This painting is of my grandfather and grandmother before they were married. Their names were Charlie Nation and Anna Violet Stubblefield. After they were married Anna, of course, became Anna Nation and was known throughout our family as “Nannie”. As I was growing up, Nannie was the anchor of our family. She and my mother, Patty, (Nannie’s daughter) were very close and we, as children, always found great comfort having Nannie in our lives.
Of Lace and Light
Charlie Nation and Anna Stubblefield, Circa 1915
“Grow old with me, the best is yet to be”
– Robert Browning
Much of our family heritage was learned from her and she was very special to me. She and my grandfather, Charlie, were true soul mates.
In my many connections with “the other side” as I painted different family members, I always found Nannie to be the easiest to receive. The following story is from one of my automatic writing sessions with Nannie and was recorded in my journal as follows:
We were destined to be together. Your Pa was born in 1890 and I was born in 1898. I always knew we would be together. I had an eye for him and he had an eye for me. But he had to be patient and wait for me to grow up and come of age. There was never any question in my mind that we would be together. Not only was he the most handsome man, he was a very patient man and I felt comfortable in his presence. He was an educated man and in those days there was no real path for me to attend college. But I was smart and I knew him to be very intelligent and had the degrees to show for it. I graduated high school at age 13 and had to wait four years to marry my Charlie. My father was a successful farmer and my mother helped him on the farm in all ways. She was a very strong woman with a heart of gold. She insisted that I would not work in the fields. Instead she taught me everything I needed to be a wife and mother. I learned from her how to manage a home, and how to provide food for my family. I learned to capture a chicken, break its neck in a quick and humane way, dress it and cook it for Sunday dinner. I learned how to plant a garden and can the bounty. I became an accomplished seamstress, designing and sewing my own clothes. I learned to darn, quilt, knit, crochet and work with cross stitch and needlepoint. I learned all I needed to learn to provide a loving home for my Charlie.
My brother, Morris was a couple years older than Charlie and they knew each other from school. Charlie would come to see Morris but we all knew he was really there to see me. Finally, we convinced our parents to let us get married after my 17th birthday. This picture is of a rare day we got to go to Chanute alone. Everyone was so worried about us being alone it would make me nervous. I had trouble enjoying our time together. But your Pa was always a perfect gentleman and he would put me at ease and make me laugh at his boyish ways. Charlie was very good to my parents and always helped my father around the farm. He engrained himself with my family so there was no doubt we were going to be together. Indeed he was the only man for me and I was the only woman for him. Life was good and our Spirits were high.
~Channeled from Anna Stubblefield