Monday, April 4, 2011

Love’s Old Sweet Song

 

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{this beautiful, central image from Crafty Secrets’ “Love Mail” Creative Scraps}

Funny thing about inspiration…you never know where it’s going to lead you.  I’ll explain later.

Pauline Udall about 1909

My great-grandmother Pauline was pretty certain about one thing.  She didn’t want to marry a farmer.  Especially an Arizona farmer. 

This beautiful, young school teacher had a few other suitors in that rural part of northern Arizona where she lived at the turn of the century… the question was just one of choice.

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Shortly before taking her mother for a two-month stay in California for her mother’s health, Asahel Smith came to her family’s home to propose marriage to Pauline.

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“I promised to correspond with him and think it over…but I then had not the least intention of giving up my schooling and becoming an Arizona farmer’s wife.”

While in California—at some point during their exchange of letters, caring for her mother and sightseeing by the sea--Pauline had a change of heart... 

 Pauline Udall on trip before marriage-Calif. 1907_edited {a picture postcard of Pauline while at Ocean Park on her trip to California…June 1908}

…She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that when she returned home, she would marry Asahel.

Back in Arizona and while she and Asahel were courting, his mother once told Pauline:

“Asahel speaks with a sack of flour, a load of wood, or a job attended to, rather than with fine words.”

Another visit to Pauline’s family’s house on the evening of his 28th birthday late in 1908… 

Asahel Henry Smith, about 1909

…a question formally asked, parental permission and a young woman’s consent both happily given.  Pauline’s changed heart was content and secure.

Of the months after their engagement, Pauline wrote (much later in her life): 

“Our letters were now exchanged once a week.  I leave them to you for your character appraisal of us.  Our letters have their defects (mine, at least!), but so be it—we did, and still do have, too.”

To Pauline…January 1909

…I feel now like there is nothing I could not undertake, if you were there to help.  I feel like all will be right with us…I can see so many things in you that I admire, and I shall always find more.

I am going to write every chance I have—the thoughts that come to me so often lately—for I have (been living) in a paradise of beautiful thoughts.”

To Asahel…February 1909

My soul is filled with gratitude all the day for you, and the assurance I have that all will be well with us…for a happy home.

In my mind, home is not a house or furnishings….I love to plan and think of it…I think about how I’ll manage things when I can do everything to suit myself, with only my dear Asahel to please, who I know will be very compassionate with me.”

Asahel H. & Pauline Smith

Another page made for my heritage scrapbook…

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Remember what I said in the beginning about inspiration being a funny thing?  Yesterday morning, when I was wanting to start a project, I had absolutely nothing—or no one--particularly in mind.

Soon, Asahel and Pauline came to mind. As I hadn’t written about their courtship yet, I decided I would.  I had intended to finish and post yesterday, but it wasn’t to be.  Life just gets in the way, sometimes, doesn’t it?!

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{I’m just in love with these keys from the Tim Holtz collection…LOVE really is the KEY, isn’t it?}

My scrapbook page finished later in the day, I decided to sit and read some of Pauline’s memoirs…it wasn’t until late last night that I realized that the next day—today (April 2nd)—was their anniversary. 

Sometimes things happen for a reason. 

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Upon reflecting on her life…nine children and many decades of marriage to Asahel before he passed away…I do believe that Pauline found that being an Arizona farmer’s wife ended up suiting her very well, after all.

Happy Anniversary…

Julie

{images of old letters found online}