At a hotel this morning down in Arlington, TX for a huge book fair/homeschool conference. This is one of the very busy ones so I shouldn't be wandering around wondering what to do and wishing it were almost over. :)
Let's see, last week . . .
Friday - I stayed home in the morning and then after lunch we headed out to the camp where the wedding was going to be held. It was cold. The rehearsal went well even if one of the groomsmen wasn't there yet. After the rehearsal, we helped with a few other things and then most people headed out. There were still some of us young people there. My best friends, a younger sister and friend and the groom, one of the bride's brothers and another guy friend. The girls all went for a walk out through the woods to where the wedding had been planned, but the rain changed it. Then brother and guy came out in a car and all five girls piled in the back. It was rather crazy. :) We had supper at the bride's house. It was grilled hot dogs, mac & cheese, baked beans and chips with s'mores for dessert. Such fun.
Saturday - It rained some during the morning, but then only lightly misted some. I don't know how many of you have been involved with weddings, but the few I've been involved with tend to be rather stressed before it happens. Well, this wedding was different. The bride and groom even went for a walk through the woods together that morning. :) I got to help make our bouquets, and even the bride's bouquet It was a wedding not many people will forget because it was chilly and outside. We did do it in a pavilion just in case it rained. The guests wore their coats and we had piles of quilts for people to use. And they did get used. Since my other best friend (bride's twin) and I really wanted to wear the flip-flops we had made, we put a heater right behind where we would be standing. It wasn't too bad.
Sunday - A much looked forward to day of rest! I was about to fall asleep during church.
Monday - Got some things done that had been piled up for weeks. And that evening we went roller skating with friends from church. We had a great time, like always.
Tuesday - Got other things done and relaxed. Walked that evening with best friend since her other friend had left. It was strange just having us two. We are so used to being three since we've been best friends for 24 years!
Wednesday - Drove down to Arlington, TX.
Thursday - Set up for the conference.
Writing? I haven't written since . . . When was it? Before we went to Silver Dollar City? I am really hoping to get back into writing and lots of it, when we return from this trip.
Since I haven't posted a Triple Creek Ranch Story since March, I thought it was time I posted another one. :) Do you agree? Enjoy it!
Did Jenelle really like her a little, even though she herself had never liked Jenelle? Sitting in her chair near the open window, Orlena came face to face with the possibility that most of the misery she had experienced since coming to the ranch was her own fault. She hadn’t even tried to like it. All she had done, she realized, was compare this life with the one she had always known. Could she come to like living out in the middle of nowhere if she tried hard enough? Orlena wasn’t sure she really wanted to like it at Triple Creek, but— “At least I can tolerate it until time for school,” she thought with a deep sigh.
Downstairs Norman was on his knees beside Jenelle. “Darling, please stop crying,” he begged, drawing her into his arms. “It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything. Sweetheart!” He kissed her, smoothed back her hair and then glanced about the room. It was empty except for the two of them. For several minutes he continued talking softly until Jenelle had calmed down enough to listen. “I’m going to have a talk, a calm one, with Orlena.”
Jenelle put in a protest. “Don’t, Norman, I—”
Gently Norman put his finger over his wife’s lips. “I think it is time I did. I won’t have you spoken to like that.” Then before Jenelle could say anything else, Norman changed the subject. “Has Mrs. O’Connor been a help to you, Sweet?”
“I’m thankful to hear it. Now,” he kissed her once again and stood up, “you are going to eat something and then go up to bed.”
With a tired sigh, Jenelle leaned against him and clung to his hand. He was so strong and thoughtful, so wise; he always was thinking of her and the ranch. How did she get the most wonderful husband in the world, she wondered.
“I’m not hungry,” she whispered, closing her eyes. The dining room was warm, and she was tired.
After helping his wife up to bed, Norman returned to the dining room to find Mrs. O’Connor. As they sat together eating their cold breakfast, Norman recalled the many mornings he had taken his breakfast in the kitchen at his grandmother’s with Mrs. O’Connor. And as then, he needed to talk.
“Mrs. O’Connor, what am I supposed to do? I can’t talk to Orlena without one of us losing our temper, usually both of us. I can’t find out from Jenelle what’s been going on in the house, so how can I know what needs said? I don’t even have the faintest idea what Orlena was so upset about this morning. It’s almost as though Jenelle were trying to protect Orlena. Am I that harsh?”
Setting down her tea cup, Mrs. O’Connor shook her head. “Ah Norman,” she said, “tis a sweet wife you have. She’s not protecting Orlena, she’s trying to protect you.”
“Me? From what?
For a moment Norman puzzled over that statement. How could Jenelle be trying to protect him from himself and why did she think she should? He must be missing something, but what?
“And here I was thinking you had a fine head on your shoulders since you went to college and graduated with such high honors.” The housekeeper chuckled over the perplexed look on the rancher’s face. “Tis from yer temper she’s protecting you. She knows how jealous you are of her and that Miss Orlena has a way of saying things that rile yer temper but have no effect on Jenelle. Her patience is great, though I’ll admit this morning was a wee bit too much.”
“I’ll say it was too much,” Norman muttered. Then, with a long, drawn out sigh that was almost like a groan, he began drumming his fingers on the table. Turning suddenly to Mrs. O’Connor, he asked, “Do you think I should talk to Orlena now?”
Thoughtfully the housekeeper shook her head. “Not yet. Wait a bit. I believe Jenelle’s tears did more to soften her heart than any words you could say. Go to your work on the ranch.”
“But Jenelle . . .”
“I’ll see to it that she rests.”
After Norman departed reluctantly, Mrs. O’Connor stepped up to Orlena’s room. “Tis not right she should be left hungry entirely,” she thought as she tapped softly. A subdued voice answered and Mrs. O’Connor opened the door.
Orlena turned from the closet, her young face sober, her manner hesitant. “I’m not hungry, Mrs. O’Connor. Please don’t make me eat. I couldn’t swallow anything.”
“Tis a state of things to be sure,” the good woman murmured to herself as she descended the stairs to clear away the breakfast that was only half eaten. “And it’s unsure I am if tis a good state of things or not.”
It was indeed, as Mrs. O’Connor put it, a state of things. Orlena hung up her dresses and took care of the chickens in a subdued manner. Even sewing on her dresses, which were nearly finished, was a silent time, for Orlena didn’t complain as she usually did; in fact, she scarcely said two words. Jenelle came down later in the morning, also quiet though not in the same way her young sister was. Several times during the day, Mrs. O’Connor would glance first at Jenelle and then at Orlena. Neither one was moody, Jenelle even smiled, though there was not as much brightness in it as there had been only the day before.
This state of things lasted for several days before Jenelle was once again her bright, sunny self with a cheerful smile and a kind word for everyone. Orlena accepted, at least for the time, her life on Triple Creek Ranch and resigned herself to at least tolerating her assigned chores and eating with Mrs. O’Connor. As for eating with the hired hands, Orlena’s lip still curled, and she longed for the day when she could put Lloyd Hearther in his place.
I'd love to hear what you think is going to happen next.
Or your thoughts on this part.