I have been feeling sick for over two weeks now. I am positive I am carrying our second baby. I have not told Avery yet what I suspect. He has been busy getting the building ready in town to run the freight business from. I am afraid he will worry about me if he knows I am already pregnant again. Besides I think I want to keep it to myself for a little while. It hasn't been easy hiding being sick when I prepared breakfast. What I have been doing is to rise earlier. Then I get the fire going, the coffee brewing and I study my Bible in the lamplight for awhile. It has proved to be the perfect time.
Today Ruth came for a surprise visit. She brought me gifts of oranges that a friend of her late husband had brought her from down south. They were bright orange and shiny. I will hate to use them as I like the way they look on my table in a bowl. We sat down to a cup of tea in the kitchen and I felt sick again. I waited for the feeling to pass.
"Rachel, you don't get to town much anymore do you?' she asked as she chose a cookie from the plate I had put down in front of her.
I sat down and took a sip of my tea, "No, I am pretty busy here. Avery is getting that new building set up for operating Longworth Freight Company out of it. So I haven't needed to go to town for anything. Except on Sunday when we go to church of course."
"Aren't you going to have a cookie? I hate to eat them all. They are so good!"
"No, I don't feel much like eating at the moment."
"I guess you get that way when you do all the cooking. If I cook something, then I don't want to eat it because I am just sick of looking at it. I guess it's a good thing I have a cook for the hotel," she laughed.
"No, it's not that. I usually like what I cook."
"Rachel, you look pale. Are you okay? You don't seem to be yourself today."
"I'm doing alright. I have been busy sewing for my sister, Esther's wedding. Did you hear? She is getting married to Will Delaney in two weeks."
"No, I hadn't heard. Will Delaney? Now who is he? A single man I haven't heard of. Now that's something!"
"He is in Oxford. A law clerk but will be taking a test to be a lawyer next week. So hoping he passes."
"A lawyer huh? How lucky is that?"
"My father found him for her."
"Does he plan on doing that with all your sisters?"
"Finding them husbands."
"Maybe, I don't really know. It was only me and now Esther. Avery came to him first. Will, I'm not sure about exactly."
"Some good father you have there," Ruth got up poured us both another cup of tea.
"He is the best," I agreed with her. "How did you meet your husband?"
"Well my father certainly didn't find him for me. He was considerably older than me. I grew up on a small dirt farm in southern Pennsylvania. My father could hardly pay the bills with what little he made off the crops. One day Byron rode into town and was looking for farmers that could grow produce for the restaurant he was putting in his hotel. He needed produce grown further south than New York and he made a deal with my father among other small farmers. Everyone needed the money."
"So in a way your father did provide you with a husband."
Ruth paused, "I guess I never thought of it that way. But yeah, he did. He grew vegetables for him for two years. Then one day, Byron came to pick them up and he got to talking to me. Next time he came he had bought a ring for me and asked me to marry him."
"What did your father say?"
"He was glad to get rid of one more mouth to feed. He figured it was my best offer. Bryon was older, but very wise and he had money. My sisters both married dirt farmers and have had hard lives. My baby sister, Wilma died having her sixth baby. My two brothers are dirt farmers too and my oldest brother, Raymond went west. Don't know if he is dead or alive."
"I guess I am lucky. Avery is a good provider. I think maybe my father knew he would be and I wouldn't have too hard of a life."
"Yes Rachel, I think that is exactly why your father is arranging the marriages of yourself and your sisters in advance. It really is a smart move, but so unromantic. Of course, with you and Avery, that's not the case anymore, now is it?" She looked up at me to see my reaction.
I blushed, "I love him, if that's what you mean."
Ruth laughed, "Now that is not hard to do is it? Avery Longworth is a very easy to love type of man. What is your sister's husband to be like?"
"I think she will adjust to living in town. That is what she didn't want but I think she will like it. I would have never liked it. I have to have room. And horses."
"I never thought a woman would really love horses so much. They serve their purpose alright and I like mine and get attached to them. I don't know I'd say I have to have them."
"I love them. I have always ridden with my father. Now Avery and I share that love of them. He really cares about the animals you know, not just to use them. Their health, their comfort and he talks to them. I love that about him. Sign of a caring man." I smiled at the thought of Avery with our horses.
Later that night, when Avery had gone out to the barn to check on one of the mares who was supposed to foal soon, I thought of Ruth, Eliza and Esther, and myself. How different life was for each of us, yet we all wanted the same things. A husband and a family. How come I was chosen to have such a happy life with such a good man. The Lord has surely blessed me, and I am thankful. I got down on my knees to thank him, when I heard Avery come in behind me. "Do you mind if I join you there? I have some blessing to be thankful for myself." I nodded.
Avery got down on his knees and bowed his head, "Thank you heavenly Father for all the blessing you have bestowed on this lowly man. Thank you for giving me the most beautiful woman to be my wife and the mother of my children. Thank your for our little Benjamin, and hopefully, soon we will have another little one on the way. Thank you for my good health in recovering from my accident which could have been much worse. Guide us, Rachel and me as we make way through this life raising our family with an eye on you Lord. Please Lord, protect my brother Jacob, wherever he may be and whatever he may be doing. Guard him and bring him back safely to our home soon. In Jesus's name, I ask it all. Amen."
"Amen." I responded. Noting the blessing he bestowed on his brother. He was uttermost on his mind. Thinking how my news will fill him with much happiness. I think I shall tell him tomorrow night after a special supper. He will be so happy to know that I am having our second child. I think it is safe to tell him now after my morning sickness has lessened. I don't want to tell him and be wrong about it and disappoint him. I am pretty sure now. "Oh yes, thank you Lord!"
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole