PIECES OF LAUGHTER AND FUN
from days gone by ...
Gooey face cream of white wax and honey, guaranteed by
Godey's Lady's Book
to remove freckles ... but impossible to get off!
The dog no one believed could spell ... until he proved himself by rescuing two not-so-smart little girls.
Itchy, long flannel underwear that wrinkled under the girls' white stockings ... until someone mysteriously cut the legs off!
Laugh, enjoy, and read on.
... You're never too old for a good story!
Illustrated by Dora Leder
STILL MORE STORIES FROM GRANDMA'S ATTIC © 1980 David C. Cook Publishing Co.
First printing, July 1980
All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form without written permission from the publisher.
Illustrations by Dora Leder
Published by David C. Cook Publishing Co., Elgin, IL 60120 Printed in the United States of America
This book is dedicated with special love
to all my Hermon family
1 Face Cream from Godey's Lady's Book 11
2 It Rhymes with Mop 25
3 High Society 33
4 The Dog Who Could Spell 44
5 The Wrinkled Stockings 55
6 Whenever I'm Afraid 66
7 Grandpa Hobbs 74
8 The Spelling Bee 85
9 The Prettiest House in the County 96
10 My Own Boss 107
11 The Harvest Home Festival 118
12 The Surprise Birthday Present 126
13 The Perfect Party 137
14 Windfalls 147
WHEN GRANDMA WAS A
ONE HUNDRED YEARS! What a long, long time ago that is! Not very many people are still alive who can remember that far back. But through the magic of stories, we can be right there again.
When I was a little girl, I thought no one could tell a story like my grandma.
"Tell me about when you were a little girl," I would say. Soon I would be back on the farm in northern Michigan with young Mabel, who became my grandmother, her mother and father, and her brothers, Reuben and Roy.
The old kitchen where I sat to hear many of Grandma's stories didn't look the same as when she was a little girl. Then there was no elecricity nor running water. But my grandma still lived in the house she grew up in. I had no trouble imagining all the funny jams that grandma and her best friend, Sarah Jane, got into. Or how it felt to wear long flannel stockings and high-buttoned shoes.
From the dusty old attic to the front parlor with its slippery furniture, grandma's old house was a storybook just waiting to be opened. I was fortunate to have a grandma who knew just how to open it. She loved to tell a story just as much as I loved to hear one.
Come with me now, back to the old kitchen in that Michigan farmhouse and enjoy the laughter and tears of many years ago....
Face Cream from
Godey's Lady's Book
RECEIVING MAIL always excited me. I never had to be told to get the mail for grandma on my way home from school. But sometimes the mail became even more important. Like the time I was watching for something I had ordered from Woman's Home Companion.
When the small package finally arrived, my face revealed how excited I was.
"What did you get a sample of this time?" grandma asked as I came in proudly carrying the precious box.
"You'll see. Just wait till I show you," I said, promising grandma the box held something special.
Quickly I tore the wrapping paper off the small box. Inside was a jar of skin cream for wrinkles.
Grandma laughed when she saw it. "You certainly don't need that," she said. "Now it might do me some good if those things ever really worked."
"You aren't wrinkled, grandma," I protested. "Your face is nice and smooth."
"Perhaps so. But not because of what I've rubbed on it. More than likely I've inherited a smooth skin."
She took the jar of cream and looked at the ingredients. "This doesn't look quite as dangerous as some stuff Sarah Jane and I mixed up one day. Did I ever tell you about that?"
"No, I'm sure you didn't," I replied. "Tell me now."
Grandma picked up her crocheting, and I settled back to listen to a story about grandma and her friend, Sarah Jane, when they were my age.
Sarah Jane had a cousin who lived in the city. This cousin often came to stay at Sarah Jane's for a few days. She brought things with her that we were not accustomed to seeing.
One morning as Sarah Jane and I were walking to school together Sarah Jane told me some very exciting news.
"My cousin Laura will be here tomorrow. She's going to stay all next week. Won't that be fun?"
"Yes," I agreed. "I'm glad she's coming. What do you think she'll bring this time?"
"Probably some pretty new dresses and hats," Sarah Jane guessed. "She might even let us try them on."
"Oh, I'm sure she wouldn't want us to try on her dresses. But maybe she wouldn't mind if we peeked at ourselves in the mirror to see how the hats looked."
Laura arrived the next day with several new hats. She amiably agreed that we might try them on.
They were too big, and had a tendency to slide down over our noses. But to us, they were the latest fashion.
As we laid the hats back on the bed, Sarah Jane spied something else that interested her. It was a magazine for ladies. We had not seen more than half-a-dozen magazines in our lives, so this was exciting.
"Oh, Laura," Sarah Jane cried, "may we look at your magazine? We'll be very careful."
"Why, yes. I'm not going to be reading it right away. Go ahead."
Eagerly we snatched the magazine and ran out to the porch. The cover pictured a lady with a very fashionable dress and hat, carrying a frilly parasol. The name of the magazine
Godey's Lady's Book
Ooh! Look at the ruffles on her dress!" Sarah Jane exclaimed. "Wouldn't you just love to have one dress with all those ribbons and things?"
"Yes, but there's little chance I'll ever have it," I replied. "Ma wouldn't iron that many ruffles for anything. Besides, we're not grown-up enough to have dresses like that. It looks like it might be organdy, doesn't it?"
"Mmm-hum," Sarah Jane agreed. "It looks like something soft, all right. And look at her hair. It must be long to make that big a roll around her head."
We spread the magazine across our laps and studied each page carefully. Nothing escaped our notice.
"I sure wish we were grown up," Sarah Jane sighed. "Think how much prettier we'd be."
"Yes, and how much more fun we could have. These ladies don't spend all their time going to school and doing chores. They just get all dressed up and sit around looking pretty."
We looked for a moment in silence; then Sarah Jane noticed something interesting. "Look here, Mabel. Here's something you can make to get rid of wrinkles on your face."
I looked where she was reading.
Guaranteed to remove wrinkles. Melt together a quantity of white wax and honey. When it becomes liquid, add the juice,of several lemons. Spread the mixture liberally on your face and allow it to dry. In addition to smoothing out your wrinkles, this formula will leave your skin soft, smooth, and freckle free
"But we don't have any wrinkles," I pointed out.
"That doesn't matter," Sarah Jane replied. "If it takes wrinkles away, it should keep us from getting them, too. Besides," she added critically, "it says it takes away freckles. And you have plenty of those."
I rubbed my nose reflectively. "I sure do. Do you suppose that stuff -really would take them off?"
"We can try it and see. I'll put some on if you will. Where shall we mix it up?"
This would be a problem, since Sarah Jane's mother was baking in her kitchen. It would be better to work where we wouldn't have to answer questions about what we were doing.
"Let's go to your house and see what your mother is doing," Sarah Jane suggested.
We hurriedly returned the magazine to Laura's bedroom and dashed back outdoors.
"Do you have all the things we need to put in it?" Sarah Jane asked.
"I know we have wax left over from ma's jelly glasses. And I'm sure we have lemons. But I don't know how much honey is left.
"I know where we can get some, though." I continued. "Remember that hollow tree in the woods? We found honey there last week."
Soon we were on our way to collect it in a small pail.
"This is sure going to be messy and sticky to put on our faces," I commented as we filled the pail.
"Probably the wax takes the sticky out," Sarah Jane replied. "Anyway, if it takes away your freckles and makes our skin smooth, it won't matter if it is a little gooey. I wonder how long we leave it on?"
"The directions said to let it dry," I reminded her. "I suppose the longer you leave it there, the more good it does. We'll have to take it off before we go in to supper, I guess."
"I guess so," Sarah Jane exclaimed. "I don't know what your brothers would say. But I'm not going to give Caleb a chance to make fun of me."
I knew what Reuben and Roy would say, too, and I was pretty sure I could predict what ma would say. There seemed to be no reason to let them know about it.
Fortune was with us, for the kitchen was empty when we cautiously opened the back door. Ma heard us come in and called down from upstairs. "Do you need something, Mabel?"
"No, ma'am," I answered. "But we might like a cookie."
"Help yourself," ma replied. "I'm too busy tearing rags to come down right now. You can pour yourselves some milk, too."
I assured her that we could. With a sigh of relief, we went to the pantry for a kettle in which to melt the wax and honey.
"This looks big enough," Sarah Jane said. "You start that getting hot, and I'll squeeze the lemons. Do you think two will be enough?"
"I guess two is 'several.' Maybe we can tell by the way it looks whether we need more or not."
"I don't see how," Sarah Jane argued. "We never saw any of this stuff before. But we'll start with two, anyway."
I placed the pan containing the wax and honey on the hottest part of the stove and pulled up a chair to sit on.
"Do you suppose I ought to stir it?" I inquired. "It doesn't look as though it's mixing very fast."
"Give it time," Sarah Jane advised. "Once the wax melts down, it will mix."
After a short time, the mixture began to bubble.
"There, see?" she said, stirring it with a spoon. "You can't tell which is wax and which is honey. I think it's time to put in the lemon juice." She picked up the juice, but I stopped her.
"You have to take the seeds out, first, silly. You don't want knobs all over your face, do you?"
"I guess you're right. That wouldn't look too good, would it?"
She dug the seeds out, and we carefully stirred the lemon juice into the pan.
"Umm, it smells good," I observed.
Sarah Jane agreed. "In fact, it smells a little like ma's cough syrup. Do you want to taste it?"
"Sure, I'll take a little taste." I licked some off the spoon and smacked my lips. "It's fine," I reported. "If it tastes that good, it will certainly be safe to use. Let's take it to my room and try it."
We carefully lifted the kettle from the stove.
Together we carried the kettle upstairs and set it on my dresser.
"It will have to cool a little before we put it on," I said.
"What if the wax gets hard again? We'll
have to take it downstairs and heat it all over."
"It won't," I assured her. "The honey will keep it from getting too hard."
By the time the mixture was cool enough to use, it was thick and gooey—but still spreadable.
"Well, here goes," Sarah Jane said. She dipped a big blob out and spread it on her face. I did the same. Soon our faces were covered with the sticky mess.
"Don't get it in your hair," I warned. "It looks like it would be awfully hard to get out. I wonder how long it will take to dry?"