Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Husband Is Missing!

A man came to the house today. He brought me a letter from the man who Avery was delivering freight for. He said it came marked urgent by another rider. It read:

Mrs. Longworth,

It is believed that foul play has come upon your husband in the delivery of my goods. His wagon and horses were found in an area about 4 days ride from here. The goods and your husband are nowhere to be found. It does not look like the work of the savages so it may be the work of outlaws in the area. They often prey upon freight drivers or women. I have contacted the local marshal and will await his instruction in the matter. I felt it was best to inform you so you will be aware of this grave situation.


Hank Garrison

After I read it the man asked if he could do anything for me before he left. I just thanked him and said no. After he left I sat on the porch on the bench not even aware of the cold. The wind was starting to blow and flurries were just getting started. I then realized I had things to do and better get them done before dark. Dark comes early this time of the year. I got up and went inside to check on Benjamin. He was sleeping soundly in his little daybed near the hearth. I looked at him and fought back my tears. How could something have happened to Avery? Avery who was so strong and good? He is the most honest man I have ever known except for my own father. He is gentle and kind, yet firm and tough when he needs to be. I always know I can count on him. And how much he loved Benjamin! He has such plans for them. No! I cannot think like this. He will be home. I know he will. If someone has him hostage then I pity them. Avery can take care of them and get back to me safely. Maybe he is on his way right now.

I tucked the blankets around Benjamin where he had thrown them off and went back outside. I called to Peanut and he followed me out to the chickens. I shooed the ones who were still in their little covered yard into their house for the night. Then went to see about the horses. Tator and Spud called to me as soon as they heard me coming. Oh, my babies! I gave them bits of carrots I always carried cut up in my pockets. They nuzzled me and I kept fighting those tears. I brushed both of them a bit then turned to the other horses. Some were out in the paddock and I had to bring them in to their stalls. These horses were the rest of the freight horses. Avery is training some and the ones he took out are the ones he uses for long trips. He said this wasn't such a long trip but a heavy trip. What was he hauling? Wool, I think he said. Yes, wool for this Mr. Garrison's mill down in Pennsylvania but in the far end of the state. Lots of mountains he said. Hard on those heavy old wagons carrying a big load.

I gave the horses some grain in their buckets and checked their water. I locked the back door to the barn where I brought the horses in. Then carried the lantern out the front door and slid the wooden bar across the door. Peanut ran along with me to the kitchen door as we hurried to get out of the cold. As I came into the kitchen and saw that Benjamin was still sleeping, I gave Peanut a dish of table scraps for his supper. I sat down and looked at the letter again.

 "Oh no Lord. Please Lord please, do not let Avery be dead. Let him be alive and not hurt in any way. Please. I could not stand it to have him taken away from me so soon. We haven't been married so very long. He is a Godly man and I know if he is in trouble he will turn to you. He will ask you to help him every step of the way. Please Lord, hear my prayer for my husband and the father of our little baby over there. In Jesus's name I ask it all. Amen"

I cried for a long time after that and laid my head down on the table. All of a sudden I heard a cry. It was the baby. He was waking up and he was hungry. I got right up and went to him. As I cuddled him in my arms, a feeling came to me, I know Avery is alive. He is alive and will be home. No matter what I will not give up hope.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ruth's Visit

Ruth invited me to lunch again. I told her I could not come as I did not like to take Benjamin out in the cold weather unless I had to. Her hired man, Mr. McCleary had driven out to give me her message that she would be coming tomorrow and would bring lunch. I looked forward to the company. I hadn't seen Ruth since she came to visit when I was pregnant.  Avery was out on a freight run that was taking longer than usual. I was trying not be worried about him as I knew sometimes things happened to the wagon or the horses. He has been gone almost two weeks now.

When Ruth arrived I had just put Benjamin down for a nap. I figured we could talk and eat while he napped. I had made some maple oatmeal cookies. When someone comes to visit I like to be the one preparing the food and feel that I needed to have at least something to offer Ruth. Ruth came in with Peanut running in alongside of her. She had two large canvas bags of food from her hotel.

"Hi Rachel! How are you doing?" she said as she set her bags down on the counter.

"Oh Ruth, you did not have to bring our lunch! I could have made it." I exclaimed as I looked at the gorgeous oranges that fell out of the bag.

"I wanted to do it for you. I understand perfectly about not wanting to take your new baby out in the cold weather. I wanted to see him."

"Well, you will have to wait.........he is napping." I added as I unpacked the bags.

Ruth had outdone herself this time. She brought us a magnificent feast and what we did not eat she made me pack away for my supper. By the time Benjamin was crying for me, we were ready for him. After he ate, she held him and petted him and talked to him. I could see a sadness in her face as she looked down on him.

"I am sorry Ruth if he makes you sad." I said.

"Oh, Rachel it's not him that makes me sad. It is just that my husband died before we could have any children. I really wanted some but he was older than me, you know? Then he got sick and we never could have any. I kept hoping but it got where he couldn't even leave his bed and I knew I'd never have his child. Now I fear it is too late for me."

"It's never too late. You could meet someone new and get married again," I looked at her and could see she didn't believe that.

"Well, I did see someone I considered. But he married someone else," she looked at me straight on to see if I knew what she meant.

"Not Avery?" it had never crossed my mind that they had ever been involved or even close.

"He is the best looking man for miles around. And he is my age. So I did try to get him interested."

"He wasn't? I did not even know him before our wedding. Not really."

"He told me right off that he had plans and he needed a special wife. One that could put up with him being away and still able to raise children and run his house and farm. It sounded too tall an order for me. I did not want to give up my hotel."

"Did he tell you that if you did, he would marry you?" I was interested to know what took place in my husband's life before me.

"He was being kind. He knew I was not his kind of woman. He would talk to me and come into the hotel for a hot meal occasionally and ask me to join him. But was he interested in me? As a woman? Not even a little."

"Wouldn't you have given up your hotel for a husband?" I asked finding it hard to believe that a woman would rather run a hotel than to have a family.

"Let's put it this way. My hotel gives me a lot of freedom that a wife does not get. I own my hotel and if I had a husband it would go to him. Right now it belongs to me, but I have a trustee, a lawyer who oversees it for me as set up by my husband for me. But basically I run it and he doesn't do anything but keeps it that way so it is legal."

"I see. I guess I never understood all that legal talk."

After Ruth left I looked at my son and felt thankful that my life is turning out this way. I have to admit I was scared when I first married Avery and was alone with him those first few days. Now I treasure those days. I think about him all the time and wish he was home. Ruth had a husband too and she never thought he'd die when she married him. So she had been interested in Avery. I imagine there were many young women who had been interested in him. I didn't even know about him then. I was not even thinking about marriage or anything like that. Now my life is all changed. Babies, horses, housework, growing and preparing food, sewing, so many jobs needing my attention.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Monday, July 26, 2010


Winter is hard this year. I am glad I stocked up enough food. Avery goes hunting when he is home and we have had more than enough meat. I shared some with our neighbors, the Swingles. Since I helped deliver their mare's foal I have come to know them better. Travis, the boy who came to me for help that day, helps me sometimes. I usually pay him in extra meat. They have many mouths to feed and I think the extra meat comes in handy. We can't eat it all since Avery is a very good hunter and gets plenty for us.

I just fed Benjamin and put him back in his day bed that I keep near the fire in the kitchen. He is the joy of my life. Growing like a weed. Last Sunday we took him to visit my parents after church. Everyone just oooed and awed over him and he seemed to like all the attention. All my sisters had to hold him and talk to him. It was then that Esther told us that she is going to be getting married in the summer.

I looked up at her face, "To who? I questioned, I knew this was coming but did not have any idea who would be marrying her.

"Ask Mother," she motioned with her head toward Mother who was now holding Benjamin in her arms.

"Mother, who is Esther marrying?" I asked.

She looked up and replied, "Will Delaney."

"Will Delaney, the law clerk?" I asked with surprise.

"He's not just a law clerk, but has been getting his certificate to be a lawyer. He will be finished by summer and they can get married then. She will be 16," she answered me, glancing in Esther's direction.

"Well, that's good, " I paused, not sure if Esther was in agreement with this or just surprised like I was when they told me I was getting married to Avery, "Isn't it? Esther?" I looked in her direction.

"I guess I have to marry someone. Might as well be a lawyer," she said with no feeling. I knew she was not happy.

Avery came up behind me, "Esther, look how well it turned out for your big sister!" he smiled.

I answered, "You are just in shock right now. I am very happy that Father found me such a good husband." I smiled back at Avery. He was giving me that secret smile that he reserves just for me.

"We'll see how good he is. I barely even know him."

As I sat drinking my tea, I thought about how Esther seemed so sad. I remember well that I resented being told I was marrying Avery. Someone I hardly knew. It turned out well for me but Will Delaney was not at all like Avery. I had seen him occasionally around town and he had come to our church every now and then. Seems like he did not belong to our church or any church. What was Father thinking of  agreeing for her to marry someone who did not belong to a church? Those things didn't set right with me. Avery belonged to the same church his parents belonged to. He grew up going every week. Though once his business got started there were times he did not get to church as he was away. Many times though on the road if he had a way to clean up, he'd stop in at a church he passed on a Sunday. He said it soothed his soul.

At home we always attended church. When Avery was out of town, I'd still hitch up the wagon and go to church. Even in the snow. Now with Benjamin here with me, I had decided not to go if it was too cold or snowing. Had to think of him. I always pack some hot bricks next to his blankets in his basket to keep him warm.

I said a prayer for my sister and her upcoming marriage. "Please Lord, let Esther have a happy marriage and a good husband and that she would fall in love with him, and he would love her back. Like Avery and me. I am so thankful and happy for all the blessing you have given me. Most especially, that Avery is a Godly man.  Thank you Lord God. Amen."

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Beginning Of Our Family

It has finally hit me. I am a mother. A mother. Just like Mother is a mother to me and my brothers and sisters. Sometimes I can hardly believe it. I hold my little baby in my arms while he feeds and I have a feeling I cannot describe to anyone. But Avery! He is so proud of being a father. You'd think he was the only one who ever had a child. I am surprised a little at the way he has taken to this parenting thing. He has always treated me so gently and caring ever since we got married. I have felt loved right from the start. Since we became parents it is a whole other side of Avery that I had never seen.

Avery's parents came to see us three days after our son was born. We named him Benjamin Wesley Longworth. They thought his name fit him.

"He will grow up to be dignified with a name like that," Mrs. Longworth declared as she took him into her arms.

"Yes, he will," Avery answered quickly with pride showing in his eyes as he looked onto his family.

I think that was when it hit me that we were a real family. Possibly we would have more babies and have a family like my own family. Brothers and sisters for Benjamin. We have a big house with the two of us, it didn't seem important to get the rest of it decorated and set up. Now I will need the bedrooms ready for the babies I will have. The children we will raise. Our family.

Later that night after the Longworths had left, I sat in the kitchen having some tea, when Avery came in. He looked at me and said, "Rachel, you have made me a proud man. I...."

I interrupted him, "Avery, you don't have to tell me this. I know you are pleased with me and the baby."

"Listen to what I want to say first. Rachel, when you came into my life, it changed. Before our wedding I worked all the time. I was hardly here. Always working and trying to make some money. Trying to build this house and the freight team. I was so busy I didn't have time to enjoy life. You know what I mean?"

I nodded. I wanted to hear what he had to say so I thought I'd just stay quiet till he was done. He went on, "I knew I needed a wife to live here with me. To raise children. To be a family. But I didn't really know or think about what it meant."

"And that's when I came into the picture," I smiled at him.

He nodded and went on, "Yes, but I didn't know when I decided I wanted to marry you what kind of a person you were or anything like that. I chose you because of your parents and thought they would have raised a girl to be a good wife. A wife who could cook and have babies and take care of a house. But I found you were much more than all that."

"Thank you for that. It means a lot to me Avery to know how you feel about me." I started to get up to clear the cups off the table.He grabbed my arm to stop me.

"Not so fast, Mrs. Longworth! I am saying something and I want to get it out while I can. I can't always say things like this to you. I love you. I love you dearly. You and that baby in there are the most important things in my life now. Nothing will ever come before you. Everything I do from now on is for you and him. Do you understand?" then he pulled me closer to him into his arms.

"Oh Avery, you know how much I love you. I love you and everything about you. You are my world and now Benjamin is in that world too." I reached up and kissed him. Life couldn't get much better than this.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016


Friday, July 16, 2010

The New Addition To Our Family

Photo: Kathleen G. Lupole

I was getting a little scared because I started having slight pains. It didn't seem to me that it was labor pains because they were not that bad. I thought something else was wrong. Nope, I was in labor. Avery was quick to get up and saddled his horse, Thunder, and took off to our neighbor, Amanda Stewart. Amanda is experienced in these things and helps all the women in our area birth their babies. She probably has more children named after her than any American president.

Amanda is a tall woman, taller than any woman I know. She has bright red hair and is always smiling and laughing. Even when she was giving Avery orders about what to get for her, she was in a jovial mood and made me feel comfortable right away. I was scared and I am not going to lie and and say I wasn't. I know it hurts to have a child even though they are little and it is a natural process. Sometimes things go wrong.

She sent Avery out to the barn about the time her husband and oldest daughter, Sarah rode up. Sarah, at 15 has been helping her mother deliver babies since she was about seven. "Cob" Stewart, called "Cob" for the unlit corncob pipe he always has in his mouth, sent Sarah in to help her ma and he accompanied Avery out to our barn. "Come on Avery, let's get far enough away to not hear her screaming, " he laughed. Avery didn't even smile. He looked at me and I nodded for him to go with "Cob".

After that I don't remember too much except for the fact that I felt safe in Amanda's capable hands. She told me what to do, when to do it and she knew exactly what to do. I remember helping Mother with a couple of births myself, but I didn't really learn or do much other than bring things to her. Sarah knew what she was doing too and she assisted her mother like she did this every day. This being my first baby we expected it to be hours before hearing that first cry.  But my baby came quickly for a first one. It wasn't that long before I heard the baby crying.

"It's a boy, Rachel! A good sized healthy fellow. Quick Sarah, wash him up," said Amanda. Then she came to me and washed my face with a cool cloth."You did a good job, faster than most first time mothers, and hardly a whimper from you. Your Mama would be proud."

Sarah brought my baby wrapped in a new blanket, a present from Ruth, for me to inspect. Oh, he looked beautiful. I tried to take him in my arms but felt so weak. Sarah placed him in my arms and I looked down at him, "My you are a healthy little man." I said to my son.

Amanda went to the door and called, "Avery, come see your son!"

I heard him come in the door and saw the big proud smile on his face, "A son? We have a son?" He looked from Amanda to me, "A son! Rachel, we have a son!" he declared proudly.

I smiled at him, "I know Avery. I just gave birth to him." And everyone laughed.

Later as I slept I could hear Amanda out in the kitchen with Sarah fixing a meal for everyone. I glanced over to the baby bed next to my bed and saw my son sleeping soundly. Avery and I have to think of a name for him. It has to be a special name, but strong. He will grow up to be the oldest son of Avery Longworth. He will need a name that is respectful and dignified. When Avery comes in I will talk to him about it.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Getting Closer To Becoming A Mother

I watched as Avery lifted some pumpkins that he had found left in the garden onto the porch. They were big and beautiful, bright orange. Some remembrances of fall give me a feeling of good feeling. I grew them and all the food in our pantry and root cellar with hardly any help at all. In the fall Avery was gone on a couple of long freight runs and my sister had stayed with me. We harvested most of the pumpkins. Some are in the root cellar and some we cut up and dried. I had made lots of pumpkin puddings and found I could make it as good as Mother did. My cooking skills are something I am proud of and I can tell that Avery is too. He likes to have someone stop in to eat supper with us. Though he has been careful about doing that now that I am almost to the end of my pregnancy.

I am just waiting for my baby to be born now. I am tired and feel big. Avery has been staying around home. Mostly doing jobs that are only a day or two away at the most. I know I am holding him back. Ruth drove out in her buggy the other day. I was ashamed of how I looked. She looks so pretty and thin. I saw Avery help her out of the buggy and for the first time I really thought about what he was seeing when he looks at me now. I just wanted to cry. Ruth came bearing baby gifts and some fresh fruit that she got from a company that transported it from down south. She said some of it had gotten ruined but she brought me 4 oranges! I was so happy to see something fresh again. Oranges, one of my favorite treats.

I invited Ruth to eat lunch with us and she accepted. "I apologize Ruth for not having something more elaborate for lunch, but I didn't know you were coming," I smiled faintly at her as I put a dish of cold chicken salad on the table.

"Oh Rachel, don't give it a second thought! Just to spend time with you, and Avery," she turned toward Avery and smiled brightly as she continued, "is treat enough for me."

"Why would anyone want to come see me when I am bigger than cow?" I felt like bawling right then.

Ruth jumped up and took the knife out of my hand and pushed me toward the chair, "Honey, you sit down. You have been working too hard as it is, and you are about to have a baby. Soon too," she picked up the dishes and set them on the table.

Avery pulled the chair out for me and said, "Ruth is right, Rachel. Sit here and I will help her finish."

I looked at him and tried to smile, "Avery, I am supposed to take care of you. I am your wife and just because I am having a baby doesn't mean I can't do my chores or serve my guest," I replied as I looked at Ruth.

Avery took my hand and Ruth's as he asked the blessing before our meal. I felt relieved for us to be all sitting down eating now. I looked at Ruth's small waist line and then down at my own, or where mine used to be. I was smaller than Ruth before I got pregnant.

Later when Ruth was gone and I was in the kitchen cleaning up, Avery came in and started helping me. "Avery, please go sit down. You don't have to help me. This is easy work and I can do it. I am fine," I looked at him trying to hold back the tears in my eyes that were threatening to spill at any moment.

He came to me and brought me close to him in his arms, he just held me tight and I started to cry softly. "Shhh, shhh, honey, there is nothing to cry about now. Everything will be okay. In a few weeks you will be all done with this and holding our baby in your arms," he soothed me.

I felt safe in his arms and just wanted to stay there. "Oh Avery, I am so scared."

"Scared of having the baby?" he asked tenderly.

"No, I think I will handle that fine. I am scared you won't love me anymore." There! I told him my deepest fear and what had been on my mind the last couple of weeks.

"Rachel! What makes you think that is possible? Nothing will ever change the way I feel about you. The baby? You think our child will make me not love you? How can you think that? I think us having a baby has brought us much closer."

"Yes, but now I am so fat," and I started crying again.

Then I heard him chuckle, "Oh baby, you will never be fat. I can tell. You are going to have this little baby and then will be back to work taking care of all of us again. Besides, I think you look enticingly good this way," he smiled that special look in his eyes.

Oh yes, Avery Longworth can be quite the charmer. He is the best husband my parents could have ever found for me. I hope my sister Esther marries a man as good as mine. With that we blew out the light and went upstairs together.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Photograph Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Sister Esther Comes To Visit

Today my sister, Esther came to spend a week with me. Avery had to go on a freight run and he had to do it himself. The other two drivers were out already and this run just came up suddenly. At least it is not that far away. Down in Pennsylvania somewhere. So Mother and Father told him that my sister would be happy to spend the week here with me. Avery liked that idea. He is worried about me and the baby though I have no idea why. I am doing well but will be glad to have some time to spend with Esther. Her and I were always pretty close. We shared the chores of taking care of the younger children. Now I will be having my first child and Esther will be getting married too before long.

Esther was a big help to me. She helped me wash the laundry. I should have done it yesterday but Avery was leaving and I did not want to spend the day doing that when I could be with him. He had the wagon all loaded to go and just spent the time with me. He did not want to leave me but he felt better about it knowing that Esther was going to stay with me. My brother, Kenneth brought her here in the new buckboard. I was waiting for her and had made a good lunch for us. Kenneth was happy to sit down for lunch with us before he had to leave to pick up supplies in town. He hinted to me that he has his eye on a girl I know. So it looks like he might be leaving home too.

We were getting the last garment hung on the line and were looking forward to going inside for some cold lemonade I had made earlier. The lemons were a gift from Ruth this week and I must admit they are a luxury I wish I could afford  regularly. Just then our neighbor's boy, Travis Swingle came running up our drive way, he was out of breath and could hardly speak at first, "Mrs. Longworth! Mrs. Longworth!" Then he paused to catch his breath while Esther and I went to him anxious for him to finish.

He finally spoke, "Ma and Pa went to the auction this morning to sell some bulls and aren't  back yet. The mare is foaling and having a hard time. None of us kids know what to do. She appears to be fading fast and I  can see the foal! Isn't Mr. Longworth here? Maybe  he knows what to do?" he looked around for Avery.

"No Travis, he is gone for the week. Maybe I can help?"

"Oh no! She is such a good horse. I know Pa will hate to loose her." he replied disappointed, knowing that a woman and pregnant one at that would not be able to help with a horse foaling.

"Come on Travis! Let's get my horse and I'll ride over to your place. Esther, you want to come? I'll get my vet bag," with that I hurried up and threw a bit in Tatar's mouth, mounted him standing on a stump and pulled the boy up behind me."

At the Swingle place I knew right off that it was the foal's legs that was causing the trouble. It was big foal too. I righted the foal quickly as I had seen Father do many times before, and had even done it once myself when my own horse gave birth to Spud. Travis and his sister Fran looked at me with awe, "Mrs. Longworth, how'd you know to do that? You aren't much older than Fran here." Travis said, obviously with a new respect for this pregnant young woman.

"I grew up on a farm with many kinds of animals. We always had to do things like this right from the start. I helped my Father with the horses all the time." I replied, tired, but pleased that it all turned out for the best. I wiped the mare down with a cool cloth. She was content now as she licked her new colt. He seemed to be a hungry little fellow. A big boy!

Back at home, Esther and I finished putting the laundry tubs and the lye soap away after hanging the last two garments on the line. Then we went inside for our lunch and the lemonade that I had completely forgotten about. As the tart beverage cooled my throat, I felt my baby kicking inside. It made me smile as it did every time I felt the life inside of me. Esther sat down and said, "Rachel, how did you know to do that? I saw Father do that stuff too but I don't think I could do it myself. I'd be afraid to do it."

"Well, I knew I had to do it. Remember when Spud was born and I had to do it or lose him and the mare?  Father was not home and I wanted that foal for my own. A darn good horse he turned out to be too."

"You are going to have a baby and not that far off. You rode Tater too and I thought you don't do stuff like that when you are having a baby."

"Oh Esther, you know I am not one to sit around and be waited on. Besides once the baby is here I will be stuck inside more than I would like. Those people need their horses. I would have hated to see that mare die."

I sat there long after Esther turned in for the night, in the candlelight I reflected on my day. Somehow the Lord has given the me the chance to do the things I have always yearned to do. I am married to a man who uses horses in his business so I am always around them. He will learn what I did today for our neighbors and I know he will be pleased. He likes it when I do something surprising with the horses. He'll say, "Rachel, you keep surprising me. I never know what you are capable of." Yes, my life is turning out to be good and happy just like I prayed for before I married Avery Longworth.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Baking Bread And Thinking

Today I worked all day in the kitchen baking bread and pies. Tomorrow Avery's family is coming to our home after church for dinner. They did not want me to go to all this trouble for them. Said they could eat sandwiches. I told them, "Not at my house." Mother would not like to hear that I fed my husband's family sandwiches after church. No, she would not like that one bit. I am making a roast chicken for dinner, with lots of vegetables that I grew in my garden. Homemade bread, fresh creamy butter, apple pies and lots of fresh cream. Oh, they will be very surprised. I am sure everyone thinks of me as a youngster who has to learn these things. I have been making food like this my whole life.

I have been doing a lot of thinking today. I am having my first child. What shall I call her or him? I want to make a list of names and see what Avery thinks. It must be a special name for our first child. What kind of a mother shall I be? I pray I can be as good a mother as Mother was to me. She taught me so much and I didn't even realize how important it all was when she was teaching me. Now I know. It is important for a girl to learn as much about housekeeping as possible, before she gets married. It always appears to everyone that the boys are the most important because they earn a living or make a living from your farm. In the Bible, it tells how important a wife is to her husband. How important a mother is to her children.

Mother hinted to me the last time she was here that my sister, Esther will be next to get married. I cannot believe it. I don't think she knows about it yet. I can't help thinking who will it be? Now Avery would have been the last person I would have guessed to be marrying me. So who is it Mother and Father have in mind for my skinny little sister, Esther? Esther who sneaks away to play dolls with Lorraine. Who sticks her finger in the bowl when she is supposed to be mixing up frosting for a cake. I can't imagine who it would be. Maybe Avery would have an idea. He seems to know everything but never offers me any information unless I ask him a few times. Then he looks at me a certain way and I know he knows the answer I am looking for. I have grown to know him pretty good. And I like the fact that I can tell what he is thinking.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Eliza's Visit

Avery knows that I have to do my work whether I am pregnant or not. He seems to be cautious around me and I liked that at first. But I don't like that he seems to think I might break or something. Even in his attentions toward me. He is gentle but sometimes a little too much for me. I am not a weak woman. Mother taught me how to be strong and to be a partner to my husband. I see how important that is now that I have a husband. Like yesterday, I was outside working in the garden when he came from town. He liked to think I was plowing forty acres! Goodness, I was just doing a little bit of hoeing and raking some of the dead plants. I told him to just let me tend to my business of household chores and having children and he will see that I can do it. 

Today Eliza came to visit me! I made her a special lunch. She was impressed with our house and everything about my life. She could not believe I was going to have a baby. I showed her my expanding waist. Eliza told me all the gossip about our friends. She said Kent Osbourne came to church with his grandparents. As she was leaving he asked to speak to her in private. "He asked me if I had seen you. He seemed anxious or something." she told me as walked along my path to the barn with me. 

"Well, he did ask me not to marry Avery. Mother and Father had set it up with Avery and I couldn't very well not marry him."

She looked at me, "Are you glad? Glad that they arranged your marriage to Avery?"

"Oh goodness, Eliza, I am so glad they did! Avery is so good to me. He treats me special and makes me feel like I am the most important thing in the world to him."

"I thought marriage was hard." she answered back, "Like a job or something."

"I suppose it matters who you are married to. Avery is fun, but hardworking and he can fix anything. Handsome too." I answered thinking about my husband and how he had changed my life.

"I know it can be hard. I don't know if anyone will want to marry me." she said wistfully. 

"Don't say that! The Lord has someone in mind for you like he did for me. What else did Kent say to you? He might want to marry you. He is nice and will be a good husband to someone."

"No, he asked about you. I told him I had only seen you once at church after your wedding. Then he rushed away," she seemed to be thinking about her encounter with him.

Later after Eliza had left, I sat with Peanut watching for Avery. He should be home very soon. I know that my parents did the right thing having me marry Avery. I have a nice home and a good husband. I will probably have several children and I can take care of them easily with Avery. Many men are not that good as husbands and fathers. Not like my own father who is a good man. A good husband and father.

Kent Osbourne is a nice boy but he was not the one for me. He didn't really like horses and hardly ever rode one. He walked most everywhere. I think he will probably marry and then live in town and maybe work at one of the businesses there. I would not have been happy living in town and not having horses be a part of my life. For me though, this is the life I would have wanted if I had thought about it before. I just never had the chance to think about it.

Suddenly I heard horse hooves coming up the road at a gallop, and there was Avery coming into sight. He was smiling at me and made me feel that excitement that always goes through my body when we have been apart and I see him again. Yes, this is the man the Lord intended for me.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016