PostScripts from Blessing

The official blog of author Lauraine Snelling and the fictional town of Blessing, North Dakota

March 4, 1902 A Note from Ingeborg

My dear friends,

It seems I must start every letter off with an apology. I have the best of intentions to correspond with you regularly and then so many things get in the way. I must say I appreciate your letters and all your encouragement.

We are still in the throes of winter here in Blessing. A blizzard came through and I thank our God that everyone was prepared with ropes strung between the buildings so that we could take care of the livestock in spite of the weather. Haakan was saying that if this keeps up, we should dig tunnels and not have to fight the wind. Keeping water for all the animals takes most of the day as we have to keep melting enough snow to water them all since the water tank is frozen solid.

I thought that after Christmas and the new year that things would slow down. Kaaren says that the speed with which the days pass is in direct proportion to our years. She might be right for each month seems to spin by more quickly.

I have moved my spinning wheel into the kitchen so I can keep melting snow without running back and forth. Every evening Astrid and I have been carding the wool so that I can spin during the day. With the blizzard roaring like a freight train about to run us over, the children have all been home from school so Astrid is home too. Since she graduated last May, she is helping out at the school until she goes to nursing school.

If you were here, I would set you to carding wool with the two paddles with sharp wires on the flat sides. You pull one against the other with a hunk of wool in between so that the fibers in the wool are straightened out and going in the same direction. Then I spin by wrapping a few new strands of carded wool to the thread I am spinning and with one foot pumping the wheel, I pull out the wool, feeding it to the spindle and the new yarn is wrapped around the pegs. There is such a calming feeling to spinning, much like I sense when weaving. My fingers do the work and allow my mind to fly free.

I have been trying to memorize more Bible verses while I spin, but while the memorizing used to come so easily, now I have to go over and over the words. But I know the value of having the verses in my head for when the black pit tries to sneak up on me, I shoo it away with the promises I find in the scripture. God says I am to live by his word and how can I do that if I do not know it? He says I will be blessed by the eating of his word.

One other good thing I must share with you. When I am spinning, the lanolin from the wool makes my hands soft and prevents the cracking that comes along with the cold air. I suggested to Haakan that he avail himself of this blessing but he resorts to goose grease instead.

Until we meet again, may our good Lord bless and keep you.