Thursday, October 31, 2019

Resting in the Mountains

Image may contain: Ann Robinson Baker, sitting and indoor

At last, after much traveling on the interstates, I'm with my mother in the West Virginia mountains. We are resting. She had surgery a little over a week ago and is recuperating, and I'm here to help, and make sure she eats. She's lost a lot of weight in the past year.

Adam and I drove from home to Chattanooga, stayed with our son and daughter-in-law there, and then drove on to Mississippi for our grandson's baptism.



We had a quick lunch with Julia while we were in the vicinity, enjoyed the changing leaves in the mountains, and arrived in W.Va. on Tuesday. Adam is back home now, and I'm staying in these lovely, peaceful, home-feeling mountains for as long as I can, to help my mother. (If you're a personal friend of Mother's and want more info about her health, please email me. She appreciates prayers and everyone's love, but doesn't want a flood of phone calls. She is doing well.)

Friends, wherever you are, whatever your situation, I hope these autumn months -- the cool air, the slanting sunlight, the approach of holy days, the crunching leaves and bright fires -- will bring you joy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Old Clothes, New Baby

I can't remember if I've ever blogged about the family baptismal clothes. These are from Adam's family, not mine. They were given to me by his grandmother (his dad's mom) when I was having babies and they were baptized. Three of the children were baptized in Mississippi, and one in Iowa.  Here are the clothes.
This is the square-necked dress:
 This is the long-sleeved dress:
 This is the slip:
 And this is the cap:
 Granny and I did some repairs to the clothes before Philip was baptized. I sewed new tiny snaps on the back of the slip, replaced tiny pearl buttons on the dresses, and attached new ribbons to the cap.
There's another pretty dress that we've never used.
 At the center of the bib area, the fabric is weak and has torn.
When Granny mailed me these items (along with other old heirlooms of hers -- little-girl dresses and a couple of old items of clothing, a purse, etc.), she sent notes along with them. I was thankful for the historical information about when the baptismal clothing had been used in the past; that information shouldn't be lost. But now that I read her note, I'm more thankful for the personal feel of it, for her words at the end. Here's her note, written on a series of pink slips of paper:
 (John is Adam's dad. Marcus was Granny's husband.)
 (Granny is Mary Jane.)

"... but time slipped by." Boy, doesn't it.  

Also enclosed was a little pink cap made for Granny's brother, who lived only 2 months. He's been gone all these many years -- 115 years! -- but his memory remains through Granny, through the clothes, through the family.
She must've sent these to me when we lived in Iowa, the spring before Julia was born. I'm not sure exactly. Today I pulled the big box from under the bed, picked out the baptismal items, lovingly washed them and hung them to dry. Soon they will be worn by Isaac, our grandson, Granny's great-great grandson. 

Philip was baptized when he was only 13 days old.
Anna was baptized at 3 months old.
Peter was baptized at 6 months old.
Julia was baptized at 3 months.
I'm not sure, but I think only Philip wore the long-sleeved gown. The other three were too big; it has very small arm holes! The square-necked gown will have to do for Isaac also, I suspect. He's chunking up nicely.
I know I have photos of the children in these clothes, and of Granny and John too, wearing them. So many photos, and it takes hours to find them in the many books. Someday I'll do that search and share them. Meanwhile, I can't wait for Isaac to wear them!

Friday, October 18, 2019

A Smattering of Pictures

Thank you for your sweet comments after my tour-around-the-farm post. It doesn't seem like a farm most of the time. It feels like 4 acres that require lots of mowing. Maybe someday we'll figure out what to do with it.

Adam and I dashed over to the North Carolina mountains to see our youngest girl in college.
We decided to stay in a KOA campground. Did you know how cheap they are? Goodness!
I was glad to find a cabin during peak leaf-color season.
Julia gave us a tour around her very favorite place on campus, the Printmaking classroom.

She loves this discipline and works in this studio on the weekends.

We toodled around Asheville for the day with Julia and her best friend, and enjoyed a visit to a super-cool tea shop, Dobra Tea, where you sit on little round pillows on the floor and ring a bell for service.

Adam and I viewed this as a mini-vacation too. On the road, we found a park in Greensboro and stopped for a lunch picnic. Much nicer than fast food.

I wanted to share a few pictures from a copy of The Wind in the Willows I ordered lately, illustrated by Tasha Tudor - what a lovely combo!

The wintry adventure to Badger's home is my favorite part of the book.

This past week Adam made the prettiest veggie plate for dinner -- simple, delicious.
his homemade ciabatta, spinach, potatoes, fried okra and squash

I have a few fun photos of our grandson Isaac from a recent trip to West Virginia he took with his delightful parents to see family up there.

Do you have time for one more thing? Here are a few cards I painted before the trip. I think I'll paint lots of seasonal wreaths. They're so fun!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Mother of Saul

Because I was a virgin girl of ten
The men from across the River Jordan
Spared me and my friends. The rest, murdered --
My mother, father and all my brothers.
We were taken to Gibeah; the blood
Of murdered women whispered up to us
From the ground. We were given to soldiers
Who were twenty and thirty years older
Than us. And we became wives and mothers.
No one remembers me, the wife of Kish.
No one remembers me, mother of Saul.
I am a virgin of Jabesh-Gilead.
On the day I died they hung my grandsons
And great-grandsons, little boys though they were,
In that wretched city I was taken to.
We girls, ever caught up in the fury
of the foolish vows made by foolish men.

Copyright by the author
Oct. 13, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019


I was so whiny in my last post, I hope I didn't drive everyone away! No more whining!
a $5 wreath from the hospice thrift store
As Henny Penny noted, the weather is cool, the light is slanted, the outdoors are beckoning us, and we must go out to see what autumn is offering this year. I took along my tea (herbal, from my herb bed, with a neighbor's honey).

My chickens:

Two chicks drinking:

The orchard where they wander and nibble:

The pasture in morning light:

The pasture dog. She loves to run.

The tall pine tree. It figures in a little picture book I still need to paint a cover for:

The garden is long gone to sleep for the end of the year. Its fence was blown over during Dorian and it's thick with weeds.
We'll be rethinking our garden next year. The okra has slowed at last. Sweet potatoes will be dug soon.

Speaking of Dorian, she ripped some roofing off a neighbor's pole barn.
North of us, the big farm. Our terrain is flat as a flitter!

We'll have a burn pile soon. At last we've had rain.

Ned, patrolling his domain.

The fence between the orchard and the pasture is covered each year in grapevine that (sadly) doesn't get enough light (thanks to the pecan trees) to bear any grapes. The fence is sagging with its weight.

Today I get to stay home! I'll paint a little, run errands with the hubby, do a little laundry, practice piano,  and perhaps do a little editing. I'm listening to Christmas music, another old LP.
It's nice to have a slow day without commitments elsewhere, isn't it?