Lola and William Saunders have been staying with us now for close to two months. William is easy going and very helpful. It is easy to like him. Like Avery, he is a Godly man. For me, that is an important quality for any man to have. Many times in the evenings, William will take out his own worn Bible and start reading. When he finishes he will take a hold of Lola's hand and pray, earnestly looking into her eyes. She will seem to have a peace of sorts come over her when he does this. I found it very comforting myself.
Lola though, I haven't felt I know her any better than the day she rode up here on her worn out horse. She has been a huge help to me. Not only doing chores, but helping with Benjamin and doing much of the cooking. She is a very accomplished cook for her years. She is older than me, but seems even older than that. I don't know why I can't seem to gain her confidence and be a friend to her. She is very appreciative that we let them share the roof over our heads.
Today, I did some laundry and most of it was bedding. Now that they are using our guest bedroom I have more of it to do. I don't really mind. It is nice to have some company and the help around here is nice, especially since I am carrying our second child. This baby is going to be a strong child, as he or she has been kicking me constantly. Sometimes I feel really worn out as I am not getting proper sleep. Lately Lola tells me to go take a nap and she will prepare our supper. She surprises me with the kind of meals she comes up with from our supplies. I must admit, I usually prepare very simple foods that I ate at home. Her meals seem to have an elegant touch.
William has been doing much of the barn work. Cleaning out the stalls like Jacob did when he was here. He has also been going into the freight office in the afternoon to give Avery a hand. Sometimes he will even pick up supplies for us so I don't have to drive to town. He is a big man, but gentle in his ways. I looked at his hands and thought to myself that I had never seen hands that big before. Very strong indeed, as I saw him pick up two fifty pound bags of supplies at the same time and carry inside.
Today, I was out in the barn brushing Tator and Spud when Avery came in to check on a new foal. William was cleaning the stalls and he and Avery were talking. Avery said to him, "Will, where did you grow up? If you don't mind me asking?"
"No, I don't mind. I grew up in New York City."
"Now I would have never guessed that. Though now that you mention it, I should have sensed that."
"I was a street kid."
"No parents or family?"
"Oh I had parents all right and plenty of family. But when you live in a city, most of the kids live on the streets. Just go home to sleep and eat. Ma and Pa had a tough time with us kids. We did what we wanted and they both were working all the time. Couldn't keep an eye on us young'uns."
"I can't even imagine. I grew up in town, in Norwich. My parents knew where or what we were doing every minute. And we'd better be there too or else!"
"I wish it had been that way with us. But you know kids. Nobody could tell us what to do. Our ma had to work in a sweat shop just to make ends meet. Pa worked long hours building buildings. But was never enough."
"Now as I look back," Avery replied, "I'm glad my parents were that way. Our children will be brought up the same way. Rachel's parents too, were very strict but taught their children well."
"Yes, that is how it should be," William answered thoughtfully.
"Well, maybe you and Lola can get settled for awhile and then start your family. Then you can raise your kids that way. It's good for them for their future."
Rachel strained to hear his reply as his voice got really soft and wistful, "We'll see. There's more to it than that with us. Don't know how things will turn out for us." Then he walked outside.
She looked at Avery and he shrugged his shoulders.
Later as I got ready for bed, I thought about that conversation between William and Avery. He seems to be another person with sadness in his life. Yet most of the time he puts up a good front. I hope I never have to be like that. I brushed my hair waiting for Avery to come up to bed. He had gone out to the barn for the third time since supper to check the new foal.
I got down on my knees to pray. "Dear Lord, thank you for all you have bestowed on me. Giving me a loving husband and a healthy, happy son and soon, our second child. Thank you for my parents and for them being the kind of parents who took extra care with me and my brothers and sisters to bring us up in a family of love and of knowing You. Please Lord, help me give help to poor Lola and William as they stay under our roof and need our help in finding their own way to a home and family of their own. And most of all, Dear God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. In Jesus's name, I ask it all. Amen."
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole