At the outset of Unmistakably Yours, Hank Murphy, proprietor of a fine new grocery emporium, is desperate to ensure adequate supplies to see his community through winter have arrived safely in Mountain Home. Much like Aesop’s fables about ants and grasshoppers, the American-Victorian era is ripe with moral-rich stories urging hard work during the summer to secure safety and comfort in the winter. This vintage newspaper article from 1880 showcases an example of the era’s “stories with a moral”.
Our inventive and problem-solving Victorian American ancestors patented some amazing stuff. One of those things were workable “snow tires” for their 19th century farm wagons and buggies. Not everyone owned a sleigh, and even if they did, the wagon bed was often needed. See Victorian America’s solution!
Harvest Celebrations from the mid- to latter-half of the 19th century, as reported in newspapers in the United States, show the different types of “Harvest Customs” celebrated. Some customs and words were borrowed from various German immigrants, others were simple gatherings after the work of the harvest with time for thanksgiving and gratitude for adequate (or abundant) food to last until next harvest season.
Quilt-making was an important part of “women’s work” in the 19th century (as well as before and after). My ancestors’ journals tell of a ransom demanded for the return of their little boy, kidnapped by the Black Hawk Indians in central Utah–including five quilts. The family got by with husk-filled bedding until Mother could gather enough wool from the barbed-wire fences to make batting for another quilt. She wasn’t alone in this frugal (and apparently necessary) practice.
TODAY is Release Day! PLEASANCE’S FIRST LOVE is here! It’s #6 in the acclaimed Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Series.
Weather can be a character in a book, just like a person or an animal. In the case of The Marshal’s Surrender, Winter is a setting and a villainous character, hiding clues, endangering lives, impacting nearly every scene as a sense of place and timing. Have you ever thought of weather in the role of character?