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