ter Noakes and I loved to hear her testimony when she would tell us how, after the
Saints had been driven from their homes and her children were near starvation, she had
taken from her store of provisions the last morsel of flour, and baked it into bread for
her hungry children. When they had used up all the bread and they were hungry again, their
only chance of relief was to trust in the Lord. Many times she had gone back to that same
flour sack and found sufficient flour for another baking of bread. Also, she often told of
the time when the Saints who had been driven from their homes were camped on the banks of
the river, and so many of the saints were sick and starving, unable to obtain food and the
quail came into the camp in such number that even the sick could reach out from their beds
and catch the quail. In that way, the saints were saved from starvation.
Uncle John Winterton was my second Sunday School teacher, who taught us to read from one of the small Sunday School books.
It was the custom in those early days to give tickets each Sunday to all children in attendance. After a student had accumulated sufficient tickets, they could be traded for pictures of different sizes according to the number of tickets. The story I am to tell may sound childish to some, but to me it is a sacred memory. I am thinking of two pictures given Brother Will and Brother John in Sunday School. They were framed and hung upon the wall in our home. After little John died, Mother said I could have his picture. As time rolled on, I cherished it more and more. But, alas, it was burned in the Woodland fire.
During the fall and winter of 1888 and 1889, Father and Uncle Will Widdison built a new room to be used as a living room for Mother, with a nice upstairs room to be used as a bedroom for the boys. It was joined onto the kitchen of the old house. Oh, how we loved that new bedroom in the winter time. It was always warm when there was a fire downstairs. However, it was too warm in the summer time and we boys would take our beds out to the shed or hay barn. This practice we never changed while at Fathers home. The original two room house had not been enough for a family of ten, including parents, besides, we often had others in the home to stay with us.
Mother was proud of her newly added rooms and she was very happy. How comfortable her new home would be soon. But, said she, why not have a dinner and a dance before moving much furniture into the new room? The upstairs room can be fixed up first for the boys bedroom. "You know, William," she said, "February 21 will be our wedding anniversary: I would like to invite to our home our friends and neighbors and give them a dinner on that day." Her suggestions pleased Father very much. He was always glad to see her happy. If she would be happy, she must be the one to entertain. Mother prepared a grand dinner and the home was crowded for the dance at night. Edward Buys was there with his violin, Wm. Edward, his son, with a guitar as I remember, and Wm. Bancroft with his dulcimer. It was a wonderful day of pleasure and mirth, but I feel sure that Mother must have been very tired. Father said, "Nellie worked too hard, she overdone her strength, and never seemed to feel the same again."
March eighth was a beautiful sun shining day. The snow was nearly all gone. Mother seemed especially interested that day. She went with Father out around the yards among the cattle and sheep. Yes, life seemed more beautiful than ever. She now had a comfortable home. Things would be better for the family. The home was being better arranged, and what could be nicer than a good organ, and music in the home? Fred Brewster
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