Olivia's Secret...Proverbs 31

The Boarding House Journal
Date:  November 1912

Proverbs 31 the virtuous woman?  For heaven sakes, I'll have to dust off my Bible and read that passage.  What in the world could have happened between Olivia and Franklin that made their daughter, and possibly other children, think their mother was their aunt?  What was he thinking?  Perhaps leaving the photograph and card was quite deliberate.  Well, here I am with many questions and no answers and supper to get on the table.  First things first.

My mind did not stop whirling while fixing supper for the guests, of which there were only half a dozen and of course the Sheriff and Sarah.  I can make biscuits with my eyes closed, so it was a good time to mentally sort through some of the information in Olivia's letter.  For heavens sake, I nearly left out the baking powder.  The guests will surely notice flat biscuits.  Olivia's secrets and the letter evaluation will have to wait til after supper. 

After supper, the men as usual, retired to the parlor to talk politics.  Polictics hold little interest for me, but with Roosevelts 'Bull Moose' party trying to get him elected for a third and unprecedented term, politics and the Presidental Election of 1912 makes for lively after supper conversation.  However, on this evening, the men were more concerned about the upcoming trial for the Mexican Railroad Bandits, as they were now called.  Local politicians and county officials are quite concerned that the outcome will determine the future of  Pecos County becoming a major shipping depot.

As a matter of courtsey, I invited the ladies to join me in an evening cup of tea.  Sarah excused herself to take an evening walk with her Ranger, the singer salesmens wife thanked me, but thought she should finish some sewing samples for her husbands portfolio, and Olivia, understandably, was not feeling well.  So, I too, retired.  Proverbs 31 was on my mind.
It is not often my journal writing is about myself, but this evening, my pen seems to have the need to write thoughts I find difficult to talk about.  Words of confession.  I must admit that Olivia's letter and the references to Proverbs 31 gave me feelings of unease, dread and guilt.  I was surprised at my own reaction and physical discomfort from the flush that struck within me...like the feeling you get just before you know you are about to hear bad news.   I hope my reaction was not visible to Olivia. 

'Dust off my Bible'...Oh dear Lord, my Baptist ancestors are turning in their graves.  How far I have drifted from my upbringing.  There was a time when hearing a Bible reference, I would have at least had some inkling as to it's meaning.  Today I was dismayed at my lack of memory, and the realization that I have been absent from the House of Our Lord...spiritually and physically.  I should pray...

Dear Lord, in the back of mind, I know I think of You and have the comfort of knowing that You are with me.  Your Spirit and Word has always lived within me. Today, I had a revelation of sorts, of which you already are aware, but I will feel a stronger conviction to my pledge of renewed devotion by writing it on paper.  With that said, know that I will make a greater effort to be more faithful to your Word and your House of Worship.  Now guide me as I attempt to understand Proverbs 31.  Amen

Hallelujah!  Proverbs 31, as I read it, is not a passage a man would read with remorse for lost love or regret for actions that might lead to losing a virtuous woman.  Oh, no, Dear Reader, it is much more revealing of a man's deep and abiding regard for his mother's opinion of a virtous wife or ideal woman.  A mother of deeply religious convictions that a 'Woman of Worth' must be all things to her husband with little or no regard for herself. 

 Oh, my dear Olivia....how worthy were you?
...To be continued...

Authored by Sandra Sue Pittman
Photos by Author
Photos are not Representative of People or Places in this Story.
Used strictly for interest and support of story.
Photos are Authentic Representations of the Period.
This Account/Writing/Photos is an Exclusive Publication
CollectInTexas Gal and Tracks of My Texas Ancestors