Saturday, January 30, 2010

Making Plans

I have been putting all my spare time into preparing for my marriage to Avery Longworth. He still has not been in touch or sent a message since he sent me the beautiful jewelry box. How can I marry a man I don't know? I will not know what he likes to eat, his favorite colors, what he expects of a wife or anything at all. His family has not come to call either. This worries me constantly. Mother brushes it off, saying that will come in time. She says I will learn all that soon enough after the wedding.

My sisters helped me to piece four quilts. Mrs. Johnson down the road gave me the cotton and enough lining for two of them. Mother said we can buy the lining for the other two next time we go to town. Mrs. Johnson traded some muslin for some extra meat we had from the bull Father butchered last week. There is enough muslin for four sets of sheets, two pairs of pillow cases, three tablecloths and five towels. After we ate lunch, Leah and I cut out the red and white gingham and the yellow and white flowered cotton dresses. We will sew them together in the next few days during the evening.

Yesterday, Mother and I worked in the kitchen. My sisters and I have always taken turns making our food, such as bread, rolls, cereals, desserts, as well as our meals. Mother has decided that I should be the one in the kitchen every day now. My sisters will be assisting me. She wants to make sure my baking and cooking skills are perfect for my new husband. I am sort of nervous about cooking for him, though I have always cooked for everyone for years. This is different and I would like to know what he likes to eat or does not like. What if he hates the first meal I cook for him? It will be his fault for not coming to call on me. That is what suitors usually do or that is what I always thought.

My sister Esther has been trying to care for my team of horses. Tater and Spud are my own horses and I am planning on taking them and my buckboard with me. I have raised them from tiny foals, having been born on the same day. Father had promised I could have them and taught me how to harness them up to the buckboard. I worked baking and sewing for Mr. Tottle in town who traded the buckboard to me. His wife had died two years before and he needed some new clothing, some mending and was hankering for some baked bread, cake and pies. I still bake for him at times. Esther is not really fond of horses except that there are times she wants to go someplace and needs the buckboard. So during this time she is learning so when I am gone she will be able to use Father's team.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Wedding Date

Today Mother studied the calendar and told me I would be getting married on Sunday, June 19th after church. She started making a list of things that need to be done. She told me to go look in my hope chest and see what I have and make a list of it. Then we will make a list of the items I will be needing. She said I need two years worth of clothes and personal items. And I will need my kitchen utensils also.

I have been keeping a hope chest ever since I can remember. My grandmother made me beautiful presents every year of her handiwork to put in it. Whenever someone gave me a present it usually was something for my hope chest. All of my sisters have one too. It is what we are taught. I am the eldest daughter, so the first one to be getting married. My sisters, Esther, Leah, Edna and Lorraine watched with much interest of the study of my hope chest.

As I look at my own embroidery I see the difference in my stitches as I got older and became more experienced. That is what we do in the evening around the fire. After all the kitchen chores are finished and the fire is set up for morning in the kitchen hearth, Mother and us girls sew. The boys and Father repair tack, shoes or read. Then Father reads some Scriptures out of our family Bible. Then we have our prayers and go on to bed. The same thing every night. I wonder what my routine will be like after I am married? I don't know what Avery Longworth's routine is or even what he likes.

I pray to God that he will be the kind of man my own father is. I see my Father as a strong man but he has compassion for others. He is good to Mother and treats her like she is precious to him. Us children can go to him for any reason and he will take the time to listen. I like that. In an emergency, many neighbors and friends will come to him for help and he always knows what to do. Most important is that Father is a man who follows God's word and has taught us children to always obey God first. I do not know if Avery Longworth is like my father in any way since I do not really know him that well. Soon, I shall.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Gift

Today I received a message to come to the store to pick up a box that has arrived for me! For me! I have never received a box that came throught the mail before. I hitched up the buckboard to my horses, Tatar and Spud and took off slow while I was still within eyesight of Mother. Soon as I got around the curve I took off at a trot. When I got to Schriff's General Store everyone there knew I had received a package from my beau, Avery Longworth! It was a big box and quite heavy. Matt Schriff put it in my buckboard with a smile. He was disappointed that I did not open it right there.

When I got home, Mother had my brother Teddy carry the box into the kitchen and cut it open with his pocket knife. It was a beautiful wood jewelry box on legs. It had a place for necklaces to hang. And little drawers that open and close that would hold treasures and protect them from the dust. When I opened the top music played. When I closed it the music stopped. It contained a message written on plain white paper that read; To Rachel in appreciation of becoming my wife in a few months. Avery Longworth. That was it. Very simple, but nice. It made me feel better about this marriage thing.

I really hope I will get to see him in person soon. Wouldn't it be nice to get to know each other first? Or for our families to spend a day together or something? Now I am really paying attention to married couples we know. Noticing things I never paid attention to before. Like Father opening doors for Mother. Or the way he lights the lamps for her so she doesn't have to walk through the house in the dark. My brother always harnesses his wife's horse up for her when she is going to town. I have always done that myself. Especially since I have always had my own buggy horses, as well as our two riding horses and a small work horse I use to plow our kitchen garden. Will I be able to keep my own horses when I marry and move from here? These are the thoughts that are filling my head day and night.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Just Another Day In My Life

This morning my friend, Eliza stopped by on her way to the Alison's farm. She goes there every week to help Mrs. Alison with her baking. Mrs. Alison broke her leg a couple of months ago and was having trouble doing her baking. Eliza lives with her father and her grandfather. She does most of the cooking but she wanted to learn to bake better. Someday she wants to have a family and thought that would be a good skill to have. Her grandfather taught her how to make bread but she wants to know how to make buns, pies and cakes too. Mother would have taught her or one of us girls could have. We have been baking since we were able to stand up. Eliza never mentioned it to me before. Mrs. Alison got hurt and Eliza worked out this deal with her.

So I was eagerly looking forward to her visit. We talked over some oatmeal cookies and tea. She told me all the news from her family. Her brother, Nathan is married now and he only visits them once a month. He and his wife, Ruth came last week and they are going to have a baby. Eliza is so excited! A baby finally in her family. Her mother died in childbirth when Eliza was born. She was always sad that she didn't know her mother or have any other brothers or sisters except for Nathan. I know she loves children and especially babies.

Today I worked on my sampler. It reads "Bless This House For All Whom Reside Here Trust In The Lord". It has red roses and green ivy along the edges. Someday it will hang in my own home. Wherever that may be.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day

Today was snowy but sunny. I don't mind the cold winter so much as long as the sun comes out during the day. After the barn chores were finished we made some oatmeal cookies for a treat for Father. They are his favorite and it being a holiday and all us girls thought he'd enjoy them. Holidays around here doesn't mean that we don't work. Our chores have to be done every day. Even on holidays. On Sunday there are some chores that still must be done. We try to prepare for it on Saturday though. Most of our meals are cooked on Saturday and just need to be warmed up.

Today I brought in more kindling for the wood stoves. Filled the water barrel. Mixed and kneaded the dough for 8 loaves of bread. Let it rise while we made the cookies. Later I need to do some mending on my dresses as Mother wants them all fixed, so I can help her with the sewing of my new dresses. My wedding plans are taking priority over any activities I used to enjoy with my sisters. Sometimes I would l just like to forget this marriage thing but am afraid to say that to Mother. She seems to be happy about it.

I know a girl name Nancy Kingston who was able to marry the boy she chose. Her parents were happy for her and never told her she had to marry anyone. I am not sure why it is not that way in my family. Mother said her father, my grandfather, who we called Papa chose Father for her long before she was my age. They always knew they would be married some day. I can't help wondering about the families who don't do that. They seem to be happy and have nice families anyway.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016