Here is a little excerpt from the history of a truly phenomenal woman born in the late 1800's:
"….She taught for a salary of $55 per month grades 1 - 8. The school term lasted five months each year in an one-room school house. The love of teaching extended beyond the classroom and, during the growing season, homemakers were taught the art of canning and preserving fruits and vegetables. Some of their efforts were carried to county fairs and won prizes.
In her words:
"By using your head and hands, work can solve any problem that a person has."
This philosophy was undoubtedly inherited from her beloved father, who was a skillful farmer and carpenter. His skills were also her skills:
- Her family was never hungry because she always had a garden with beets, onions, greens, cabbage squash, beans, etc.
- Her orchard had peaches, plums, pears, pecans, and grapes.
- Her planting and harvest schedule was planned to ensure at least nine months of fresh produce.
- From the harvest of fruits she made juices, jellies, preserves, and cobblers. A family favorite was her peach cobbler made from tiny peaches wit the pits left in.
- She built stools and chairs for her grandchildren, each customized to the child's size.
- She remodeled the back porch, of the house that the family rented, to make an additional room. She also built a storage shed.
- She enjoyed fishing with her next-door neighbor in the local rives and creeks.
- She helped other people build outdoor pit toilets (out-houses).
- She taught her school children to cook, sew, embroider, make curtains, build chairs, etc.
- A Sunday afternoon ritual was making and freezing ice cream. (The recipe has been handed down through the generations)
With what seemed to be limitless energy, she also held other jobs. These included washing and ironing, picking cotton, cutting and stripping sugar cane to make molasses, and selling meals at stands set up a various associations and fairs.
From this amazing woman, family values were to spring as models for all generations to come.
- Love and respect people from all walks of life.
- Learn, and teach, the joy of living and the joys of life.
- Be pleasant while being firm.
- If you must not spare the rod, ensure that the children know that despite this, they are loved. (Later generations would come to believe that not all parents learned this one so well!)
- Always retain a respect for the status quo; don't loose perspective on 'from whence you came.' As examples:
Above all, make sure that you have a Faith that is deeply rooted in God.
A faithful member of Second Baptist Church, she attended every Sunday with her brood in tow. Attendance for them was not optional because she held a strong belief that parents should take their children to church not send them to church. Her favorite hymns were What A Friend We Have in Jesus and Leanin' On The Everlasting Arms.
…… As she lay in repose at her funeral, her only son, now a pilot with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, removed his wings and placed them on her chest as a final tribute. Why? It was his mother who taught the family how to fly to their dreams, keep a friend in Jesus, and not to forget to lean on the Everlasting Arms. "
(above excerpt about my great-grandmother written by my mothers cousin)
Consider talking to your children about the "positive" attributes of their ancestors
P/S If your great-grandchildren chose to write a tribute about you, what things do you think they'd share? (That's a humbling thou