Tell Me a Story

Tell Me A Story – Divinity & the Great Depression

Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story Challenge :

Choose a person.  Then do any or all of the following:

  • Make a list of the top ten stories about this person, a word or phrase will do.
  • Choose one story and tell a compelling, short version that will interest your family members in one minute or less.
  • Tell a more detailed version of that story including photos if you have them.

Notes:  You can read about my inspiration behind this challenge here.  I’ve decided to reverse the order in my post.  If you are reading this, you like stories so I’ll start with the full story, then the bite-sized story to hook my family members, then the list of ten stories.

Naomi Skeen Peterson

This beautiful woman is my great grandmother Naomi Skeen.

Naomi is the mother of six children, two were born in the late 1920s and four were born in the 1930s.  She was raising her little flock of children all through the Great Depression.  During this same time her husband held a prominent responsibility in their church as a Stake President over a very large Stake.

One Christmas season during the depression, Naomi and her family were the recipients of many delicious treats from friends, neighbors, church friends, and family members.  At this time it was very difficult to acquire sugar and other baking ingredients so these gifts were a sacrifice and greatly appreciated by Naomi and especially her children.

One gift came from Naomi’s mother-in-law Lettie Taylor Peterson.  Grandma Peterson brought over a box of homemade divinity.  As my grandpa told me, Naomi knew that her children wouldn’t particularly enjoy the divinity when they had so many other sweeter, richer treats to enjoy.  She knew this gift was precious and so she put it away in her closet.  She waited until all of the other treats had long since been eaten and her children were longing for a sweet treat.  That’s when she brought out the white divinity.  My grandpa told me that on that day he thought divinity was one of the most delicious things he had ever tasted.

Naomi was a wise, thoughtful woman.  She knew how to appreciate a gift and the sacrifice behind that gift.  Naomi died just before my dad turned five.  Because there are so few memories of her that have been passed down to me, I especially cherish each one.

One Minute Story:

My grandpa once told me a little bit about the Great Depression and what it was like to be a kid during that time.  Sweet treats were really rare.  One time his mother saved some divinity until her children were really longing for a treat.  He said it was the best thing he had ever tasted.

Top Ten Stories List for Naomi (well, in her case eight):

  • Picking Cherries
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Divinity and the Great Depression
  • Zucchini Bread
  • Letter to Grandpa
  • Selling Eggs
  • “You have my mother’s eyes.”
  • Nao-ma


18 thoughts on “Tell Me A Story – Divinity & the Great Depression”

      1. I didn’t mean my comment as a criticism. I’ve heard of it as a dessert, I just never knew what its ingredients were. I’d venture most people know.

        1. Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you had criticized. It was just a good reminder to me that details are really important. Divinity is a treat that has fallen out of common use and I bet my own kids would read this story and say “What’s divinity?” Your comment was completely kind. 🙂

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