THE MINK AND ME
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to
him that believeth." Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
It was a warm Spring night and the living room was full of people. The lights were turned
low and the candle light reflected the mesmerizing beauty of the Copper Craft tea set, candle holders, plaques, bowls, etc. that were displayed on the table.
Moments earlier my cousin and I had finished putting on the finishing touches on her house
and getting our six little towheads ready, all under four years old, to go to Great-Grannie Annie's for the night.
The copper party was a total success. I stood drooling as Joanie picked out the free gifts she had earned. I had never seen such beautiful, yet practical items in my life. She needed a few more points to get the copper tea set that she desperately wanted. It wasn't too hard to persuade me to have a party for her. I knew it would be the only way I ‘d ever get any of the copperware that I wanted.
I had my party the following week. It was awesome and I chose many of the items I had drooled over. The Demonstrator, Lorraine was so impressed with my success she wanted me to become an area distributor. She invited my husband and me to the California State Award Banquet at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. It was a spectacular event. I couldn't believe the awards that were given to the winners. The Home Company from back East was present and told about the National Royalty Awards. The National Queen always got a mink stole as part of her bounty.
As the evening excitement continued my desire to become a distributor grew. To my dismay
I found myself telling Lorraine I definitely wanted to be a distributor and that I was going to be the top national sales person next year. I shocked myself. But my shock wasn't as great as my husband's. The Western states had never won the National Royalty Awards. We talked about it all the way back home to the San Fernando Valley.
I already had several activities on my plate without undertaking this new challenge. I had three children under four and was in charge of planning and organizing all the activities for the children's program at our yearly national church camp meeting. I would have to give up two weeks of contest time to attend camp.
I was just getting really started when I began to experience an uncontrollable nausea. I soon learned that I would be in full bloom with child number four before the contest was completed. I reminded myself that I could do all things through Christ who is my strength. Quitting my job was the hardest thing I had to do.
Money was tight. My territory took me three hours away to San Diego and then it would take me in the opposite direction another three hours to Port Magoo. I would have to do 2-3 shows a day since I had to fit in camp meeting if I was going to meet my goal. In my heart I knew it would be worth all the effort it was going to take. Lorraine pitched in by giving me lots of loose flowers to make my floral centerpieces for my shows.
Camp meeting came and went. I packed my days full. It was like pouring a gallon of water in a pint jar. I took one of the children with me to each show. Leeanna, my oldest loved the adventures. Grannie Annie or a family friend accompanied me to each show in case something would happen, which was more frequent than not.
I'll never forget the day I got lost on Mulholand Drive and ran a stop sign. I pulled over to the curb as the cop's flashing lights behind me required. Standing at the window he asked to see my driver's licenses. "Didn't you see the stop sign you ran?"
Grannie Annie snapped at him, "No Sir, she did not."
My four year old popped up her little head from the backseat and replied, "Yes she did Grannie Annie. Remember, Mamma said, " Oh no, look what I did." The officer promptly issued me a ticket and I lost my perfect driving record.
It was Danny's turn to go with me to the next show. He was a confirmed bachelor that was into politics and honesty. The traffic was horrendous on Sepulveda Blvd. when my car decided to overheat at this most inopportune time. Horns were honking as far back as a block behind me. I got very nervous and upset. He got out of the car and came around to my window, patted my hand and assured me everything would be okay. He proceeded to walk back to the car behind me. He leaned in close enough for the driver to hear him say, "Sir, I will be very happy to set here honk your horn for you if you could help her with her car." I ended up being only twenty minutes late for the show. It turned out to be very successful.
Many strange, new events and experiences occurred during my endeavor. At one time my life had been fairly calm, even normal with home, work, and church being my boundaries. I anxiously awaited the approaching deadline of the contest and the results. I had made more money than I would have at a regular job. But, had I reached my goal? Had I been successful enough to be declared the National Copper Craft Queen?.
Finally the news came, I won!! I was officially the National Queen of the Copper Craft Guild!! My feet didn't touch the floor for a week. With God's help and all of those He had sent my way to help me I had met the challenge set before me and my goal was a reality.. It was such a wonderful experience to have my family be so proud of me, it made me proud of myself. There had been so many times giving up would have been much easier than pushing on to the goal ahead of me. Every time my will would become over stressed the promise in God's Word that assured me all things were possible to them that believed (Mark 9:23 NKJV) would come to mind and boost my determination to press forward. Giving up was really never an option for me.
I was supposed to wear a formal gown to the banquet. There wasn't any such thing as a maternity formal. The bundle of joy that I had carried to every copper ware show had won the hearts of many. Grannie Annie wasn't daunted because the store couldn't produce a formal. She put her sewing talents to work and created me one of most beautiful formal gowns that could have been acquired anywhere.
The Royal Night came at last. I felt like a queen, true royalty. It was a feeling beyond my wildest dreams. I was presented with a dozen red roses, a mink stole was placed around my shoulders, a crown was placed on my head, and beautiful trophy was placed in my hands. I was truly a "Queen for the Day." The other gifts were fantastic..
The evening ended all too quickly. The cool California wind blew as we went to the car. I pulled the mink stole closer to me. Its warmth and beauty were exquisite. The hour and a half trip home offered me a few minutes of quiet.. The children were soon asleep and Doug was content to drive in silence. My heart felt like it would burst with love and gratitude to a Heavenly father who had been with me all along the way. Resting my hands on my stomach I
thanked Him for the gift of another child. Instinctively, in my heart I knew I wanted to offer Him something special. I tenderly brushed my cheek against the mink stole and knew it would be a perfect gift to present to one of our missionary funds. The "Mink and me" would make a very special journey to church in the morning.
The Sabbath morning chatter and preparation for church was a lively as ever. My heart raced with excitement. Doug took the children to the car and secured them all in their proper places. I reached into the closet and took the mink out of its place of honor and secured it around my shoulders.
All the ladies at church took turns trying it on. As soon as I could I expressed my desire to the Pastor that the mink be sold and the finances be placed in our Dorcas Missionary Fund, there were so many people that were needing help this year. God had so blessed me. I was grateful He
had allowed me to have a gift I could offer back to Him for His goodness in my life.