Sunday, February 24, 2013

Aunt Laura’s Old Cedar Chest

I remember seeing Aunt Laura’s treasured cedar chest in one of the bedrooms in my Grandmother’s old home in Toquerville, Utah.  She kept an old fringed tapestry on the top.  This cedar chest was full of Aunt Laura’s treasured handmade linens and keepsakes from her long life in Southern Utah. 

Aunt Laura Anderson was Grandmother Emma Helena Anderson’s sister.  They were raised on their father Peter Anderson’s farm near Anderson’s Junction, Utah.  Grandfather Anderson was from Denmark.  He came to the United States as a young man, joined the church in its early days, made the pioneer trek to Utah and settled in Southern Utah to to farm.

Later in life, Aunt Laura married a man named John Pulsipher, known in the family as “Uncle Johnny.”  They never had any children, but Aunt Laura was loved by many nieces and nephews.  After Uncle Johnny died, Aunt Laura came to live with my Grandmother, their sister-in-law, Christine Anderson, who was also a widow, and her niece, my Aunt Mary, in Toquerville.

Aunt Laura was a very slim, tiny little lady who always wore her beautiful long white hair piled on top of her head, secured with a variety of combs, in a style favored by ladies of her day.

One story I remember hearing about Laura:  When Uncle Johnny died he left debts which Aunt Laura was determined to repay, even though she could have had them “forgiven,” due to her advanced age.  Aunt Laura would hear nothing of this arrangement, however.  She went to work at camps cooking for the workers until she had repaid the debts.  This took several years but she accomplished it, in spite of the hardship.  Aunt Laura was quiet and unassuming, truly a woman of integrity, who loved the Gospel, and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The old cedar chest and all of its contents was passed on down to me through my mother, Ruth Naegle.  It now occupies an honored spot in my home.  It still has the combs she wore in her hair and her many handmade items, and whenever I look at it, I think of my dear, sweet Aunt Laura and the examples she left for me.

Reminiscences of Aunt Laura,
By her great-niece, Lynda Edwards
January 2013

A note from Lori Woodbury, Lynda’s Daughter-In-Law:

Imagine my delight when I received an item from Aunt’s Laura’s cedar chest for Christmas 2012!  As you can see from the pictures below, not only is the item itself beautiful, but I was deeply touched by the simple act of Lynda giving it to me.  To have a mother-in-law who is willing to share such a special treasure with you is its own special gift.