With Mothers’ Day coming up, I wanted to share something special with you. It’s a journal entry written by my great-grandmother, Isabella Eleanor Pratt Robison, in 1892, describing a typical day in her life.
Isabella was born in 1854, into a prominent Salt Lake City family. At the age of 17 she married Franklin Alonso Robison and, over the course of their forty-year-marriage, bore him twelve children. Most of her life was spent in the southern Utah town of Fillmore, Utah’s original capitol. In 1912, she suffered a stroke and passed away at the age of 57.
Here is a glimpse into her life.
“15 March 1892
Yesterday morning I arose from my bed with a determination to seek to cultivate patience, not to get nervous and cross at the little delays and accidents so incidental in large families of small children. I breathed a prayer to that effect and I tried to keep it in mind through the day.
I put the boiler on to heat the wash water, got breakfast, sent three of the little ones to school. Carrie, age 6, said she was sick. I told her to be good and go to school and perhaps she would feel better in a little while.
I began to wash. Alfred wanted some sacks mended to carry grain into the field to sow. I left the clothes soaking, mended the sacks; put up victuals to last him a week. Wash half an hour. Alfred wants one more sack; empty and weigh my dried fruit, put it in anything that is clean and comes handy…go back to the clothes, find they have not diminished in numbers during my absence. Rub, rub, rub.
Then come the children from school. Carrie is as pale as a ghost, give her some physic and warm tea, put her to bed and ask God to bless and heal her. Rub, rub, rub. Carrie comes out and wants a piece of toast, make her some. She is better and says she is well. Wash again a little while.
A visitor comes. While resting and conversing hear a racket as though the dishes were falling from the cupboard, discover that Ruth has tipped from the top shelf of the cupboard a pan of milk. Think I will punish her as soon as company withdraws. Am glad company is present so that my nervous anger will abate before being left alone with the children. Company goes. Think what is the use to scold over spilt milk? Think I will have a little lunch before resuming laundry work. Milk all over pantry floor…Milk on every shelf, in every dish, in the butter, meat, sugar, and fruit, milk everywhere and yet not a drop for my lunch, nor can I have a lunch till Herma cleans up the milk.
Child comes in with an egg, it drops, little ones run through it.
Three hours later. All in all, I have many things to be thankful for.
Isabella E. Pratt Robison”
(This is me now) I only wish I had a fraction of her patience and faith. Thanks for letting me share this with you. Does it bring back any of your family stories?