1.31.2013

The Mystery of Nannie French's Bible


Many years ago I found the sweetest little book at a book sale.
I opened the cover to find a handwritten letter from the 1800's. 
I knew I had to have it.
Only recently have I
Taken the time
to flip through the pages...
read the fragile letter,
and do a bit of research.



The book is a Holy Bible.
(The copyright is 1868)

On the cover it says
Presented to;
Nannie French
The Star Mission Sunday School
St. Louis, Mo


Inside is clipped a little piece of newspaper:

married:
Mayhew-French at the residence of
 Mr. WA Blair in this city, at 9 1/2 o'clock this morning, 
Mr. James H. Mayhew and Miss Matilda S. French
Rev Graves officiating

The ceremony was performed in the presence of
only the relatives of the
contracting parties. They left
amid their congratulations.


Here is a transcript of the letter:


Thursday, November 19th, 1885

My Precious Husband,

            I am sitting beside Nanny who lies in a closely darkened room, while beside her lies a tiny, precious bundle of a little creature, her baby boy. Born this a.m. at 1:20.  He is a nice child in every way, fat, round, and well formed, his majesty has not tipped the scales yet but,we think that he would bring them down at 11 pounds.
            Nanny has behaved simply grandly. All the good grit in the French blood, (what there is of it), rose to the top in her birth giving agonies. Everything has gone most favorably. She took no chloroform but fought it out because Percy was so opposed to her using it. She was sick about 12 hrs. The first I knew of it all was when I came up here last evening at dark, intending to sit with her an hour and a half till prayer meeting, as she had several days before given up coming to see us or even going downstairs altho still walking actively about on this floor. I tapped as usual, when an agitated call from P. “Wait a minute” told me the end had begun. The nurse came to the door, opened it, exclaimed, shut it, opened it again and said “Yes, yes” and shut it again.
            Presently P. came out and told me that she had begun to suffer at about one in the day, but that her orders were that I was to be spared bearing or knowing it till the worst was over. They told her it was I and that I had gone on to the prayer meeting, which I did, and sent word on to Mother by Father (Ellie is sick in bed and M had staid with her to let me go to church) how things were; then I returned and staid all night. It was piteous to hear her agonized cries, but as P. and the nurse came out from time to time and assured me that all was as it should be, every pain telling and the child coming admirably, I rested on that, and prayed!  I fell asleep about twelve with my fingers in my ears and the first sound after the poor mother’s final scream, what I heard was the baby’s shrill entrance to this “world of ours”
            I knew I could not sleep if at home, and felt that I must be here near my child to know from hour to hour how it was best for me and for all that I did desire to stay. I have kept very quiet under it, and soon this morning N. asked for me. The dear child between pains last night would say “ I am so glad it’s night so Mamie can’t be here to hear all this”, but this morning she is so glad to hear that I was near her. She was her brightest, sweetest self between the earlier pangs and now that the baby is here, she is sweetness, patience, and brightness itself.  While she was suffering last night she thanked God “that Mamie had never had to stand this, for it would kill her.”
            Percy has behaved with all the calmness and tenderness of a real hero husband, and this morning treads on air, elate with joy and thanksgiving.
            Mother has been in, but E. poor child, cannot come today-she has quite a sore throat and it is a very rainy day.  We have telographed Murray and Helen.
            Nanny electrified me by saying with great decision soon after I saw her, “He shan’t go hunting till he is older than twelve, or ride his father’s horse if P. has one!”
      P. and I are so happy and thankful that we feel there is nothing left to ask for that God has not already done for us.
            Please send this letter to Murray. It is what I would write him and I will be too busy for the present to rewrite it. The little George Gordon sends the little Hugh Tale a greeting and wants to know what he thinks of strange, new world.
G.G. grunts his approval of his parentage.
“I’m just tolerable”,
 Your own loving Maemie.

(all text copyright prince snow farm 2013)







I wish I could find a family
member to give this keepsake of
their family
history.

1.25.2013

What Time Is It?


Many years ago, before kids, or even marriage, my husband and I used to 
spend hours antiquing on the weekends.


Many times we would go with my in-laws, as they were 
always up for a mystery ride.

We traveled through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

We didn't have a big budget. 
We weren't looking for anything fancy.
We were looking for 
vintage travel clocks.

We found several from the turn of the century.
We found clocks from every era.


We found square clocks, round clocks, musical clocks.

We found clocks from all over the world.


We found clocks with little "garage doors"...
(p.s. that's my grandma in the center, my grandpa to the far left....they were christening a ship)


We found A LOT of clocks.
We bought A LOT of clocks.

We have hundreds of clocks.



Each one is unique. Each one has a story.

I often wonder about the former owners.
Did they take their clock on a voyage on the Queen Elizabeth?
Did it sit on their bedside table...jingling them awake for their early shift at work?
Were they happy?
Was it a birthday present? A wedding gift?

Do you have any collections? If you do, what started you collecting?




1.24.2013

Just Playing


I've heard a lot in the news about the power of playing.


...that it helps one to learn and grow....


So I thought I'd test the theory.


I haven't played in a while.


I think I want to do more!
Maybe my kids will want to play too.
Or maybe they will just roll
their eyes
and
shake their heads.

That's ok. 

I'll play again.

Try it.
You'll like it :)

1.23.2013

Metamorphosis

So I am not allowed to vacuum
or lift laundry
or the dog :(

So what's a girl to do? 
I do a little. Fold towels, turn on the dishwasher....
I know what you are thinking..."You go girl!"


But today I decided to look at my Pinterest
 craft board and actually try something. 

I found a free printable of a vintage butterfly.
I printed it on an old Russian Primer that was falling apart.


I love the way it looks on burlap...

....or the over-sized manila tag (top photo)


I love it here on the mirror in the fireplace room. Ready to fly away.

Maybe this time home is meant
to be a 
time of reflection...
a transformation of the spirit.

I am so glad I finally made something from my craft board!

Follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link in my sidebar :)

1.22.2013

Nature's Gifts


We had snow last night.
Not the winter storm as warned....



but a gently fallen blanket....


...enough to coat the apple trees....


...and to transform the woods into a Robert Frost verse....

 

...enough to make the winter view of the garden magical, rather than desolate....


The Juncos were out...playing hide n' seek in the Hydrangeas....

 

A shovel and snow- laden holly created  a New England scene scape...


I feel blessed to be home on this chilly morning....


...peeking my head out of any available door....


...my hands icy as I aim the lens....


....my body warm....


....my mind clear....


As I stay home and let
 my body rest,


I look to nature
 for
  healing,

 

....knowing that this must 
be part of the plan....


....the pureness....


....the innocent beauty, as only
Mother Nature
could
capture it.

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