Friday, March 23, 2007

Women are Fantastic Friday



My daughter and I were looking through a pile of pictures a few days ago when I saw this one. It is my Great Aunt Carrie, my grandfather's sister. I thought she'd make a great subject for Women are Fantastic Friday. Born sometime between the late teens and early twenties, she stands out for me because she defied the conventions of her time by being a woman minister. This was a rarity in and of itself in her day, but I think it is even more astounding because she was a minister in rural Oklahoma, hardly the most forward-thinking place for a woman in those days.

Aunt Carrie was a very colorful character. In addition to being able to preach a sermon, she was known to use a divining rod to look for water--a fact I always found fascinating. Years before I had the opportunity to meet her in person, I became acquainted with some of her artistic endeavors which my grandparents had brought home with them after a visit. Chunky, bright-colored, plastic beads of assorted shapes and sizes were strung and glued together to make earrings, bracelets and necklaces. As an adult, there isn't a chance in a million I would wear one of these atrocities creations, but as a child, I loved them and wanted some for my own.

Years later, married and living in Texas, I frequently drove the four hours up to my grandparent's house in Oklahoma. There I had a chance to get to know Aunt Carrie a little better. In her late seventies, married to Uncle Buster, her second husband, she was still quite the creative soul. She might get creative in the kitchen (hot dog soup) or in her decorating. There was not one square inch of her walls that wasn't covered in something she had crafted. My favorite were the hanging beads leading to the bathroom and the ceramic cat on which she'd painted eye shadow and eye lashes. Truly, words cannot express the sight her home was to see.

One of my favorite Aunt Carrie stories shows that even in her later years, she was still willing to make a stand for equality. She had hurt her ribs somehow and was very uncomfortable. She had made herself a bowl of ice cream and went to the living room to sit down and enjoy it. Her husband expressed an interest in having a bowl of ice cream also. Although she had been a woman minister in a time when women just didn't do that, she was always a very traditional wife. And as was not unusual for a woman of her era, she waited on her husband hand and foot. I think she was quite happy to do this normally, but now, tired and in pain, she fought the status quo and told Buster, "If you want some ice cream, you're just going to have to get it yourself." I think flummoxed is an appropriate word to describe Buster when he heard those words from his wife. He sat for a moment. He got up. He walked into the kitchen. He came back--with no ice cream. He sat down. Exasperated he told her, "Well, if I have to get it myself, I just won't have any."

He never got any ice cream that day.

14 comments:

daisies said...

thanks for sharing your aunt carrie with us ... she sounds like an amazing woman :)

the ice cream made me giggle and i'll bet the chunky plastic beaded jewelry was super cool!

Beck said...

She sounds great. And very, um, crafty. I still sometimes encounter houses like that and I love them. They're so much fun.

atypical said...

Yes, definitely a fantastic woman! Thanks for sharing her with us.

-t

Mel said...

What a wonderful Aunt!

And I'm still smiling about 'poor Buster'..LOL

Julie Pippert said...

What an interesting lady. I love family history like this. Descendants can usually give personal insight into what is otherwise just a name a list of facts. And that personalization tells us so much more about the real people in the real times.

Sophie said...

Goodness, what a wonderful story! I really enjoyed reading it. She must have been amazing to buck the trend of the time to be a minister. And that story about the ice cream is too funny! Thanks very much for telling us about Aunt Carrie.

Aliki2006 said...

She sounds lovely--and that Buster! I can't believe he went all the kitchen and came out without ice cream. My grandfather was very much like that...

Sandra said...

What a wonderful tribute to your amazing Aunt

I am so glad to have read this.

MarillaAnne said...

LOL that's great! Shows where some of your spunk and creativity comes from.

... now ... i'm really here to find that meme i've agreed to do with you ... i'm sure i'll get to it after i read everything else you've written lately.

ttyl
me

Lulu said...

What a wonderful aunt! I love the story about the ice cream...it's almost as if your Uncle Buster didn't even know where to start!

Sheila said...

Great story. I love the formal picture with her Bible. That's awesome.

allrileyedup said...

Aunt Carrie sounds aweosme. That's a wonderful generation story, about the comment from Uncle Buster. It reminds me of when my husband and I visited my great aunt and uncle. My husband was responsible for making sure out son didn't run around while I showed my aunt some pictures of family, and our son got hyped up and my great uncle said to my husband, "Why don't you tell your wife to handle this?"

Mary-LUE said...

Riley - That made me laugh out loud!

Alpha DogMa said...

"He never got any ice cream that day."
Wanna bet there was summin' else he didn't get that day? *wink wink nudge nudge*