Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Just A Tenant Farmer's Wife in Wisconsin can be found on page 8.
February 1938 rumbled with global happenings that would come to a head in the form of World War II in a few short years. Emperor Hirohito of Japan enjoyed Adolf Hitler's public support of his invasion of China and the subsequent slaughter, some would say genocide, of the Chinese population. Some estimates of the overall Chinese death toll at the hands of the Japanese range between 20-35 million.
In England, political opponents where jockeying for power in a manner that will eventually lead to the nomination of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister. Neville Chamberlain suffered the humiliation of having several of his prominent cabinet members resign in protest of Chamberlain's appeasement approach to growing German aggression.
The German Chancellery was taking active steps to increase the German military. Hitler seized the military and made it accountable to himself, rather than an independent branch of the government. He also published the dramatic results of a government program intended to increase the German population. In 1933 the German government began offering newly married couples a $960 loan to set up a new, independent household. For every child born to that couple, a quarter of the loan principle was forgiven; so if a couple had four children within a specific time period, they did not have to repay the loan. Within the first couple years of this program in place, the marriage rate increased 50%, illegitimacy rates fell, and the birth rate skyrocketed by an increased 220,800 births.
Hitler's intention was to change German society over the course of a single generation. A young generation he could indoctrinate from a young age (the Hitler Youth) and funnel immediately into military or economic service for the betterment and expansion of German Aryan society. Hitler's marriage loan program started in 1933, Hitler did not successfully annex Austria until 1938 and began to increase German territory. Hitler's vision for an Aryan Europe began years before the first shots of World War II where ever fired.
In the Unites States, things where more sedate. Harvard University students started a new tradition of swallowing live goldfish. Gross, but it's safer than Tide Pods I suppose. John Stienback's The Grapes of Wrath was published, and Batman was first introduced by Detective Comics, aka DC comics. The Wizard of Oz debuted as the first film in color. Fans of America's favorite pastime mourned the retirement of the great Lou Gehrig after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a muscular degenerative disease that now carries his name. For many of American's life continued as normal as they kept their noses to down, focusing on their improving financial situations. Most Americans were unwilling to repeat the Great War, and where content to let Europe handle its own troubles.
I love the simple nostalgia that Just A Tenant Farmer's Wife evokes when as she describes a regular evening. The joy of Daddy home from work, a hearty dinner and enjoying the company of your family; simple pleasures that are often overlooked. When was the last time you had an uninterrupted dinner with your family? I grew up eating dinner with my parents and sister every night, and now I eat dinner with my husband and kiddos every night. No TV, no devices, we actually have to talk to each other! I hope the kids appreciate that Handsomepats and I are intentional about nurturing a relationship with each of them. Even though all three of them are screaming at each other right now, I do hope that they look back on their childhood's and remember happy, fun, and sometime's peaceful memories like the one Tenant Farmer's Wife writes about.
Construction for the Lucy block is pretty strait forward. In the pre-cut sizes I list bellow, the D pieces are slightly over sized to make sure that the fabric will meet seam allowances, just remember to trim down to size before you piece the rest of the block together.
A (1) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"
B (4) 3 1/4 x 3 1/4", cut into HST's
C (8) 1 1/4 x 1 1/4"
D (8) 2 x 2", cut into HST's