Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gifts to Ourselves, January Theme by Tamera Wissinger

Just after the holidays I put away the decorations and began tidying up around the house. Soon I was deep cleaning all of the bookcases. It’s not the most exciting job, but I do enjoy “visiting” my books and keepsakes. This time around the book that caught my attention was BEAUTIFUL GEMS OF THOUGHT AND SENTIMENT. This version has a 1901 copyright and was printed by C.W. Stanton Company, Chicago. I believe it was edited by Henry Davenport Northrop since he’s credited with editing the 1890 version with the same title. This is mostly a poetry anthology broken into sections like THE CHARMS OF NATURE, DESCRIPTIONS AND TALES OF THE SEA, ALBUM OF LOVE, THE SWORD AND THE PLOW. I love it for the poetry and for the way it freezes time and invites a look backward.

This time, though, when I opened the pages I noticed something new. Here tucked inside was a message from the book’s original owner:
 
These words:

Presented To: Leta ElCrepps 
By: Herself 
Xmas, Dec, 25, 1901 

sent a small tingle up my arms and to my heart. In 1901 sweet Leta gave herself a Christmas present. I haven’t been able to find out any information on Leta ElCrepps, nor am I even certain that’s the correct spelling of her name. But what a gift! This book is over 500 pages, with silver and gold pressed into the cover. I imagine in 1901 a book like this would have been a splurge. Why would Leta have done that for herself? Was she a poet? A student? A romantic? I may never know, but what I believe is that Leta cared for herself enough to give herself a marvelous Christmas present.

And now 115 years later Leta’s note and present to herself are a gift to me – my first 2016 epiphany: Remember to treat yourself. It’s a practice that I’d like to adopt in 2016.

Presented to: Tamera Wissinger 
By: Herself 
New Year, January 14, 2016

…that has a nice ring.


Wishing you a blessed and gift-filled New Year. (And hello from the past if you are a poet reading this 115 years from now in 2131. Go buy yourself a present; Leta and Tamera said it's okay.)

~~~~~

Tamera Wissinger writes stories and poetry for children including Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse, This Old Band, and There Was An Old Lady Who Gobbled a Skink (out next month!) and Gone Camping: A Novel in Verse (arriving next year!) You can connect with Tamera online at her website, on Twitter, or on Facebook.


7 comments:

  1. Oh, how precious is this! I have an affirmation I keep on my bulletin board: "Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong." Giving oneself a book is one way to nurture and nourish ourselves, isn't it? Thank you, Tamera!

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    1. Thank you, Irene. What a wonderful affirmation. Yes, nourishment and nurturing through the gift of books!

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  2. The little tidbits you find inside a vintage book are often every bit as fun as the book! Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year, Holly! Yes, what a lovely surprise.

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  3. I FOUND HER!!! Looked at her signature and I read it to be Leta E. Crepps:
    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XJRT-598
    She's Leta E. Crepps - married March 9, 1904 to Emmanuel Lehmann in Aurelia, Cherokee, Iowa
    https://www.myheritage.com/names/frederick_crepps
    Her father was Fredrick Crepps. The E stands for "Edna". She had two other siblings....
    Exciting! Check it out!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for this information, Donna. You're really talented at figuring out Leta's beautiful cursive writing. I'll see if I can find out more about Leta.

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  4. Also her daughter died in 2009...Put in a search for Lena Crepps! I have to stop looking now. It is addictive. I love genealogy!

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