Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Conversation With Father

Today is Wednesday and it is the day I used to spend with my friends after school. Mother says a girl does not need to go any further than 8th grade. I finished that last year. I miss it. The thing I miss most about school was reading as I do not seem to have time to read anymore. Now I am sewing a lot. I wonder if I will have enough sewn for my new life so I will get relief from it for awhile? Mother says no, that it will increase. I will have to make Avery's clothing, as well as my own. And when we have children, for them also. Mother says I should start making baby clothes as soon as I get married. She says you never have enough. Sometimes I think I need to take notes on what she tells me. She knows so much! How will I ever know all this? I do not want to disappoint my husband.

I made three apple pies, a kettle of applesauce and four loaves of whole wheat bread. It was nice being in the kitchen this morning alone. I could think and dream. I was dreaming that I was already married and living in my new house with Avery Longworth. Rachel Longworth has a nice sound to it. Sounds very proper. Then it struck me that I have no idea where we will be living. What if we have to live with his family? I know people who have done that. My friend from school, Mary Ellen Case got married two years ago, and she is still living with her husband, Eric Case's family. She having her third baby, and is living in that house with his whole family, even his grandparents live there. I think it was their house to begin with. Lots of people live there. It would be too crowded for me.

I am wondering about so much. There is really no one to ask since nobody knows but Avery what our plans are. Will he want to live in the country? I hope so, since I am taking my horses with me and do not want them at a stable. He knows that. I told him that when he was here. He didn't say no. In fact, he liked it that I knew how to handle a team and horses. He said so. Many girls never learn how to handle them, and their husbands have to teach them, or they have to wait for their husbands to tack them up. I know more than my brothers do about horses. I will always want to have my own horses so I have to live in the country. I am thinking of writing Avery a note to ask him if I have to make plans for my horses in town. I need to know now.

Father came in unexpectedly while I was still working in the kitchen. He smiled at me and looked at the pies cooling, "Mmmmm, apple pie today!"

"Yes, for supper. I am practicing pie making for my future husband." I answered.

""Avery Longworth is one lucky fellow. Getting the best girl in the county for his wife. He'd better appreciate you is all I can say," he replied back with a twinkle in his eye.

"Father, do you think Avery will want to live in the country? I want to have my horses nearby and not at a stable." I asked timidly, afraid of what he might already know.

"No, need to worry Rachel. He has a house all set up and waiting for you. In the country with a big barn and box stalls. Those horses of your's will be spoiled!" he answered as he stuck a finger in the apple filling in the bowl on the counter.

"Oh Father! You already knew that and never said a word?"

"You never asked,"  he replied as he walked out of the room looking for Mother to tell her what he learned in town that day.

In the country! A barn! Box stalls? I never knew anyone who had box stalls for their horses before. We live in a wild part of the county and horses out here were lucky to have a barn over their heads. Box stalls! I started singing as I cleaned up my kitchen. Maybe I'd surprise Mother and start the supper for her. I picked up the potatoes and started peeling them. I can't wait to see Avery again! To thank him for what he is doing for me. Oh yes, we have a house already. Don't have to live with his family either. I am truly blessed.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Comforting My Little Sister Today

I found my sister, Lorraine crying in the hayloft yesterday. I was surprised to find her so sad as she has always been like a ray of sunshine. She giggles and makes up jokes, since she has gotten older plays pranks on family members. If she gets in trouble, which is rare, she pouts awhile but gets over it fast.....especially if she knows that what she did was wrong. Our parents have always spoiled her a bit since she is the youngest. I was concerned immediately, "Rainy, what is wrong?"

She looked up surprised to see me there since she must not have heard me come into the barn. "Nothing." And she bent her head down quickly so she did not have to look in my eyes.

"Rainy, I know you better than that. You would not be hiding up here crying if everything was fine and dandy with you. Now tell me what is making you cry like this."

She looked up at me trying not to cry anymore. "Rachel, I am a bad person. I think I am going to go to hell."

"Lorriane Kennedy! How can you say that? You don't have a bad bone in your body!" I exclaimed, wondering what had happened to upset her so much. "Now tell me right now what you are crying about."

"I prayed that when Avery Longworth came here that you would not like him. Or that he would not like you. That he would change his mind and not marry you," then she began to sob again.

"Why would you do that Rainy?" I asked, puzzled as to what made her feel that way.

"Rachel, I don't want you to move out of our house. Can't you and Avery live in your bedroom here? I am sure Mother and Father would not mind."

"Oh Rainy, I can't do that. All of us children will be getting married and moving into our own homes to start our own families," I paused, trying to think how best to explain this to my little sister who has always been very attached to me. "Mother had to leave Grandma's house, and her brothers and sisters, to live with Father. If she hadn't, where would we be now?" It seemed to be a lot for my nine year old sister to grasp. I had cared for her since she was a baby when Mother was busy doing other chores. I had loved tending to her, and pretending she was my own baby. Now I would be married this year, and maybe have a real baby of my own by next year! I get excited when I think about that. But now, I have to think how best to calm her fears right now.

"I won't ever see you again. Or at least not very often. Not like now," she whimpered.

"No, it won't be like now. But you are growing up, and it is time for you to start learning to do the things I do, so that you will be ready to be a wife when you are sixteen too. That is not that far away you know. Then you will have your own husband and you will be starting your family in your own house." she sat there and listened, and that seemed to stop her crying.

"My own husband?" she laughed at the thought.

"That time will be here before you know it. You need to start your hope chest and fill it with all the things you will need in your own house. Not play toys anymore. Real tools for your home. Tell Mother you want to start filling it up. She will help you and so will I, while I am still here." I smiled down at her tear stained face.

She jumped up and ran into my arms and hugged me, "Rachel, I love you! I want my husband and me to live next door to you!" she exclaimed.

I laughed at her, "I don't even know where I am going to be living yet. But I would love it if you were living near me, if not next door. Let's go see if Mother needs any help in the kitchen."

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Husband To Be

I have been spending much time thinking about Avery Longworth since the day he came here to meet me. He was so kind and polite toward me. I had a whole different idea of him before that. Must be it is because he hadn't come here to see me after Father said I could marry him. I think I was resenting him. Now, things are different. He spent some time alone with me in the barn and he was a perfect gentleman.

Two days ago I received an envelope in the mail from him! He sent me a letter and beautiful blue satin ribbon for my hair! The message was short, just thanking me for the day he spent with me and my family. He said the dinner was very good. And that he looked forward to the next time we meet again. That was all. Maybe he is the kind of man who writes few words and will say more in person or after we get to know each other.

I told him when he was here how much I loved the beautiful jewelry box he sent me. I had sent him a thank you note for it when I first got it. It looks empty right now because I don't have much jewelry of my own. One necklace my grandmother gave me that had belonged to her grandmother. I know I will wear it on my wedding day. I wear it to church and on special occasions. My grandmother gave it to me instead of my sisters because I was the first born girl. I put the blue satin ribbon in the jewelry box along with my necklace.

Mother has just finished sewing the lace on my wedding gown. It is very fragile lace and she had saved it for many years she said, just for this occasion. It was packed in her pine chest and had my name on it. She said she has bought or bartered for materials and things for the weddings of all of us girls.  Me, Leah, Edna and Lorraine. It used to be her hope chest. She said she started saving things in it for us because she knew the cost involved with a wedding after her own.

I took Father's stallion, Ebony out for ride today. I imagine I will not be riding him much after I move out. He is not easy for the others to ride as he has a mind of his own. He minds me real good though. I just felt like letting him run. He certainly did that! We ran for miles it seemed. My brothers can't even ride him as they almost always get thrown off. He does not do that to me and never has. I think he likes it when I whisper or sing in his ears when he is on the way home.

Father came in the barn when I was wiping him down. He just watched us quietly for awhile and didn't say a word. Then he said, "Ebony is sure going to miss you missy. He doesn't get to have fun when you are not around. You will have to come take him out every now and then to keep him in shape."  I nodded, for I could not speak as my throat had tightened up as I choked back tears. I want to marry Avery Longworth, but I will miss my family, Ebony, my bedroom with the pink lacy curtains and even the path down to the creek where I like to go to think or take a swim. Why do I feel so sad about my upcoming marriage to a kind, handsome gentleman that any woman would be thankful to be marrying? I want to marry him. I just will miss my life here too.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Visit

I finally got to meet Avery Longworth! It was not a long visit. He came to town and stayed with friends. When we got to church he was there. He immediately took Father aside and took him into the pastor's study before church began. Leah and I kept watching for them to come out. She whispered to me, "Do you think he will sit next to you here." I didn't say anything though was praying he would. What could he and Father be discussing so long? Just as I gave up watching, they both came out, looking very serious. Oh no, now what does that mean? I have gotten used to the idea of marrying him and becoming Mrs. Avery Longworth. The wife to this very mysterious man. Then before I could think any more about it, Pastor  Barnes walked out and to the pulpit.

Father and Avery waited at the back of the church so I could not see what they were doing. Pastor Barnes welcomed us all and then said he believed that Abe Kennedy had an announcement to make. Father stood up, he looked so distinguished with the new charcoal jacket that Mother worked on since fall. I sat there frozen to the pew when I saw Avery stand up also. I am not one to enjoy attention and I was afraid of what they would say. Father cleared this throat and spoke, "Pastor Barnes has allowed me this honor this morning of informing all the members of our congregation, that my daughter Rachel May, will be marrying Avery Longworth directly after the Sunday service on June 19th of this year. Everyone is invited to stay and share our happy day with us." He looked around, briefly at me, then a little longer at Mother, and went to his place in the pew next to Mother. Avery then followed him and sat next to Father. I sat there wishing nobody would look at me, but they were. Everyone was turning around to look at me. I did not like the attention focused on me.

I could hardly sit still through the whole service. I had no idea what the sermon was about or anything that was said. As I sat there wishing I could at least see Avery from where I sat. Father and Mother blocked my view of him. I heard his strong voice when we sang the hymns and it gave me chills. Does this mean I am falling in love with a man I have only seen briefly in my whole life? I looked down at my rose dress. This was my best dress from last year and it took me hours to decide which dress to wear today. I knew I had to make a good first impression so I took special care with my hair. I wanted to look older not like a little girl. I am a woman now. Getting married tells the world I am a grown woman.

After church everyone came to me to tell me they wanted to have a bridal shower for me, or to tell me how surprised they were, or how lucky I was to be catching such a handsome young man. I was so nervous I could hardly reply. Avery walked out of the church with Father and Mother and I followed with my sisters. If he wanted to marry me he should learn to walk with me or at least to say hello. I was fuming. Then he was at my side as I came down the stairs, "Rachel, my buggy is waiting for you. We will follow your parents."

I can't write what we talked about on the drive home. My mind was racing  and he was talking to me as if he had known me all his life. He has a nice laugh and seemed to be very easy to get along with. Once we were home there he was again talking with Father. After our Sunday dinner, I started to clean up the table and Mother shooed me away, "Rachel, why don't you take Avery out to the barn to see your team?" So off we went. It was a wonderful day and he was a perfect gentleman. He seemed to know a lot about horses and to appreciate the fact that I could handle horses on my own.

It's been almost a week since his visit and I cannot get him out of my mind!

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016