he said with a smile at Isabel who continued jumping.

“It’s always fun to see children respond to having something of their own to open. Sure wish adults responded with as much joy as your little girl. The last home I delivered to had a fierce-looking dog growling at me. I was tempted to throw their mail in the yard and take off.” Mr. Ratliff removed his hat and wiped his head with a handkerchief, then fanned himself with his hat. “Sure is a scorcher and the day has barely begun.”

“Why don’t you take a moment to rest in the shade? Would you prefer water or milk? Mama asked with concern in her voice. Isabel turned and waved her envelope. “Bend down, Mr. Ratcliffe,” she said mirroring Mama’s concern. “I’ll fan your face. Isn’t that better?”

“Much better,” he said with a smile and patted the child’s head. “I think I will sit in the shade for just a minute.”

Mama returned with a pitcher of cold milk, two glasses and a plate of cookies. “Why are you walking in this heat? I noticed you didn’t come in the horse and wagon.” Mama said as she  poured a tall glass of milk for the mailman and a small pewter cup for Isabel. Each took a cookie and smiled at each other as if sharing a special treat.

“Hello Charley,” Papa’s voice boomed as he stepped out of the barn and walked quickly to the guest. “Something happen to ol’ Nellie?”

“Avil Greene, you’re just the man I was looking for. Nellie’s fine but I think I broke an axle on the wagon about two miles back. I wondered if you might be able to repair it?”

Papa accepted a glass of milk from Mama and sat in the wicker chair facing the guest. “I can give it a try. Lets have a few of those delicious cookies first though,” Papa said with a smile and drank the milk in one gulp.

“Funny Papa!” Isabel said, “Your mustache is drinking milk too.” Papa smiled and wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his shirt.

“Look what I got, Papa. I got mail!” Isabel said as she started to jump for joy.

“Well, will you look at that! Who’s it from?”

Isabel’s smile began to fade. “Who is it from, Mama?” Isabel said as she watched Mama carefully open the envelope.

Mama smiled and pulled out a card. “Isabel, It looks like you have been invited to a tea party!”

“A tea party for me?”

“Lets read the card and see,” Mama said as she sat on the remaining white wicker chair and pulled Isabel onto her lap.

c236385fe767871d708a39f79ab5a75dTea Rhyme

Mama read the poem on the card and read a note inside.

Miss Isabel Greene is cordially invited to a tea party

Saturday afternoon at the home of

Miss Sally Anne Albright.

Just bring a smile and your baby sister too.

We are looking forward to having tea and cake with you!

“Oh boy, we’re going to a tea party, we’re going to a tea party!” Isabel sang as she ran around the yard. Suddenly, she stopped and turned to Mama.

“What’s a tea party?”

“A wonderful occasion,” Mama said with a smile. “After dinner, we will have a practice tea party, and you may use a real tea cup. We will celebrate Sally Anne’s fourth birthday so you and I will make a special gift for her. Won’t that be fun?” Mama smiled as Isabel vigorously nodded her head.

“When’s the party?”

“Saturday,” Mama said with a smile. “Today is Tuesday. Saturday is after four nights – bedtimes. Lets count the days together.”

Isabel held up her hand and imitated Mama.  “Tonight is Tuesday” she said as she raised one finger. Then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and finally, Saturday! One- two-three-four!”

“Four,” Isabel said as she recounted her fingers and smiled. “Tea Party is on Thumpkin day!” Isabel said to Papa and Mr. Ratcliffe who smiled and ruffled her hair before turning to hitch the buggy to Papa’s horse.

“Thank you for my in-inv-a-mail!” Isabel shouted at the buggy turned out of the yard.

“Now,” Mama said as she gathered the glasses and placed them on the tray. “Lets go inside and decide what to make for Sally Anne before baby Maggie wakes up from her nap and your brothers get home from school.”

Isabel skipped ahead and opened the screen door. “I like tea parties!” Isabel said with a smile.

“Me too,” Mama said softly. “My little girl is growing up!”

~*~

A Word from the author:

I can just imagine the excitement Isabel and her friend Sally Anne must have shared as they waited for the day of the tea party. Mrs. Albright and Cookie’s excitement must have rivaled the children as they planned the tea party.

You can read more about Isabel in the novel, The Vision of a Mother’s Heart which was inspired by my grandmother, Isabel’s childhood. Set in rural Virginia in 1924. The Little Isabel stories would of course have taken place around 1917. As of this month, the real Isabel would have been 100 years old.

 To commemorate Isabel’s birthday, we are reprinting The Vision of a Mother’s Heart through Create Space and have it published as an e-book. It should be available on line soon!

I saw the following recipe on Pinterest and thought it would be amazing for a child’s tea party.

 

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/962361/edible-teacup-cookies-recipe

Introducing Little Isabel-Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy Part 1

Friends have asked for more Isabel stories and since I am still working on the sequel to The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, I thought it would be fun to write stories about “Little Isabel,” a prequel of sorts. Isabel was born in 1914 so the stories will take place prior to 1924.

In case you missed the Little Isabel Christmas stories from my first blog, I am re-posting them on my personal blog. There are several parts to Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy. So enjoy!

(I have posted a preview of the sequel to The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. Look in the archives for The Watch which is taken from the sequel, Hope Beyond The Sunset.)

christmas-girl-rolling-cookies

Isabel’s Story
By Katherine Hinchee Purdy

Isabel’s 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. “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.”

“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.