Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Pioneer Story

"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie with the goat, the calf & the lion & the yearling together; and a little child shall lead them." ~ Isaiah 11:6

". . . but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." ~ I Thess. 2:7

A few years ago, when we were still homeschooling, we were studying the Pioneer Era. Of course, any excuse to watch PBS's "Frontier House" series is good w/me! But I also checked out a few books on the subject; one such book was "Pioneer Women" by Linda Peavy & Ursula Smith (consultants on the Frontier House project). While reading it, I came across a story that really touched my heart . . .

I hope you don't find this morbid, but once you have lost a child, the story of others who have lost catch your attention. There is an odd comfort in numbers.

Unfortunately, a sad but common occurrence on the frontier was the death of mothers & children ~ usually, mothers were lost in childbirth. In a chapter entitled "Behind Closed Doors", Peavy & Smith deal w/this very issue. I found this story so sad, yet so precious . . .

"When Oregon pioneer Martha Gay Masterson’s little son Freddie died after a sudden and brief illness, the family buried the boy in a place where he loved to play, so that ‘the little birds he loved in life sang their evening songs over his grave.’ His little playmates ‘came loaded with lovely white flowers’ which were strewn over his grave. Only a day or so before he grew ill, Masterson had cut his curls for the first time, and asked what should be done with the ringlets, Freddie had answered, ‘You take one curl, Mama, then I will put the others out by the big tree and the birds can have them to build their nests.’ Busy with her work, Masterson did not follow him outside and had all but forgotten the incident until late in the fall when one of her daughters called her outside to see a bird’s nest she’d found. There in the tangled mass of sticks were little Freddie’s golden curls. Twenty-one years later, Masterson still had that little nest."

Isn't the Lord good?! How meaningful & precious it must have been to that family to be assured that the Lord loved their little Freddie so much as to grant his wishes ~ & to make sure that the family knew that He did. What comfort in their grief. I'm sure that meant more than words could ever have expressed. I hope someone in their family line still has that little nest.

As mothers & keepers of our homes, I am hoping that something of me ~ as the Lord has led me ~ is woven into the walls & nooks & crannies of our home.

What is it that you leave behind? Something to think about.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><


  1. So bitter sweet, what a story. You've touched my heart deeply.

  2. What a precious story...so sad and yet the goodness of the Lord through their grief. I too hope that nest is still in the home of their family somewhere.

    Thanks for sharing this.



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