Looking back, I realize that she did not have much money. She, with the help of her oldest son and daughters, ran the dairy farm and eked out a living as best she could. No matter that she lacked money~ she was richly endowed with a big heart and an abundance of love. She was not a kissy-kissy sort of person, nor was she one to say "I love you". However, when you were in her presence you KNEW that you were deeply loved.
Her youngest, Lorraine, was 4 when I was born. I became her "baby" of sorts and she was always willing to play with me. In the picture she is 6 and I am 2. One of the highlights of our summers was when Lady, the family dog, had pups. Somehow, somewhere, way out in the wilds of the country, Lady always managed to find a boyfriend every year and would show up with a smile on her face and babies in her tummy. When the pups were old enough to play with we would take them into the cellar and play house with them and Aunt Bessie would pack up a tea party for us. (You can see the cellar door opening behind us in the picture)
Oh what a wonderful tea party that was. She would cut the crust off her homemade bread and take butter (that she had churned) and color it (the butter) with food coloring. She would then layer the bread together with different colors of butter between the layers and cut them into small "stacks". On another day she would layer in a bit of her homemade preserves and we would dine in "high tea" style.
I loved to tag along with her as she checked the flowers she had blooming around the farm place. She would make me hollyhock dolls and tell me stories about when she was a girl. I used to tell her I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She always told me that I didn't want to grow up to be an old farm woman like her. I assured her that I did. I'm afraid that I didn't turn out much like her at all. I was called away from the farm life and became what she would have called "citified". As I compare our lives I realize that I am a bit like her. I love the children that surround me and this summer I am teaching my granddaughters to make Hollyhock dolls-a pure and simple pleasure that should not be forgotten.