Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Memories From the Cookstove Days

My life with Buck had been so busy and full, especially the three years prior to moving to our new property, as we prepared to sell and planned our new home, that these days had been tucked away, unvisited for a very long time. My cookstove days that I shared about in my last post, led to memories that went farther back and reminded me about the birth of our daughter, Sarah.

Her birthplace was the little cabin in the woods, with a large creek in the front yard, where Sarah’s dad and I lived in Whiteford, Md. Being part of the hippie generation, we were thrilled to hear about a woman obstetrician, who still believed in delivering babies at home. When Sarah was ready to make her debut, Dr. Gordon came to visit in the early afternoon, left to deliver another baby over an hour’s worth of traveling time away, and returned at midnight to deliver Sarah around 1AM. After twenty-four hours of labor and doing the natural-childbirth breathing techniques I had practiced; all went like clock-work for her arrival and I was so thankful to have the opportunity to deliver Sarah naturally, into the familiar setting of home. What a precious gift and blessing she has been to our lives!!!




Unfortunately, this is not a picture of Sarah. We didn't have a camera back then. As I remember, Sarah spent her first night in a blanket-lined, wicker, laundry basket, because we didn't have her bassinet in our possession yet. Such a sweet memory! I kept the handles from the well-used basket for sentimental reasons, for many years, until they literally disintegrated! Such a sappy mommy! Sarah was not the only one who had a make-shift bed, as her hippie parents had to trade in the waterbed for a regular boxspring and mattress...doctor's orders. During one of my prenatal, doctor appointments, I mentioned that we had a waterbed. Dr. Gordon shook her head as she quickly responded: " I can't deliver a moving target. The waterbed will have to go!" We didn't think of it, but she knew full well that each contraction would bring a wave of motion, making her job impossible! I was not saddened to see it go. In true hippie fashion, our new bedding sat atop four cinder blocks. How resourceful we were...ha! You know your a hippie when...!

We didn’t have a telephone back then, so early the next afternoon, I slipped into my long denim skirt, tee shirt and sandals, bundled Sarah, walked across our foot-bridge and we went to a neighbors to share the news with our parents. My mom didn’t believe me, thinking there was no way I would be up and getting in touch so soon. Bill had to get on the phone to convince his mother-in-law that indeed, it was true! Her granddaughter was really here!

Those homesteading days were some of the most productive days of my life. How I would love to have a fraction of that energy and motivation now! Although my life is certainly not what I thought it would be, having faced many ups and downs as we all do; it is still so very good, as I face my future with the Lord at my side each step of the way. Missing my Bofren and adjusting to widowhood has been painful and challenging ; but, my here and now is filled with more moments of blessings and beauty than I could possibly count, thanks to all the special people God has brought into my life! Just the same, many precious memories took place in those days and live happily in the archive of my heart! It was wonderful to revisit! Thanks for the inspiration, Tess!


  1. Just wonderful Renee. That is a beautiful memory. I had my kids in the 80's and we were still on the fringe of Hippie-ness, but, I think, waay too much medical intervention. However; after about 32 hours in on my first labor, I WISH they had been throwing words around like "epidural"....I will say the second one was waaaaay quicker. Could it be because our first child weighed in at 9-lbs 6-1/2 oz.??? Oh, I think SO! LOL. Anyway, what a beautiful experience for your family. It makes me think of the Keaton's (Family Ties) do you remember? Awesome "hippie" mom & dad...Love, T.

  2. Wow Tonya! Almost 9.5 lbs for a first baby! There is no doubt that if Sarah had been a big baby like your son, I probably wouldn't have had my home birth story to tell. I was idealistic, but not foolish. My Sarah was a 6lb 2oz peanut, so not so challenging as your first experience! I'm sure if I saw reruns, I would remember the Keatons, but can't say they hold any substantial real-estate in my memory bank. It would be fun to compare lifestyles with the Hollywood version of hippie-ness. Those days were a simpler, unique decade. As always, I appreciate your visiting and your feedback! Hugs, ~R~