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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I was there once: part one

After church yesterday, Edna Beaton, head of the church meals ministry, asked if I would bring a home cooked meal to a young mother in our church who had a baby several days ago. After I gave it a moment of thought I said sure I could do that. Is tomorrow too soon Edna asked and I said no I could throw something together for her. I didn't know this gal even though our congregation wasn't that large , but Edna said they had only been coming to worship for about two months or so. Edna also confided they had moved into the old Bennett place right outside of town just a few months back and the woman had four littles and seemed a bit overwhelmed often times. Edna gave me the gals information and we all headed home.

This morning after chores and getting the breakfast dishes done I sent the boys off with John. He had fences to check and they went along with him. RuthAnn and I set to work baking. Since this young mum had four boys I figured they must eat a heap. I knew I was going to bake another strawberry and rhubarb pie so I got the dough made and chilled. I figured those boys could use some cookies so I had RuthAnn set to work on some oatmeal raisin ones. The house was smelling right delicious with those cookies baking. I was so happy for a low temperature and humidity day! While RuthAnn watched the cookies I set to making my Swedish meatballs with gravy and noodles.  I had a large pan finished when John and the boys got back and they were after me to sample the cookies. I let them all have a couple cookies and got the milk out of the icebox and poured 'em all a glass. Nothing like a cookie with ice cold farm fresh milk! John took the boys back out to check fences and I sent them off with left over fried chicken and potato salad with a jug of lemonade. Then I got the two pies made, one for them and one for us.

I packed up a basket with the meal and I don't know why, but I had a feeling I should take over a few of my herbs and teas for after baby care. Funny feeling had snuck up on me and I listened to it. I got the baby changed and headed out bout three. We pulled up to 38 Olde Country Road and I wondered if anyone was home. The house looked sort of deserted.

I knocked and a young boy answered and said his Mama was lying down right now and wasn't seeing visitors. I told him to go tell his Mama I was from church and had brought a meal for the family. He race off pulling the door open some and I peered inside. Boy hardy the living room was strewn with laundry everywhere. Baskets of clothes were on the floors and nothing had been tended to.  Mrs. Williams came to the door with a baby in her arms swaddled in a pink blanket, she seemed very nervous as she introduced herself and young boy. I told  her who we were and that we brought over a meal. That church often sent a weeks worth of meals to families who just had a baby. She seemed pretty surprised and I asked if Edna hadn't called to notify her. Seems she didn't know the receiver was off the hook the better part of Sunday and today, must have been one of the boys she said. Very reluctantly she let me in and showed me into her kitchen..... be continued.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Every July there is plenty of pie!

Sweet, sweet July, I do love ya! Well now the gardens are flourishing and life is good. The good Lord is blessing John an me plenty. We are diggin' out of our pit slow but sure. I am so busy keepin' home I have neglected my poor journal. I find myself with a bit of time on the porch tonight. The children have all tucked in early after a full day of helping weed the garden, collecting eggs, house chores, and then a long dip in the pond with a picnic supper there in the grass. It was fairly hot today, oh bout 82 or so and a bit muggy. John and I enjoyed a swim in the pond too. The children love climbing up on their Daddy's strong shoulders and being hoisted in the air. Poor John, he might need a back rub tonight after all that play.

We had a tasty supper by the pond. I fried up some chicken out in the summer kitchen John rigged up for me so as to not overheat the kitchen and house. I snuck in making a strawberry and rhubarb pie for dessert. Boy did they gobble that pie up! Our strawberry and rhubarb grew so abundantly this season I have three whole shelves canned! I just made a good crust in the morning while getting breakfast and set it to chill in the icebox. After weeding we came in for lunch and a little rest and I got that pie baked with no one noticing. I had it cooling in my bedroom window to keep it a secret.

Summertime already seems to be going by a bit too fast. Sitting here in my rocker I am piecing together some hexagons for a quilt I am making for RuthAnn's bed. I hope to have this done for Christmas. I found me some darling fabric for a steal and I have some of her old dresses that I am using too. I think it will be real sweet.

The fireflies are starting to come out so I shall pack up my needle and thread and finish my iced tea and close up the house and get this tired body off to bed. But not before I write my recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie here. Maybe some day when I am old I will need it or maybe one of my children will read this journal and see it here. Perhaps they will all try baking it after remembering how tasty their Momma made it.