Friday, February 17, 2012

The Gift

She lived in a quieter time, a more innocent time—no cell phones, no computers, and no television. It was a time when you talked with friends face-to-face, not by texting. She didn’t even have a telephone party-line like the folks in town enjoyed. She lived five miles east of town, walking distance.

There were few cars. People drove horse and buggy and wagons to the downtown square on Saturday nights to chat with one another. Young men rode prancing horses up and down the brick street to show off for the ladies, dressed in their best, smiling from their wagon seats. Styles were slow to change and the look of the prosperous 1920s was still the fashion.

She loved the small town she visited each Saturday after spending the week working hard on the farm. Before dawn she rose to milk cows by hand, then after a hearty breakfast she took her ten minute turn at the sink to cleanse the barn smell and dress for school. A long bus ride later and she ran up the steps to the school house where her mother taught her class.

Then home to milk cows, store the milk in the ice box, and make biscuits for
supper. The family ate together and discussed the day’s events, then sat together
in the evenings, listening to the radio.

She preferred working outdoors with the animals and bringing in the crops, but she did her part in canning, preserving, and pickling. When harvest time arrived, so did all her relatives—to help bring in the crops. As the oldest girl, she worked in the fields and joked with the men.

She was strong, pretty, took care of her younger siblings, and fell in love with her 5th grade teacher.She had a boyfriend, but in those days a girl could only show interest in one man. She chose her 5th grade teacher. He joined the Marines and she waited four years for him to return. They married.

When I was about eight years old, I read their love letters, and became an incurable romantic. She showed me the cameo pin he gave her. And I clomped around the house in her red, high-heeled shoes. We lived in the small farm town she loved. We had a television and a telephone with our own line. We ate together and worked together and I listened to the stories of her young adulthood. She passed her history onto me.

The gift she gave me was precious—a love of history, of times past when life was different. She passed her heritage on to me. She was my grandmother.

I hope you will love my Scottish historical romance, Masquerade Marriage. You can download an ebook or purchase a print copy at If you like mysteries, you'll love A Texas Christmas Mystery.

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