Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marriage Isn't So Bad

Esther came home with Avery and me when we came home Sunday, after dinner with my parents. Father talked to us in private. He asked us to try to talk some sense into her because she had to get married eventually. Will Delaney would be able to provide a good home for her. He is a law clerk now but training to be a lawyer, and will make a good amount money to raise a family with. Father pointed out that if she doesn't cooperate soon, Will probably will choose someone else.

Avery said to me at home, "It almost sounds like love doesn't enter into it anymore, does it?"

"Well I didn't love you when I married you. I didn't even know you."

"I guess that's right. I loved you."

"No you didn't. How could you? I never even spoke to you till we had lunch at your parents' house."

"I loved  the idea of you."

"How's that?"

"Well, you know, I met your father at Corbin's store and he talked about you training the horses. Then he mentioned how you made him apple pies and they were so delicious."

"And that made you fall in love with me?"


"Well, then what?"

"It was when the Corbin kid told me how beautiful you were, and I was smitten."

"He did? Which one? Not Sid!"

"Yeah, that's the one. Sid. He told me you were beautiful and he was right."

"I can't believe Sid Corbin thought I was beautiful."

"Well, after that I had to have you and I met your Father again and asked him. He told me you were too young."

"He did? Was this after you came to our house for supper? You never spoke to me."

"He told me I had to get my house built. He also told me that your horses come with you. He said I had to promise him, that I would allow you to do what you want with horses because you had a way with them."

"What did you say then?"

"Well, I told him that was something that I liked about you. Your love for horses, since they are the center of my business."

"Were you disappointed to see I wasn't beautiful?"

"No, I saw you were beautiful. And you still are."

"You never said why you didn't talk to me."

"I didn't know what to say."

"We talk now."

"It is different now. We know each other. I did not know you at all. You seemed childlike and sometimes I felt like I was too old for you."

"And now?"

"You are catching up to me." Avery laughed.

I laughed as he gathered me in his arms. "Oh Rachel, my life is unbelievable since you came into it. I love you with every breath in my body. I want to grow old with you. I want to watch our children grow up and have their families, our grandchildren."

"Our children?"

""I want lots!"

I laughed again, but just then Esther appeared at the door carrying Benjamin.

"Oh excuse me." She started to close the kitchen door.

"No, Esther, you are not interrupting. Come here and bring our little Benjamin here." I stretched out my arms to take my son.

Esther handed him to me and seemed quiet, then she spoke, "You two seem so happy. I know I am not supposed to, but I envy you."

Avery looked her in the eyes and took her hands in his and said, "Esther, marriage is what you make it. If you go into a marriage with a chip on your shoulder and resenting a man because he wanted to marry you. Well, then you will get a miserable husband and you will be miserable as well. If you go into it with expectations of making a life together, having a family and sharing the sorrows and joys to come, then you too, will have happy marriage and a man who loves you."

"But you and Will Delaney are two different men. Rachel is lucky. I will not be."

"Esther," I spoke then, "Avery would not have been a man you would have wanted either. You do not like horses. You would not have liked a man who left you at home while he was away for weeks, like when we first got married. That is why Father felt he was the man for me."

She looked at us both, holding back her tears, "I don't know Will Delaney. What if he doesn't like me?"

Avery said, "Get to know him. Talk to him. Find out what his plans are. Then you can see if it is worth getting so upset over. Might be, that you will like his plans. You won't know unless you talk to him."

She smiled a sheepish grin, "That does make sense. I don't know what he wants to do except be a lawyer."

I said, "Talk to him. Invite him to dinner again. This time sit next to him and talk to him!"

"Okay, I will."

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Esther's Upcoming Marriage

Everything with Avery and me has been almost like living in a dream. I hear the other wives talking quietly about their husbands at church and various other places when we, the younger wives, are sent out to the kitchen to fix coffee and food or snacks for everyone else. I know they must love their husbands to have married them and to bear their children. If something happened to him, I am sure they would be sincerely grieving. I don't feel the way they do. Some of them smile and say, "You're still a newlywed, you'll see after a few more years." I just smile back and don't say a word. I am sure I will never feel that way about my husband. I can't even imagine Mother speaking ill of Father. She always is very respectful of him, even when he is not around. I promise myself I will never complain ever about Avery.

Yesterday Avery and I went to my parents' home for Sunday dinner after church. That is usually the day we see our families. Avery's family is close by, but we still don't often see them until we go to church on Sunday. They go to the same church we go to and the same church Avery has always gone to. My parents live farther away and when we meet them at their church on Sunday morning, we have to get up earlier than usual. So this morning was a very early morning. I had made a pot of porridge last night and let it sit on the fire overnight. That made breakfast faster. I packed some muffins and homemade cheese in my bag for the ride.

I carried my things to the wagon and noticed on the seat a big shiny red apple! Where did that come from? Why was it on the wagon seat? Jacob! Is that a sign that he was here, in the wagon during the night? Did he put the apple there on purpose? I carry it into the house, "Avery, look what I found on the wagon seat. Did you put this apple there?"

He looks at it and shakes his head. Then he picks up Benjamin who is waiting for me to take him out to the wagon. I can tell that it doesn't cross Avery's mind that Jacob left the apple on the seat. As we get into the wagon and all settled in, Avery grabs a muffin out of the bag as he gets Tator and Spud going. He looks at me and smiles, "What's wrong Rachel?"

"I think Jacob left that apple on the wagon seat."

"What? Why do you say that?" He looks questioningly at me, then Benjamin grabs at Avery's hand, and he laughs at him.

"Because I just do. It is a sign he left for us."

"Oh no. I'd think if he was here, he'd have come to the house and let us know. Not leave an apple on a seat so we'd guess he was here. Where did you get that idea from?"

"Well, maybe I am wrong. But I don't think so."

After church, my sister Edna rode with Avery and me as we followed Mother and Father's wagon home. She held Benjamin and played little games with him. "Guess what Rachel!"

"What?" I asked ready to get a big piece of gossip that I am sure Edna would have for me. She was always listening when she shouldn't be and loved to report what she had heard.

"Esther is getting married to Will next month. She is mad. He came to the house about three times so far, and she refused to talk to him."

"She refused to talk to him, huh?" asked Avery with a slight smile on his face. "I guess I married the right girl," he leaned closer to me.

I made a face at him and asked, "What did Father say? Didn't she say a single word to him at all?"

Edna shook her head. "She said no way is she getting married and have to move out."

I thought about how I felt when I was told I had to marry Avery. I didn't want to leave home either. I felt so sad the day of my wedding and especially when I had to leave and go home with Avery. It was a very quiet ride home that day. Avery had tried to talk to me but I only answered him in one word. Now I talk nonstop all the way to town and back.

"Oh poor Esther, she is scared. I will talk to her. Maybe she can stay with us this week?" I looked at Avery and he nodded. "I will try to comfort her about getting married. It's not so bad." I smiled at Avery.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Longworth Freight Company

Photo Credit: The Library Of Congress

Today I started making some new shirts for Benjamin. He is almost too big for anything I have left. I am afraid most of his clothes still look new. I have cut out five shirts this morning and will finish at least two of them today. He is already eating some solid food as I fear I cannot keep him satisfied. Today he is crawling around on the floor. He has been pulling himself up and knocking things over. Sometimes it is hard to sew when he is doing that and I try to wait till he naps.

Avery surprised me by coming in early this morning, "Guess what!" he said excitedly.

"I can't guess. What is it?" I said as I continued with my sewing.

"I found the building for the freight company!"

I got up and went to him, "You did? Where is it?" I ask eagerly. I wanted him to finalize his decision to run the company from here and not do the driving himself anymore.

"It is the old Carbon Company building. It has been empty a long time but has potential. I can spruce it up but it doesn't need much and outside it has a good area to load the wagons. There is also a small barn area with a paddock. Not real big but big enough for a new company."

"Oh Avery, that sounds perfect!"

"I meet Paulie Carbon tomorrow at Ruth's restaurant to iron out the details. He doesn't want much for it and we can afford it."

I jumped into his arms, "Oh good! That means you are definitely done with driving and being away from home?" I asked hoping I was right.

He gathered me up in his arms and smiled, "Yes Rachel, it means you are stuck with me home every day like all the other poor wives about town."

I stared into his eyes, I loved this man with all my heart. He was everything to me and I hated the thought of him ever being away from me again. Especially after the time when he was attacked and almost killed. Benjamin who was sitting in his toy box playing suddenly looked up at us and wanted to be included, started fussing and reaching his arms toward us.

Avery laughed, "Look who's jealous!" He bent down and scooped our son up and included him in our hug, "Now we have to have family hugs."  He put his nose into my hair and took a deep breath, "glory woman, you drive me crazy anytime I get anywhere near you."

Benjamin started his baby talk and we both laughed. Life is good for us now. The Lord is smiling down on the Avery Longworth family for sure. I have never felt such happiness in my heart before. It gave me an idea! "Avery, let's invite my family for dinner Sunday and have a special day in honor of our new company."

"Whatever your heart desires. It is fine with me."

I thought about what changes had taken place in my life since I had married Avery. Who would have thought a girl like me just turned seventeen would be a wife to such a wonderful man and a mother to the most beautiful baby boy? I thought of my sister, Esther who is getting married in a couple of months to a man she hardly knows and doesn't seem to care about at all. And my friend, Eliza who lives with her father and grandfather and barely has enough money to live on. I am so blessed. All of a sudden I wanted to help everyone find the same happiness.

"Avery, can I invite my friend Eliza too? She could ride in with my family."

"Of course, whoever you want. Look at Benjamin!"

I looked at him and he was putting my clean cake pans on his head and laughing. I smiled, but said, "Oh no Benjamin, that is not a toy." I took it from him.

Later as I was finishing up the last shirt before supper, I thought about how Avery and I had settled into a daily routine that was fitting for us. It wasn't the way my parents lived. Or the way the Longworths lived. It was our routine and our life. Our children would be a part of that. It would be their routine and it would form them for their future lives. I was feeling eager to teach my children the way my parents taught me and my brothers and sisters. Yes, God has been good to me. He has surely blessed me and I would not let him down.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016