Wise Woman Ezine with Susun Weed
December 2005
Volume 5 Number 12
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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Childbearing & Mothering ...
The Christmas Dress
by Waynonaha

The Christmas Dress
by Waynonaha

A trip to the five and dime store we called Woolworth in 1940 was like a trip to the Mall. You could find anything you wanted in that store. A quarter was gold in the hands of a shrewd shopper like my mother. She would manage to come out with two bags of wonderful items for a dollar. We did not often go to town to shop as most of our clothing was handmade. I cannot remember, when I was little, ever getting a dress from the store. The Sears Catalogue was my favorite thing to look at, where I spent hours admiring the wonderful party dresses for girls my age.

There was one dress that I wanted so bad but knew it was well beyond our simple means. It was royal blue with a lace collar and a satin sash around the middle. I guess Mom knew my heart, so off we went to the store to get the fabric for the dress.

After we got home my Mother carefully put the material on the top shelf of her closet and said nothing more about it. Days went by and she did nothing that looked like sewing. I waited each day for her to drag out the box of homemade patterns and start on my dress. Only once in that time did she let out an old coat for me to wear that had seen better days. I was ashamed, at that time, of my hand-me-down clothes and made-over coats. But many had less so it was good my Mother could sew.

Christmas was fast approaching and the house smelled like ginger and cinnamon with all the holiday baking. Dad and my brothers had managed to get a nice deer and several geese and ducks for the Christmas feast. The day before Christmas I helped my mother, in the kitchen, pluck the goose and the ducks and ready them for the oven. We were the ones who would hold the dinner at our house this year. That was good because I did not have to travel for hours to see my cousins. They would all be here this evening.

Christmas morning came and we opened the few presents under the tree. Mostly they were warm clothes and a few toys for the boys. I sat and waited for the rest to finish opening their presents. I had been given a small music box that played the “Blue Danube Waltz.”

Finally Mom said, “ok, go and get dressed and try not to get dirty before everyone arrives.” The boys went out to do the chores and I went to my room feeling sad because I did not have a pretty dress to wear.

I shut my door and there on the back of the door hung a dress just like the one in the Sears Catalogue. There was even a satin sash and a matching ribbon for my hair.

That day I made sure I did not get dirty and sat like a perfect little lady all day long. That was a once-in-a-lifetime thing as usually I was out in the barns playing and jumping from the loft into the hay with my brothers.

My cousin, Diana, had brought her “Little Women” doll she had been given for Christmas. I was in envy of her because my mother had decided that I was too old for dolls so I did not receive one that Christmas. Some how the dress made up for all the lack of dolls and other gifts, I was as happy as I have ever been.

Every one said how pretty the dress was and I danced and twirled to the music all evening.

We always had music and some singing, mostly old tunes, not too many Christmas songs. My Uncle would play the guitar along with my brother and we had a wonderful time singing songs. Later on at night we had leftovers and then some, who had driven so far, stayed over night. All of us little ones were piled into a large bed where we giggled and laughed most of the night.

Art by Aumrita Crystal

Sometimes the simple things that are handmade with love are the best ones. I carried on that tradition of sewing Christmas dresses for my daughters. I worked sewing them at night after I came home from work, until my eyes could no longer stay open.

My mother had so little yet she, too, must have spent many hours late at night making me that special dress. I can still see her working in the kitchen as we prepared the Christmas dinner. My aunts and cousins would all be in the kitchen helping and laughing. The men scooted in and out, taking down the doors to make tables, and helping with the heavy things. A quick scold from one of the women when one of the men grabbed a sample from the plates would again cause the kitchen to bust into laughter.

We may have not had much in the way of money or material things, but we belonged to a family. This was the most important feeling of home, the love, and comfort of belonging. Yes there were good times and bad times, we fought and made up, and then fought again. In the end, no matter what, when we were needed, we were still family. I miss my family many of who are in spirit now, and want to say thank you again Mom for making my life a good one.

This Christmas I will sew my granddaughter a special dress to wear. It will be sewn with love, by hand, and from my heart. I want her to remember family and know that she is always loved and wanted. Blessings Waynonaha

Copyright © 2005 by Waynonaha Two Worlds All publication rights reserved.

Winter Clothes...please make a child's winter warmer..

Winter looms on the hills that surround the reservation. Once again we make the appeal for children’s clothing. We accept warm clothing from 0 to size 12. Please make sure they are in good repair and clean something that you would put on your own children. Warm coats mittens and hats also gently used boots are welcome. Baby cloths from new born to toddlers also are much needed.

At Christmas we have a toy drive for the children. In the day care there are 255 children ranging from age 1year to 12 years. In this day care we offer teaching both western and traditional. There are elders who are sharing the language and the traditional ways. We act also as an after school place to be safe during the school year.

The name of the day care is Seneca Nation Children’s Early Development Program, and is located on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in N.Y. If you wish to make a cash donation then please make the checks out to the children’s program above.

We ask for toys that are not to large, both for boys and girls, they must be wrapped and labeled boy or girl and the age that they are appropriate for. The toys need not be expensive and can be anything from a color book to a small toy truck. Just be careful when buying that there are no small parts or anything that can harm a child.

We also love good books for the children perhaps some gently used ones that we can read to them. Used toys are acceptable as long as they are in good clean working order and not toys that depict war or violence.

Thank you all for our continued support in the program. We may be little but we are might when we stand together.

Love Waynonaha

Voices: A Collection of
Native American Stories

 by Grandmother Waynonaha Two Worlds

These nine Native American stories offer wisdom and comfort...support our dear Grandmother Waynonaha Two Worlds as she shares windows into the wisdom of the Ancients...this booklet makes a great gift for yourself or a loved one.

Read an article by Waynonaha : Bite My Tongue

Visit this book in the BOOKSHOP


Baby Magic for Your Magic Baby

Baby Magic is a Spiritual Guide to Motherhood. Begining before conception, Baby Magic guides a woman on her magical journey of becoming a mother. Including relaxations, eating tips, and exercises, Baby Magic teaches a woman how to prepare for and welcome her child with a healthy and brain stimulating environment.

Paperback, 89 pages, publisher--Magic of Motherhood. $14.95 Price includes shipping cost.

Order this book from our Bookshop

"I'd recommend it to any women who has even thought about becoming a mother!" - Rosa Durrante, midwife

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