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