Our Grandma Mabel, who lives in Largo, Florida celebrated her 90th birthday in February. We've had some opportunities recently to visit with her and have enjoyed hearing about her childhood, her mission work, and her life with Grandpa. We have been so blessed to have this chance to get to know Grandma Mabel better.
During our last visit we asked if we could interview her for this blog. She excitedly agreed and settled back in her chair with a twinkle in her eye. I knew we were about to hear some good stories!
|Grandma Mabel's purple birthday cake|
|Grandma Mabel sitting in her chair holding her cake|
She was born in 1922 in Curwensville, Pennsylvania and moved to Endicott, New York when she was seven. She and her twin brother are the youngest of 9 children. She said being the youngest was wonderful as there weren't many chores for her to do- leaving plenty of time to do what she loved most- READ.
She was told of Jesus when she was 7 years old by her Sunday School teacher.
When she was a child her favorite book was a book of poems by Annie Johnson Flint. Here is a link to some of her articles www.homemakerscorner.com/annie
Grandma Mabel shared some of her 'favorites':
hymn: All The Way My Savior Leads Me
Bible verse: Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
dessert: Chocolate Fudge Sundae
Grandma Mabel's favorite game she played as a child with the neighbor girls was called 'School'. She chuckled as she told us how they played it.
She never played a sport, but she enjoyed watching baseball. She said she remembers watching her brothers and the neighbor boys playing.
She also told us about her most memorable Christmas. She was about 5 years old that year. When she came down the stairs she saw the most beautiful doll and cradle, just for her! She still has that doll today and although it is 85 years old- and well loved, it is still beautiful.
|Grandma Mabel holding her dolly. He is dressed in a crochet jacket and booties that Mabel made herself!|
This is my favorite dolly, isn't she perfectly sweet?
See her wee hands full of dimples, see her two dear little feet.
See her real hair, long and curly, eyes just as blue as the sky.
Oh how I love my dear doll! sometimes quite sadly, I cry,
What should I do if I lost you? Just cry and cry and cry!
Dolly wears beautiful dresses, dresses of pink, blue and white.
Dainty silk socks, tiny slippers, fastened with buckles so bright.
Hats trimmed with feathers and ribbons, prettiest hats I could find.
When we go walking together, dear little dolly and I.
Children crowd round us exclaiming, oh my, oh my, oh my.
When every evening the shadows, through the wide window panes creep,
Bedtime and sleepy time bringing, dolly must go fast asleep.
Gently I hold her and rock her, singing a soft lullaby.
Go to sleep, dear little dolly, mother is near, do not cry.
Go to sleep ,dear little dolly, oh hush, oh hush a bye.
Grandma Mabel met Grandpa in 1942 at Baptist Bible Seminary in Johnson City, New York. She worked as a missionary with the inner-city black children for many years. They were married in 1960. They moved around a lot, as some pastors do, but her favorite place to live was Tulerosa, New Mexico. Their vacations were trips home to Waterloo, Iowa to visit family.
We asked Grandma Mabel if she collects anything. She said that her most cherished treasure, other than the doll, was a little trinket, (a little bigger then a votive candle) a neighbor woman gave to her when she was about ten years old. She believes it is more than 100 years old so we carefully looked, but didn't touch!
|Grandma Mabel's trinket|
Grandma Mabel always preferred cursive writing and to wear shoes. She was never much of a 'barefoot girl'.
Her first car was a Datsun and was bought for her by Grandpa.
We asked her what illnesses she had as a child.. she laughed and said "Oh, I had them all!"
As an adult she enjoyed being a pastor's wife, and a mother, playing the piano, knitting, crocheting and reading.
Grandma Mabel now resides in an assisted living facility and is unable to do most of the activities she enjoyed when she was younger, but she still has a wonderful attitude and lots of laughs and chuckles and stories to tell.
|Grandma Mabel made all her doilies. This is a large one with a lamp sitting on top. A framed picture of her husband is beside it.|
|All of her doilies... and these aren't even all of them!|