Welcome to the Official I Live on a Farm Website Happy Holidays

From the journal writings of firefly's mother ...

Before the Beginning
by B.L. Johnson

Fireflys Grandma JohnsonMy story begins with my mother, Livinah Edwards. Mother was born on January 14, 1899 to Green Jacob Washington (Wash) Edwards and Christina (Tina) Easter Edwards.

Her father died when she was a toddler; her mother remarried shortly afterwards. Vina (as she was called) grew up with her grandparents (her mother's parents). Both grandparents died when she was about twelve years old, but she lived on in the household with her Uncle Jake and his young wife, Caroline Allen. The situation in the home became unpleasant, as she was often treated more like a servant than a family member. This probably encouraged her to slip away from home and marry my dad before her sixteenth birthday.

Now I have to tell you a little more history so you can know something of what my mother was involved in and to make the story more interesting. You can see the relationship between the families involved in this story by following the family names in the first paragraph below:

Along about 1912 there were adventures going on in the Edwards and Allen families, who were related to one another. The adventure started with an argument between two groups of young men, with actions which resulted in two of the Edwards boys being arrested for disturbing the peace while the other boys involved went free.

When the Caroll county sheriff was taking the two Edwards boys off to jail, tied up and shackled, Floyd Allen saw them. He was enraged and tried to stop the sheriff, who accused him of interfering with the duties of a law officer.

Floyd Allen was tried and the judge sentenced him to one year in prison. Now there were Edwards and Allen family members and spectators gathered to witness the sentencing. When the judge announced the sentence, the deputies were instructed to take Floyd to jail but he cried out, "I just ain't a-goin'!" as he fumbled in his coat for a gun. A shootout followed between the family members, spectators, and the sheriffs. Several people, including the judge, were killed or later died from their wounds.

Two of the men involved, Sidna Allen and Wesley Edwards, took to the mountains and hid out for five weeks. And here is where my mother comes into their story:

Sidna and Wesley were hiding in the mountains near where mother lived with her Uncle Jake. While they were hiding from the law, my mom had the chore of taking food for them to a hiding place. She has good memories of doing this, leaving food and later going back to pick up the containers.

Six months later, these men were caught, tried, and sent to prison for twenty-seven years. While in prison, Sidna Allen wrote a book about the shootout. He also learned to do woodworking. He made beautiful furniture with inlaid wood designs and such. After he was released from prison he built a beautiful show-piece home, filled with furniture he made, which may still be standing on the road near Galax, Virginia.

In the summer of 1914, my dad came to Uncle Jake's house to do some business with Uncle Jake. That is when he met my mother and fell in love with her.

Firstlys Mother and Her Identical Twin SisterMom attended school through about the fifth grade and had a very good education even with only that much schooling. By the time she was 35-years old she had given birth to thirteen children, including two sets of twins. In 1933, my identical twin sister Patty and I were born. By that time, childhood disease or illness had already claimed the lives of four of my siblings. So my mother enrolled in a Home Nursing Correspondence Course with the hope she could learn more and be equipped to provide more effective health-care for her family. My dad built her a special study desk to keep her materials handy; she was often seen late at night working on her course assignments.

In September of 1937, she completed the course with a letter of commendation as a "Trained Practical Nurse". With her good nursing care, the remaining nine children all grew up and graduated from high school.

My mom was a wonderful manager of the home. When my father went away to Washington, D.C. to help build the pentagon (as a carpenter), my mother put some of the money he sent home in the local Savings & Loan to help buy the land for the first home the family owned.

Before there was electricity in our home, she cooked on a four-burner wood stove for her big family. She mended our shoes with new soles and heels using her shoe repair kit. She had a peddle-model Singer sewing machine she used to make clothes for the family, sew quilt tops to make quilts for all the beds, and to handle other sewing needs for the family. The quilt tops were made from the fabric scraps left from the clothes she made.

Fireflys Grandma Johnson with Older Brother DanMom was a great gardener and, with the help of the family, grew vegetables and fruits and canned them for the winter months.

To help with the family income, she sold milk and butter from the family cows, eggs from the chickens, feed bags from the chicken and dairy feed, and chickens from our flock.

She was active in the community church and taught the Lady's Sunday School class for many years.

My sister Faye published a book in 1983 of our family history. With my dad's help before he died in 1959, she did years of research to compile the information in that book. I want to acknowledge her work and the contribution she made to the history of my family long before I was born. She had an interview meeting with some of the older children in the family and included many of their memories in the book. I am grateful to them all.

Email comments regarding this journal entry to: editor101 [at sign] gmail.com


Visit Flying Junction for Unique Gift Ideas.
Visit Flying Junction at Etsy for New York Subway posters

As Seen in Vogue Knitting
& Interweave Knits
Our Knitter's Eye Charts

Our Original Knitter's Eye Charts As Seen in Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits 2011

Check out our eBooks
See the selection of eBooks and Kindle books we are publishing


Our Knitting Patterns

NY Knucks:
Knuckle Gloves for a Guy

NY Knucks: Knuckle Gloves for a Guy Knitting Patterns
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart

New York: A Guy's Wool Hat & Scarf
New York: A Guys Wool Hat and Scarf Knitting Patterns
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart

3 Scrumptious Christmas Stockings
Three Scrumptious Christmas Stockings to Knit
Printed version $15.00
Online Download $12.00
Add to Cart


Chimney Top Christmas Stocking
The Chimney Top Christmas Stocking Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Jingle Bells Christmas Stocking
Jingle Bells Christmas Stocking Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Ginger Snap Christmas Stocking
Ginger Snap Christmas Stocking Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


The Silk Stocking Christmas Stocking
The Silk Stocking Christmas Stocking Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


1Bag Knit Three Ways
1Bag Three Ways Knitting Pattern for Grocery Market Bag
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Biscuit Blanket & Springtime Dishcloth
Biscuit Blanket Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Jammies Gift Bags for Canning Jars
Jammies Gift Bags for Jelly and Canning Jars Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Three Farm Fresh Gift Bags
Three Farm Fresh Hand Knit Gift Bags Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Buttercup Gift Bag & 2 Washcloths
Butter Cup Gift Set Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Jinny's Vines: A Nap Blanket
Jinnys Vines A Nap Blanket Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Vineyard Wrap
Vineyard Wrap Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Buttons & Stripes Scarf
Buttons and Stripes Scarf Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Baby Cable Switchback Hat
New Patterns!
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Lavender Hat, Hat Band & Scarf
Lavender Hat and Scarf Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Toastie: Sleek Scarf for Men
Toastie: A Sleek Scarf for Men Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Gentle Waters & Girlfriend Scarves
Gentle Waters and Girlfriend Scarf Knitting Patterns
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Emily Baby Sweater & Hat
Emily Baby Girl Sweater and Hat Knitting Pattern
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart


Merrill Teddy Bear Sweater & Scarf
Merrill Teddy Bear Sweater and Scarf Knitting Patterns
Printed version $6.00
Online Download $5.00
Add to Cart