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