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Inspirational Readings and Poetic Rhymes is an anthology of short stories, essays, and poetry dealing with humanity, nature, and religion. Vast arrays of human emotions are explored in various writings, and poems, some written by the author as a teenager.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.”Sunflower Maiden Speaks,” and “I Thought of You Today” 2.When American Was Young – “Sunflower Maiden and Brave Warrior” 3. “Why” 4. “Will I Live to See?” 5. Frontier Days 6. “Enchantment” 7. “The Pioneers” 8. “The Oregon Trail” 9. “Long Time ‘Fore Christmas” 10. A Long Ago Christmas 11. Grandma’s Place 12. A Summer Afternoon 13. A Great Lady 14. “My Offering” 15. Where Is My Attitude of Gratitude? 16. Why is the Third Commandment Important? 17. Sometimes I feel Depressed 18. I Find God in Unexpected Way 19. “Loneliness” 20 “I Am Much Alone” 21 Christmas Loneliness 22 Bible Verses to Call Upon 23. “A Woman’s Love” 24. A Second Chance 25. First Place Winner - American Legion Contest, Thomas Jefferson And His Contribution to American Democracy 26. “An Old Timer Discusses Miss Liberty” 27. We Are Brothers 28. Does Mom Always Know Best? 30. “Spring” 31. Visiting a National Monument 32. “Expectancy” 33. Fifteen Minutes Till Closing Time 34. “Sunset” 35 “Someday I Shall Cease to Be” 36. Car Trouble 37. “My Home” 38. Idealism Vs Naturalism 39. Does Preference in Pictures Reveal Personality? 40. Philosophical Schools of Thought Vs God’s Existence 41. How Can I Forgive? 42. Why Is Salt Important to Christians? 43. Essay on Autumn – “October Days” 44. A Moment for Reflection 45. More Reflections on Life 46. “His Daddy” 47.“Tribute to Highland High School” 48. Essay on Womanhood 49. Observations and Musings 50. Poetry of Travels Abroad – Ghana, Africa 51. Family Poetry and Birthdays 52. “I fear, I Love Too Much, Too Much, I Fear” 53. The Stranger 54. Friendship Poetry ------------------------------------- With love and respect in memory of Grandmother ANTONIA LENGEFELD SCHAUB “ A GREAT LADY ” (Her story as told to me by Grandmother when I was fifteen years of age.) My fingers holding the crochet hook move swiftly, transforming black thread into patterns and designs. I am making a handbag for my eldest daughter, Helen. "Ach ja," now, in my later years I have more time to sit and crochet. I find I even have more time to remember. Always, thoughts of the past come back to me. My mind seems to dwell more than ever on the faded pictures of my early years. I can see my image, in the mirror on the wall across from the kitchen table. My hair is gray. Once a pile of brown tresses wound round my head. My brow is smooth and my blue eyes, I notice, seem to still have their youthful glimmer. My face is free from excessive wrinkles. I can't help taking a little pride in this. Most of my friends show their age much more than I. There. Another row of the bag is done. I will go on in a few minutes, but just for a while, I'll rest my head against the back of the chair. I guess it is foolish to be angry with myself, but it is annoying to have to surrender to weakening muscles, especially when I was so strong and active in my youth. I can feel the rays of sunshine coming in from the window. They bring warmth to this old body. I sometimes feel very tired. Sixty-nine years are a long time to be in this life. Ach, ja. But these years have been full. From the time my family left Kassel, Germany, when I was a little girl of thirteen, in l893, to the present year is a long expanse of laughter and tears and sorrows. Yes, and happiness and love, too. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I can still see Momma and Poppa standing at the ship's rail. Alongside were my brothers Edmond and Eric, and Mary my younger sister, and myself. Mary and I stood with our hands tightly clasped together, gazing in awe at the great Statue of Liberty standing so majestically in New York Harbor. Holding in her left hand a scroll, and in her right arm, thrusting upward, a torch, lighting the way for weary pilgrims such as us into the promised land of America. The scene brought a hushed silence upon the grim features of other immigrants accompanying us. They were poor people, such as we, also seeking a livelihood in a new country. We were equipped with a great courage, our faith in God, and a fighting spirit to survive. Surely, poor or not, we could accomplish our goal. After docking in New York we were directed to the Immigration Office. We stayed there for three days. The next day, August thirty-first, l893, I celebrated my thirteenth birthday by exploring New York with my family. We walked for some time, wandering slowly from place to place. We stood on the Brooklyn Bridge separating New York City from Brooklyn. The water, yards below, was fresh and clear. The air about us was crisp and cool. I shivered happily. My oldest brother Edmond had written Mamma about America. He told us what a wonderful country it was, but never did I expect this! Even Kassel, could not compare to America's New York. Everything happened at once here. There was so much to do, so much to see. I wanted to remember it all. We left New York on the same steamer, the DRESTEN. I was sad to have to leave so soon. There had not been time to see much of anything. A thousand things to do and see here could not be accomplished in such a short time. My life was flying by so swiftly that when I found a moment to draw a deep breath, it left me in excitement over something new. Our next stop was Key West, Florida. There were not as many immigrants on these last miles of our journey. I recall having to part with Helga, a young Polish girl with big, dark eyes. Her family was staying on in New York. I liked Helga and promised someday to return and visit her. Yet, I could not spend time grieving over a lost friendship when right before my eyes an exciting drama of everyday life in Key West was going on. I saw, for the first time, the black people. They were calling their wares up and down the waterfront. Fascinated by them, I could hardly do anything but stare at their black faces and thick lips. On top of their kinky heads, they balanced baskets of fruit and vegetables with as much ease as though they were carrying them in their arms. The only experience I ever had with black people was when I dropped my pennies in a wooden box at church. The box was shaped like a tall, black native. The money placed in the box in Sunday School was to go to Africa to help the missionaries bring Jesus into the lives of the natives. Looking at the blacks, I was slightly disappointed. In my childish fancy, I had imagined them to have bones protruding through their nostrils, perhaps chanting some savage verse from their jungle home. Why, they were even wearing clothes similar to my own! Oh well, maybe their momma's and poppa's noses used to have bones in them. They probably didn't wear any clothes at all-- maybe just the skins of animals. Key West Florida, a city in America, certainly, not like New York. Key West had its different smells, its black people, and its quaint shops. America, I decided was a strange country, indeed. Kassel is more to my liking, yet surely, this America could not be dismissed lightly. From Key West, we sailed to Texas and docked in Galveston. We spent the night there and received our first introduction to mosquitoes. Buzzing noisily over the bed, they pounced hungrily on any uncovered part of our bodies. We slept little that evening. I awoke in the morning to find large red welts on my face and arms. I also had the misfortune to have been bitten on the eyelid and could hardly see out of my right eye because of the huge, swollen welt. "Verdormna swinehounts!" I swore daringly. It gave me great satisfaction to utter the oath. But if Mama would have heard it, I'm sure I would have had another red spot to add to my injuries. We traveled by train to Austin, Texas, where Christopher, another of my brothers living in America, was to meet us. Finding his train not due to arrive in Austin for another day, we had to pass away the time. Seeing we were German immigrants, the stationmaster suggested we attend the Sunday morning services held in a German church a few blocks away. At the church, we witnessed the inauguration of a man to the pulpit whom we would remember. When church services ended, we went to a restaurant for lunch. Hearing us conversing in German, the owner of the restaurant introduced himself. He, too, was from Germany but seemed very much at home in America. He invited us to dinner with his family that evening. I remember the meal tasted so much like those we used to have at home in Kassel. A wave of nostalgia swept over me. Homesickness, a feeling that would remain hidden to reoccur time and time again, filled me with sadness. Christopher met us the following day. Together we rode on the train to Kyle where we were to stay with Edmond and his family. This was the beginning of our struggle for existence in America. Never had I lived on a farm. Gathering eggs and watching my brother milk a cow was all very new and exciting. The long, white rows of cotton, ready for picking were soon to lose their beauty in my eyes, when over my shoulder was fitted a strap attached to a long, burlap sack. My fingers were taught to pick the cotton and thrust it into the long bag dragging along behind. From sun-up to sundown, row-by-row, my brothers, sisters and I, along with the Mexican hired hands cleared the fields. Work! Ja, ja, I was to learn the meaning of work in the years to come. My back ached many an evening from bending over the stalks of cotton and my hands developed hard calluses on the palms. My fingers were torn and bruised from the cotton bolls. I had carried some ideas about farm life, but they didn't include this. In the evenings, my father and mother would discuss our future and that of friends and relatives who had also journeyed to America. Many were the stories we heard of our people, especially the older ones, sighing for the Old Country and lamenting the fact that there was no more money left to return home. This was a time of bitter discouragement and unhappy disillusionment for many. Yes, America's land was rich and lying in wait for the tiller, but could a man work with his bare hands alone? How was he to manage with no money to buy proper tools to cultivate the soil? These, and many more, were the problems confronting my parents and our people. Our stay with Edmond was brief. After looking at some land in Waller County, Poppa decided to rent on a half-basis. That is, the landowner furnishes the planting seed, and the renter performs the work all year. Half the profit from the crop belongs to the owner. Looking back now, that was hardly a bargain, but Poppa was in no position to argue terms. We were happy to find a place to live. I will never forget that first year in Waller County in l894. Poppa planted cotton and tended the fields hopefully. Carefully, with gentle, loving hands, he toiled, as if to breathe life into the plants, yet, somehow the crop wasn't good and that year Poppa only made as his share, one hundred and fifty dollars. All winter we had been charging our groceries at the country store. We were in debt. What could we do with one hundred and fifty dollars? The family was in need of many things and the grocery bill was not paid that year. How did I know all this? Momma and Poppa tried to discuss these problems privately, but we "kinder" knew. Poppa's voice never boomed forth in hearty laughter like in the Old Country and Momma became silent and grim. Somehow, another year passed and work, work, work was the only meaning. Sometimes, we wondered why go on? But even in our darkest hours, we did go on. It was a warm day in late spring. I remember that it was almost too warm. We were working in the field, hoeing our precious cotton. I was barefoot and brown as a berry. Beads of sweat stood out on my forehead and wisps of brown hair fell across my brow as I bent over my hoe. Resting for a few minutes, I gazed about the fields. I saw the worried, strained look on Poppa's face, a few rows away. Our cotton needed water badly. Poppa pushed his old straw hat back on his head and peered up at the sky. Not a cloud was in sight. Hot dry weather. My parched throat could all but taste the sweet water from heaven. Swallowing, I saw Poppa's shoulders slouch a little more. He was so thin. I wanted to run over and throw my arms around him, to comfort him. I watched his lips form the pleading words: "Liebe -- . " He was praying for rain. Tears stung my eyes to see Poppa so humbly beaten, so worn. My back ached but I tried to go on working. Wearily, I flung the hoe down and fell upon the plowed furrows of earth. I pounded it viciously. Harsh, dry sobs racked my body. The long days of work and tiresome toil fell on me. I wept silently, squeezing the warm, brown soil through my fingers "God, please give us rain." Eagerly the soil accepted my tears. Suddenly, I sat up. Could that be a rumble I heard. Could it be? Dare I hope? I listened intently. Again, that rumble. Poppa was listening too. The others had stopped hoeing. Louder, it came this time and then a drop, so tiny, it could hardly do justice to its name, yet, there it was glistening in the dimming sunlight on my dusty hoe. It was rain! Good, sweet, fresh rain. God had answered our prayers. Another year passed. I remember going one day to a neighbor's house. I had helped Momma sew the lady a comforter blanket and as payment for my work, she gave me two hens and a rooster to start my own flock of chickens. I was delighted! I tended these chickens with a mother's true love. Every little action of theirs that seemed strange or unusual caused a feeling of fear for me. When my hens were contented, I was contented. From then on, our family usually had two eggs a day. The hens seemed to know how much we needed their help and each day faithfully presented us with an egg. Momma made noodles with the eggs for they were too precious to be eaten alone. On Sundays, we had bacon soup with noodles. The rest of the week we looked forward to Saturday's arrival. On Saturday, Momma made coffeecake. She used water instead of milk in the batter, but we didn't mind. Edmond's wife always had butter and milk for her family but we would never ask for any. Someday, we could afford this delicacy. We had cows but the butter and milk were to be sold. We all realized that. A few months after our rain, the State Missionary visited the farms around Waller County preaching and converting the people. He held meetings and we all attended. I was converted in the Baptist faith. Two months later the minister we had seen inaugurated in Austin that first Sunday we arrived, came down and baptized all the converts. I was baptized along with the others in a cattle watering hole on Edmond's farm. In the year l897, I had become very much of a young lady. I was seventeen. I was grown up enough to wear my long hair coiled around my head in a knot. My skirts were long and touched my ankles. It was a Sunday summer's evening. The air was warm and twilight was settling on the countryside. Mary and I were walking to church, about a mile down the road. Looking back, I saw a buggy approaching. As it drew near, I recognized it as being the carriage of our neighbors, the Wegans. They stopped and asked if we wanted a ride to church. We certainly did, and we climbed up on the seats. Sitting beside Mr. Wegan was a young man I had never seen before. Mr. Wegan introduced us to his son's friend, Fred Schaub. Mr. Schaub lived with his parents in Gatesville. He had come for a visit to the farm with Mr. Wegan's son. It had taken the young men a day to travel by wagon from Gatesville to Kyle. I had never been to the big city of Gatesville. Mr. Schaub was well dressed and appeared prosperous. I didn't think about him after that meeting, and if anyone had told me that four years later, I would become Fred Schaub's bride, I would have laughed at him. In July, l897, I began work as a hired girl in San Marcos. Our landlord, Mr. Gross hired me. I was to receive eight dollars a month in return for household chores for his family of eight. They lived a short distance from town. Mrs. Gross was a second wife and lived a very, easy life of comfort and luxury. I was given a room, poorly furnished with a wooden bed, a washstand and a place for my trunk of clothes. I entered my work with high spirits, for I wanted very much to please Mrs. Gross. I had learned to understand English gradually, all these years, and I could speak it well enough to get by with the children. In the morning, at five o'clock, I was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for the family. Mr. Gross and the children of his former marriage ate first, at six o'clock. I ate with them. Mrs. Gross had breakfast at seven, with her children, also of a former marriage. Breakfast was a solemn affair. I was completely ignored. Mr. Gross was a quiet man, moving like a shadow. I guess I would too, if I had to endure Mrs. Gross all my life. After her breakfast, Mrs. Gross had the Negro hitch up her buggy, and she and her children would go to town to visit her mother. I milked three or four cows each morning and separated the cream. I cleaned the six rooms in the house and swept off the two porches. Then I washed the dishes, made the beds, and kept the yards in order. The only help Mrs. Gross gave me were her unnecessary suggestions in the kitchen. My mother had trained me well. I was a competent cook at this time. However, the more I tried to please Mrs. Gross, the more work she found for me. In a few months, it was beginning to show on me. I couldn't keep going at the rate she was driving me. Bed bugs added to my trials and I didn't rest at night. The old wooden bed was a perfect home for them, and the walls of my room were also occupied. Many times I would wake in the night, lift a corner of the bed sheet, and kill the bugs. Finally, my health broke and I returned home ill. I had malaria fever. During my illness, Mrs. Gross didn't trouble herself to inquire about me or to offer help in any way. I lost a month's wages. When I returned to work, I found the house had been repainted. I stayed on for another month. Then I was able to inform Mrs. Gross that I was leaving. My brother Arthur was working in Dallas, and he had persuaded me to come to the city to work. He had secured a position for me. Mrs. Gross was very angry that I was leaving. She was mean and unkind to me. She told me that she suspected me of taking some of her jewelry. I quietly replied that she could examine my trunk any time she wished. When Arthur came for me, she grudgingly bade me goodbye, and then as was her abrupt way, disappeared in the house. But nothing could dampen my spirits. It was wonderful to be leaving the farm to work in the city. When we arrived in Dallas, my brother directed me to my first employers. They were a rich couple that lived in a large two-story house. I was to earn ten dollars a month plus room and board. Arthur was their butler. I began work there but somehow from the first, the woman and I couldn't see things straight. Try as I might, I could never meet her requirements. Many times she requested me to repeat a task I had finished merely for the sake of keeping me busy. I was quite fast in doing housework. I remember sweeping the carpets until my arms ached. Knowing surely, now there could be no fault with my work, I would take on another chore, only to hear to my dismay: "Arthur! Antonia did this carpet badly. Take the broom and sweep it over. I've never before seen such lazy work. These German hired girls are impossible!" I didn't burst into tears, for I had become immune to reproaches and harsh words that came my way. But I did find new employment with a Catholic lady of society. She had two children, a little girl six and a little boy four. A Negro woman was maid to the children and looked to their care. The lady was away from the house a great deal of the time. She was devout in her religion and attended Mass regularly. I was given a lovely room with a long bed, a dressing table, and a stove. It was the nicest room I'd ever had. I was very happy with my new work, although I was busy all day long. When the children were in bed, their mother and I would stand there while they said the Lord's Prayer. I learned to say this prayer in English from listening to them every evening. I will never forget the time I was ill and had to stay in my room. Mrs.Leben couldn't do enough for me. I wept to myself for none of my previous employers had shown even so much as a little consideration for my welfare. They treated me as if I were a machine to be kept running at top speed. So, the time passed from my thirteenth year to my twentieth year and each was filled with learning and adjustment to this new life in America. Every day presented a new problem to be solved, and a new task to be accomplished. Early in my twentieth year, I began working for an elderly lady of seventy years. She was tiny and wrinkled with a mass of gray hair she pinned in a circular knot on top of her head. She was a woman of considerable wealth. She owned a bank and a jewelry store. Her home was in the upper half of an apartment house. Although it was small and compact, the place held a certain charm derived from this little old lady. I had been in more luxurious surroundings, but I was grateful for simplicity again. I believe I was hired more as a companion to the old woman for my household chores were minimal; a little washing and ironing, and then there was lots of spare time left over. My tiny room was next to the kitchen. It was comfortably furnished to fulfill my needs. I learned to love this little old lady who called me "Annie" and we lived together happily. It always amazed me to watch her. She was quite spry for all her years. Many mornings she rose at an early hour, and insisted on doing so, even though I gently scolded her about it. She would reply tartly that, "There was marketing to do, and it took a critical eye, so as not to be swindled by the stores these days." It would have been no use for me to tell her that I was more than competent when marketing, that I could find a flaw easily with my thrifty, economical ability. Instead, I only smiled and brought her the shopping basket. Putting a long, black shawl over her shoulders, and humming gaily to herself, Mrs. Knopfle and her little black dog, Skippy, tottered out of the house to the corner market. I kept an eye out for her through the window, and in a short while, but long enough so as to have accomplished an exacting and thrifty shopping tour, Mrs. Knopfle would return. Her old, black shawl of some fifty years service, blowing slightly about her tiny figure, was proof enough that it was she. We lived in uneventful tranquility with the exception of a few minor incidents, such as the time Skippy, the little black dog was run over by a horse-driven milk cart. Havoc reigned in the tiny apartment! We quickly summoned the doctor. After examining Skippy, he found him to be only slightly injured. He bandaged his bruises while Mrs. Knopfle stood by stroking his dark, fuzzy head and murmuring loving consolation. For the first time in my years of working for others, I had time to spend to myself. I began thinking about my future and trying to decide what I should do. Many of my girl friends I'd met at church were married or soon would be. I was going to be twenty-one soon and had not, as yet, found anyone to my liking. My ideas on marriage were very practical. I certainly wanted a man who could provide for me. It was obvious that I was only a "hired girl" but still, maybe there would be someone who could offer me a secure marriage. Another portion of my time was spent in thinking of home. I longed to return to Momma and Poppa. I'd been sending large sums of my income home every month, and I corresponded regularly. Yet, I missed them more each day. It was a lovely January morning in Dallas, even though the wind was blowing rather fiercely outside. I was in my room lying across the bed thinking about a letter I'd just received. Only a few minutes before, the postman had come. I was now reading a letter from my brother Eric who was living at home. Eric wrote that he had met a fellow by the name of Fred Schaub at a party in Kyle. They had begun conversing. It seemed that Fred Schaub was looking for a special friend, a woman with whom he could become acquainted. He had tried developing a friendship around Kyle, but the women were either unattainable or married. Eric added, for my benefit, that Fred was a very attractive man and his family was of good social standing. Eric had already described me to Fred, who would like very much to meet me. I would be receiving a letter from him soon. One morning, I saw the fat postman waddling down the walk. Somehow I knew he had a letter for me. Peeking out the window, I counted each of his lumbering steps, hoping he wouldn't decide to trip over the stone directly in his path, or--but no, now he had reached the mailbox safely. Jerking the door open, I flew down the stairs to the letterbox. I scanned the envelopes quickly. Yes, here it is, "Miss Antonia Lengefeld,"--and what lovely handwriting! Within a few minutes I had skipped up the stairs, two at a time, and hurriedly placed the other correspondence on Mrs.Knopfel's desk. I plopped down on my bed, tore the envelope open, slowly unfolded the paper, and read: "Dear Miss Lengefeld”--telling me he was Fred Schaub, that Eric had talked of me to him, and that he would like very much to meet at some future time, but for the present, we could become acquainted through correspondence. Fred told me a bit about himself. I could hardly wait to answer his letter, which I did immediately. From that time on, we wrote regularly. Each letter from him became dearer than the one before. But I still had not met him. Fred sent me a photograph of himself. I thrilled to see how handsome and manly he was. Then, I recognized him vaguely as the man who had ridden to church one Sunday evening with the Wegans who had also given Mary and me a ride. Why, of course, this Fred Schaub was the good-looking man in the neatly, tailored suit. I soon returned a photograph of myself. Fred wrote such sweet compliments in his letter that my cheeks still burn at the thought This Fred Schaub took my breath away! In March, he wrote he was coming to Dallas on business and would stop by to see me. The day of his arrival, I could hardly do any of my work. Mrs. Knopfle only laughed and teased me about my gentleman friend. It was nearing noon when I heard the doorbell ring. My heart pounded loudly. My feet suddenly seemed glued to the floor. I couldn't move. "Ach do libe himmel!" I can't move. Still the bell rang, impatiently now. Oh, he'll go away-- I'll never get to see him--and oh-- I felt a gentle push from Mrs. Knopfle. The frightened thoughts vanished as my loosened feet carried me to the door. "Vegates, Antonia." Softly, he spoke, and a strong hand reached out and held mine. I looked up into the deepest, bluest eyes I'd ever seen. "Vegates, Fred." We stood gazing at one another for a few moments. With a jerk, I regained my composure and stammered, "Oh, Fred, won't you come in." I stood aside. The room seemed to grow smaller with his presence. Mrs. Knopfle was sitting in her rocking chair. Skippy leaned against her, his head resting on her knees. I presented Fred. Then after a few minutes, excused myself to finish preparing lunch. From the kitchen, I could hear them chatting. I hoped Fred would like my cooking. Throughout the meal, I was in a state of nervous tension and could eat nothing. Fred and Mrs. Knopfle seemed not to notice my anxiety. Fred complimented my meal. He really did seem to enjoy the food. Mrs. Knopfle went to her room after lunch to take a nap. Fred lingered a while longer, watching me wash the dishes and put the kitchen in order. I could feel his eyes on me as I worked. I felt confident and experienced, for in a kitchen, I was very much at home. We talked about relatives and Kyle and other similar subjects. Then only too soon, Fred rose to leave, for he had not yet transacted his business. His hand lingered in mine as we said goodbye. He seemed to be trying to say something, but instead, he placed a gentle kiss upon my brow. In the following letters, Fred talked often of our visit. Eventually, he mustered up enough courage to say what he had tried to say the day of his visit, when he kissed my forehead instead. It wasn't a surprise to know that Fred loved me. I had felt it for a long time. It seemed right that I should love him too. When he wrote and asked me to marry him, I was very happy. I was happy because not only did Fred come from a good family and could provide for me, but I loved him too. Yes, I loved him the minute I saw him standing on the porch steps of Mrs. Knopfle's apartment. The spring months passed swiftly and then June. July fourteenth was Fred's birthday. I spent nearly a month's earnings for his gifts. I purchased two gold clasps for his shirt-cuffs, six handkerchiefs and a black tie. Fred came to visit me on his birthday. We rode the trolley car to the city of O'Cliff, a small suburb of Dallas. We walked in the park and sat on a bench where we could be alone and talk. Fred took my hand and facing me, proposed to me. "Annie, Annie, libechen. Ich liebe de. Will you be my wife?" I felt the red creeping up from my throat and spreading out to my temples, but I answered, "Yes, Fred. Oh, yes." Suddenly, I was in his arms and his lips were on mine. I knew I loved this man with all my heart. Fred told me he had acquired a small farm for us as a start, but I knew it didn't matter what we had, as long as there was our love. When I wrote home and told Mamma I was going to marry Fred Schaub who had already asked Poppa's consent, she told me to stop sending money home and to use it for some of the things I would need to begin my own home. Fred and I set the date of our marriage for the month of September. In the short time following July, I bought a few tablecloths, a bedspread, several towels and not many other things could I purchase, because I didn't have any more money. We had very little to begin our housekeeping, but Fred bought me a new stove for our kitchen as a wedding present which made me very happy. Momma gave me a shower. There were only a few close friends of the family present at the wedding. I received a set of dishes, service for six, four sheets and pillowcases and a feather bed. Mrs. Knopfel gave us a set of silverware. I made my wedding gown out of black cashmere yardage that I purchased for fifty cents a yard in Dallas. I wore a white wreath of wax, orange blossoms over my hair. Speaking the vows before Mr. Ekrutt, the minister, I resolved to make this man of my choice as happy as I knew how, giving to him my love and devotion until death parted us. "Ach ja," so the years have rolled by and I bore four sons and three daughters to my husband. Now they are grown men and women seeking their livelihood in the world. Fred is gone and our children are grown. They have families of their own, and at last, I have time to rest. To rest, ja, and I am ready for rest after a long life of work and happiness too. I used to think when I was young, that when my hair turned gray and the blood coursing through my veins became sluggish, there would be no place for me and my lonely life would dwindle away. Instead, my grandchildren have taken a place in my heart and so busy am I caring for my flock, that I'm never lonely and unwanted. I live each day fully, thanking God for his goodness to me, and in the evenings, my spirit lingers in a sweet remembrance of happy memories. I wait patiently until the eve of night shall end for me, and the ray of dawn will appear. Then I will lift my outstretched arms to be held by my own true love, to be drawn to his bosom. Then, together, we will journey on to find the glory of a new life in Paradise, once again, together.
WE ARE BROTHERS
Those who know about religion recognize that no population, no country, no age, has a monopoly on faith, truth, and goodness. The simple, deep desires of all people are the same; the fundamental religious truths are universal.
To show the will and purpose of God is to find one’s better self. To link the small, individual life with the larger life of humanity gives man dignity and value. In every faith, some have found that for which all search—unity between the world of the earth and sun joined in a connection to an unselfish meaning for human life as part of the one life, the God who is in all and above all. The world of the spirit is man’s true home.
In America religious worship can be found in many forms from Protestant to Catholic to Judiasm. These comprise the largest groups. American life is made richer because of the stately beauty of ancient Judiasm, the mother religion of us all; by the rich beauty and devout adoration of the Catholic High Mass; by the meaningful silence of the Friends Meeting, and lastly, by the joy and singing of the Protestant congregations.
Although there is a difference in religions, most of us agree there is one God, we uphold the bible; there is one day set aside for worship, and we agree, we should try to live our lives according to the Ten Commandments.
Most of the content of our different religions can be summed up into two rules:
l. You should love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and soul and mind.
2.Treat others as you would have them treat you.
In this troubled world today, let us hold out our arms to our brothers in a loving and giving way. Let our prayers be to show tolerance and understanding to those who hold different beliefs, and let us try harder to live in peace with one another.