Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 1830

Tonight is New Year's Eve. I like to reflect on things I might be looking forward to in the coming year. Now I know that by this time next year I will be a married women. All I can do is to pray to God to make Avery Longworth a nice man who will treat his new wife well. I have seen men hit their wives, right in front of other people. Or married men who go into the saloon and stay there for hours with the saloon women. I close my eyes tightly and try to picture what he looked like when he was here last year. I would have paid more attention to him if I had known why he had visited us.

My parents poured glasses of grape juice for us tonight before we went to bed. My father, offered a prayer to the Lord thanking him for our many blessings that we had this past year. Then he thanked the Lord for the blessings that would be bestowed on us, including Rachel's (me) upcoming marriage in the coming year. I took a sip of the tart, but sweet grape juice, remembering Mother and the girls and me working deligently picking the grapes and turning it into this tasty drink that we only drink on special occasions. Would I be planting my own grape vines this coming year?

We have always known the Longworth family. But not Avery's family that well. It is his cousins, Rebecca, Edna, Lauren, Nathan and Betsy we knew the best. They have always come to our family gatherings even though they are not really family. Our mothers were friends in school and Mrs. Longworth's family had moved away when she and Mother were about thirteen. Then when Mrs. Longworth married Dixon Longworth they moved here to Norwich. Mother was already married and living with Father outside of Norwich. Since then we have moved to our farm in East Smithville. So we aren't real close, but close enough. Avery's family lives on the other side of Norwich. I don't know what his plans are or where I will be living. This worries me as I'd like to know what I will be doing in my future.

Copyright © 2009 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Surprise

My name is Rachel and I am fifteen years old going on sixteen in four months. Today my parents have told me that I will be getting married to Avery Longworth in six months. He is considered a good catch though I have only seen him twice. The first time was at a house party when I was about ten and he, nineteen. He did not talk to me because he was with the men and I was still considered a child. I only remember him because I dropped my cake and he told his sister to pick it up for me and get another piece for me.

The next time was when he came to town to talk to my father last year. I didn't know what they were discussing and nobody told me. Not even my mother! He ate supper with us and we used our best dishes during the week. I should have known something funny was going on becasue we never use our good dishes during the week. Only at Sunday dinner or holidays. He told us good bye and I didn't think anything more of his visit. That is until yesterday.

Mother took me to town and we went to Scriff's General Store. They had a new shipment of cloth come in and Mrs. Scriff told Mother she had the cloth she ordered. It was a beautiful satin white brocade. Mother said she'd take it and then she chose a red and white gingham, a yellow with white flowers cotton, a white silk for underclothes and a beautiful robin egg blue cotton. She also bought enough cloth for handkerchiefs and scarves.

On the way home, I finally got up enough nerve to ask Mother who the cloth was for. She looked at me as she clucked to our horses, "Why you of course, Rachel. You are getting married in six months. Gotta send you off with some nice duds."

I gulped, "Married?" I knew better than to tell Mother that I wasn't ready to get married or to tell her that I always hoped that Kent Osbourne would be the one asking for my hand in marriage. Mother always told us what we would be doing and we did it. No questions asked. So that is how I found out about my upcoming marriage to a man I did not know.

Copyright © 2009 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016