Showing posts with label granny purvis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label granny purvis. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rose Ellen, A Mountain Angel

It was November 1, 1910, in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and all who lived in Boone Gap experienced the chilly fall breeze; as it blew leaves of every hue from golden-yellow, burnt orange, sprinkled with colors of reds and browns, to accent the beauty of God’s creation of fall.

The colored leaves adhered to Rose Ellen’s Granny’s fresh hung wash. Granny Purvis had just scrubbed the sheets white with the lye soap she made in the old black iron pot yesterday, and she was so proud of how white they came out.

Granny Purvis inhaled the chilly air to fill her lungs and then exhaled slowly; as this always felt so good and brought back memories of her youth, when her parents and sisters were still alive and living on the same land; where she now lived.


She thought, I might be old, but I can still scrub on my old washboard, without getting too tired. She smiled as she looked at the new clothesline her neighbor, Nathan had built for her. 

The wire was new and anything new in the Gap was a miracle to behold, and she knew everyone would come to see her new clothesline, soon.

“Rose Ellen.” She called in her sweet Southern voice.
“Yes, Granny, I am right here behind you.” Rose Ellen laughed her musical laugh that her Granny always loved to hear.
The Gap's Angel

Rose Ellen was Granny Purvis’ pride and joy. As she would tell anyone that stood still for two seconds that God takes away, but he also gives back. God took her daughter, Alice one freezing winter day, after giving birth, and left a little baby with blond hair and blue eyes, whom she named Rose Ellen----- for her to love and raise.


“Where have you been, Darling?” Granny asked with her concern look.

“I've helped Miss Sally Ann in getting ready for the Hayride on Saturday. I was mixing the molasses cookie dough, jelly cakes, and Ladyfingers in large bowls for Miss Sally Ann as she put in the ingredients. Then, she bakes them in her two big ovens, and I helped her watch the time to take them out.

And, her old Big Ben alarm clock helped us to time the cookies and cakes, so we would know when to take them out of the oven in time---- wasn’t that great Granny that I helped.” exclaimed Rose Ellen, as she was always so proud to help someone.

Little Rose Ellen was Boone’s Gap Angel, from the day she took her first step; she had journeyed from one end of the Gap to the other end. She spent almost every day visiting families that lived on her mountain path for that day. Each day a different path was hers to travel. 

She was faster than a June bug on moonshine, making sure everyone got help and if they needed anything, this little Angel would get it, if possible. She was only nine years old, but was a blessing to Granny Purvis. 

Everyone in Boone’s Gap would tell you that little Rose Ellen was the Gap’s Angel.
Rose Ellen was Granny Purvis’ pride and joy. As she would tell anyone that stood still for two seconds that God takes away, but he also gives back. God took her daughter, Alice one freezing winter day, after giving birth, and left a little baby with blond hair and blue eyes, whom she named Rose Ellen----- for her to love and raise.

“Where have you been, Darling?” Granny asked with her concern look.

“I've helped Miss Sally Ann in getting ready for the Hayride on Saturday. I was mixing the molasses cookie dough, jelly cakes, and Ladyfingers in large bowls for Miss Sally Ann as she put in the ingredients. Then, she bakes them in her two big ovens, and I helped her watch the time to take them out.

And, her old Big Ben alarm clock helped us to time the cookies and cakes, so we would know when to take them out of the oven in time---- wasn’t that great Granny that I helped.” Exclaimed Rose Ellen, as she was always so proud to help someone.

Little Rose Ellen was Boone’s Gap little Angel, from the day she took her first step, she had journeyed from one end of the Gap to the other end. She spent almost every day visiting families that lived on her mountain path for that day. 

Each day a different path was hers to travel. She was faster than a June bug on moonshine, making sure everyone got help and if they needed anything, this little Angel would get it, if possible. She was only nine years old, but was a blessing to Granny Purvis. Everyone in Boone’s Gap would tell you that little Rose Ellen was the Gap’s Angel.

Granny Purvis Sold Honey
Granny Purvis made her living by selling her honey from her hives, and she had a lot of them, and by making beautiful quilts, which she sold to the city folks. She was not going to let little Rose Ellen to be without because of pride like some that lived in the Smoky Mountains.

Some folks pride kept their children in rags and without winter shoes. Not many children went to the doctor without being on death’s bed. However, this did not apply to her Rose Ellen; because Granny Purvis made sure she had two yearly check-ups; to make sure her baby was well.

Rose Ellen was always clean and dressed nicely because Granny made her clothes out of material she traded for her dry herbs, and her own clothes were just as nice, as Rose Ellen’s were because Granny never wanted her to feel ashamed of how she dressed.

Most folks did not have any Sunday go to the meeting clothes to wear, as the mountain folks called clothes you wore to church. But Rose Ellen never notice what people wore, only what she could do for them to make them happier, and well cared for as only she could seem to do. She well deserved the name of the Gap’s Angel.

Hunger Won Over Husband's Pride

A new family named MacDonald had moved in the Gap so Granny and Rose Ellen went to visit them. They wanted to invite them to Saturday's Hayride.

After knocking on the wooden door that hung lopsided to the door frame; they waited. Finally a woman answered the door in a dress full of holes and tears with two children standing behind her in such rags. 

Granny Purvis gave one of the baskets of food to the woman.

“My Samuel would not like us taking charity from strangers.” She spoke with tears in her eyes.

“Well, where is he now, Mrs. MacDonald?” Inquired Rose Ellen with a slight frown.

“He is out hunting and gathering firewood.” Mrs. MacDonald whispered softly.

“Well, he is not here now, and these children are starving, so I do not see any harm in letting them eat. What do you say Granny?” Rose Ellen asked adamantly.

The children starting eating as fast as they could--- it seems they hurried to finish before their father came home.

Rose Ellen and Granny had tears in their eyes, as they noticed only one chair and a tiny table in the house, no beds only rags and torn and dirty quilts were on the floor for them to sleep on, and the children did not have shoes on their cold dirty little feet.

There wasn’t any food in the house as far as Granny and Rose Ellen could see, so before leaving Granny invited the family to the hayride on Saturday. Then to The Church of God on Sunday. Their baskets  contained honey, beans, flour, cornmeal, lard, salt, pepper, pickles, jelly and smoked pork.

Mrs. MacDonald was so overjoyed she hugged them both, and smiled a lovely dimpled smile, with tears glistening in her green eyes. Unbelievably, she stood out in the cold without shoes on; on the broken down porch waving until Granny and Rose Ellen were out of sight.

The Hayride
It was Saturday, the day of the hayride and everyone in the Gap glowed with excitement---but not just about the hayride, but about the MacDonald's coming to it. Anyone new in Boone Gap was a rarity, so everyone felt the need to question the new family---- without offending them, of course.

With Miss Sally giving out her bags of treats to all the children and adults on the hay wagon everyone was in a cheery mood, and all the MacDonald children starting with the one-year old to the seven-year old were all onboard with the biggest smiles on their faces because they had food, and the other children had made them feel welcomed.

Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald were talking to everyone and before it was over they thanked Granny Purvis for everything she did for them; including the food and clothes for the family. Everyone in the Gap shared and traded their extras with other families of the Gap. Money was not important when someone could trade without it.

When the Hayride was over and they returned to the Gap, Rose Ellen had games planned and the winners would receive a surprise box containing shoes and clothes, and yes they would all fit because she had a plan. Everyone in the Gap knew not to go against her plans because one would never hear the end of it, as she would ask why repeatedly until the unrelenting party relented.

Rosie a Special Angel

Rose Ellen looked at Granny and they both laughed because they knew Rose Ellen would get her way.
(Just for you, Rosie)
My friend Rosie is just as wonderful as the Rosie in this story and her heart is just as big and loving. I only write about special people and she really is an Angel and will always have a special place in my heart.

PurvisBobbi44 is the sole author of this article and if copied anywhere else on the Internet or printed in magazines or books it was taken without written consent and is strictly prohibited.