Today was baking day, and even though Ina’s heart was with making the rag doll, she knew her schedule might keep her from it. The success of their farm-home required that she do her part. Today she would bake four loaves of bread, a batch of cookies, and an apple pie. And as a special mid-morning treat for Jack, she would make her signature cinnamon raisin bread. Ina was a good cook and an expert with a wood range. She would never have electricity or plumbing, but she would put her baked goods up against any product from an electric oven.
About 9:00, just as she was removing the cinnamon bread from the oven, the phone jangled – ring ring rinnnnng. Oh dear! Ina quickly wiped her hands on a towel and hurried to lift the receiver.
|Ben's house (gone now)|
|Ina's view of Ben's house|
“Hello Mama? It’s Shirley. Mama, Uncle Ben is making a trip to town tomorrow and he’ll bring me home.” (Ina's brother Ben lived about a mile to the north of them. She could just see the roof of his house when she looked out the kitchen window.)
It was welcome news. Ina had missed Shirley, her youngest child, for the week or so she was visiting in town. She was always glad when Shirley had opportunities away from the farm, but she had missed her assistance with the chores – and her company – especially now that she had taken on more Christmas activities. Shirley had been the only child consistently at home for ten years, which naturally made mother and daughter close.
“Do you need anything from town, Mama,” asked Shirley.
“Yes, two boxes of rolled cotton,” replied Ina.
“WHAT? Is someone injured?”
“Oh no,” laughed Ina. “It’s for stuffing. I’ll show you when you get here. Be sure to bring the cotton.”
|Ina's tape, thread, pin cushion|
Ina might have cut out the doll last night, but after finishing the dishes from their light supper, she was tired. It would be best to work in daylight anyway. And besides, she loved to read of an evening. She had already pulled out the stack of Christmas magazines and books she saved from year to year. She never tired of reading the inspirational stories. Perhaps a few new magazines would come her way this holiday season to be added to the stack.