I mentioned last week about our big snowstorm. Well, we got more snow. Things had started to melt somewhat and then on Wednesday of this week we got another 3-5 inches on top of everything else. It looks really pretty, but I know I'm ready for a little warmer weather. Next week is supposed to be in the 50's! I'll have to get outside.
For those of you interested in my hopefully soon to be published book, you can go read the newest update on it at Home Fires of the Great War.
This story was interesting to write. It didn't turn out exactly how I had thought (what story does?), but I wrote it. My instructions were
"Ten main characters, ten journal days, takes place in Tennessee, and is a tender story." Did you catch all those "TENs"? I had fun with them, but I really am longing to know what others think of it. So please, tell me.:)
September 14, 2000I start this journal entry with a sigh. Why does this all have to be so stressful? I thought planing a wedding was supposed to be a happy and joyful occasion. Nothing seems to go right, for each of the girls has her own ideas about it. Oh, bother! I wish Justen were here. There is only so much I can tell him over the phone. If I’m persistent, will the girls finally believe that I don’t want to have a wedding “by the book” or to “do what everyone does”? I want to be different! I can pretend I’m happy only so long. If something doesn’t happen and soon, I might go mad! Poor Justen, to have to marry a mad woman. But this is what happened today:
Britteny got off the phone with one of the girls and came rushing over to me. “Kristen! Cathy just told me that at her sister’s friend’s cousin’s wedding they had ten flower girls and escorts! Wouldn’t that be fun?”
Me, a little wearily: “If you want to spend that much money and trouble on it.”
Britteny with countenance changing into a frown: “I don’t think you want to spend any money. Why don’t you and Justen just elope?”
I sighed. “It’s sounding better and better all the time.”
Anyway, Britteny went off in disgust, and I came up here.
Poor Mom, she is so busy with secretarial work at the college (I’ll be glad when Mrs. Presten is well again), and Dad is busy with his classes, and-- I’m afraid I’m going to cry.
I do love this little college town of Tennascity, Tennessee. I’m glad we won’t be moving away from it. But I do wish I could be left to plan my own wedding in my own way with my own ideas!
September 15th,Justen is back! I haven’t seen him yet, since he just got in this evening and it is after 9:00. Today was a better day. Dad had a free afternoon and took me for a walk. Everything about town is so quiet and unpretentious. I love this little town. Didn’t I say that yesterday? The trees are just beginning to change colors. Wouldn’t an autumn wedding when the trees are at their peak be just lovely? Dad and I had a pleasant walk. We stopped by Tenderfield farm and visited with Mr. Tenderfield a few minutes. He’s been lonely since his wife died. The farm is just as pretty as it ever was. I remember going there to play in every season, and each one is beautiful. It was so nice to get to walk with Dad all by my self. Towards the end, Dad said, “Kris, make sure your wedding is what you and Justen want. After all, it is yours and Justen’s day.”
I only had time to give him a kiss and whisper “Thank you,” before he had to rush off for his next class.
When I got home, I found Justen’s sister Courteny visiting Britteny. Of course they were talking weddings, but they didn’t really notice me, and I didn’t stay to visit.
At supper, Dad kept us all laughing by telling stories from class. I had no idea that teaching history and literature at a college could be so humorous.
But it is late, I think I will go to bed.
September 17,I know I didn’t write yesterday, so I will try to tell it all now. It began with a headache. A real one. I woke up with it and by lunch time I was feeling pretty down. It didn’t help that Mom and Dad were both gone and so Britteny and I ate together. Usually we have no problems, but today all Britteny wanted to talk about was weddings. I managed to listen to her chatter without losing it, but after lunch when a group of girls came by and began talking weddings, I left. I just walked out of the living room, where they were gathered with wedding books and magazines, through the kitchen and out the back door. I kept walking until I reached the football stadium. It’s my favorite place to go and think. Old Mr. Mortensen, who tends the grounds, was busy on the other side of the field, so I just climbed the rows and rows of seats until I decided to sit down.
All around me was quiet. Blessed quiet. A few birds were singing, but no voices. I began to relax and let the soothing balm of sunshine and quiet calm my throbbing head and taunt nerves. That is when I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my cell phone! What if Justen called? I groaned. There was no way I wanted to go back to the house with all those girls.
Wearily leaning my head in my hands, I was debating about the pros and cons of going back or staying when a voice above me asked, “Is this seat taken?”
I looked up. “Justen!” He sat down with a smile, and I burst into tears.
I know, Journal, it wasn’t a very nice way to greet him, but I couldn’t help it.
He put his arm around my shoulders and said, “I can go away again if you’d rather be alone.”
“Don’t you dare!” I replied giving him a watery smile. “How did you know I was here? Did you try to call? Were all the girls still at the house? And were they still planning our wedding?”
Justen laughed. “I did try calling, but got no answer, so I just came over with Courteny. We met Austen coming home, and when I didn’t find you home, he suggested I try here. Yes, the girls were still there. I left Courteny with them. I didn’t know they were planning our wedding. But they had all kinds of books and magazines about weddings everywhere. Any other questions you want answered before I ask some?”
I shook my head.
“Then it is my turn. Are you all right?”
“Why’d you come out here without your cell phone and leave the gaggle of giggling girls?” He spoke the last with a grin. I think he already knew the answer to that one.
“I just forgot my cell.”
“And the girls?”
I hesitated. Should I really make an issue of it all?
“Come on,” he said quite tenderly, “what is really bothering you?”
Looking out across the football field, I drew a deep breath. “I’m tired of other people planning our wedding. I want us to plan it, together. And I don’t want to do things just because “they” do them. I want to be myself.”
“All right. Let’s plan it. Now.”
I looked up in astonishment. “What?”
“I said, let’s plan the wedding right now. Here’s my little notebook. You can write ten times smaller than my scrawl, so it might do. And,” he felt around in his pocket. “I can’t find my pen.”
By then I was ready to laugh. “Oh, I have one on my knife.”
“So you do. Then we’re set. What do we plan first? I’ve never planned a wedding before.”
That is when the fun started. We really did plan the wedding. The whole thing! We picked the place and it wasn’t at a church! I’ve always secretly dreamed of having my wedding there, but since we don’t know for sure if we can, I won’t mention where yet. We are going to drive out tomorrow and see about it. Of course we had to check the dates with our parents, but we planned everything else. Who would stand up with us, what they would wear, what we would eat and what colors the wedding would be.
Intense though that planning was, it was fun. We didn’t even look at a single magazine or get on the Internet to do it.
Hand in hand we headed home as the sun was sinking. “Will you have to leave as soon as we get home?” I questioned, hoping he would be there when it was discovered what we had done.
“Nope, the folks are coming over for dinner. In fact, I think Mom said something about her making supper since your mom is working.”
It was around the supper table that night with all nine of us that we told. Justen called for everyone’s attention and began to talk. First he checked the date. It worked! Then he merely said we had almost all the wedding plans finalized. Only a few things remained which we would attend to soon. That was all he would say. Courteny and Britteny were dying to know all the details, but Justen pretended he didn’t hear their pleas
That was yesterday. We were going to go today to see about holding the wedding at that special place, but it was storming, so we decided to wait. Justen won’t let me tell Britteny anything until it is all decided. I don’t know what she would have done if Austen hadn’t sided with us. He told her it was our wedding.
To hear what happened next, come back next Friday.