Publius was the pen name of the three authors who wrote the Federalist Papers; James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. Their purpose was to influence the state of New York to ratify the Constitution. My purpose in this blog is to influence women to be better wives, mothers, sisters and daughters and influence men to be better husbands, fathers, brothers and sons and to finally influence all of us to ratify the laws of God and live them.
Families that Discuss together, stay together
Families that Discuss together, stay together
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
(A Short Story)
Through the years the children
gathered together at the woman’s home to share mealtimes and memories. With
deep affection and fondness, the woman loved to tell stories of her growing up
years in Illinois. She and her husband grew up in the same town, fell in love
and moved away from all they loved so dear. Nevertheless, they brought with
them beautiful family antiques and heirlooms with which to garnish their home
and recollect their heritage. The children and grandchildren grew to love and
appreciate the family heirlooms as they provided a bond to the deceased and a
link to their history and culture.
every holiday the family would assemble at Charlotte’s house, for that was the
woman’s name, and she would gather the grandchildren around her and point to an
item and in the most inviting tone, would tell the story about how she obtained
it. The wooden kitchen hutch with the special drawers for sugar and flour came
from a garage sale over fifty years past and cost only a dollar. It was in
excellent condition and served as an entryway piece to display desktop photos, books
and little trinkets set upon its upper shelves. There was an antique washstand
made of solid oak with perfectly dovetailed drawers and with a raised towel
bar. It seemed always the perfect support for any number of beautifully made
silk arrangements her husband, George, had given to her for a birthday or
anniversary. An old favorite of the young children was an antique coffee tin
with an intricate turquoise and brass design. It was shiny and lightweight and
if they were careful, Grandma Charlotte would let them turn it about in their
hands. It came from her Auntie who married, and had one beautiful baby girl
that, to everyone’s dismay, passed away before she turned eight. There were a
number of rare and antique picture frames gilded in gold with pictures of great
grandparents, great aunts and uncles. One of them framed her favorite US
president, Abraham Lincoln. She endeared her offspring to him as she told the
stories she learned as a child. Many other items graced her home and many more
stories were told over the years.
aged and one day it was time to sell the large house and large yard. It was too
much to take care of. It was time to downsize.
ago she had dreamed of retiring to a comfortable home free from debt and
surrounding herself with the most important thing in her life—her family. Times
were harder now. When the economy turned several years before, she was left
with more debt than with which she was comfortable. Insecurity clouded her mind
with images of vague financial troubles, clouds of fuzzy mental pictures with
jumbled up words like debt, needs, wants, broke, fear. She couldn’t make sense
of the words, but knew they meant danger. It wasn’t in her nature to calmly
ponder over the facts and put them in order. In times like these she was prone
to emotion, not reason.
Her one clear thought was, “The
more I can sell of my valuables the more money I could gain.” With a shake of
her head she thought, “A garage sale would attract the wrong crowd.” On the
other hand an estate sale would bring the highest prices. An estate sale would
be just the ticket. Because she had always been thrifty, rather than pay a
professional estate sale company, Charlotte chose to take on the management of
the estate sale herself. Stubborn was she and nothing seemed to get in the way
of her purpose.
When they heard about Charlotte’s
plan, the children stood stunned. Some could not brace themselves and slowly
turned away for the nearest chair and plopped down upon it. Naturally, they
thought the special heirlooms and antiques would be handed down to them and
their children. No feeling of greed or selfishness plagued them, but they were
wracked with a sort of longing. A yearning burned within them to continue the
stories and to admire the beauty and special meaning of each separate artifact.
The relics represented a connection and bond to Charlotte and her heritage. Charlotte
sensed their reluctance, but in her desperation to recover her financial state
she seemed to careen over their objections.
Charlotte furled her brows with
incredulity, “Well, in this predicament, wouldn’t you do the same thing?”
In great earnestness, a
daughter-in-law pleaded, “Some of these things are dear to me, they mean so
much, they epitomize your life and our heritage!”
With renewed strength and
confidence, Charlotte raised her eyebrows and lightened up her visage, “You can
purchase similar items, Eliza, like that antique washstand, online. And they
really aren’t as expensive as you think.”
Moving forward and sitting on the
edge of her chair and with a soft strained voice, Eliza declared, “But I feel
connected to these pieces!”
Shaking her head and pursing her
lips, Charlotte drawled, “Well, you would be surprised at what you can find
She droned on in her single-minded
purpose while her children listened on. The children sunk back heavily into
their chairs in shock, each of their minds grappling, yet failing for the words
to express their desires.
Charlotte became grouchy and short—commanding
and firm and closed to any suggestions from the others in the room. It was
uncommon for her to be like this. Notwithstanding, her breathing quickened.
Fear and agitation came out in the form of words, “If I don’t sell these things
are you going to support me?” It was the
kind of question crafted to barb, not to kindly inquire. The children sensed
her stubbornness and, not being accustomed to it, did not know what to think.
Hopeless, the children hugged their mother and said their goodbyes and left at
the selfsame hour realizing their desires would not be heard.
When it was time to prepare for the
sale, the children had softened and in an effort to love and serve, rather than
visibly suffer for their loss, they volunteered their strength to move the
heavy items and their talents to price and sell the treasures. Their actions
proved to be a godsend and Charlotte gracefully and gratefully accepted their
The first day of the sale went
smoothly and for Charlotte, rapidly. For the children who remained to work the
cashbox, it went dismally slow. As each item sold they engaged in a terrible
inner struggle between loving and respecting their mother and parting with the
treasured would-be heirlooms. The bulk of the buyers came that day and the bulk
of the small and less important things were sold, plus some of the longed-for
The next day was the hardest. Curious
faces came in through the door; some were looking for the perfect piece of
furniture for their homes and some were just browsing. First went the oaken
washstand, then the wooden kitchen hutch with the flour and sugar drawers, then
the silk arrangements, then the coffee tin, more antique frames, even the one
with the etching of Abraham Lincoln. Happy and satisfied faces went out through
the door. What remained that day were many loose and unwanted items that
usually sell to a different crowd who would come the last day of sale.
When the sale was over and her
children had helped to tidy up the leftover mess, they left and returned to
their homes and families. They were satisfied with their attitudes and the help
they rendered and satisfied that their mother had had a successful sale.
Charlotte thanked them and watched them leave. She watched them get into their
cars. She watched as each car drove down the winding avenue until each had
disappeared. She stood at the window watching. Suddenly she was bogged down
with fatigue. She sat on her favorite wingback in her room and cried. Cried and
cried. Why the emotion and tears? She didn’t know. The last time she checked
she had earned enough money—what she had hoped for—more than four thousand
dollars. Four thousand dollars…four thousand dollars…shouldn’t she be happy?
She had reached her goal! Somewhere deep in her mind a thought was bobbing in
and out. It was a vague thought, but a strong one. It seemed to vie for
attention. The woman closed her eyes and tried to formulate it. She fidgeted in
her chair and cried some more. Her neck seemed weakened from the emotion and
could hardly hold up her heavy head. She let it drop back onto the lime green
wingback. She let her head swing from one side to another in agony. What was
happening to her, she wondered. What was she missing? She had what she had
hoped for, but why was she in despair? She searched longingly to find solace in
the familiar surroundings she had always known, but somehow it seemed empty. Charlotte
could not think clearly and she cried herself to sleep.
Meanwhile, each of her children
wondered and marveled in their minds as they drove home. Each knew that
material things were not as important as the real things—real things being God,
family, and friendships. But they also knew that material things are a
beautiful way to express the real things. Each one came to the conclusion that
day after the sale that they would always try to be cautious of their motives
as fallacious motives may crowd out the most important things that constitute
the greatest happiness. The sale meant something deep for them that day. The
sale meant selling the connections to family, both the living and the dead.