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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)

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    Things at Elmshaven

    A description of the various activities at Elmshaven on Tuesday evening, May 20, was given by W. C. White:5BIO 170.3

    Maggie [Hare] is writing for Sara. Mother is very weary today, and cannot write much for the Australian mail, so Sara is writing some letters by Mother's direction. Sister Peck has just left the office, and gone to her little cottage about fifty yards from Mother's house. Sister Davis is in her east room in this office building, hard at work preparing book manuscript. Brother Crisler and I are in the southwest chamber of the office, writing to you. At the house, about twenty yards south of the office, all is quiet. Mother has just gone to rest, after a hard day's work of writing to our people in the South. About an hour ago, Brother and Sister James, Mrs. Nelson (Mother's cook), Maggie, Brother Crisler, myself, and Elder George I. Butler were all picking cherries from a big tree close to the office.— Ibid., 272, 273.5BIO 170.4

    William White then turned to his own home situation and wrote concerning his two older daughters, who had to find some means of earning money during the summer. Money was very scarce and each had to do his part. So W. C. White said:5BIO 170.5

    Ella and Mabel [20 and 16 years old, respectively] have been preparing for a journey of thirty miles southeast into a large fruit district, where they expect to find employment picking and packing fruit. Ella, with the help of Anna Rasmussen, has been mending an old tent in which the girls will lodge, while Mabel has been packing up provisions, and cooking. My wife has been preparing to take the boys and go with me and Elder Butler to Healdsburg tomorrow.— Ibid., 273.5BIO 171.1

    And on Thursday, W. C. White reported: 5BIO 171.2

    When I came over this morning, I found Mother picking strawberries, and although she is quite weary from the extra work of the last few days, she seems very cheerful.— Ibid., 301.

    Ellen White was very fond of strawberries. In 1867 and 1868, when their home was in Greenville, Michigan, and her husband, James, was recovering from his stroke of paralysis, they had grown many strawberries. She was pleased to find that the little patch at Elmshaven “bore wonderfully.” The fruit was good. It was large, and she noted “some of the berries measuring three and a half inches around, and one four inches” (Letter 116, 1902).5BIO 171.3

    It was camp meeting time, and while she would not attend many this year, she did feel that she should attend the California meeting, which was scheduled nearby at Petaluma, to be held June 5 to 15. On such occasions she did not drop her office work, but took her staff with her. The work would continue from day to day, slowed up somewhat of course by the camp meeting program, but not too seriously interrupted. Trunks were packed, typewriters were prepared for shipping, and the materials were sent over to Petaluma in advance. She felt the hand of the Lord had been with them in making arrangements for a home during the camp meeting.5BIO 171.4

    On Thursday the party set out with horse and carriage from St. Helena for the fifty-mile drive. Fruit was hanging heavily on the trees in the orchards they passed. The vines gave good promise of a bountiful yield of grapes. Mustard was knee-deep in the orchards and vineyards that had not yet been plowed. Clusters of poppies bloomed along the road. They passed some eucalyptus trees in the Petaluma area, which reminded Ellen White of Australia.5BIO 171.5

    She described the home they rented as “a large two-story house, in a quiet neighborhood, within about five minutes’ walk of the campground.” It was an eight-room house with a bathroom. It was equipped with a stable and a paddock for the horses, and the rent was $7 for the ten days. She remarked, “Never before in all my travels have I, when away from home, been so favorably situated either for working or for resting as I was in this house in Petaluma.”— Ibid.5BIO 172.1

    The weather during the camp meeting was excellent. Mrs. White slept well. Each day she spent some time on the campground, and she spoke seven times. Each day she went for a short drive in the carriage. Each day she spent time with her writing. She and her staff were preparing for the annual meeting of the California Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association to be held at the St. Helena Sanitarium immediately on their return from Petaluma.5BIO 172.2

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