Saturday, January 3, 2015

1930's BOOK PREVIEW "AND THE TEAKETTLE KEPT ON SINGING;" Comfort from Pennsylvania; March 1935

The following letter is one that I often read aloud at speaking engagements. This letter will be included in my third book, The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt-Inspiring Letters From Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them, due to be released in spring 2015. The block that accompanies this letter is called, "Mrs. Smith."

"Mrs. Smith"
The mercury was hovering around zero. The children started off to school in woolen clothes and fleece-lined overshoes and husband was in the barn with the sheep. In the house, fires were holding winter at bay. Mother was beating an egg for noodles for the beef broth simmering on the back of the range. The room was filled with the steamy aroma. A squeaking came from the snow outside. The door opened and in stepped Mrs. Smith.

“Oh! How warm it is in here!” she exclaimed. “What are you cooking? It has me hoping that dinner isn’t far off.”

“Just some scraps of beef and noodles for the broth,” Mother answered. “George told you I have a quilt in, and I’m glad you’ve come to help in the quilting.

It was only ten o’clock when they sat down together at the quilt. How their needles and tongues did fly! Laughter too, rippled along merrily. At eleven Mother fixed the fires, put the potatoes in the oven, stirred up some cup cakes, brought a relish and a jar of red raspberries from the cellar, spread a clean cloth, and set the table for three.

Mrs. Smith, quilting on, listened to Mother’s flying steps. Tabby, stretched by the fire, was the picture of comfort. There was a new smell of baking potatoes and cake. Brewing tea added its fragrance. The cold scurried over the floor as Father entered.

“I stopped in at the henhouse,” he said. “Eight eggs. Not so bad for this cold day. Hello? Got company?”

“Sure! Mable came over to help with the quilt.”

“Hello, George,” came from the sitting room. “No, I didn’t come to quilt. I came to escape a little of this dreadful winter. Some way, it’s never winter in Bess Worth’s house.”

“Now, don’t brag on my wife,” Father said banteringly. “It’s all I can do to live with her without that.”

March 1935