Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I wanted to write a separate post to share a couple of special blessings we received yesterday. The first one happened in the morning. Jim and I were busy making pies, when I discovered I didn't have enough sugar to make them. So I asked Jim if he wanted me to go to Walmart and get more, or if he would mind going. He decided to go, and took Sam along with him. I got Julia down for her nap and had some nice quiet time. After quite a while, they returned and Jim told me this neat story.

They had come upon a truck towing a camper, which was stopped in the road. Jim stopped to see if the guy needed help, and it turned out he had lost a pin for his hitch (or something like that--I'm not good on the technical/mechanical stuff). Anyway, Jim told him he thought Walmart would have the part he needed, so the guy followed him to Walmart and Jim was able to help him find the part and fix the problem. Then it occurred to him to give the man a Gospel tract, but he wasn't sure if he had any in the truck. Turned out he did have one, and the man was very willing to take it, even saying that he would have his daughter read it to him on their way home! Jim was so excited that he had this small opportunity to plant a seed and be a witness, and we are praying that God will save this man and his daughter. There are no accidents with God! It was so neat how I forgot to buy sugar . . . then Jim was willing to go to the store for me . . . at just the right time to help this man and give him a tract. A divine appointment! We need to pray for more of those!!

My other blessing was from my Grammie. A few days ago, my mom had told me that my Grammie was wondering if I would like to have the antique sewing machine that had belonged to her grandmother (my great-great-grandmother!). It is one of those very early models, the treadle kind in the wooden cabinet. Of course I jumped at the chance to own something so old that has been in my family for over 100 years! When we stopped at my grandparents' house to bring them their pie, Grammie asked if we could take the machine right then. So we did. It is really nice, and even still works! Not that I'm likely to ever use it . . . but it is neat that it works, just the same. :)

We haven't yet figured out what year it was made, but it is probably from the late 1800s. We found some really neat stuff in the drawers, too. My favorite thing was a letter written by a lady named Abbie, to my great-great-grandmother, Etta, in 1900. Even though fragile, and written in pencil, the writing was nearly all legible and I had so much fun reading it. Here are a few excerpts from it:

"I am writing this in the hammock with my baby, which accounts for the pencil and the looks of the writing."

Such a sweet mental picture! :)
The letter included a recipe for a homemade medicine that Abbie thought Etta might like to try for her sick baby. The recipe itself was very interesting! Here it is:

1 teaspoon cooking soda
1 " finely pulverized spearmint
1 " peppermint
1 " grated rhubarb
Place this in a bowl and pour on 1/2 pint boiling water. Steep for a while, strain carefully and when cool add 1 tablespoon-full of brandy that it may keep. Bottle and keep in a cool place.

Very small doses seem to have some effect so begin easy."

I think things from the past are so fascinating, and it is especially neat to own something that belonged to one of my ancestors. How I wish I could go back in time, just for a day or so, and meet my great-great-grandmother. I would love to watch her as she goes about her daily work, makes medicine for her baby, sews on the new machine, cares for her children. I would love to peek in at Abbie, writing letters in her hammock with her five month old baby girl beside her. I know their lives were a lot harder back then, and the "simple life" was not so simple really, but they did live in a quieter, less harried time period! I think it would be so interesting to see what day-to-day life was like. I do know that my great-grandmother must have been a strong person in many ways--she had a very large family and they lived on a farm, which I'm sure had plenty of challenges!

Anyway, all that to say that these were our extra special blessings on Memorial Day!


Rachel said...

Congrats on your blessings! The first story was a neat one "I being in the way, the Lord led me." You may never know the results of your husband's encounter until you get to heaven. Also, what a neat opportunity for Sam to see his daddy show the love of Christ to a stranger.
I love the sewing machine! I agree, it would be so neat to see what life was like long ago. I love watching old movies especially westerns (my dad's influence). Life did seem so much different back then. Anyway, enjoy your new sewing machine and have a super week.

Joanne said...

I love the sewing machine! A lady my family knew when I was 5 made dresses for my sister and I on a machine just like that. Her's was totally encased - including the treadle part in a cabinet that the top opened to allow the machine to come out.
Right now I wish I had one just like it. Something that made little noise so I could sew while the boys are sleeping!

Joey said...

What a great post! I just stopped in to say hi, before you left for PA. If you are anywhere near Leola there is a good church there. I can't remember the name, but the Pastor is John Duty. It is near Lancaster/Hershey area. Have a wonderful trip! We are going camping for the weekend!!!!!!!!

Carrie said...

Rachel--thanks for the comment! We watch a lot of westerns at our house, too. :) Jim's dad collected most of John Wayne's movies on video over the years, and now they are getting passed on to us, as his dad has started getting them all on DVD! So we have quite a collection.

Joanne--that is so neat that you and your sister had dresses made on a sewing machine like that. I wish you lived close by so you could borrow mine! It does seem to be pretty quiet.

Joey--thanks for the tip about the church--we didn't get to go, but we will remember it for next time. :) Did you still get to go camping or was it rained out? I hope we can camp sometimes this summer--we haven't been since we've had kids and I think it would be a lot of fun!