Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mother Comes For A Visit

Mother's Photograph

I have been a little worried about winter coming. Now that I am pregnant I need to make the work easier for me when I am alone. Avery wants one of his sisters to live with us during the winter. I am not sure that I want that. Not that I don't like his sisters. It is just that I do not know them very well and they are used to living in town. I do not think that life out here is the same for them as it is for me. Now if it was one of MY sisters, that would be a completely different story. Not bragging, but we all knew how to live through a tough winter by the time we were ten. I told Avery I can handle it okay as long as I provide for the winter before it comes. And it is coming.

Mother came to visit me with my sisters yesterday. We had a wonderful day. I took them out to the orchard and we had a picnic. Lorraine was having so much fun playing with my baby goats. She had never been around them before. Father has always kept cows for milk so we never had goats. Avery said his family had goats because they are small and easy to keep in town. Of course, Avery and I have both. I like the goat milk for making cheese but love my cow's milk and cream. Especially the cream.

We have a little spring house and I have it full already. The spring runs all year long. We are very fortunate. Most people have springs that dry up in the summer. The spring flows and keeps our perishable food cold. Sometimes the milk I pour for supper is ice cold. Just the way Avery likes it. I showed Mother and my sisters the spring house and they liked it. To them it was a modern convenience that they don't have. We always used our root cellar and even had a hole dug in the floor to try to keep dairy products cold. They were never this cold.

I know Mother was worried about me and that is why she came to see me. But my pregnancy is advancing just fine. I am not having morning sickness anymore. In fact, I like eating for two. Avery keeps teasing me about being fat. It doesn't bother me none. I know that he really is happy to be having our first child so soon. Some couples have trouble having their first baby. Then once they have the first one, they come one after the other pretty quickly.

After they left, I cleaned up a little bit and waited for Avery. He had a long freight run to make and had left early yesterday morning. Peanut has gotten used to sleeping with me when Avery is not here. He is a good listener but is getting big. I know he can be fierce when needed to be. I wiped off his feet before bringing him in the house. He had been in the creek with us earlier and gotten muddy. I set out some food for Avery as I was sure he would be hungry when he got in. I picked up my Bible to read while I waited eagerly for his return.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting Sick

I was so excited this morning getting ready for church. We usually go to Avery's family's church on the outskirts of town. Today, we are going to my parents' church. The church we were married in. I am very excited! We are going to surprise my family. It will be so good to see them all again. Mother, I haven't seen since our wedding. We hugged and kissed good-bye and that was the last time I saw her. I cannot wait to see her. Avery knew I was missing my family. My sisters, Esther, Leah, Edna and Lorraine. They were my daily companions for my whole life, and now I haven't seen them in such a long time! I know it has only been a few months but it seems much longer.

I finished making breakfast and sat down with Avery to eat. After the first bite of toast, I felt sick, I ran out the door with Avery not far behind, "What's wrong? Are you sick?' he asked with worry showing on his face.

"Not really sick." I answered trying to calm my stomach after throwing up.

"Maybe we shouldn't go this morning. The long ride might make you worse." he said.

I looked at him a minute, "Oh no Avery! I will be fine. I am not one of those women that have to be coddled.  It may be something I ate. It'll ease up. I have been looking forward to seeing Mother. Please?" I made my sweetest face and looked up into his eyes. I could see him melting and knew I'd be seeing Mother today.

The ride seemed longer than usual. It seemed harder than usual. I hid the way I felt because I wanted to see my family in the worst way. Later at the church, my Mother was so excited when she saw Avery and me walk in just before the sermon started. She patted my hand as Avery and I made our way past them. She motioned for my sisters to scoot down the pew so I could sit next to her. She put her hand on mine several times during the service.

As we were leaving the church, I felt sick again. I tried to hide it from Avery, but I could see Mother watching me intensely. Now she would be worrying about me. I was sure the sickness would pass soon. I am hardly ever sick so it has to be something I ate. On the ride to my parents' house in the wagon, Avery kept his arm around me. He was still very worried about me being sick. That is why I didn't want him to know how bad I was feeling. "Rachel, we cannot stay a long time here. You look a little pale to me and I am eager to get you home and put you to bed."

"Okay. But I want to have a little bit of a visit. We can stay for lunch can't we?" And he consented.

At lunch, I took one bite of Mother's wonderful ham dinner and ended up running from the table outside. I felt so sick and scared. I was scared that maybe there was something very serious wrong with me. Mother came out to me, put her hand on my shoulder, and asked if I had been sick very long. I told her it just started this morning. She didn't say anything more at first.

"Mother, I hope I do not have some disease. I have been so happy. I wanted to tell you that but now you see me sick. How long can this last?" I asked her with tears in my eyes.

"Oh honey, don't worry your head any over that. This sickness will ease up. It only last a few weeks. Then it will be easier." I looked up at her sharply. She spoke softly while running her hand through my hair that had fallen down, "In about nine months you will be as good as new."

"Mother, what are you saying?" I thought I had mistaken what I heard her say.

"Why Rachel, you should have known these signs yourself. It is morning sickness." She laughed slightly, "You and Avery are having a baby!"

"A  baby? Are you sure? How do you know?" I wanted to be sure before I got my hopes up. I stood up thinking how things seem to change so quickly once you get grown up. Last year, I was playing with dolls and never thought I'd be getting married. Now here I am with a husband and my own home and now I am going to have my first baby! I needed time to think about this.

"You have the signs. Come, let's go tell your husband. He is worrying over you being sick. I have a feeling he will like this news."

"You go in and I'll be in directly. I need time to think about this. Don't mention it. I want to tell him myself. Maybe I'll go out to see Ebony first. Then I'll be in." Mother got up and went up the stairs and into the house.

A baby! Avery and I are having a baby! I know he is going to be happy to hear this even though we hadn't discussed it yet. I don't know why I hadn't thought about it. Mother is right. I should have known the signs.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Plowing The Field

Avery has been home for three days now. We have not left to go anywhere. This morning he asked me if I would like to go to my parents' church on Sunday. Would I? I have not seen them since Father and Kenneth were here and have not seen Mother or the girls since my wedding day. My wedding day seems like it was a long, long time ago now. It seems like I have always been with Avery. I look to him for everything. I remember having those feelings when I knew I was getting married to him.  I did not know him and did not really want to marry him. I am so happy that Mother and Father made my wedding plans for me and chose Avery Longworth to be my husband. Avery told me that he is the one to thank. He said he is the one who went to Father and talked to him a whole year before they ever mentioned it to me. The time he came to our house for dinner that is why he came there.

Today I have much work to do. Avery is impressed I can tell, by how much I have accomplished since he was gone. He likes it that I can take care of the garden and the food supply for us. I think he was doing this all by himself before I came here. And he probably thought he'd have to show me what or how to do it. That is a laugh! Mother taught me how to do everything. I am proud of being able to do it all. I told him about my lunch with Ruth and that she is buying all my extra berries for the hotel. It seemed to bother him at first, so I asked him if he did not want me to sell them to her. He said it was up to me. They were mine to do what I wanted with them.

He told me that he needed to plow up some more ground. He hitched up the two work horses, Zeke and Charlie. He plowed a good amount of land up in a morning. I worked in the garden for a while and then took the cabbage that was left in the house. I washed and cut it up then salted and packed it down under weights in a couple of big stone jars. I picked more hops, horseradish and peppers. The horseradish and peppers I put on my drying racks to dry. Once it dries I will grind it to store. My pantry is filling up. By winter I should have quite a storehouse.

After I finished all my work I walked down to the field to see Avery and to bring him a drink and some fresh homemade bread with my goat milk cheese. He saw me coming and pulled the horses to a halt. "Rachel honey, how did you know that I was yearning for you to bring me a drink?" he took the bucket from me and opened it eagerly.

"I figured you were due to take a break. I finished up some of my work and thought I'd take a walk down to check on you." I smiled at him. He made my whole body quiver with excitement just to be around him.

"I'm mighty glad you did. You are spoiling me for sure." he winked at me as he took a long drink of water from the jug. "I'm going to finish this field in a little bit. Didn't take me hardly any time since these boys have  been having a long vacation. They were happy to be back to work today."

I looked at the horses. "I have not been working with the horses as much as I wanted because I have been so busy with the garden and the house," I said wistfully, as I love working with horses.

Avery looked at me and got real serious as he bit into the bread and cheese. "Rachel, you have been doing a lot. Take your time. You don't have to do too much or work all the time. I will help you when I can. The horses are doing all right. In between freight runs I try to get chores done here. Like I need to be clearing more land so I can replace the firewood I used last year. This year I will need more than the last few years here because you will be here when I am away."

I made a face, "You will be taking loads in the winter too?" I dreaded the thought of that. Winter is tough out here I know, but being alone without a man around could make it doubly hard for me. I made a mental note to start gathering kindling. Mother and us girls always gathered kindling when we were out picking berries or gathering wild nuts.

I saw he was done eating and picked up the bucket and put my dishes back. Avery got up and turned toward me, he grabbed my arm and pulled me toward him, and I just smiled  and said, "Better get back to work so you get that field done today. I'll see you at the house for supper." I kissed him a quick kiss on the lips but I could feel him wanting more.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Homecoming!

I was in the apple orchard this morning cutting and trimming weeds and grass that was growing around the trees. It had gotten pretty high and I want to keep the orchard easy to walk around in. I thought about letting one of the cows graze in there but the weeds were still too high for even them. So I worked in there awhile. Then sat on the ground with Peanut and just enjoyed the birds singing and the sunlight shining on my face. All of a sudden I heard  a wagon coming down the road toward the house. I listened, it stopped. I heard the horses in the paddock calling to the horses driving the wagon. I got up to go check when I thought I heard a voice. As I got closer up the path with Peanut running alongside of me, I heard my name being called, "Rachel! Rachel!" It was Avery! I started running as hard as I could almost tripping over the hem of my dress.

"Avery! Here I am!" I yelled at the top of my voice.

He saw me as soon as I came into sight. He started running toward me, he grabbed me and wrapped his arms around me and held me close, "Rachel darling, I was afraid you'd be gone by now." Then he lifted my chin to him and gazed into my eyes. Then kissing me gently at first, then deeply with much passion. He picked me up and carried me into the house, kissing me the whole time.

I was shaking with the excitement of him finally having come back home. He set me down and looked at me again, and it was only then that I got a good look at my husband. His usual good looks were hidden by weeks of dirt, grime and sweat. I laughed, "I need to get some water ready for your bath. You need one!"

He smiled, "I forgot how bad a man can look and smell after a couple of months of hauling freight."

I quickly grabbed the tin tub we used for baths and put it on the floor. Then stoked the coals in the hearth so it would heat up more. Then I set the towel and the soap near by and picked up two water buckets to get water in, I turned to Avery, "You were gone so long. I was afraid you weren't coming back."

"I know. It took much longer than I figured. But we hit bad weather and the wheel on the other wagon broke. I had to leave Orville with the wagon, so I could find a blacksmith to repair the wheel. I got that, then went back and we put it in on the wagon. Set us back a week and a half. The roads weren't good. Give me those buckets," he said as grabbed them out of my hands.

"No, you should rest. I can get the water. I thank the Lord for bringing you home safely to me." I meant every word. Now that he was here, I couldn't take my eyes from him. I wanted to memorize every detail of his face, his gestures, his words. He is my husband and I love him with all my heart. Mother was right. She said I would grow to love him and I already do. He continued his way out the door with the buckets to get the water.

While Avery took his bath I went outside to fasten Peanut up and to check on the horses he had driven home. They were tired. I brushed them a little, then led them out of their stalls where Avery had put them when he first came home. I led them to the paddock so they could go out with the others. The other horses all came to greet and smell them.  Then welcomed them back home. I heard the water being emptied out of the tub so I knew he was finished, I hurried back to the house.

Avery looked up at me, "We have some unfinished business to take care of," he spoke huskily as he took my hand and pulled me to him. He put his arms around me, kissed my neck, then kissed me again with an urgency in his lips.  He lifted me again in his arms and carried me upstairs quickly as if he couldn't get there fast enough. I felt the excitement building, my husband was home. He was safe and I am in his arms right now. My world is safe once again.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Berry Business

It has been three weeks since I had lunch with Ruth. I still have not heard from Avery. Mrs. Longworth, his mother and his sister, Margaret came for a visit yesterday. They told me this is normal for these long freight deliveries. Sometimes the weather gets bad or something happens to a horse or the wagon and it slows him down. I am still worried but will not show it to anyone now. I am trying to overcome my feelings of abandonment. So I have been working on the house and the gardens. 

And the harvesting of the vegetables had barely started when I had to harvest the cherries and strawberries. Much of them I am sun-drying. The  berries and currants I am making into preserves and jellies. I am fortunate to know how to preserve foods, as Mother taught all of us girls how to do that, until we could do it without her assistance. Today I made a barrel of brine for the cucumbers I am harvesting. Yesterday when Margaret was here, she was quite surprised about all the work I had done. I am sure they thought I was too young to know how to do so much. I will be sure to teach my children how to do things just like Mother and Father taught us. 

I was outside feeding the chickens when a wagon pulled up. It was Ruth Adamson's man, Mr. McCleary. "Mrs. Longworth, a morning greeting to you today," he called to me as he scrambled down from his seat.

"Good morning, Mr. McCleary.What can I do for you?" I answered back wondering what had brought him out here.

"Mrs. Adamson sent me to check on you and to ask a favor of you."

"I am fine. Been very busy harvesting from my garden and berry patches. What is the favor?"

"She would like to buy some of the those berries you brought for a gift."

"She don't have to buy any. I will give her all she wants."

"Oh no, it's not for her. For the hotel guests. She'd like to make a deal with you for a supply for the hotel."

"I don't even know what they're worth or if Avery would allow me to do that. I will have to talk to him when he gets back."

"Okay. I have a few dollars here for a bucket of some today."

"Oh, sure. I have plenty."

With that I was in the business of supplying Ruth's hotel with berries for the whole summer. It kept me busy and her hotel guest loved having fresh berries and cream in the morning. Now if only my husband would get back home everything would be wonderful for me.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lunch At The White Lion Hotel

I hitched up Tater and Spud and went to Ruth's hotel, The White Lion for lunch. I received word from her yesterday but wasn't sure I wanted to go. I was scared to leave the house in case Avery returned. I thought she was expecting me and it would help me pass the time till he got back. So I hauled in some water and heated it up for a nice hot bath. I wanted to make a good impression because she is a friend of Avery's. I dressed carefully in my pale yellow dress and put some fresh daisies in my hair. I gathered together a basket of fresh blackberries that I picked this morning to take as a gift. Fastened Peanut up in his dog house outside and left.

The drive to town is enjoyable. I passed a couple of houses along the way but did not see anyone out and about. I was glad that I did not have to stop to talk to anyone this morning. I am still worried about Avery and do not want to have to answer questions. Our closest neighbor is Chip and Dora Swingle. They raise cattle and usually aren't around when we drive by. Some of their children are though and I don't mind talking to them. They are closer to my age than their parents are anyway. Especially their oldest daughter, Fran. I think she is only a year younger than me, like my sister Esther.

When I got to town and pulled up in front of The White Lion Hotel, I marveled at the thought of owning a hotel. And running it! How would a woman ever learn to do that? I could not imagine it. A man came up to me and said, "Mrs. Longworth?" I nodded and he continued, "I am Patrick McCleary at your service. Mrs. Adamson sent me out here to keep an eye out for you and your rig. I'll take care of your horses, you go right in. Mrs. Adamson is waiting for you," he motioned me toward the front door.

I opened the door and Ruth hurried toward me, "Rachel, so glad you could make it." She was dressed in a lavender cotton dress with little yellow flowers on it. Her blonde hair was piled high on her head with a brocade head band on top. She smiled at me and took my hand, "I heard Avery has been away and thought you might need some company."

"Yes, he has been away for over a month now. I am worried about him," I answered. Glad to be able to talk to someone who I could be honest with. I was worried that he wasn't back yet and I had no word from him. "Here, I brought you fresh blackberries that I picked for you this morning," I said as I handed them to her.

"Thank you, they look delicious. You didn't have to go to so much trouble for me. But fresh berries are a treat for me. Living in town doesn't give me much chance to get to pick berries anymore."

She steered me toward the dining room which was just beyond the counter in the main room. I had never been in a hotel before and I looked around in wonder. "Don't worry until you have a good reason to worry is what I always say. Besides Avery does this all the time you know. Those wagons all loaded up and travel slowly.But the trip back should be faster."

"I know all that. Doesn't make it any easier. I have been keeping busy though." I smiled at her. I looked around at the dining room, "You run all this by yourself?"

Ruth laughed, "Oh no. I've got help. I have a cook, a maid and a couple of men to help with repairs. They all get free room and board. And we all are like family. My husband started this business and I learned to run it with him. Then when he was sick, I took over and he advised me. He wanted me to be able to keep it going after he was gone, which I did. Now it's making even more money than ever before."

"I'm sorry about your husband."

"Thank you Rachel. It's been a couple of years now. Time is the great healer. I have a good lunch planned for you. Sit here," and she pulled out a chair for me and went around to the other side and sat down.

Later at home, I reflected on how confident and sure Ruth seemed to be. I wanted to be that way. Not crying and whining because my husband was out doing his job. I wanted to be a strong woman who Avery could count on. As I took my Bible to my chair, I thought about what I could do tomorrow to start being that strong woman. I glanced around the room and noted some things I wanted to change. I think I will get to work on that. Then start working on my garden and getting some food put up for the winter. When Avery comes home he is going to find a different woman here.......not a little girl.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Left Alone

Avery has been gone for a week and a half now. He had a man come to hire him to drive two wagon loads of supplies to Virginia. It is the farthest he has had to go since we got married. It is a long time with no word from him. He had to leave the day the man, Mr Kendell came to hire him. Avery said he offered him more money than he had ever made in the whole year. He took his other driver, Orville Babcock with him. Orville would drive the other wagon. I did not want him to leave but did not say anything. I hurried to put together enough food for him and Orville to take with them. He came in to tell me he was ready to leave and I tried not to cry. He saw the sadness in my eyes, wiped a tear from my eye and took me into his arms, "Oh Rachel it is hard for me to leave you. But it is my work and it what I must do. This is a lot of money for us and it will lead to more. So I must do this myself. If you need anything just go to my parents' and they will help you. Just ask."

I looked up at him trying not to cry, "Avery, don't worry about me. Please take care of yourself and be careful. I am more afraid for you than me. I will be okay here. After all I have Peanut to watch out for me." I tried to make a little joke and laugh, but my laugh would not come out.

"I will be back as soon as I can. I don't know how long it will take to get there and back. For one thing the wagons are heavily loaded and we will have to move slowly. It could take a month or more to get there and back."

Avery, it's okay. I understand. It is your business."

"Our business, Rachel. Our business." he smiled at me, then took me in his arms and kissed me gently, then passionately. "Oh girl, what you do to me," he replied huskily. Then he pulled away, "Gotta run. Orville has the wagons loaded up." With that, he was gone.

I was alone. I sat there in the chair till it was almost dark. I felt numb. It would be the first time to sleep in Avery's and my bed without him. He had warned me this would happen. He had been putting off taking the overnight jobs by sending his brother-in-law, George and Orville. I got up from the chair and went to light a lamp. Then went outside to unhook Peanut to bring him inside with me. Took a quick trip through the barn to make sure everyone had water and was okay. I stopped to pet Tater and Spud. They rubbed their heads against my shoulder and then Spud licked my hand. It made me feel comforted to know they love me and they are out here for me.

I went through the motions of putting together a small meal for myself. Some cold roast beef, homemade mustard on fresh bread that I had made that morning. A small cabbage salad and cut up some apples for my dessert. I wasn't hungry but ate anyway. After I cleaned up and made my way upstairs, I carried Peanut with me and cuddled him in my arms, which he did not mind at all, until I fell asleep.

 Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our First Trip To Town

Today Avery and I went into town. I needed supplies. He watched me hook up my horses, Tater and Spud to my wagon. I told him I wanted to take them out and need supplies so thought I'd like to go into town. He wanted to hitch them up for me, but I would not let him. I told him that they are used to me doing it and I really like doing it. So he said that was okay with him but he wanted to go with me. He said he wanted to show me off! Imagine that! Not long ago I was just a kid. Now I am in charge of my own house and people even ask my opinion on things. It is so different for me. It wasn't so long ago that I had to ask my parents permission to go to town. Now I can decide to go when I want to. 

Avery climbed up into the wagon seat next to me, he smiled and said, "I could get used to this. Being driven by my wife. The easy life for me!"

"Don't get too used to it Mr. Longworth." I teased him. "Besides it is not a freight wagon!"

"Maybe I could teach you to drive one of them," he teased back. 

I looked at him, he looked so distinguished and handsome sitting next to me. I felt goosebumps go through my body as I looked at my husband. His eyes suddenly got a twinkle in them, "Sweet Rachel, what are you are thinking this very minute?"

I blushed as I realized he seemed to know what I was thinking. How could he know that I was thinking about how he held me close to him as we got into our bed last night? How could he know the very thing I was frightened of, is the very thing I have in my mind whenever I come into close contact with him? Sitting next to him on the wagon seat, touching him, smelling him, hearing him.................all remind my senses of the physical  side of our relationship. 

When we got to town, he tied up the horses for me, and pointed me in the direction of the stores. He introduced me to so many people that I hoped I would remember their names. Everyone was so attentive to me, and it appeared that I could buy whatever I wanted. They just wrote it on Avery's bill. When we were crossing the street there was a woman standing in front of the hotel, she looked up at us and said, "Why Avery, this must be your new bride."

"Hello Ruth. Rachel, I'd like to introduce a friend of mine, Ruth Adamson. Ruth, meet my wife, Rachel Longworth." he said smiling at me as he went on, "Ruth runs the hotel here. Her husband, Byron owned it and died a few years ago. Now Ruth runs it."

I looked at the hotel. It was a big hotel alot bigger than any hotel I had ever seen. "Hello Ruth, nice to make your acquaintance." I answered back.

Ruth seemed to be studying me over and then replied, "Rachel, I will invite you to lunch in my hotel dining room. How about next week?" She turned toward Avery and said, "Girls luncheon only, Avery. Sorry." 

"That sounds nice Ruth. Just let me know when. I'd like that." 

"Okay, I'll get back to you. Nice meeting you. Bye Avery, I gotta get back to work." she said as she went toward the door of the hotel.

After our ride back home from town, I was putting the supplies away in the pantry and thinking about what to make for supper. I felt contented. Very happy that my life had taken this turn. I had let Avery unhitch Tater and Spud for me. It was kind of nice having a husband after all.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Visit From Father

Finally! Father and my brother Kenneth came to see me! They had to go to pick up some supplies in Norwich and stopped here first. I think Father did not really need the supplies that bad yet but made the excuse so he could check on me. It was the first time he had ever seen our house. He said it was real nice and that he never expected it to be so big. He hugged me and just held onto me, "Rachel honey, how are you doing? Are you okay here?"

I could see the worry in his eyes. "Father, I am doing fine. Is everyone okay at home? Mother?"

He seem relieved, "She's fine. Just worrying about her daughter leaving home. Wanted me to check on you without you knowing she sent me," he smiled.

"Well, Avery has been really good to me. He had the pantry stocked with supplies. The root cellar is full of  vegetables that he over wintered last year. I have a large flock of chickens who are laying. No complaints from me." I laughed.

Kenneth turned to me and asked, "Rachel, would it be okay if I checked out your barn? It is so big! I don't think I have ever been in a barn that big."

"Go ahead Kenneth. I will take Father inside and give him a tour. Then maybe you'd both like something good to eat?" I asked, knowing I had some freshly made muffins and coffee in the kitchen.

I showed Father the house. It is two times the size of my family's house. The rooms are big but sparsely furnished and in need of a woman's touch. I haven't gotten to it yet, but I will. I took the pot of coffee from the hearth and poured it into a cup for Father. Then gave him the creamer of fresh cow's milk. He took a sip and smiled. "I am satisfied now that I have seen you and won't have to worry about you. Your house is secure and it looks like Avery has done well for himself. Of course, when he first approached me about marrying you, I was a bit leery of him."

I smiled at him, "Father, I think I have fallen in love with him. I can't wait for him to get home every day. He is kind and gentle and handsome too."

"I am glad to hear that daughter, it makes marriage nicer."

I jumped up, "I almost forgot! Look what Avery gave me!" I ran out the door to the little dog house where Peanut was snoozing in the sun, and picked him up and brought him inside, just as Kenneth was approaching the door. I held the door open for him and showed him my squirming puppy, "From Avery!" I said.

I took him in the kitchen and sat him on the floor, Father smiled, "Aw, a puppy! Smart man, that Avery. The way to a woman's heart!" he winked at Kenneth.

Kenneth was really impressed with our fields and the horses. Of course, these horses are for the freight line. Avery has 6 work horses that he uses for field work. But the freight horses are his pride and joy because they can handle the huge loads that need to be hauled. Not only for businesses, but for people who are moving, or are sending stuff to other people. Like the job he is hauling today isn't very far away, but it is for a family who moved, and could not haul all their furniture and supplies in their wagon. Avery took the job himself so he could be back here by dark. His drivers are doing his long hauls for now. He told me when I get used to our house, and can handle everything when he is not here, then he will be driving the overnight loads again.

After they left, I felt happy and my head was full of ideas. So off I went to make a list of what I need to make this house more cozy and complete. Can't wait for Avery to get home! I will fix him a very special supper tonight, and maybe I will peel some of those apples and make him a pie.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Starting Out My Life As Mrs. Avery Longworth

I have been married for a a week now. It is so strange. I had a whole other life and with one day of celebration everything has changed. Now Mother had explained the "facts of life" to me. In fact, when you live on a farm and raise animals, you learn what goes on between two beings pretty fast. It still does not prepare you for what is actually going to happen when it is YOU it is happening to. I remembered Mother's words about not wanting me to leave Avery on my wedding night. I did want to though.

Our wedding was beautiful and he was very attentive to me. I felt like the belle of the ball. It was fun. I knew that I was going to have more to contend with than just a wedding celebration. In fact, I did not want to leave with Avery when they told me it was time for us to go home. Mother and Father and my sisters and brothers all hugged and kissed me and told me they would see me soon. It has been a week and I have not seen or heard from any of them.

I must say after that first night with Avery, my husband, I felt different. Not at all like a girl, but a woman. I am a woman now......a married woman with a husband. My husband. Avery Longworth was not someone I would have ever thought of being married to. He is different from any of the other boys I knew from town or school. He is older of course, and he has his own business so that makes him seem so smart and mature. I forgot to say that he is a VERY handsome man. Very confident and sure of himself. He treats me kindly and gently. I think I will be very happy with him. I am happy now except for missing my family.

After our first night together, I got up early and lit the fire in the hearth and started breakfast. By the time Avery came downstairs I had our breakfast ready to set on the table. Avery was very appreciative. He stayed with me the whole day showing me around our house..........always reminding me it was my house and to do what I wanted with it. Change anything I think needs changing. He said the house was my responsibility and the barn and the business is his. I am satisfied with that.

I went out to the barn to see Tater and Spud. They seemed comfortable and was getting along with all the other horses and cows. They were used to being in a stand in stall. Now they are in big box stalls. They look small next to a couple of the work horses. They didn't seem to mind. They comfort me because they are from home. I stayed out there with them for awhile and when I went in the house, there to greet me on the kitchen floor was a tiny little puppy! Avery came around the corner, "Rachel, I thought you'd need some company when I am working. Some nights I won't be home and I want you to have some protection," he smiled at me.

"Oh, he's so cute! He's mine?" I squealed with delight. Then I remembered I was supposed to act grown up now. So I said, "Why thank you Avery. I will take good care of him."

Avery stood looking at me for a minute, then grabbed my hand and pulled me to him, "Rachel, I just want you to be happy here with me. If there is anything you need or want, just ask."

"What is his name?" I asked looking down at the puppy now exploring the kitchen floor.

"Whatever you want. He has no name."

"He looks like a little peanut. I think I will call him Peanut. Okay?"

"Perfect. Just like you." Avery looked down at me, and held onto me looking into my eyes. Soon he was kissing me, and I was responding to his kiss. Marriage is a lot different than I thought.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Wedding Day

Today is my wedding day. I was up before first light. Surprisingly, I had no trouble sleeping last night. Must be I was really tired as soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep. I went down to the kitchen thinking I was the first one up, but I smelled coffee as I went down the stairs. Mother and Father were sitting at the table talking quietly when I came in. They looked up surprised to see me so early, "Why good morning dear," Mother said, as I picked up a cup to get some.

"Morning. You both are up early," I replied as I sat down.

Father looked at me and winked, " Rachel honey, today you are no longer our little girl. You are a woman and soon to be having your own family. I can hardly believe it myself."

Mother gave him a look and said, "She's up to this job ahead of her Abe. I have brought up my girls well. All of them will be able to run a house and raise children when they leave our house. And Rachel is my prized student!"

I smiled at her, "Well, I better go get ready."

"I think you have time to eat some breakfast." Mother said as she motioned toward the basket full of eggs that she must have already gathered this morning.

Later, at the church, I sat in the preacher's study listening to the Sunday service. I could not go into the church on my wedding day with Avery sitting out there somewhere. Just like he did not want me to see his house.......our house, I did not want him to see me before our wedding on our wedding day. I was very nervous sitting there but I kept praying to God to help me be a good Christian wife to Avery Longworth. Before long, the service and the singing of the hymns were done with. It was time. Mother came into the room, and said something about helping me get ready. Esther appeared suddenly, she was my maid of honor and she looked so grownup. I was trying not to cry as Mother left me to go sit in the church. Then before I knew it............Father was taking my hands and looking into my eyes, "Rachel, I will always be your Father. You can always come to me. But now it is time for you to put your husband first in your life. He will take care of you and he is an honorable young man. You are truly blessed by our Lord in this marriage." With that he led me out of the preacher's study and down the aisle of the church to Avery Longworth, who was standing at the pulpit waiting for me.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Last Night At Home

This is my last night in my own bed. Mother and the girls made a special meal for me tonight. It was like a holiday. They would not let me help at all. Father and I went out for long ride this morning, even though I felt I should be at home helping to do something. Kenneth and Teddy were busy getting chickens ready for butchering and Mother and the girls were preparing food to take to the church in the  morning for the wedding dinner. So much to do.

My bedroom is pretty empty since all my belongings have been sent to my house. My house. Who would think I would be talking about my house? It never crossed my mind something like this would be happening to me this summer. Moving out of my house. My hope chest is gone. Most of my clothing is gone except for what I am wearing today and my wedding dress that I will be wearing tomorrow. How will I ever be able to sleep tonight? I wonder what Avery is doing or thinking about tonight? Is he as scared as I am? I believe men are never scared of anything. They go off into the woods to hunt and can be gone for days and are never scared of wild animals or Indians. Avery drives those wagons and is on the road by himself without anyone around. He probably can take care of anything like an animal or an Indian.

Avery's family was very nice to me so I think I can ask them for help if I have any problems running a house by myself. I do not know what kind of house it is. Father was going to tell me when he came back from taking my things there. But of course, Avery sent his driver, Orville Babcock, to pick up my things so Father did not get the chance. I wonder if he did that on purpose? I think it is strange that he does not want me to see my house before we are married. I hope that is a good thing.

Tonight I am having a cup of warm milk to help me sleep. I just know I will not be able to fall asleep with all the thoughts I am having running through my head tonight. Avery Longworth is older than me. He is 25 years old and I am only 16. I had no idea why he wanted to marry me because he hardly knew me. Mother says that men like to get established more  before they get married. She says it is good for a man to do that instead of rushing into marriage when they are experiencing "puppy love." I guess that is why he has a house that he built and a business that he runs. Now he must want a wife and children. Children. I am very nervous about that part. Not so much raising them as I have always been around children and can take care of them just fine. It is all the other parts and having them I am not sure about.

I got down on my knees tonight like I do every night to say my prayers, "Please Almighty Father in Heaven, help me to get through tomorrow without fainting. Help me to be strong for it will be hard to leave my family. Especially to leave my parents tomorrow, and go home with Avery. Avery Longworth seems to be a good man and wanted me for a wife. Please help me to be what he wanted. Thank you Lord God, in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Three More Days

In three days I am getting married to Avery Longworth. What will my life be like as Rachel Longworth? Will I be different than I am today? What kind of a wife will I be? I pray to God that Avery will be happy choosing me for his wife. To share his life and have his children. I am not going to dwell on worrying. I am going to concentrate on what I must do to get through the next few days till my wedding.

I was in the kitchen baking some loaves of bread that I am taking with me to my house that I will share with Avery. That way I know we will have something to eat. Mother gave me a crock with fresh made butter. She knows I am worried about this. I heard the dogs barking and a huge rumble coming up the road. I went to the side porch that is connected to the kitchen and looked out. There was large wagon pulled by a team of four horses coming to a stop out front of our house! A big burly man got off the wagon, "Hello! I am looking for Miss Rachel Kennedy."

I was speechless, but tried to answer, "Yes, I am Rachel. What can I do for you?" It was then that I saw the writing on the side of the wagon, LONGWORTH FREIGHT COMPANY in big letters.

The driver paused for a minute and looked at me intently, then walked to the stairs, "Avery Longworth is going to be marrying you in a two days?" he asked as if he didn't quite believe it himself.

"Three days." I answered firmly, thinking that now is time to start acting stronger since soon I would be a married woman and not a little girl anymore. Before he had a chance to speak, I asked, "Did Avery send you?"

"Yes ma'am! He thought you'd have things to be moved to his house. Since I was coming through the area empty he wanted me to stop and pick up your stuff so your father would not have to do it."

"You are one of Avery's drivers?" I questioned. He looked older, much older than Avery.

"Yes, ma'am. My name is Orville Babcock."

"How long have you worked for Avery?" I had this yearning to know everything I could about my soon to be husband.

"Why about a year and a half." he replied. "Miss Kennedy, do you have your belongs ready to go? I could back the wagon up to the door," he appeared anxious to get going.

All of a sudden Mother appeared. After a few minutes of figuring out what Orville was doing there, she said, "Mr. Babcock, you must be hungry after your long trip. Please join us for lunch."

Orville smiled broadly showing off his toothless grin, "Why Mrs. Kennedy, that would be right nice of you. I am famished. Just coming in from three days on the road."

Mother said, "I'll go set another place."

"Thank you ma'am, I'll go see to the horses and wash up and be right back."

We had a very interesting lunch, everyone trying to get information about Avery and his business from Orville. He was taken by the attention, and especially having lunch with Mother, my sisters and me, since Father was out in the fields with the boys. They came in just as we were finishing up, so they helped him load the wagon with my things. Had room for everything. Father was thankful, as he was figuring he'd be making many trips to my house for the next several weeks, because our wagon was not nearly big enough for the things I was taking with me. Avery is definitely impressing my family as well as me. Three more days.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Packing Up My Bedroom

I am starting to pack up my belongings so Father can take them to my house that I will share with Avery. Father said Avery does not want me to see it until our wedding night. I wanted to see it to at least know where I would be living. Father says he will tell me about it when he gets back. I packed up my books, sewing supplies, two of my old dolls that I am saving for my children and some of my clothes.  My hope chest, of course, is all packed and ready to go.

Looking around my room I think about all my memories here. My bedroom is my place of solitude where I go to get away from my brothers and sisters. My sisters share their rooms. Esther and Lorraine share the room across the hall from my room. Leah and Edna are down the hall across from the boy's room. The boys are in one room. They don't spend much time there anyway. Mother said me being the oldest girl should have her own room. Now Esther will be moving into my room. I am not sure what they will do about the others. Probably Lorraine will have to move in with Edna and Leah will take Esther and Lorraine's room.

My head is swimming with thoughts. I am sad to be leaving my room. What will it be like to share a room with Avery? I look forward to my life with him since the lunch we had. I keep looking at my ring that he put on my finger. I won't take it off and I am being so careful with it. It has a diamond in it and looks like it must have cost some money. I feel bad he spent his hard worked money on me. Though it makes me glad too.

One thing I am really nervous about besides the wedding is going to be the first meal I have to make for Avery's and my first meal together. We will need food and I do not know what he will have in our house or even if he is staying there already. He did not say and I did not ask him. Maybe Mother will let me take some food home after the wedding if there is some left over. Father has a whole yard of chickens that he raised for my wedding luncheon at the church hall. This worries me as I want Avery to be pleased that I will know what to do. This is one problem with not being able to talk to him or discuss these issues with him.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Engagement Ring

The day spent with the Longworth's was over way too soon. Avery was very attentive to me. Not at all like he was the other time I spent time with him at my house. He pulled my chair out for me in the dining room. At lunch his sisters were asking me questions and all seemed eager to talk to me. Edith, the youngest, asked "Is it true Rachel that you are bringing your own horses with you when you marry Avery?"

I looked up and nodded, "Yes, I am."

Lucy, who is about twelve with  blonde hair and the bluest eyes I have ever seen spoke up, "We heard you refused to marry Avery unless you could bring your own horses!"

I felt myself turning red, "Why no, I didn't say that. Nobody asked me that." I glanced at Avery who was sitting on one side of me. He just grinned and shrugged his shoulders.

Father spoke up, "Now I knew my Rachel would have to have her own horses with her. So I stipulated that in our agreement right from the start. She raised them from foals. Nobody can handle a horse like my Rachel." He turned toward Avery, "You don't have a problem with that do you son?"

Avery answered, "Why, no sir. In fact, I am glad." Then he looked at me for a second, like he was thinking of what to say, then he spoke, "Rachel, I am glad you like horses. You see, my business is horses."

"Horses?" I replied back not knowing what he meant. Was he selling them? Shoeing them?

"I have built my own freight business. I haul supplies for businesses or whoever needs something hauled from town to town."

"You do that all by yourself? Drive from town to town?" Mother asked. By now the whole family was very interested in this business.

"No, m'am. I have three wagons and two other drivers. I drive one of the wagons."

After our lunch we sat in the parlor and our parents talked about the wedding. Our sisters got to know each other. His sister, Margaret who is married and has two children of her own was there for the lunch. Her husband. George was not there as he was one of Avery's drivers and he was delivering a load of lumber to Utica. She talked with me for a long time telling me how much she was looking forward to me joining the family. Avery came over to us, "Hey Margaret, do you mind if I steal this pretty girl away for awhile?"

"Why no Avery, go right ahead. I have to go check the baby anyway."

Avery took my arm and led me out of the parlor. "I thought we'd go out on the patio so we could talk." He didn't really pose it as a question. We went out onto a patio that had a table and chairs and plants all around. Fresh cut flowers were on the table. The birds were singing and the flowers were fragrant. I felt nervous, dizzy and excited all at the same time. He led me to a sofa and I sat down, he sat down next to me and said, "Rachel, I know you hardly know me. I think this whole marriage thing took you by surprise. I want you to marry me, and I know your Father already promised you would marry me. But I want you to tell me that you are marrying me of your own free will. I do not want you to marry me if you do not want it too. Do you understand?" he looked deeply into my eyes, seriously searching for my answer.

I stammered, "Yeees, yes Avery. I understand." I wasn't sure what he wanted me to say.

Then he slid down off the sofa and went down on one knee and took something out of his pocket, "Rachel, I am asking you to marry me and be my wife. Will you do me the honor?" he looked into my eyes and took my hand.

"Why Avery, of course I will." I answered.

He took a ring and put it on my finger. It fit perfectly! It was so beautiful. I was stunned. I had no idea he was giving me an engagement ring. At that moment Mr. Longworth stepped out to the patio, "Oh Avery and Rachel. I didn't realize you were out here. I just came out for a bit of a smoke," as he filled a tobacco pipe.

The rest of the day was exciting. Getting to know his sisters and trying to remember all their names. I kept looking at that ring all the way home. Mother said she had a good feeling about my life with Avery. Now I have a good feeling about it too. I think we will have a good marriage. He is very good looking too. Tall and strong. He has muscles that tell of a man who is used to doing hard work.

I went to sleep dreaming about being Mrs. Avery Longworth. Everything is happening so quickly for me. Going to have my own house and will be having my own children. I think our life together is going to be happy. I am praying to God tonight to help me be a good wife and mother. To help me make him happy and for us to have a joyful, but holy life.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Special Day

Oh my goodness, I don't know where to start. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day. We made the trip to Norwich to Longworth's house early. It was a long ride but I was not thinking about the ride too much. I was thinking about seeing Avery. I wore my pale blue dress and it looked perfect. Esther, Leah, Edna and Lorraine sat in the back of the wagon with me. Mother and Father sat up front with Father driving my team, Spud and Tator. He thought they should learn the road since they had the chance. My brothers, Kenneth and Teddy stayed home to do chores.

The Longworths live in a big house right in Norwich. It is very elegant and not at all like our house. Mother looked at Father and rolled her eyes and he smiled back at her catching me watching them. "Yep, Mother dear, our eldest daughter here is doing right well for herself."

"Now that is not a subject to discuss right now. " Mother hushed Father talking in a whisper.

I looked at the house and thought how I always wanted to see the inside of houses like this when we passed them. I had been here to Norwich a couple of times before but Norwich is not really a city by any means. More like a small town. It is growing though. I straightened my hair ribbons and tried to act calm, but I was shaking at the thought of meeting the Longworths and most of all, at the prospect of spending some time with Avery Longworth.

All of a sudden the door opened and there was Mr. and Mrs. Longworth opening the door. Mr. Longworth had a mustache and a twinkle in his eye. He put his hand out to Father, "Welcome, welcome Mr. Kennedy!"

Father grasped his hand, "Thank you Mr. Longworth. Glad to be here. You know my wife of course, Sarah."

Mr. Longworth extended his hand to her, "Mrs. Kennedy, delighted to see again. It's been such a long time."

Mother smiled and replied, "Mr. Longworth, do call me Sarah."

"And do likewise, call me Asa. After all we are about to become family."

We went in the door and entered the house. I eagerly looked around for Avery. Mrs. Longworth came forward and looked at me, she took my hands in her's, "And you must be Rachel, dear."

I nodded. I didn't know what to do, "Good morning Mrs. Longworth."

After that I don't remember much until Avery came in just before we went in for our lunch. He came in and said his hellos to everyone. Then looked at me, didn't say a word for a few minutes. Just looked right in my eyes. I felt very unsettled by his look. Like he was trying to see in my mind or something. I noticed his dark good looks. He has a strong look about him. His face is tanned from working outside I think. He finally spoke to me, "Hello Rachel. I almost forgot how pretty you are." I was completely flustered and tried not to show it.

I will have to finish this diary entry tomorrow. I am trying to put the whole visit down so I will remember every detail for the rest of my life. I will say this though, it was a wonderful day and I can't wait for my wedding day! It will take me some time putting my thoughts down on paper.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016