Work That Lasts

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I like order, but I am thankful that I can do without it when I need to. Take Friday, for example. Ray and I sat at our desks pecking away at curriculum, while we waited for a call from our daughter. She was at a quiet location in Gainesboro, beginning the recording process for the folk song, dance, and poem CD we plan to publish with our new American history for grades 1-4. The quiet location was the library at our church.

Ray’s and my assignment was to drive over to Gainesboro when the folks who were recording before us got finished. When Mary Evelyn called, we joined her and our videographer in the church library to sing “Come, Josephine, in My Flying Machine.” It’s a cute song published in 1910 to celebrate that new-fangled invention, the airplane.

"Come, Josephine, in my flying machine, going up she goes, up she goes. Balance yourself like a bird on a beam . . . "
“Come, Josephine, in my flying machine, going up she goes, up she goes. Balance yourself like a bird on a beam . . . “

When we finished, we had about an hour before we needed to drive to Cookeville a half hour away. To get our new curriculum to the printer in time, I can’t waste an hour. Ray left me at church with my laptop. Not all of the building was cool mid-day on a Friday. I found both a cool place and a plug — right next to the pews in the auditorium. I pulled a small table and a chair beside the plug so I could get back to the curriculum. This is what the scene looked like when Ray came back to get me.

When we got to Cookeville, Ray dropped me off at the library. He did errands while I continued working. In the library lobby, I noticed a tribute plaque, honoring the library’s founders — or rather, foundresses. In 1923, almost 100 years ago, twelve women donated a total of twelve books to begin a circulating library. Let’s honor them and enjoy seeing what baby girl names were popular near the end of the 19th century.

  • Clara Cox Epperson
  • Minnie Crawford Barbour
  • Annie Belle Callaway
  • Priscilla Chapin
  • Myrtis Leonard Conry
  • Mary Harden
  • Almattie Jarman
  • Mary B. Kirkman
  • Gretchen McClanahan
  • Vena May Maxwell
  • Katherine Walling Shanks
  • Graeme McGregor Smith

Sixteen years later, in 1939, the Clara Cox Epperson Library opened its doors. Last Friday I sat at one of the laptop spots at its successor, the Putnam County Library. (Side note: Clara Cox Epperson actually grew up here in Gainesboro. She also became Poet Laureate of Tennessee.)

See what a few women can accomplish? You are an accomplishing woman, too, whether anyone ever puts your name on a plaque on a wall or not.

Good job, Mama. Thank you for what you do.

Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58



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