Tag Archive | mama and papa

Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy – Part 4

romance-trisha-winter-fantasy-canvas Every time Isabel entered the parlor, a new carved animal rested in or near the stable but she never saw Mama or Papa go into the parlor without the children.

“How did they get here?” Isabel asked Mama and Papa but their reply was the same.

“Must have come to see the Baby Jesus!”

After dinner dishes were washed and put away, each child donned their coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots while Papa packed the sleigh.

“Did you remember to put on your woolens?”

“Yes, Mama but they’re so scratchy!” Isabel said as she scratched her arms and legs. When she struggled to scratch her back, Mama smiled. “Okay young lady, I’m convinced.”

“All aboard!” Papa said as he helped Mama into the front seat and handed her baby Sylvia. “Poor baby,” he said, “you have her so bundled, she can’t move a finger and probably can’t breathe with that piece of blanket flopped over her face!”

“She wouldn’t be able to breathe at all if I didn’t protect her face. That cold air will take her breath away – especially once we get started. It’s awfully breezy, you know. Besides, this is a very thin blanket with air holes since it is crochet.” Mama lifted the blanket long enough to place a kiss on the baby’s head, smiled at the child’s cooing.” Isabel followed Eugene into the second seat, followed by Maggie and then Curtis.

“Mama, make them scoot over so I will have room,” Curtis said as he gently pushed Maggie against Isabel who slid into Eugene who bumped his elbow against the sleigh. “Hey, watch what you’re doing!”

“I didn’t do it,” Isabel said as she looked past Maggie in Curtis’ direction. “He did it!” “That’s enough, children,” Mama said cheerfully. “Let’s see, what shall we sing on the way?”

“Why don’t we sing Jingle Bells?” Papa said as he handed Isabel a leather strap with jingle bells attached. “Try to keep time with the horses,” he said with a grin. “See? They’re wearing jingle bells!”

The entire family began to sing. “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way; oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh.” The children finished three songs before they reached the Albright home.

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“Oh boy,” Isabel exclaimed. “May I see Sally Anne?”

“Yes, you may. I wanted it to be a surprise but your friend is going with us. Mrs. Albright and Cookie have volunteered to take care of baby Sylvia while we are caroling.”

“Oh Boy!” Isabel stood up in anticipation and fell into Eugene’s lap.

“Hey, sit down silly goose!” Isabel jumped out of the sleigh, hitting a piece of ice, sliding face down into six-year-old Curtis who landed with a thump on the ground.

“Hey,” he said sternly, “watch where you’re going!”

Isabel looked down at the torn stockings and already felt the sting of skinned knees.

“Oh dear,” Mama said, “you must be careful. It’s awfully slippery out here. Are you alright?”

“I’m okay,” Curtis replied as he pointed to Isabel. “Looks like the silly goose skinned her knee.”

“Son, don’t call your sister silly or a goose. Now wipe the snow from your clothes and carefully stand at the foot of the steps so that we may sing at least one Christmas Carol for the Albrights before we go inside.” Isabel brushed away tears from her cold face and tried to sing Joy To The World with the rest of her family but her knee stung as well as her pride. Sally Anne was standing at the door when Isabel fell and cried out to her friend.

Papa picked up Isabel in his arms and led the family into the welcoming light of the Albright home. “Come in, come in,” Mrs. Albright said as she reached for baby Sylvia. “Oh, what a sweetie. Cookie and I have been looking forward to this all day, haven’t we Cookie?”

“We surely have,” Cookie confirmed and reached for Isabel. “Why don’t you come with me, child? Cookie will get you all fixed up!”

“Yes,” Mrs. Albright said, “Sally Anne has a pair of woolen stockings Isabel may have. She can’t go out into the cold with the torn ones.” And so Isabel followed the Albright’s cheerful cook into the kitchen to sit by the warm stove. When it was time to go, Isabel had a bandaged knee, new woolen stockings and a peppermint stick for being brave.

Three-year-old Maggie stood quietly behind Mama looking around the room and timidly receiving a gingerbread boy from Mrs. Albright. Sally Anne, dressed in her warmest clothes, a hooded cape and fur muff, stood by Isabel until Papa declared it was time to go. She jumped up and down with excitement and then ran to the Christmas tree. “May I please give Isabel and Maggie their gifts now, Mother?” With a nod of the head from her mother, Sally Anne reached for two beautiful hat boxes.

“This one is for you, Isabel” she said as she handed her friend the largest package. “And this one is for you, Maggie,” she said with a smile. “You may open them when I say … Go!” Isabel looked at her little sister and they lifted the box tops together.

“It’s a muff! Just like Sally Anne’s! Look mama, look!”

“It’s soft, Mama!” Maggie said as she ran her fingers over the soft fur.

“Oh Lillian,” Mama said with a catch in her voice. “You shouldn’t have!”

“We wanted to,” Mrs. Albright replied with a smile as she adjusted the muff around Maggie’s neck and showed her how to slip her hands inside. Maggie’s eyes grew enormous as a shy smile spread over her face. Isabel had hers on in record time.

“What do you say girls?” Mama asked as she dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief.

“Thank you!” they said in unison.

“You’re quite welcome.”

“Mama,” Isabel pulled at her mother’s cape, “may I give Sally Anne her gift now?”

“Her gift is in the back of the sleigh so why don’t we wait until we come back to pick up baby Sylvia?”

“Yes ma’am.” It was then Isabel noticed her two brothers wearing leather gloves instead of their knitted mittens. They were also eating gingerbread men, jamming them in their mouth as they turned toward the door.

“This is going to be so much fun,” Sally Anne said as she linked arms with Isabel. “This is the best night – ever!”

Little Isabel and Rainy Days ~ Conclusion

Photo used with permission.

Photo used with permission.

It seemed as if they had been in the cellar forever but if Isabel had been able to tell time, she would realize it had only been an hour. She sat on a wooden bench with her head in Mama’s lap and dozed as male voices droned on about the old days.

Suddenly, the sound of breaking glass and a loud thump made Mama jump; almost dumping Isabel on the dirt floor. “I’m sorry, Isabel,” Mama said with a soft, quivering voice. The quiver in Mama’s voice frightened the child more than the loud noises above them.

“Don’t worry. Probably just a broken window.” Papa stroked his chin and walked to the ladder leading to the trap door.

“We should wait a few minutes until we are sure the storm has died down,” Mr. Scott stepped ahead of Papa, climbed three rungs of the latter and put his ear to the trap door.

Isabel smiled at the sight of the man whose hair matched the wall. He also had red dirt smeared on his face, hands and shirt. She looked at her own dirty hands and then up at Mama who smiled.

~*~

Eugene followed Papa and looked up at the door. “I wonder if this is how Noah and his family felt?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it was raining hard outside for a long time and they were stuck inside the ark wondering.”

“Why didn’t they open the door and look out?” Curtis asked seriously.

“They couldn’t do that, silly. Remember? God shut the door!”

“What if lions, tigers and rats tried to eat them?” Curtis said with a smile.

“Did that happen, Mama?” Isabel’s enormous eyes turned to Mama.

“No dear.” Mama said softly. God protected them. The ark was a place of safety. God took care of them and of the animals that lived in a separate part of the ark. Noah and his family took care of the animals God sent to them.”

“Oh, that’s good.” Isabel looked at Mama cat curled on the floor at Mama’s feet with kittens cuddled closely. She reached to pet the velvety coats but Mama took Isabel’s hand into her own and then lifted her onto her lap.

“The kittens are like babies. They need lots of sleep.” As if on cue, Mama Cat opened her eyes and began grooming her little ones.

~*~

“Looks like we can go back upstairs now,” Mr. Scott said as he opened the trap door. “Doesn’t look too bad from here,” he said as he turned back toward the family. “Something smells awfully good too!”

“Oh, the stew,” Mama exclaimed as she lifted Isabel to the floor and rushed to the ladder. “I hope it didn’t burn. I remember sliding the pot to the back of the stove.”

“Ummm. Smells just right to me,” Papa said with a grin.

Mr. Scott stepped into the kitchen and reached for each of the children, cat, kittens, cradle, Mama and baby before Papa stepped into the kitchen, closing the trap door securely.

c45b46f862df9b41e062843447890c6fkitchen decoupage Maria Laura

Everyone stood in the kitchen as if afraid to move. “Well, it aint too bad,” Papa said as he ran his hands through his salt and pepper hair. I’ll cover that kitchen window with a tarp for now.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Mama said as she nodded toward the window. Looks like the rain has stopped and the fresh air feels wonderful. Just as she finished speaking, a hiss and a whine came from the basket near the stove. Mama Cat looked with consternation at two brown puppies shivering by the bowl formerly filled with cream. To everyone’s amazement, Mama Cat placed her kittens into the basket and then herded the puppies into the basket, lay beside them and began grooming them as if they were kittens.

“I’ve never seen anything like that.” Papa exclaimed and Mama smiled.

“She isn’t seeing puppies,” Mama said softly. “She just sees puppies in need of a mama. Now, why don’t you men clean up the glass and leaves that have blown in while I prepare lunch? Isabel, would you like to help me?”

Isabel nodded vigorously while Mama pulled out a flour sacking cloth and tied it around Isabel as an apron.

“Look!” Curtis pointed to the kitchen window to a beautiful double rainbow. Everyone ran to the window and Papa lifted Isabel to his shoulder.

“Jesus did keep us safe just like he did for Noah!”

“I know today isn’t Thanksgiving but today, I am very thankful,” Mr. Scott said as he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and loudly blew his nose.

“Well then,” Mama said as she sliced bread and slathered them with butter. “Let’s sit around the table and give thanks.”

~*~

Later that evening as Mama was tucking Little Isabel into bed, Isabel reached for the toy rabbit her friend Sally Anne had given her at their first real tea party.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get to have a tea party for your friend, dear.”

“That’s okay, Mama. This was more fun and Jesus gave us our own rainbow!”

Little Isabel and Rainy Days ~ Part 4 ~ Rain, Rain Go Away!

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Katherine H. Purdy

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“Let’s read about Noah from God’s Word, the Bible.” Mama reached for the Bible on the shelf as Papa slipped into the other rooms, cutting canvas and draping it over pieces of furniture before returning to the kitchen with two full buckets of water, dumped them into water barrels on the back porch and made another trip. By the time he had finished, Eugene, Curtis and Isabel were sitting patiently on the floor and baby Maggie slept soundly in her tented cradle.

Mama opened the Bible to Genesis and began to read.

At that very moment, lightning flashed across the sky and thunder shook the house; accompanied by heavy rain.

“Hurry children,” Mama said as she sat the Bible on a chair and slid it under the table, “ crawl under the table where you will be protected.” With tears in her eyes, Isabel crawled under the table tent and lifted the corner to see if Mama would follow.

“Mama, I’m scared!”

“Yes dear, I know.” Mama stooped and looked under the table. “Eugene, I want you to hold the baby while I help Papa. Just hold her close. Curtis, sit close to Isabel, please. You are her big brother and protector. Don’t worry, everything will be alright.”

 ~*~

“Yes, Mama,” Eugene said as he reached for Baby Maggie and then turned to Isabel.

“Ah, it’s alright Sis. God is in control.”

“That’s right, Sis. Remember Noah’s Ark?”

Isabel nodded and peeked under the canvas flap to watch the rain on the window panes. Trees bending in the wind and suddenly, rain drops turned to hail. “Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. All of us want to go out and play!”

“Eugene, how long did God let it rain on Noah’s Ark?”

“Forty days,” he answered softly. “It won’t rain that long here.”

“Is that a long time?”

“Yeah, Sis it is. But that won’t happen here; right Curtis?”

Isabel turned to her other brother who nodded solemnly.

“How come?”

“Because God promised He would never destroy the world with rain again, He even put a rainbow in the sky to remind us He keeps His promise.”

Curtis squirmed, scratched his head and looked up at his older brother. “Did He promise not to flood houses?”

“Aw, it will be over soon and we will tell everybody at school we had a kitchen table tent!”

“Will it help if we pray like Mama and Papa?”

“Maybe.” Eugene scratched his head and then quickly replaced his hand on the baby. “Even if it doesn’t stop raining right now, Mama says that when we are afraid, He comforts us and provides a way to not be afraid anymore.”

“Okay,” Isabel said

Isabel rested her head on the edge of Maggie’s blanket and was almost asleep when she heard footsteps on the front porch and then a loud banging on the door.

“Jesus is coming to help us,” she mumbled as she drifted off to sleep.

Miss Madison10441101_10203141061280662_7210698404753137386_n

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.

 

Autumn Memories

Isabel dried and put away the last dish and smiled as she surveyed the clean kitchen before heading to her favorite rocking chair in the living room. She sighed as she sank into the gray platform rocker her daughter had given her last Christmas.

Isabel closed her eyes and basked in the knowledge that all her tasks were done for the day. She heard the screen door clap and caught a whisk of woodsmoke in the air. She breathed deeply and smiled; thinking of days gone by.

Madison in the fall11703469_856701594448324_1755944791356278695_o11116367_856701597781657_6303249141109477162_o

“Nannie, Nannie, look what I found!”

Isabel opened her eyes to see what treasure her small granddaughter discovered. “Leaves!” There is probably a trail of leaves throughout the house. Instead, she smiled and reached to the child who crawled onto her lap.

“Aint it beautiful, Nannie? I have more too. They are different colors,” the child said as she pulled yellow, red, orange and brown leaves from her jacket pocket.

“They’re lovely,” Isabel said and repositioned her granddaughter in order to get a better look at the treasures.”I love fall. Especially and changing leaves and the scent of woodsmoke in the air. When I was a little girl, I loved playing in the leaves too. Papa would always fuss at us for jumping into the leaves and then he would join us,” she said with a smile.

“You were a little girl?”

“Oh yes, but that was a long time ago. I had a Mama, a Papa, six brothers and two sisters.”

“Wow!”

“Yes, wow is a good description. Some days, I don’t how Mama kept up with all of us.”

The child scooted back against her grandmother with a look of anticipation of a good story. She wasn’t disappointed.

“Once upon a time, many years ago, I was a little girl just like you. I had the sweetest mother who never raised her voice. I always knew when she was angry though. She flared her nostrils. Like this.”

Emily Baker as Grandma Minnix by Kathie Kingrey

“You’re funny, Nannie!” the child said as she imitated her grandmother.

“She always knew how to make learning fun and delighted us all with her music. She played five instruments, you know. I can still hear her voice singing hymns as she rocked her babies to sleep. She sang all the time. In the kitchen while cooking and cleaning, hanging the laundry or helping Papa pile up leaves for us to jump in!”

“You jumped in leaves?”

“Oh, yes. We had a wonderful time. We helped rake the leaves into a big pile and jumped into them; raked them into a pile and jumped again!” Nannie said with a chuckle. “We must have spent hours outside playing in the leaves. Mama said it guaranteed a good night sleep and she was right. That nice fall breeze across our faces felt good as we worked and played in the leaves and then when we were finally getting tired, Papa put the leaves in one final pile and started a fire, Mama would bring sausage links outside for us to roast over the fire and then we would have homemade marshmallows for dessert. We roasted them over the fire too. By the time the leaves were burned up, our tummies were full and we were ready for bed!

“Nannie, may we rake leaves and roast hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire like you did?”

“We’ll see. Perhaps next week. Just close your eyes and dream about it tonight.”

“Okay, Nannie. I love you.”

“I love you too.” Isabel placed a kiss on the child’s head and carefully carried her to her room. “Sweet dreams, little one!”

~*~ ~*~~*~

Photography by Kathie Kingrey Photography                                                

Model for Mama: Isabel’s granddaughter, Emily.

Little Isabel and Rainy Days ~ Part 3 ~ Kittens and the Ark

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 “Mama, did Jesus send the kittens because of the storm?” Isabel’s beautiful blue eyes looked to Mama for an answer.

“If He did, it wouldn’t be the first time He sent animals. Do you remember the Bible lesson we have been working on every morning?

Isabel twisted her hair while swaying to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof and windows while keeping her eyes on the kittens. “Noah’s Ark?”

“Yes, that’s right Isabel. You have been listening!” Mama said as she swept Little Isabel in her arms for a hug and butterfly kisses. “We will talk some more about Noah’s Ark but for now, we need to coax Mama Cat into bring her kittens inside the house where they will be warm and safe.”

“How will we do that?” Eugene asked loudly.

“Shhh,” Mama put her finger to her lips and motioned for the boys to join her and Isabel near the stove. “First, we need to stay very quiet. Cats are often afraid of people; especially noisy ones. Now that we have a box filled with soft flannel, we will need to coax Mama inside first. Then she will bring her kittens one at a time. Curtis, please fill that old chipped bowl with cream – not milk. She needs the extra nourishment and then I will place a trail of goodies leading from the tree limbs where she is hiding to the kitty bed.”

Isabel held her breath as Mama picked up the pan of scrambled eggs and dropped small pieces of egg from the porch to the box by the stove.

“Now, we must be very quiet and don’t move a muscle. Sit back at the table, finish your breakfast and try not to make a sound.” Mama said softly.

Isabel found sitting quietly was difficult when something so exciting was happening in this very room.

Papa filled his saucer with coffee again and slurped too loudly as Mama gave him a warning glance. Eugene and Curtis put their hands over their mouths to keep from laughing.

Soon, Mama Cat slowly entered the room. She sniffed the air and then gobbled up the eggs until she reached the warm box. Stepping inside the box, she kneaded the blanket while purring loudly.

“Mama,” Isabel whispered. “Does she think she’s making bread or biscuits?” Mama shook her head with a smile and put her finger back to her lips. Isabel turned back to the cat and watched as Mama Cat rubbed her chin on the corners of the box.

“Mama, does her chin itch?”

“She’s putting her scent on it so that she and the kittens will know they belong there,” Papa whispered a bit too loudly and the cat looked at him, walked to the table, rubbed against Papa’s leg and then sauntered to the back porch and brought the kittens one by one to the new warm bed.

“It looks like we have new members of our family,” Mama said softly and laughed gently as Papa rubbed the whiskers on his chin and shook his head from side to side before giving the family a slight smile of approval.

~*~

“I have an idea,” Mama said as she cleared the table and peered out the kitchen window as she poured boiling water and soap shavings into the dishpan. “It doesn’t look like this storm will end any time soon. Why don’t you children bring your animal carvings Papa made for you and bring them into the kitchen? When you come back into the kitchen, we can make a pretend Ark for the animals and you.”

Eugene picked up Isabel and put her on his shoulders as they dodged water droplets and puddles, jumped over bowls and pitchers collecting the water until they reached the curtain divided room.

~*~

“Guess what, Peter; you are going into Noah’s Ark!” Isabel chirped as she picked up the stuffed Peter Rabbit her friend Sally Anne had given her at their first tea party combined with birthdays for each girls a few weeks earlier. “Now Peter, how will we carry all of the toys Papa made for us?” Isabel placed Peter Rabbit near her ear and smiled. “Very good, Peter Rabbit. You are so smart! We’ll put them in the Easter basket!”

“Hey Sis,” Curtis said as he peeked through the curtain dividing their room. “Are you ready yet? It’s raining too much in here!”

~*~

Just as the children entered the kitchen, Papa entered from the back porch – dripping wet.

“I found it! This is a lot of canvas but it should work,” Papa said as he laid the large bundle on the kitchen table.

“Perfect!” Mama said as she dried her hands on her apron and reached into her sewing cabinet for a pair of large, sturdy scissors. The children watched wide eyed as Mama and Papa worked together to make a tent over the kitchen table which had been moved to a dry spot in the room.

“Let’s read about Noah from God’s Word, the Bible.” Mama reached for the Bible on the shelf as Papa slipped into the other rooms, cutting canvas and draping it over pieces of furniture before returning to the kitchen with two full buckets of water, dumped them into water barrels on the back porch and made another trip. By the time he had finished, Eugene, Curtis and Isabel were sitting patiently on the floor and baby Maggie slept soundly in her tented cradle.

Mama opened the Bible to Genesis and started to read. “Before we begin,” she said softly, “We will act out Noah’s story as I read. So when  we get to the building part what will we do?”

“We will pretend to be builders!” Curtis dipped his head as if to ask forgiveness for disturbing Mama Cat who stopped grooming her orange kitten and stared intently at the boy.

“That’s right Curtis. Now, I would like you to place all of your toy animals in Isabel’s basket and set it on my sewing machine.”

Eugene collected the animals, placed them in Isabel’s basket and placed the basket on the sewing machine at the far end of the room.

Papa entered the room with the bolt of canvas just as Mama began to read.

Miss Madison10441101_10203141061280662_7210698404753137386_n

Little Isabel and Rainy Days

In honor of all who are affected by Hurricane Matthew this weekend, I thought this story might be appropriate. Praying that everyone is safe and dry!

Miss Madison10441101_10203141061280662_7210698404753137386_n

Little Isabel and the Leaky Roof

Katherine H. Purdy

Little Isabel awakened to the sound of snoring in the next room and sat up to listen. Snore, snore, whistle, choke and snore, snore some more.

“Isn’t Papa silly?” Isabel whispered into her doll’s ear and then clasped the doll close, rolled over on her tummy and slid off the edge of the bed until her toes reached the floor.

“Wasn’t that fun, Dolly?” She nodded the dolls head in the affirmative. Just as she stepped forward, a drop of water pelted her head. It was then Isabel realized she was standing in a puddle of water. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew rain through the open window as lightning flashed across the sky. The loud clap of thunder sent her running barefoot past the curtain dividing her room from her brothers; into the hallway on the hard wood floor, through the doorway to her parents’ bedroom and jumped onto the fluffy rug at Mama’s bedside.

“Mama, you awake?” Isabel patted the hand on Mama’s pillow and decided to check closer. She stood on her tip-toes and fluttered her eyelashes against Mama’s cheeks without a response. Finally, Isabel placed her forehead against her mother’s and whispered loud enough to be heard. “Mama, are you awake?”

“When someone’s eyes are closed Dear, they are either asleep or praying,” Mama said softly.

“Are your eyes closed Mama?”

“Yes dear and yours should be too.”

“Are you asleep or praying?”

“I was asleep and now I’m praying,” Mama said with a hint of humor in her voice.

“It’s waining in my woom.”

“We have talked about this before, Honey.” Mama said mid-yawn, “Pucker your lips as if you are blowing a kiss. Now say; “rrrrrrrrr”.

“Isabel puckered her lips and slowly repeated the words. “ Rrrrrrrr. Mama, it’s ‘r-r-raining in my room!”

“Very good, Isabel.” Mama murmured sleepily and then suddenly sat up and raised the wick on the oil lamp beside the bed.

“It’s what?” Mama queried just as lightening flashed and a clap of thunder shook the house.

“Oh dear,” Mama said, “We need to close the windows. Climb into our bed, child or you’ll catch a cold!”

“Yes, Mama,” Isabel said and ran to the foot of the bed, climbed on the blanket trunk, onto the foot of the bed and crawled in-between her parents; snuggling close Mama. “Can we still have our tea party when Sally Anne comes over to play today?”

“If everything is nice and dry and Mrs. Albright brings Sally Anne over, we may have a simple tea party! Now go to sleep while I close the windows before the paint on the walls are ruined.”

“It wai – I mean rained on my head too,” Isabel said as she snuggled under the white sheet and the log cabin quilt.

Just then, the room once more shook with the sound of thunder and Papa’s snoring stopped mid whistle. His feet immediately hit the floor and strode near the window. His toe came into contact with the baby cradle, causing him to yelp loudly as he danced around the floor while grasping  the throbbing toe and landing back on the bed causing little Isabel to bounce.

Isabel stood on the bed and clapped, “Papa’s funny. Do it again Papa, Do it again!

Mama reached for Isabel, pulling her back down under the covers and then leaped out of the bed to rescue baby Maggie who joined Papa’s howling.

“Shhh, it’s okay baby; it’s okay.” Mama cooed and then turned to Papa.

“We need to check the rooms and close the windows. Isabel said it is raining in her room. I hope the roof isn’t leaking,” Mama said as she covered the baby with a pink blanket and rocked the cradle gently.

“I’ll close the windows and you get something to catch the water.” Papa said as he searched for a missing slipper. “I’ll be glad when our house on the Meadows farm is ready so we can get out of this shack with all its leaks and creaks. I feel as if we are being robbed every time I pay the rent. Rain will be good for the crops though.”

Mama nodded as she reached for the large bowl holding a water pitcher and placed it strategically under a drip just to the right of the bed before following Papa into the hallway. Moments later, Eugene and Curtis entered the room carrying a quilt and a pillow; bedding down on the floor close to their parents bed.

~*~

“We get to camp out just like cowboys!” Curtis said as he shook water out of his blond hair.

“Or like soldiers,” Eugene commented. “Just like Papa’s uncles who fought in the war.”

“There won’t be any ‘camping’ tonight- just sleep,” Mama said as she placed a large bowl under another drip. “Papa must get up early so I want you to go back to sleep as quickly as Jim’s old hound dog.” Mama smiled and Isabel giggled at the thought of the sweet old dog that constantly slept on her half-brother Jim’s front porch.”

“That dog won’t hunt!” Eugene lowered his voice to imitate Jim.

“Precisely. Now go to sleep.”

Catalog Shopping

Isabel came from a poor family which was rich with love.

Mama and Papa didn’t have a lot of money to spend on the latest fashions with seven children to feed and clothe. However, Mama was an excellent seamstress and made most of the children’s clothes – something that became an embarrassment for Isabel. It wasn’t Mama’s sewing but the fabric her clothes were made from.

An alternative for many families was to order from the catalog. Every family had one or two. Purchases could be made for anything from toys to houses! Of course, it took money so the children drooled over the pages, wishing for this dress or that train set.

For her tenth birthday, Isabel had a wonderful surprise. A trip to town the following day with Mama. No one else – just mother and daughter on a shopping trip which also included a trip to the Soda shop!

Styles have changed but some things never change – spending alone time with Mama something children long for today.  We still receive catalogs too! However, to know a mother’s love – Priceless!

Style of clothing Isabel and her sisters Maggie and Sylvia may have worn.