Friday, January 11, 2013

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 31

Good Morning FFFs!
It really feels like spring outside even if it is still January. Tomorrow evening it is supposed to get cold and we could get some ice, sleet or maybe snow. Winter again.

It was a lot of fun to get all your guesses. :) No one got close for how many books I had read. I surprised even myself with that number. Christian was the closest to the correct answer. His guess - 85. Right number - 109!!! Have I mentioned that I like to read?

And as for the number of books we have at home, not counting the cookbooks, song books, books on PaperBack Swap or the four boxes of books we have to get rid of, we have a lot. Angela, you were only one off! Our grand total for books in the house is 6004!
Thank you all for your guesses and I hope you enjoyed it. :) I did.

Wow! I thought that since I had written two more parts of TCR, I'd post one this morning. I wasn't sure which one I was ready to post so I went back to look. I had no idea that the last TCR that was posted was back in September! No wonder you want another one. Sorry.

Life has been busy, but not too much. Last Friday I went over to help a friend paint her new house and I'm heading back over there again today for a few hours. The only other thing of interest is that for the rest of today, my 3rd book, "Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories" is available for free download on Amazon! So, if you don't have a copy yet, know of people who might like to read it, or just want to share about it with friends, family or strangers, go right ahead, but do it soon! I've already had over 800 downloads!

But, I don't have much time now, so here is TCR! Enjoy!

Part 31

    “She is to get up tomorrow,” Dr. French said. “And see that she has something to do besides sit around all day. She’s not an invalid.” It was evening, and Jenelle and Mrs. O’Connor had followed the doctor down to the front room where Norman was waiting for them. “What that child needs now is some exercise, and you,” the doctor wheeled suddenly to Jenelle, “could do with less exercise and more rest.”
    “That is why Mrs. O’Connor is here, Doctor,” Norman answered, putting an arm about his wife. “She’ll see to it that Jenelle gets her rest when I’m out on the ranch.”
    “And that Orlena has things to do?” Doctor French shook his head and picked up his hat. “I hope you are a strong woman, Mrs. O’Connor, for I have a feeling Mr. Mavrich is handing you a full time job.”
    Mrs. O’Connor smiled, “I’m used to working. A sad thing it would be indeed if Margaret Patrick O’Connor had to sit and rock all the rest of her days. A sad thing entirely!” Now and then a bit of Mrs. O’Connor’s Irish upbringing would slip into her speech bringing a smile to Norman’s face.
    “Good!” was the emphatic reply of the doctor as he slapped on his hat. “Good evening.” And Dr. French took his leave.

    “I’ll just step up to settle Miss Orlena for the night before retiring myself.”
    “Oh, Mrs. O’Connor,” Jenelle protested, starting forward, but Norman held her back. “You’ve been busy ever since you arrived this morning; I can see to Orlena. You must be tired.”
    “And me just finished saying I didn’t want to be sitting down with folded hands,” exclaimed Mrs. O’Connor lifting her hands and looking from Norman to Jenelle.
    “Darling,” Norman chided softly, his grey eyes laughing, “you wouldn’t want Mrs. O’Connor’s first night here to be difficult, would you?”
    Jenelle turned her face to her husband’s with a look of surprise. “No, but—”
    “Then I think it would be best if you let her take care of my sister this evening.”
    For a moment she looked at him, then turned to look at the ranch’s latest addition, and her ready laugh bubbled out though it wasn’t as light as usual. “Of course,” she agreed. “You must have missed Orlena when Norman took her away. I’m just can’t seem to think for I’m so—”
    “Tired,” Norman contributed.
    Not waiting for anything further to be said, Mrs. O’Connor slipped from the room leaving the master of Triple Creek Ranch alone with his wife.
    After the door closed, Norman drew Jenelle over to the sofa and pulled her down beside him. For several minutes neither of them spoke.
    “Norman,” Jenelle said at last, her head resting comfortably on his shoulder, “what am I to do with Mrs. O’Connor? I don’t know how . . . I mean, I’ve never had anyone old enough to be my mother . . . Well, . . . Oh, Norman, why did you ask her to come?”
    There was the sound of tears in Jenelle’s voice and Norman looked down at the face half hidden on his shoulder and pulled her closer. “Sweetheart,” he whispered, “Mrs. O’Connor was the only real friend I had when I went to visit Grandmother. I knew she didn’t have any place to go after the house in town was rented, and you needed help. Darling, she knows what Orlena is like, she knows her moods, her attitudes and her whims. Mrs. O’Connor also knows how to cook and keep house. More important, she knows how to pray. You won’t have to tell her much except maybe how to take care of the chickens unless—” He paused in thought, tapped his fingers on his knee and then resumed. “Perhaps it would be good to give the chickens into my sister’s care.”
    Jenelle sat up suddenly, “Norman, she’s my chicken too!”
    “I . . . I mean, my sister,” Jenelle giggled, and Norman laughed.
    “All right, Dear, our sister,” Norman conceded when his laugh was over.
    Jenelle leaned back against his arm. “Norman, if Mrs. O’Connor is in charge of our sister, does the cooking, washing and keeping house, what is left for me? Shall I go out and work in the fields with you and the men? You know I can rope a cow and mend a fence.”
    “Not a chance.” Norman bent his head and kissed the tip of his wife’s nose. “You are to do whatever you feel like doing. If you wish to wash the clothes or cook or sew with Orlena, why do so, but if you are tired or feel a sick headache coming on, then you are to go to bed knowing that the house will continue to run smoothly. How does that sound, Sweet?”
    “Delightful. But I’m afraid it will take some getting used to.” Jenelle sighed softly and nestled in her husband’s arms.
    The clock on the mantel ticked the minutes slowly by, the only sound in the room, until Mr. and Mrs. Mavrich rose to kneel beside the sofa and spend some time in prayer.

    That night Norman lay awake for some time listening to Jenelle’s soft, even breathing beside him and staring into the dark, thinking. He knew Mrs. O’Connor would be a wonderful help to Jenelle and would settle in to the ways of the house easily, but he wasn’t so sure about Orlena’s actions. “I’m never sure how my young sister will act,” he sighed to himself. “She is puzzling and difficult.” Should he leave the adjusting and settling of everything, Jenelle, Mrs. O’Connor, Orlena and the work, to settle itself somehow, or should he try to help? Would he only add to the confusion he felt sure Orlena would cause if he tried to help? It would be easier for him if he let things work themselves out. “But perhaps I should stay,” he mused. “I might help Jenelle if I stayed here, but what about the work on the ranch?”

Thoughts? Questions?
P.S. Don't forget to come back next week because it will be Party Time!

1 comment:

Anott Amos Kowerd said...

I wonder how the chickens will fare if Orlena cares for them :(