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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
Come, Sit Thee Down, Girl


Gertrude, Bellzona’s oldest child, had days filled with endless play. Her two younger brothers loved their sister but, as boys are prone to do, they sometimes tormented her, unmercifully.

Dennis simpered along on tip toes and pretend tiny steps, while he swung an imaginary skirt around him. “Ain’t I so purty?” Dennis smiled a close lipped grimace to mock his sister.

“No, I’m the most gorjusss, cain’t you see. Why I even got a boyfriend and Dan-el is his name.” Lee chimed in with Dennis’s teasing.

“Mama! Mama! Dennis and Lee are just terrible. They are teasing me again!” Gertrude couldn’t cope with the boys when they both ganged up on her.

Bell was never far from her children’s side and she knew the total goings on with the boys, and their harassing of their sister. The mother was shrewd in her ways with children though. A lot of the time she simply ignored their orneryness.

“Gertrude, come, sit thee down here beside me, at my sewing machine.” Bell was catching her attention.

The girl slid in onto the bench like-seat, beside her mother. The machine was the thing to catch her attention. Ordinarily her mother did not let the children get close to it.

“Open that top drawer and get my pin cushion out.” Bell knew just how to intrigue, and catch the girl up into her world of seemingly mystical whimsy.

The girl was immediately fascinated with her mother’s plot to pull her into learning a craft. Oh, the satisfaction of finally being allowed to hold the little porcelain shoe that had a piece of silk covering a cotton stuffing, which was Bellzona’s pincushion.

Take the edges of this square piece of soft fabric I’ve saved from the old worn out sheets for the bed. With your fingers turn the edges and press them into a narrow hem. Take the pins and pin just in a few
places, so the hem will stay. You will need to thread a needle and put on this thimble. We will hem these towels for the tea cups. So began the girl’s training at her mother’s knee. Many of the lovely dresses she sewed later, made her truly a hauntingly, beautiful girl and even later, a charming woman.

Click on photo to enlarge and then again to enlarge for details of Gertrudes sewing. Some of Gertrudes writing are in my first published book, but not the pictures.

Gertrude as a girl before she married:
http://electricscotland.com/history/america/donna/picturebook/8889.htm

Gertrude with her husband and child
http://electricscotland.com/history/america/donna/picturebook/198199200201.htm

Gertrude a little older here:
http://electricscotland.com/history/america/donna/picturebook/206207.htm


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