Remembering Vadica

Posted in Excerpts at 12:39 pm by admin


Our Home in Coqueiros Brazil

Our Home in Coqueiros

Vadica came to work for us when she was eighteen, very old for an unmarried Brazilian girl, since most of her peers had long since married and began having babies. …She was kind and good-humored, always cheerful.  The opposite of Mother, Vadica never seemed to have a bad day.
Vadica didn’t live with us, but she came six days a week, and worked constantly from morning until night. The ironing took her a whole day.  She had to coal-fire the iron, and its temperature was then fickle and impossible to regulate.  Often, the clothes were scorched and had to be washed again.  Vadica had fun apprenticing in my mother’s kitchen, where she soon learned to cook like an expert. …
It was not unusual for Mother to realize, in the middle of a recipe, that she needed  another egg or two.  I was the only one in the house who perfected the technique of knowing just when a chicken was about to lay an egg.  I’d run out to the henhouse and, one by one, insert my finger up the chickens’ rear-ends.  If a hen was about to lay an egg, I could feel it inside her.  I could predict by the texture of the shell, whether an egg was on its way or would be laid within fifteen minutes or longer.  Mother was most grateful!
Vadica was also with me when we witnessed the beheading at the marketplace, which I will describe in one of the future excerpt.

Graceann’s Comments

One of the bonuses for writing my book, was remembering Vadica.  There is not one mention of her in all the hundreds of letters Mother wrote to Henrietta Severence, her friend, or any of her relatives. I wondered, why?  Then it occurred to me that Mother did not want anyone to know that she had a full-time maid.  It would be hard for her supporters in the United States to understand why the poor missionary needed a maid.  And as I look back, Mother did need help.  Our house was constantly full of visitors, the average number of people at the table was ten, and often many more.  Cooking and baking with the wood burning stove was a real challenge, and Vadica had experience.  Mother was also busy with preparations for Sunday School, in charge of the choir,  music for church, besides keeping the house in order. It was an impossible job for one person, and Vadica made life bearable for her.  However, I was at a loss for information on Vadica.  But, when I started looking for information, I woke up often in the middle of the night, and my thoughts and memory would be refreshed, and my experiences with Vadica became vivid.  During the writing of this book I have been astounded at the wonders of the brain, how everything is stored, and can be remembered.  Vadica was a very intelligent women, she was also kind, and hard working. We were extremely fortunate to have her with us for approximately four years.

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