The movie out of Africa is based on a novel written by Karen Blixen and is her true life story. She left her home in Denmark in 1914 to purchase a farm in Kenya Africa and run a dairy with money that her family had given her. Her soon to be husband went ahead to purchase the land, build a house and buy the cattle.
Much to her surprise when she arrived she found that he had decided to grow coffee instead of the dairy farm that they had agreed upon; without consulting her. Everyone told her that this was very risky because no one had ever tried to grow coffee at such a high altitude before. If that wasn’t enough to top it all off her husband took off to go hunting sort of indefinitely (he would only drop in when he needed more of her money). Leaving her to conquer this daunting task by herself. She was a very strong willed woman and overcame this and many other obstacles along the way. Accomplishing everything at a time in history when women didn’t have the same rights as men.
To her astonishment she soon found herself falling in love with the land and its people. She made a difference for good in their lives, giving of herself and helping them in countless ways and they fell in love with her as well. In the end she finally has to leave Africa and finds herself reflecting on everything that Africa has come to mean to her and how it has changed her life for the better, even though her time there was filled with so many trials. She also finds herself wondering how her life there has made a difference for good to the people and the country. These are her thoughts at the end of the movie. “I know a song of Africa of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and of the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers. Does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or will the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the N Gong Hills look out for me?”
I also find myself wondering the same thing about my own life and I hope that in some small way I have made a difference for good in the world and that it will be a better place because I was here.
TODAY IS THE VERY FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE
This is the beginning of a new day. I have been given this day to use as I will. I can waste it . . . or use it for good, but what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, and not loss: good and not evil: success and not failure: in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it. I will try just for today, for you never fail until you stop trying.
Next week look for the first recipe that I will be sharing!
My book Morsels from Heaven Recipes for Life and the Table will be coming to this website soon. This is another of my dreams that came true with a lot of hard work and many magical blessing along the way. I learned to cook from my mother who learned to cook from her mother (my grandma Ida).
Grandma Ida is my hero. Somehow I feel a connection to her although I never knew her, she died before I was born. Her story and all the good things everyone tells me about her inspire me and make me want to be a like her. She was a very brave little girl that through a lot of faith and hard work overcame more than most of us will ever have to.
She was born in Sweden and her family dreamed of coming to America, but that cost a lot of money. They came up with a plan that involved a lot of risk and would take years to fulfill. Booking passage on a ship to America was very expensive, but the price for children under 12 was much less. They made arrangements to send the children one at a time starting with the children under 12. Someone would accompany them on the ship and a family would take them in once they arrived in America until the parents could come.
Everything was going according to the plan until it was my grandma Ida’s turn. The person that was to accompany her missed the boat so, there she was sailing to America all by herself at 11 years old. All she had from home was a small basket that her mother had packed some bread and cheese in. She was using it very sparingly when sometime into the voyage a man on board deemed it was no good, grabbed it from her and threw it overboard. I can just feel how her heart must have sunk along with her basket, the only thing she had from home was now lost in the depths of the ocean forever. I can imagine how this thoughtless act must have cemented the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that had to have already filled every fiber of her being.
There was however an older couple on the ship that was very kind to her. Once they gave her a banana to eat but she had never seen one before and didn’t know how to eat it. She tried eating it peal and all and thought it tasted awful, not wanting to hurt their feelings she snuck out at night and threw it overboard. (If she only knew the treasure she could have had inside). Finally, they docked in America, but because the person that was supposed to accompany her on the ship wasn’t’ there she had no idea where to go. She couldn’t speak any English and didn’t know what to do, so she just sat on the dock and cried.
Finally, after a long time someone came along that spoke Swedish. They made arrangements for her to stay with a family in exchange for cooking, cleaning and caring for their children. This reminds me of Anne of Green Gables who was also 11 years old. Like Anne some of the people she stayed with were kind like Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, but some of them were not like Mrs. Hammond.
Finally, after several years her father was able to come and gather his family together again. What a joyous day that must have been. But there was also sadness as well, her mother passed away in Sweden and never made it to America. I am grateful to know my grandmother’s story. I have drawn strength and courage from it in the difficult times of my own life. It makes me want to be a better person. I hope you can find a connection to your ancestors and draw strength from their stories.
When I was a little girl way back in the olden days. There was no such thing as Dvd’s, Vcr’s, or Cable. Our T.V. signal came from an antenna perched on the roof. Cinderella was my favorite movie in the whole world. It was only shown once a year and it was always in the spring. For months I would scour the T.V. Guide watching and waiting for my magical evening where I dreamed of being Cinderella as I watched the movie. Back then it was not the Disney production kids are used to today. It was a Roger and Hammerstein musical and my favorite song was when Cinderella would sing “My Own Little Corner”. As I watched I would dream along with her and millions of other little girls I’m sure, about all the wonderful adventures life could hold for me. All these years later I can definitely say that I have had my fair share of adventures. However most of them have not been what I was dreaming of all those years ago. Although I did get my prince charming which was the best dream come true of all. In addition, I now officially have My Own Little Corner where I will continue dreaming of wonderful magical moments for the rest of my life. I am sure even more dreams will come true, some may be even bigger than I could have imagined. While I don’t have the assistance of a Fairy God Mother I will try to post at least once a week and I hope the things that are shared will be uplifting and beneficial for us all.