The Christmas Pageant

It was three days before Christmas and we were awaiting the arrival of snow.

*Sophie and I with our cousin Samuel on the steps of his house Winter 1890

Tomorrow was the Christmas pageant and Sophie was to play an angel. Mother had spent days making ready her costume. A beautiful old shawl had been donated for the wings and angelic slippers. The thumping of the treadle sewing machine echoed down the hall as the aroma from Grandma's baking filled the house. Sophie and I were taking tea with her dollies in the parlor when we noticed the snowflakes beginning to fall outside the window.

As the afternoon turned to evening the blanket of snow was heavy and the sounds from the harness bells tinkled with each passing horse-drawn sleigh.

When we had arrived at the church hall the following evening Mother and Sophie hurried backstage. Father took me by the hand and we found our seats.

As the curtains separated the crowd hushed and were entranced as the play unfolded before us. And suddenly there was Sophie, her delicate slippers pointed beneath her as she spread her wings and took flight. I was filled with glee my sister was an angel...

Christmas was special that year... whenever I pulled back the tissue to reveal Sophie's delicate lacey slippers the memories returned and brought me back to the Christmas pageant...


The Lady and The Locket

Just above my Mother's writing desk in the front parlor hung a picture of a beautiful woman wearing a locket. I would often find my Mother gazing at the dainty image encircled in the frame, mesmerized by this mysterious soul.

One day when sitting at the desk answering her correspondence I ventured over to ask about the woman in the photograph. And so at the young age of five, cradled gently on my Mother's lap the story began to unfold...

She was my namesake, my great grandmama Weltha. Mother of my Mother's father Moses the tintype was taken in 1862 a week before her beloved husband Everitt marched off with his Massachusetts regiment to fight in the Civil War.

Within the locket was his photograph always encircling her neck. My great grandpapa carried the image of his adoring wife, mother of his two sons away to battle in the breast pocket of his uniform close to his heart.

Everitt was killed at Gettysburg July 1863. It was there that his body was laid to rest amongst his fellow soldiers.

Several months later a young lad who served with those men returned to his hometown bringing the photograph and a letter to Wealtha. Both the letter and the locket accompanied Wealtha to the grave.The beautiful woman that gazed down from the frame remained in my heart forever...

The Farm

My father was born and raised on a farm. His parents acreage was more than five miles from where we lived in town. Needless to say a trip to my paternal grandparents was a long and bumpy wagon ride.

* My grandparents barn many years after their passing.

From a distance you could see the big barn standing off on the horizon. Its grey weathered boards reflecting the sunlight like a beacon welcoming the weary traveller from afar.

Arriving at the farm was an exciting reunion. Wearing a brightly sprigged fresh apron, Gramma would smother us with hugs and kisses. Grandpa remarked on how much we had grown and a gentle pat on the top of the head was his expression of affection.

After a filling lunch at the long plank table, my sister and I would help the women folk to tend to the cleaning up.We each had our own apron at the ready that hung from a hook where we had placed it last. ( I knew in later life that Gramma had washed and hung them all on the line to soak up the fresh country air.)

My brothers headed for the barn, Father and Grandpa to the porch.There were chickens to feed, horses to ride and kittens to cuddle.

Grandpa had even built a special pony cart just for me.The afternoon hours seem to pass so quickly, before you knew it the call would come for supper.

My Father who would take the afternoon to make his rounds and visit his patients, sometimes did not arrive home till way after dark. As I lay plumped up by pillows beneath one of Gramma's quilts I could hear his wagon coming down the lane, the clinking noise of the wheels echoing through the open window.

We would stay for days... looking back on the visits now it was akin to a lifetime.


Home Sweet Home

When ever I see a photograph of my childhood home a rush of memories dance through my head.

It was the place I was born, learned to toddle across the lawn, pushed about in the perambulator by my sister Sophie, visited my Father daily in his office at the building just off the kitchen door...So many stories that began and ended within those walls. Too abundant to mention, but forever locked away in my heart.



I was the last of my Mother's five surviving children. Raising the family, running a household and attending to her many social commitments required a helping hand.Who better capable to fill the position than my loving Grandmother.

Grandma holding me and my sister Sophie.

My mother's mother had reared four of her own in a big majestic, white house just a stone's throw away down the street. In fact my older brothers were the first to inform me that when they were young, all of them; my grandparents, Mother and Father and my siblings lived in that grand house that I found so intriguing.

My Grandparents house Winter 1889.

My Mother's childhood home, where upon entry a gentle embrace awaited and a nuance of delectable aromas emanated from the kitchen. This too was my other home where I would spend countless hours enchanted by Grandma's stories and gifted through her wisdom. A place that when I visited in later years, I could envision sitting on the veranda, Grandma's gentle voice singing a lullaby as I drifted off in slumber...


Fond Recollections

My Mother Katherine whom my Father fondly called Kate, at seventeen.

The first memory I can recollect from early childhood was the scent of my Mother's hair.

Long, dark and silken she wore it in a bun that rested at the nape of her neck. Unlocked from it's confines, she would wash it in sections and then rinse with lavender water. The redolence lingered for hours, for when she released it from the pins in the evening to brush the long tresses the fragrance once again filled the room.

I can remember vividly as she nuzzled my cheek and held me close to her breast.Through scrapped knees, lost kittens and gentle sobbing that loving embrace, accented with the heavenly essence remained with me all of my life...