Friday, October 7, 2011

Celia

DSC06286_edited-1 {sweet image found on Crafty Secrets’ “Birds & Blossoms” Creative Scraps}

A beautiful Kentucky Indian summer morning in the early 1800’s…not a care in the world for young Celia, running barefoot through the soft fields of her family’s farm…

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Older brothers and sisters, busy with their chores, barely aware of their little sister that morning.  Of them all, Celia loved most her older brother Hugh.  She was his little shadow, always at his heels…he didn’t mind at all…

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Seeing him near the house chopping wood—“kindlin”,as she called it—she ran over to be closer to him…but she got too close.

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Before he realized Celia was near, the hatchet swung down—and off came four little toes on one little foot.

Horrified, Hugh swooped her up in his arms and ran as gently as he could toward the house.  Hearing screams from her children outside, their mother knew trouble was coming…

What a terrible sight!  Mother Martha’s heart must have stopped at seeing her baby girl in such a state…but, being the true heroine all mothers were—had to be in those early homesteading days—she went right to work…

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Calling her daughters to fetch a quilt and place it on the sturdy, old kitchen table, she quickly gathered little Celia from Hugh’s trembling arms, laid her on the table, and carefully held the little foot with those four tiny toes hanging by just a bit of skin…

While the rest of the family held, soothed & comforted Celia, the competent mother undertook the work of a doctor—there was none nearby to call.

DSC06297_edited-1 {four shabby rosettes representing four little toes}

She carefully cleaned the toes—then put each one in it’s own place and fastened it there with a narrow strip of clean, white cloth…then a wider bandage over all.  While Martha did her work, the men of the family had been fashioning a thin piece of wood that they then bound to her little foot to keep her toes secure…

No home in the South at that time was considered properly supplied unless there was a bottle of “spiritous liquor” for emergencies just like this. 

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The bottle was brought down from it’s high shelf, and the liquid was poured over those small, now-bandaged toes.  This was repeated many times over the days that followed…

Oh!  the prayers that were uttered by this good mother and the rest of that family for their Celia.  Would her toes heal?  Only faith—and time—would tell…

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Under the mother’s faithful care, the toes healed rapidly, until all that remained to tell the tale of that horrific morning was a narrow, white line across her foot at the base of her toes…

Years later, when she was a very old woman, Celia loved nothing more than to re-tell the story to her grandchildren & great-grandchildren….

Celia Mounts Hunt 80th Birthday Photo 2 - Copy {wonderful photo of family gathering in celebration of Celia’s 80th birthday…1885}

I can just see the impish, little girl gleam in her eyes as she would then slowly…dramatically… take off her shoe and stocking while they waited with baited breath…

 Celia photo

…to see that thin, white line…

A new page made yesterday for my heritage album in honor of one of my 4th great-grandmothers.  I love making pages that tell a family story…hoping that those who come after me will never forget…

DSC06300_edited-1 {I LOVE that I have a copy of her handwriting…”Celia M. Hunt”.  }

See you soon with something new.

Julie

{Green glen check paper, ornate brackets, cameo & doily background all from Crafty Secrets’ “Creating with Vintage Patterns” CD}

{Images of the field, cabin, log-cutting, pioneer kitchen & jug found on internet}