Hey there friend!
This past Friday I took the day and went to Cambridge City, Indiana. I love this town because it’s not only beautiful and full of history, being on what was known as the National Road, but also because it’s downtown charming and the streets are lined with small cafes and antique stores. It is the perfect place for me to step away into a little bit bigger town but still avoiding busy roads and a bustling big city.
It was in the last antique store I went into where I found something unexpectantly intriguing. I typically never spend much time looking in the tall glass cases with trinkets and what nots, however, before leaving I perused through and is where I stumbled upon a stack of envelopes tied with a ribbon. Had they not been locked behind the glass I would have picked them up and thumbed through them, but instead passed by. As I turned away from the cases to start to head out, I walked along the last wall I hadn’t scoured and saw a scrapbook opened to pages with Valentines glued down. It was marked “turn of the century scrapbook.” As I carefully peeked at the other pages I knew, as a keeper of keepsakes and scrapbooks myself, I had to have it.
I spoke with the clerk about the book, and I learned that the book had just been brought in. He thought it was interesting how the owner, Clara Bell Kendall, used an old notebook from her time at Earlham College as her scrapbook, noting how resourceful she was. He went on to mention that there was a stack of letters that came in and he pointed to the glass case I’d been looking at and I knew I had to keep the collections together. Altogether, there is a lot of interesting things I want to share with you. But with-it being Valentines’ s Day, I’ll begin by sharing a letter dated February 13, 1899, that is written to Clara from her brother Elmer as well as some of the Valentine cards she received from when she was a teacher.
I hope you will enjoy not only reading the letter and Valentines, but that you will appreciate the penmanship and stories conveyed in this letter as well as the relationship between the siblings whose lives came long before us in a much different era than the one, we live in today. I’d love to hear what you think of the letter so feel free to respond directly to this email.
Next week I will share even more about the life of Clara Bell Kendall, including a couple of photographs and a surprising find folded up inside one of the letters!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Something to Consider
Grounded in the Middle Podcast
If you’re on the go this week, join me on my podcast, Grounded in the Middle. This past week was the first episode of season 3. It was the first in the “What’s Your Story?” series where the focus is on YOU and your story. I’ll share a bit of what I have learned about why it’s important we take time to reflect on how we’ve been shaped over the years and how to move forward with or without some of the anchors that have been holding us in place.
Unapologetically You: Embracing Authenticity and Showing Up in the World- Navigating Societal Pressures and Expectations Part 2 – Grounded in the Middle.
Recipe Exchange-Now Worldwide!
If you missed joining this month’s snail mail recipe exchange, no worries! You can simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and mailing address and I will be happy to put you on the list for next month’s exchange.
Inspiration behind the exchange. Gathering around the table with those we love offers us the unique opportunity to share of those who came long before us through preparing recipes that have been passed down from family members from one generation to the next. I want to invite you to the table and have you share a family recipe + brief story, if there perhaps is one, through the Farmhouse Storyteller Recipe Exchange.
How the recipe exchange works. You will choose a recipe of your choice. I encourage you to neatly handwrite your recipe (like the old days) and a note to say hello and share about the recipe you are sending. The note you include could share about yourself, your Instagram account handle, why you enjoy this recipe, what time of year it’s typically made (if significant), or if it’s a special recipe that’s been passed down through generations. You will then send it off in the mail to who you’ve been assigned to (included in an email from me) and they will send a recipe to you. Did you know there are participants this month that span from Alaska to Florida?!
At the end of the month, I will ask if anyone wants to “opt out” of the exchange. If there is a majority of people who want to continue the exchange for the month of March, I will email those participating with a new name and address. Be sure to use and follow the hashtag #farmhousestorytellerrecipeexchange to connect with our community and invite your friends to join in March!
Farmhouse Storyteller Playlist
If you’d like to tune in to what I’m listening to out here in the middle, you can join me on Spotify where I have a playlist titled, Farmhouse Storyteller. You can easily find the station by directly clicking play to the right or searching for Farmhouse Storyteller on the Spotify app.