Today was mending day. Ina quickly took care of any small tears in their textiles to preserve them as long as she could. Sometimes she was impatient with Jack for tearing his clothes on a nail or barbed wire. Such things would happen! But Shirley found no mending in yesterday’s ironing, so that left them free today to work on Christmas gifts and write cards.
hristmas didn’t come early in Ina’s world – that is, she didn’t decorate early. Getting ready for Christmas meant making gifts, writing Christmas cards, cleaning house, baking, wrapping gifts and mailing packages. Decorating, including bringing in the Christmas tree, happened on Christmas Eve when all was (hopefully) in readiness, but as a reminder of the season, Ina put Myrtle’s old cardboard Santa on the mantel beside the old clock.
During lunch, Ina broached the subject of the Christmas tree. Had Jack a suitable tree in mind (“suitable” being the operative word)? Yes, he had his eye on a fir out north on the edge of the field. He had been watching it for several years, he said, and keeping it back for a special Christmas when family might visit. Accessing the tree would be fairly easy, and he looked forward to taking Sadie with him to cut it.
Once the lunch dishes were finished, Shirley and Ina sat at the table to write cards and work on gifts. Today was the day that the rag doll would get a face. The instructions suggested embroidering the face before the doll was sewn, but Ina was in a quandary over it and put it off. She didn’t care for the heart-shaped mouth in the picture, nor did she like the nose. She wished her artistic daughter Myrtle might be there to draw the face on the doll, but suddenly, as Ina studied the blank face, the features took shape in her mind's eye and she sketched them on. Then, choosing the appropriate thread from her little box, she stitched those features. With a face, the doll had personality, and Ina began to think of her as “Lucy.” KW