The Dodo Lady by Mildred Grant

            Eleanor’s was bright sky blue. Mine was fire engine red, but the hand knit tams had the added feature of being incredibly soft and fuzzy.Angora? Perhaps, though I remembered Aunt Mary’s recent comment that Angora yarn was prohibitively expensive to knit Christmas gifts for two pre-teen age girls.

            “A what kind of brush?” Mom asked my Grandmother.

            “Sh-sh!” Grandma cautioned. “I’ll explain later. For now we’ll just let her think we believe it’s angora.” Continue reading

Julia Etta Claflin by Mildred Grant

             Born in 1866, Julia Etta Claflin was motherless before she was a year old. “Suitable” arrangements for her care meant institutionalizing her many miles north from her father and his family’s home in Lyme,New Hampshire. John, Julia Etta’s father visited her faithfully, often bringing and playing for her the violin he had made.

            John married again to a patrician lady from Manchester,New Hampshire, who was unwilling, as a new bride, to take Julia Etta as part of being married to John.

            Over her years at the school, Julia Etta learned the skills that would enable her to find employment as a domestic or get married. Those were her choices when she had to leave the school as soon as she turned sixteen. Trusting her faith in God, as she had been taught, and her belief in her own abilities, she ventured out into the world with her natural, youthful confidence.

            Julia’s warm, friendly personality won many friends as she filled the domestic needs in successive households, always earning the highest praise from her employers. Some she enjoyed over others, as she expressed in letters to her Grandmother Claflin. Often describing her love of the natural world around her, such as, a special spring concert by a congress of birds recently returned from their winter homes. A cloud “picture” in a cerulean sky of a long snake that suddenly “lost its head” due to a capricious heavenly wind.

            Julia Etta wasn’t considered an outwardly beautiful person, but the beauty of her heart and soul shone brightly through everything she accomplished .

            She married William Lincoln Dimond in 1888. Together, they successfully raised three boys and one girl.

            We’ll never know whether she was born with the seeds of cancer already occupying her short, plump body or whether her early years of hard work caused cancer to develop, but we lost her to the disease in 1938.