This is a continuation of Agnes Sligh Turnbull's short story When Queens Ride By, first published in 1932. You are reading the diary of Jennie Musgrave and her journey back to the heart of her home. Jennie is a farm wife living in the 1940's in rural Massachusetts. Her diary chronicles her account of returning to the role God made especially for her, that of help-meet to her husband and loving mother. It is my sincere wish this diary bless you. ~Suzanne

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year's Eve Bonfire!

Tonight I will be hostess to a New Year's eve party. I am hopin' I can pull this one off. All John's idea and a right surprise too. After church  on Sunday he told me that he offered our place to hold a New Year's eve bonfire for fellowship. Before I knew it I had so many ladies asking me what they could bring! I was so taken back I told them whatever they please for their family and some to share. What that is gonna look like I haven't got a clue.


I put up some large crocks of my grape juice on the back porch to chill and I have ten pies baked, apple, blueberry and peach, all from my summer canning. John has a large smoked shoulder warming and I have about twenty taters cooking in the stove. John told me to keep it real simple and not to overwork myself, so I am takin' his advice.

He has hay bales all outside the bonfire pit for folks to sit on and I do hope they remember quilts to cover them with. I got extra, but it is chilly so they may need them for warmin' up. Pastor is takin' extra chairs from the fellowship hall with a few long tables too so spreadin' the food and having a place to sit and eat is taken care of I reckon. I am  glad we still got the tree up cause it looks pretty in the parlor.

The children are so excited they are runnin' around here like jack rabbits asking me the time every few minutes. Thank goodness Harriette showed up to help and offer her hostessin' skills. I am just havin' a sit down with a cup of tea writin' this all down. Please Lord, let this all turn out good and let me hostess a good party here for my husband. I ain't seen him smiling like this in a long time. The boys even have the pond all shoveled for some skatin'. This old place hasn't seen such happiness in a good long while!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry & Bright

(For Laura-Merry Christmas to you and yours!)

Oh what a Christmas! It's been a lovely season for sure. The children enjoyed their gifts so. John made a beautiful set of wooden building blocks for Virginia. Sanded them smooth as silk to the touch.

 Ruth Ann got a big dollhouse, just a plain kind of house made of maple. The kind of dollhouse a child needs to use their imagination a bit. There is a tiny staircase and a few twig beds with little quilts I made. She has been playing with it nonstop! The boys got themselves new slingshots and some coon skin hats. They reckon they are Davey Crockett.  John made me a beautiful new cutting board for the kitchen and surprised me with a pair of leather shoes from the Sears & Roebuck catalog.

I had the page bookmarked and was saving for them. John said he got stumped about a present for me and wanted something pretty when he grabbed the catalog and saw my notation on the page. They are a perfect fit and just right pretty to look at. I ain't never had a shoe so fancy before! They are a soft brown calfskin with what they call a military heel and they have a smart design across the top. I just kept putting them on and walking in front of the full mirror half the day!

Christmas eve service was beautiful, it just felt holy. That's the only way I can explain it. Like the Lord himself had come on down from heaven and was singing with us. This year Mrs. Dunmire had a children's choir and they sang five darlin' songs for us. Boys were real good too, didn't fidget once. They had smiles wide as town and sang their hearts out, a bit off key at times which made us adults smile and laugh softly , but they were putting forth their best effort indeed.  Christmas eve was quiet here after service which was kinda nice. Harriet was tired out so we dropped her off and came home and had some hot cocoa and sugar cookies then the kids tucked in for the night.

 John and I got the gifts spread under the tree and had an early night of it too.

Today was just wonderful, but I am plumb tired out. My sister and her family arrived around noon and I had a root vegetable soup simmering with my biscuits just waiting for them. The menfolk headed to the barn to talk about whatever men talk about in barns and my sister and I got the big meal ready. John had traded a smoked shoulder for a nice rib roast and we had that with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted carrots, beets, and parsnips. What a delicious meal we had!

After dinner we opened gifts and Emma gifted me the prettiest apron I ever did own. The fabric has little mauve rosebuds on a celery colored background. She added a nice ruffle and embroidered my initials on the bib.  She made a matching one for Ruth Ann. The boys got new marbles and John got a whole jar of his favorite black licorice!

After gifts Rosealee came over with her family and brought a delicious cake made with lemon and ricotta cheese, my I ain't had cake so tasty in a long while. I had made quite a lot of different cookies and put those out on a platter with coffee for the adults and cocoa for the children. John read the Christmas story from the Bible and we sang a few carols then Rosealee and her family headed home.  Emma and I cleaned up and we are all in bed tired out from a full, but very wonderful day. Time to put the pen down and blow out the light. Emma's husband wants to get on the road early and I want to send them off with a hearty breakfast.

But I must write down a verse from my favorite Christmas hymn here to always remember that this Christmas, this touched my heart.

God rest you merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this Day.
To save poor souls from Satan's power,
Which long time had gone astray.
Which brings tidings of comfort and joy.