I got Benjamin ready for bed early today. Avery was going to be home a little later than usual so I gave Benjamin his bath early and got him into bed. Then I prepared our supper. A special supper for just the two of us. I put my favorite tablecloth on the table and used our best dishes. These dishes had belonged to my grandmother. She had given them to me before she died, saying, "Rachel, I want you to have my good china. Your grandfather bought these on a trip to the city one year for my Christmas present. He paid good money for them. Goodness, I was afraid to use them most of the time. I want you to have them because you are the oldest girl and the most like me."
I loved these dishes. I used to take them out of my trunk and unwrap them and look at them. They have tiny roses with lace in the design. I would wonder if I would ever get to use these dishes. Back then it was like a dream, being married and having my own family. Now, if my grandmother was alive she'd be proud of me and my family. I think she would like my family.
Now I had everything ready, the pot roast and fresh root vegetables from our garden that I cooked gently in the fire most of the day. Biscuits that I had just taken out of the oven and two apple pies with fresh whipped cream for dessert. I quickly fastened my hair up on my head and grabbed the dress I had brought downstairs earlier. A new lavender dress I had been making for a special occasion. This would be that occasion. Besides, I probably wouldn't be able to wear it much longer as my waist is already starting to expand. I looked down at it. It may not be noticeable yet.
Just then I heard horse hooves come up the drive. He's here! I hurried to fasten the clasp in the back of the dress. I went to the window and saw Avery leading his horse, Knight into the barn. I quickly carried in the dishes and set them on the table. Just as I came back to the kitchen Avery opened the door, "Anyone home? It looks dark in here."
I smiled at him but didn't speak.
"What is it Rachel?" He looked around, "Where's the baby? Is Benjamin okay?"
"He is in bed. I decided to put him to bed early tonight since you were going to be later." I picked up the pitcher of fresh milk and carried it out the kitchen door to the dining room.
"I smell food, but don't see any." He followed me, "Are we having company for supper?" he questioned looking puzzled.
"No, we are having a private supper tonight. Just you and me." I lit the candles on the table. I looked at him and smiled, took his hand and led him to the wash basin in the kitchen. "Here let me help you." I poured the water on his hand and he soaped them up with the bar of soap.
"Rachel, I don't know what has gotten into you, but I tell you when you do something like that, it makes me want to skip supper."
"Do something like what?" I looked up into his eyes, then I took the towel and dried his hands real good. Taking a hold of each finger and really drying it.
"Just like that," he grabbed a hold of me and pulled me into his arms. He started kissing me and I felt like I was the happiest woman in the world. I wanted to tell him my news, but held back. After supper. I didn't want to spoil it after all my work.
"Come on, let's save supper for tomorrow." He tried to steer me toward the stairs.
"Oh no, Avery! I have gone to a lot of trouble for our special supper tonight. Besides I have news for you."
"News? What kind of news?"
"Good news, but it'll wait till dessert." I smiled mischievously at him.
After we had our supper and I brought the coffee and pie in, Avery said to me, "Aw come on Rachel, share your secret. It can't be that bad."
"Okay, Mr. Longworth since you can't wait through dessert. Guess what!"
"Guess what? How can I guess? My first thought is your sister is not going to marry her beau after all."
"No. We are going to have another baby!" I exclaimed excitedly.
"A baby? Are you kidding?" He jumped up and swooped me into his arms. "Really? You're not joking are you?"
"Nope. I am positive."
"Oh Rachel, that is the best news you could have told me."
He held me in his arms so tightly, I could scarcely breath. "Come on, let's eat this dessert so I can clean up the kitchen."
"And get to bed early," he winked at me. I still get that feeling of excitement when he looks at me like that. I couldn't wait to get the rest of the meal finished and my chores in the kitchen done. Avery went out to the barn to tend to the animals.
"Oh Lord, I am the luckiest woman in the world. Thank you." I prayed silently.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole