Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Day Two: The Story Continues

Do you ever feel like you are often "a day late and a dollar short"?? Well, I might be a day late, but I did not come up short this time. I have decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and I was able to enroll today. (A post a day for each and every day in November... Wow!! That will be a change for The Classic Preppy for sure...)

If you are a blogger and would like to participate, check out this great Blogher group on Facebook for more info. Sign up for NaBloPoMo here. If you've already started, but are concerned about having to post every day, then head over to the Keeping With the Times blog for some great tips! (*Note...You can use Blogher's writing prompts, or write about whatever you'd like. I'm using the writing prompts from Family Tree Magazine.)

Here we go! Day Two of "Write Your Family's Story" from Family Tree Magazine...

Day 2: Think of your ancestor as a character in a novel, and describe him or her in a few short paragraphs. What color are her eyes? What is she wearing? How does she carry herself? What kind of voice does she have?

My story will feature a different ancestor, but one closely connected to the man whose story I told yesterday...Since I am to write about her as a character in a novel, I will take some license with her thoughts and feelings.

Nancy Angeline Stanton of South Carolina, the only daughter of John Dunkley Stanton and Elizabeth Owen Stanton, never considered herself to be a true beauty, although her mirror told a different story in her youth. Her skin was flawless and her features, though perhaps a bit pointed, were symmetrical and pleasant. Nannie, as she was called by her loving family, matured quickly. She married Elisha Robert Ragsdale at the tender age of 18. By the time she was 25, she was the mother of three active boys. And only 19 days after her 28th birthday, she was a widow. Her dear husband, who had lost his previous two wives and children to early death, was himself gone, another victim of the War Between the States.

Her boys gave her joy, but they certainly didn't do anything to "keep her young." Edward and Glenn started talking early, and once they started, they never stopped. John, the youngest, often couldn't get a word in, but he was as clever as he was quiet and his older brothers often came to him for help and advice. As Nannie looked at her boys, no longer children, but impressive young men who had become business owners, attorneys and state office holders, she couldn't help but think their talkative, active and clever natures had served them well in the long run.

"Do the best with what you've been given." Nannie took that advice to heart. She had enough to live on, more than enough to survive, but she would never marry again. Was it because of a lack of beauty? Although her face was relatively pleasing, she had not been given a beautiful head of hair. On the contrary, hers was baby fine and there wasn't much thickness to make up for that. She wore it simply, to draw attention to her beautiful blue eyes. With her coloring, her eyes stood out as the center of her attractiveness, drawing in anyone who looked at her. Besides being of exquisite color, they were kind eyes and they matched the softness of her voice and the kindness of her character. She dressed as simply as she styled her face or applied her powder and occasional rouge. Understated. Elegant. Statuesque. Her carriage gave her an almost regal bearing. Even as age added girth and wrinkles, she stood shoulders back, head up, always ready to take on whatever life brought her way.

Nannie grieved the early death of her of son, Edward. A child should never predecease a parent, and the grief that ensues from that kind of tragedy ages one more than normal. But just as that sadness can have a deleterious effect, the joy from grandchildren is a balm that helps heal even the deepest wounds. Nannie found that in her grandchildren. Her second youngest grandchild, Nannie Elizabeth Ragsdale, was not only named for her, but inherited her baby fine, not-at-all-thick hair. So did Elizabeth's daughter, Betty. So did Betty's daughter, Liz.

I am Liz. I have blue-green eyes, baby fine hair and relatively asymmetrical features. But I have always stood tall, shoulders back, ready to take on whatever comes my way. Did I get all of that from my Great-Great Grandmother Nannie Stanton Ragsdale? I may never know, but I'd like to think so! (Oh...and I believe in "perms" for better hair...as did my mother and grandmother!)




Three generations. Three heads of baby fine hair. Three perms.

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