This past week has been so full and busy that it feels like last Friday was at least two weeks ago. It wasn't, was it?
Let me see, what did happen? After I posted last Friday, Mom, S and I headed back home in the afternoon. We had a great time with Grandma. After arriving at home and unloading and unpacking, we headed over to my brother and sister-in-law's for supper. It was nice to not have to plan supper. The kiddos were such fun. Doodle Bug is getting big. He enjoyed grabbing the Duplo pieces Funny Boy was using to build a house. :)
Saturday was spent trying to put things away and work on some cleaning.
Sunday was a delightful day of rest. I didn't write anything. Instead, I read a new Pansy book. Well, I guess it really isn't "new" since it was written about 100 years ago. But, it was new to me since I hadn't read it before.
On Monday we cleaned more of the house. Mom would like the whole house "deep cleaned," before we decorate for Christmas, but I don't know if it will happen. I know we did more than clean, but I can't think of it.
Tuesday was full and busy. We went to "Connie's" in the morning to put new things in our booth and pick up our check. Then we got a little cleaning done and I worked on preparing for the Geography Review that I do with two home school families. That night S and I babysat the kids so J & M and Dad could go to a political meeting. I was "supposed" to be there but I got out of it by saying I would babysit so M could go. :)
Wednesday was more cleaning and finishing getting ready for Geography. Then in the afternoon, I got dressed in my civil war outfit complete with hoop-skirt, bonnet and cape, and went to teach Geography. (We were reviewing the southern states). That was such fun!
Yesterday we did more cleaning (and no the house is not super clean now) and then Grandpa came down in the evening and took me to a concert. Oh, the music was simply delightful! We got Vivaldi, Handle, J.S. Bach, Telemann, Purcell and Blow. Talk about a treat!
Grandpa left this morning before we were up. He had to take the car back to Grandma. Today we will be cleaning house (the usual cleaning not the extra stuff), probably going back to Connie's since they are having their big Open House starting today. We'll probably also get some more deep cleaning done. And, I forgot, we'll be babysitting tonight.
As far as writing, I got a short story for the Pickwick done and corrected the Christmas story that goes in one of my books, but that is all. I have many things to write as soon as I have a free evening or two.
It is hard to believe next week is Thanksgiving! Grandma & Grandpa are coming down here this year.
But if you have actually been reading all this stuff you are probably wishing I'd hurry up and get on with things. :) So, here is part 3. Enjoy.
No one talked on the ride to town. It was bitterly cold and Pa had remarked that he expected snow before midnight.
At last we reached town and, driving to the depot, we waited for the train. It was a few minutes late, but at last it pulled in with a shrill whistle and a hissing of brakes. Not many people ride the train, so we weren’t expecting anyone else besides Uncle Scott.
I saw him first as he stepped off the train, gave a quick wave to us and then, instead of coming right over, he turned back to the train and helped someone step down. It was a woman.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. Wellington was the first to greet Uncle Scott and barked and jumped about him and the woman as we came up.
Pa greeted Uncle Scott in delight while I managed to keep Wellington from jumping up on the lady. Uncle Scott introduced her to us as his wife! Never do I remember being so astonished and tongue tied. I know I must have managed to greet her and Uncle Scott and help carry the baggage to the wagon, but all the conversation about me simply floated over my head. It wasn’t until we were on the way home that I began to notice what was being said.
Josh and I were riding in the back of the wagon with Wellington and the luggage. Wellington was stretched out with his head in my lap while I fondled his ears. Pa’s voice reached me first.
“Scott, just look what you’ve done. Ever since that letter of yours came, Danny’s been puzzling over your surprise and now when you show up with a wife, he just sits there so astonished he hasn’t a word to say.”
Uncle Scott laughed and out of the corner of my eye I saw him turn to look at me. “Oh, he’ll find his tongue when he sees what else I’ve brought. Katy isn’t my only surprise.”
He had another surprise? I hoped I would like it better than I did his first one. I mean I was happy, I suppose, that Uncle Scott got married, but the lady looked much too proper and grand to be coming out to our farm. Her clothes were dark brown and looked like something from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. And her hat. Well, that in itself I thought, gave proof that she was not fit for the country. What was Uncle Scott thinking of when he married her? I couldn’t help wondering if she even knew how to do anything.
Reaching home, Mother came out to greet us and welcomed Uncle’s wife with delight. Josh and I unhitched the team and took care of them while Pa and Uncle Scott carried in the luggage. Neither of us talked while we brushed the horses. Wellington sat and watched us. He didn’t say a word either, but I think he was wondering why I was so quiet.
I didn’t talk much at all the rest of that first day. I was watching. Uncle Scott was just the same, laughing, joking and lending a hand when he could, yet there was a difference. I don’t know if the others noticed it, but I did. Always before he had come outside and wanted to go for walks with Wellington and me or to talk about school with Josh or quiz us on our arithmetic. This time, he stayed inside. Usually near my new aunt. I had a hard time thinking “Aunt Katy” much less saying it. No other surprises were forth coming and I began to wonder if Uncle had forgotten them.
It wasn’t until after supper was over and the evening chores were done and we had all gathered around the fireplace that Uncle Scott came in with a new rifle in his hands and a grin on his face.
“This gun is for the person that shoots our Thanksgiving turkey. So Beth,” and he turned to Mother, “If you want this rifle, you’ll have to go shoot a turkey.”
Mother laughed. It was well known that she never handled firearms of any sort whether they were loaded or not.
“How many days of school are left before Thanksgiving, Josh?” Uncle asked placing the rifle on the mantle and sitting down on the sofa beside his wife.
“Good, plenty of time to go hunt turkeys. Danny?”
I had been sitting before the fire with Wellington beside me. I turned to look at Uncle Scott.
“Have you and Wellington discovered where the turkeys can be found?”
I nodded and turned back to the fire. What good would it do for him to know? He probably wouldn’t go. It would most likely just be Josh and Pa and me.
Other talk went on around me, but I remained silent. After prayers I went off to bed. Perhaps I could get used to the idea if all was quiet, I told myself as I crawled under the blankets. Wellington was stretched out beside my bed. Only the murmur of the adults’ voices disturbed the quiet. Josh’s steady breathing soon told me he was asleep. For a long time I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, tired but restless. At last I heard the soft footsteps of the others going to their rooms and all grew still. Yet even then I could not sleep so, even though it was cold, I slipped out of bed, pulled some wool socks on and grabbed a blanket.
Tiptoeing out of the room I crept softly to the front room where the fire still glowed. Curling up with the blanket around me, I sat in Pa’s armchair. Wellington stretched out before the chair and went back to sleep. “I told you to stay there,” I whispered to him, but he only flopped his tail from one side to the other.
I jerked my head up. Pa was standing in the doorway. “I couldn’t sleep,” I replied softly.
“Is something wrong?” he asked coming over. “You’ve been awfully quiet since Uncle Scott came.” When I didn’t reply, he put a log on the fire and, sitting down across from me asked quietly, “Do you want to talk about it?”
For a minute I only sat and watched the flames dance on the log. Then I blurted out, “Why did he have to marry her?”
“Perhaps because he loved her and knew she was the only one for him.”
That answer didn’t satisfy me and I frowned.
“Are you just objecting to Katy or to the whole idea of your uncle having another person to compete for his time now?”
I looked up, startled. Pa had a way of coming right to the heart of things with no beating around the bush.
“Are you just a little jealous, Danny?”
Giving a small half smile, I looked at Pa. “Perhaps.”
“Katy isn’t going to take your place, remember. And I think that if you give her a chance, you just might find yourself liking her.”
I rather doubted it, for I didn’t like city girls who didn’t know how to do things, though I didn’t say as much.
Pa seemed to be able to read my mind, for he added, “Just give her a chance, Son.”
I nodded. I’d try, but I still thought Uncle Scott had picked the wrong girl.
“Now, get to bed,” Pa ordered, standing up and banking the fire. “Tomorrow is a school day and you’ll have twice as much homework to do.”
Back in bed, I fell straight to sleep.
Pa’s prediction of snow came true, for there were several inches of snow on the ground when Josh and I headed out to do chores in the morning. Wellington delighted in rolling in it and barking at the flakes that were still coming down. I tossed a couple of snowballs and he went tearing after them barking and carrying on like it was the battle of Waterloo and they were the French.
After eating a quick breakfast, Josh and I put on our coats and hats, pulled on our boots, grabbed our school books and set off for school. I was determined to work as hard as I could and make up for missing yesterday, but I couldn’t help wondering if it wouldn’t have just been better if I had gone to school then too.
When Josh and I arrived home after school, we discovered Mother and Uncle’s wife busy baking in the kitchen. So, she at least knew how to cook.
“Danny,” Mother exclaimed, “I’m glad you’re home. We’re about to run out of wood for the stove and neither your pa nor your uncle seems to have the ability to bring in the right wood. Their pieces are either too long or too fat.”
I hurried to change and brought in the wood and filled the wood box. Mother let me have a few hot cookies before I headed off to help with chores. I shared my cookies with Wellington for he loves cookies almost as much as I do.
So, what do you think now?
Or do you think at all?