The following is a guest post written by my mother, Helen Mills. It is a true story about my grandmother and how her faith made the impossible happen.
Times were not good during the Depression of the early thirties.
Our family was struggling to survive on a rental farm. Our father, a carpenter, had been out of work for a long time. He had been laid off from his job at a lumber company where one of his duties was to build door frames.
My older brother, Dan, was a senior in high school the year of 1932-33. His class had ordered class rings the spring before. He wanted to be like everyone else and had ordered a ring. In the fall, the rings arrived at the post office, C.O.D. All the class members were required to bring in their money for the rings. No one could get his or her ring until all the money was collected. Gradually each senior brought in the money except for Dan. At our house there was no money. Dan was met every day at school with inquiries such as “Did you bring the money?” Everyone was upset, especially the girls who were eager to show off their class rings. It soon got to the point where Dan was skipping school in order to avoid the embarrassment. Mama was beside herself with anxiety. She decided to take matters into her own hands.
She persuaded Dan that the only thing left to do was to get up a load of farm produce to take into town. Together they gathered up every available thing around the farm and house that might have a chance of selling. It was very difficult at that time, sometimes to even give farm products away, much less sell them. They started off early one morning in the old battered touring car. They had turnip greens, eggs, molasses, potatoes, jam, jelly and even a sack of black walnuts. Nobody in the family believed these things would sell. My father was very skeptical. None the less, Mama was determined to try. I can just hear her prayers and the trust she put in the Lord to let them make enough money for the ring. Their efforts became a reality and they made enough! It was only $9 that was needed, which seems so little now, but it was so much back then.
Dan hurried off to school with his ring money. The produce had brought in just enough. There was no extra. As many times before this was done, the produce did not sell. People had so little money to buy groceries, they were reluctant to stock up. We all knew why Mama and Dan’s goal had been met. It was Mama’s faith. There was no other explanation.