A Little Twig from Ladonia (My Family Tree)
By Mary Katherine James Dowell -- 1987
Provided by Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt
Mother Roan -- (1 of 2)
My grandmother, Emma Irene was a very remarkable lady. I thought so when I was a child and fifty years later I am thoroughly convinced of it. She could do anything and when she dressed up you would have thought she had never done a lick of work in her life. The first thing after breakfast she would go back upstairs and put her hair up in "kid curlers". Then she was ready for her days work. That depended on the season of the year. She always raised a good garden and supplied our table as well as several neighbors with fresh vegetables. She canned all the surplus and she always made sure there was plenty for our winter use. I can see those filled jars now sitting on the cabinet read to be taken down to the storm cellar.
She had one of the prettiest yards in town. There were always blooming flowers. When people were sick, she always had beautiful cut flowers to take them. When there was a death in town she would make a spray or wreath to send using small wire hair pins to pin the pansies or whatever flower she happened to be using to the form. I always thought the pansies were the prettiest. I was allowed to hand her the pins as her busy hands formed her creation.
Emma Irene was a born seamstress. She could make anything and always did all the sewing for her family as well as for other people. When I was going to have a new dress she would hand me the Sears and Roebuck catalog and tell me to pick out how I wanted it made. Then she would get a newspaper and scissors and proceed to cut out her pattern. When the garment was finished, you would have thought it was an original from the smartest shop in Dallas. It was an original - Emma's original. She could sew for one day and make enough to hire "Aunt Fannie" to do the washing and ironing for a month.
She raised all the chickens we could eat and always had plenty of fresh eggs. She churned and sold milk and butter to the neighbors as well as eggs and chickens. Her bank was under the shelf paper in the old safe that was in the pantry. When I wanted money it was always there. Mine for the asking.
Mother Roan had three daughters and not one of them could sew like she could. Mother Roan could cut out a dress in the morning and by afternoon it was all finished and ready to be worn.
"Auntie" (Zeuleka) came closest to being a seamstress like Mother Roan and as I grew older she took over the making of my clothes.
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Her mother's book provided to us by:
Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt