Jewel's Jewels will be thoughts handed down from my mother and our fore mothers. Being from a long linage of pre-American Revolution strong pioneer women I am aware of the insight, health practices, food traditions and wisdom from which I have benefited. This category emerges not only to honor my late mother, Jewel Essary Rich, but to pass along cherished information.
Jewel was born in Texas in 1919 and raised in New Mexico most of her life. Her mother was born in Missouri to a farming family transplanted from the cotton plantations of Virginia. Jewel's father's family fought in the Mexican American War, with several Texas Rangers among their ranks. Generations from the late 1600's toiled the land East to West as they migrated in search of a new version of promise and opportunity. Along the way babes were born and lost. Husbands died left women to take over and till the land alone. Babies were left motherless and one in four women pre 1900 died in childbirth related deaths. Wisdom, faith and determination fostered each added generation. Jewel was the epitome of a southern beauty, right out of the pages of Gone With The Wind....soft as a feather and tough as callouses. Her life would make an amazing novel, the tale of a woman of virtue, love, humor and determination.
My mother's trunk was filled with mementos of these bygone days. As a curious girl I spent many hours reading letters written by these early pioneers with dates of the 1800's. I have shed tears reading passages such as, "We lost Joshua last winter just before his sixteenth birthday to the fever"...or "We just put the sod on the top of our new dug out home"...or "The land here is rich and black but our first crop was wiped out with a hail storm...or "Thank God we had a good year last year as we are living off the food we put up along with rabbit stew and potatoes."
I will tell the story of Jewel as the days pass...along with the 'jewels' she sprinkle along her loving path which meandered nearly ninety years.
Jewel's thought of the day:
On New Year's Resolution: Don't make it a habit do anything that you have to do everyday.