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The story behind this week's eBay listings

When we first moved into our home back in the early 1980s, we were the only Caucasians on the street, except for Mr. B and his son John. Mr. B was in his 80s and John was in his 40s. John had Down's Syndrome and so he lived with his father but went to a special workshop everyday to work with his friends, earn some money and have some fun. Mr. B had worked as a Sears repairman. He had also owned a restaurant for a while and done some other jobs. Everyday he still dressed like he was going to work in his work pants and work shirt. His hair was cut short and he looked sharp. Even at 80 something he walked very well and had a keen sense of humor. Only his hearing had started to fail him.

It didn't bother Mr. B that we were a lot younger than he was. He came down to talk anyway. He brought us tomatoes from his garden and just generally hung out to chat. He and Mr. Pete were fast friends because they both like to tinker with things and repair them. Mr. Pete became the muscle Mr. B needed when he took on a project that was just a little to physically hard for him to do.

I didn't see too much of John unless he forgot his house key. One time his father was gone and he didn't have his key with him so I let him in the house with me and my babies. I offered him a piece of pie and a glass of milk. He kept commenting on how, "You're no spring chicken sister." Down's Syndrome or no, I offered to let him wear the pie if he didn't stop teasing!

A couple of years ago Mr. B moved into a retirement home and he finally passed away this year at the age of 103. His sister and John (who in his 60s is one of the oldest Down Syndrome people around!) came to help clean out his house. Mr. B, having survived the Great Depression, had become a pack rat. He never threw out anything if he could help it, because you just never knew when it would come in handy. One of the things he never threw away was a box of patterns that his wife had from earlier in her marriage.

I never knew Mrs. B. She had passed on at least 20 years before we got there. But I do know a few things. I know that God blessed her with two children ten years apart. Her little boy had Downs Syndrome but she kept him with her even when that isn't quite what folks did back then. And I know she was a good woman, because she had the love of a good man, who still loved her even after death.

Her daughter is having me sell some of her dress patterns on eBay. She doesn't do that sort of thing and since I sell quite a bit I was happy to do it. What I have been learning about Mrs. B through handling her patterns is that even though she was a stay at home mom, with a little boy with special needs and a daughter that no doubt kept her very busy, her own appearance was important to her, and she chose dress patterns that would make her look nice, stylish and beautiful. I can see by the patterns she chose that she was also an accomplished seamstress. She folded each cut piece with care to be safely kept until next time.

Mrs. B was a Proverbs 31 woman:
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." Her husband trusts her management of their resources. Her industriousness adds to the family income.

"She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." This woman does not do right only when it is convenient and profitable. Her actions are not based on how she is treated by others or by what others think. Her character is steady. She is reliable and dependable.

"In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers."

"She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple"

I hope who ever buys Mrs. B's patterns will be as blessed as she was!

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