Sunday, April 1, 2012

Job's Tears Quilt Block

     I found the pattern for this 12" Job's Tears block free on-line at:
     In these diary entries, Hattie has found out that she won't be able to go to college like she has planned to do for so long.  Hattie is 20 years old and a 1914 graduate of Emporia High School.  Howard is her 18-year old brother, and Frank is the man she has been dating this summer (who will become her husband and my grandfather).  The Normal that Hattie refers to is Kansas State Normal School in nearby Emporia - one of many Normal schools across the nation that are dedicated to the education of teachers.

Friday, September 1, 1916 -
"I have been in a rather tearful state of mind this evening.  Papa says he doesn't see hardly how he can afford to send me to school this fall.  I know it has been a hard year, but it seems like it is always something.  If I don't go this year, I'll never want to go, and I'm determined I'm going to do something.  I haven't given up hope by any means for I thought afterwards and discussed it with Mother, that maybe he'd let me go to the Normal.  I think I can get what I want about as well there, and I would be much closer to home and not so expensive.  Mother has just been in, and she told me not to worry, and somehow I have a feeling that it can be arranged.  Papa really wants me to do something, and yet he wants it to be worthwhile and, of course, I know it takes money.  I was very disappointed at first when we talked about it right after supper, but I cheered up and thought it over and I'll pray and sleep over it, and I believe it will come out all right."

Saturday, September 2, 1916 -
"The bugs seem to be holding an 'insect festival' here in my room and especially around the light.  I'll have to hurry and put it out.

"I am just crazy to go to school, and it seems like that is all I can get my mind on.  Mother is talking it over with Papa, trying to get him to consent at least to my going to the Normal.  He wants me to go and yet I know how it is a strain on him to keep all this family and farm going and prices of everything soaring like mad.  But I don't think this would be a waste - anyhow I am still hoping and trusting.

Sunday, September 3, 1916 -
"It seems as though it's no use hoping and trusting anymore.  Papa doesn't see his way clear to send me even to the Normal, and I am so disappointed that I have spent most of the day in tears.  Hot, bitter ones, too, and my head aches like fury.  It seems like a very unfair world - I can't bear to think of another winter spent in comparative idleness - surely the Lord has something better in store for me.  Mother, Howard, the children, and I went to church this morning, but I couldn't get my thoughts changed there even.  The sermon was about looking forward, having ambitions, hopes for the future, etc. - a precious lot of good it does to have ambitions!  

"This afternoon . . . I went for a little walk.  Generally, I come back from these strolls feeling at least fifty percent better, but today I returned feeling that much worse.  Even my Nook in the Willows brought no comfort.  But no motorcycle was speeding over the bridge today - not even anyone on foot!  It surely was one deserted spot around the bridge.  I inspected all the initials and finally climbed a tree and found two partly red apples to eat as I came back.     

"When I came in, the whole family hastened to tell me that Frank had phoned during my absence, and Mother insisted on my calling him but to this I flatly refused.  He soon called again, and I told him, "All right."

"Mr. and Mrs. Topping - friends of the Hauchin's - sang at church both this morning and evening.  There was an unusually large crowd out tonight, and the sermon was fine - but a great deal on the same trend as this morning.

"Since Frank asked me, I told him that I wasn't going to get to go to school.  It was hard, and yet I had to do it - Oh dear!"

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:  


  1. Now I can hardly wait to see how Hattie manages to get past this point. At least no one told her to go get a job and pay her own way or that she was not worth the money it would cost. My Grandfather taught school to pay for his college.

  2. I want to hear "The rest of the Story!!!"

    Oh sweet Hattie!

    Lovely block! A perfect fit for this diary entry!


  3. I understand Hattie's deep sadness because I had a similar experience when I was growing up in central Kansas but 50 yrs later,in 1964. My parents beleived the small amount of money available should be used to educate my brothers because they would someday have families to support. It was a different place and time! Eventually I did complete a BS while working FT,raising a family & being a single parent for a few yrs, however none of my 3 brothers went to college. You just never know. Sheila

  4. What a sad day it was for your grandmother since she had obviously looked forward to going on to school.

    I assume that the Normal meant the teacher's training college? I am from central IL and there is a town named Normal, as in Bloomington- Normal. Illinois State University is located there but of course it was ISNU at one point.


I love hearing from readers. Your comments make my day!