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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
Page 6


“John will always care for you, Girl. Just like he wasn’t afraid to dive into that icy water to save your life. He’s taken you as part of his own and it is our way to take care of what is ours.” Mary spoke with kindness to her son’s wife.

“I know it, Mam.” Zona exercised respect. On the other hand she did feel secure with this family. She liked the way they treated their young people as though they were truly thankful to have them near by while they spent many hours teaching one or another craft or skill they possessed to them. Her own mother was a strict disciplinarian in the Biblical sense of “not sparing the rod, nor spillin’ the child.”

This was a nice change for her. To be accepted and immediately liked by the elders of the family gave her a good feeling about herself and she felt valued. It seemed every task attempted was met with approval in some way or another.

“Gal, you’ve gone way out of your way on that job.” Her father-in-law was genuinely pleased. Especially her sewing was met with pride.

The Osage people who were in a transitional way of dress were anxious to employ her to sew up garments for them. They were suffering the move to this cramped area but somehow managed to keep to their ceremonies. Fabric they needed sometimes was hard won and scarce but those tribe’s members knew how to manage for money to buy it out of Jake Bartles trader’s store.

The colors were rich, vibrant and the weave was of a soft silk or velvet material. Scraps from the beautiful shirts left over were given to Zona and she busily worked them into a crazy quilt for the richest baby blanket any child could have. There were, hand-embroidered, fancy stitches surrounding each cut and color. Dark strong hues in either silk or velvet with the light thread of the embroidery work was lovely enough anyone would have wished to own one like it.

“John sewed the suit he wore when you were married.” The mother was proud of her son’s efforts.

“He won’t have to do that anymore,” Zona was serious.


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