I almost forgot to post this morning because I was so focused on the big day before me. You see, today is "History Day" and we are having a party. :) Each girl (Yeah, only girls are coming.) is dressing in an outfit from a different era in American History, bringing a food dish from that era and is going to share a little about that era. We are going to have 14 different eras represented and boy, is it going to be fun! We're just praying for no rain and a little bit warmer weather so those of us in light summery dresses don't freeze. :) You wanted to know what era I am doing? Well, for those of you who know me, it's not what you might expect. I'm doing the 1920s! Short hair, headband and all. :)
This week was a little better for writing. I actually started writing part of the new Graham Quartet story. However, I need your help!!
This story takes place on the shores of Lake Michigan and I need a picture. I would really like a picture of an old boathouse, shack or cottage along the water's front. And I don't really care if it is on Lake Michigan or not because I can always "put" it there. :) So, if you can find a picture online, copy and paste the link into a comment or, if you have a picture that you or a family member took and are willing to share it with me, please, send it to me.
Well, that's all for now. I have things I need to get done before people start arriving. I hope you enjoy this next part of
The Old Wagon
I don’t know how many days we spent on the trail before we came to a large river, I never learned to keep track of days and weeks; after all, I never went to school. The river was larger than anything I had ever imagined and I wondered how we would get across. I knew I would never be able to float across with my heavy iron wheels. If they could have been taken off easily, I think I would have made a fairly good raft. Thankfully, I didn’t have to try. There was a ferry, and I was driven on and we were taken across. I didn’t like that ride. I’ve never felt so dizzy as I did then. I was rather wobbly on my wheels when the oxen pulled me up the farther bank, but no one seemed to notice. Perhaps they were all feeling the same way.
There were more days of travel and more nights spent under the stars. The boys had each been allowed to sleep outside with their father a few times, but I always liked having them in where I could feel them moving in their sleep. Every night Elizabeth would whisper good night to me, and every night I managed a slight creak in response.
During the days, the children often walked along beside me. Baby Ester was learning to walk, and often Elizabeth or one of the older boys would steady her steps in the grass as I slowly rolled along. There were days when everything was cloudy and grey. Sometimes it would rain, and all the children and Mrs. Bergman would sit in the back of the wagon with my canvas pulled tight and sing and tell stories. If the rain got too hard, Mr. Bergman would unhitch the wagon and join the family in the shelter of my canvas. Then the stories would grow more interesting, for he was a good story teller. Perhaps that is where I learned to tell a story.
But many days were sunny and everything was beautiful. The flowers growing in the tall grass smelled so pleasant, and the songs the birds sang sounded so sweet, that I wished every day was as nice. On and on we went, traveling slowly, for I did discover early on that oxen are plodders. They don’t seem to have the lively get up and go that the horses do. But, for the sake of the younger children’s shorter legs, I was glad we moved slowly.
At long last we reached a town. It was quite small in comparison to the one where I was made, and there weren’t people all around. Mr. Bergman stopped the oxen on what seemed to be the main street.
“I’ll just go in and ask about our land,” he told his family. “You all wait here.”
The children were anxious to get out and explore the town, and Mrs. Bergman said they might get out, if they stayed right near the wagon. I was rather interested myself and would have enjoyed a quick trip around, had I not been carrying the load I was. I wondered if any of my fellow wagons had come this far, but I didn’t see any.
Long before the children tired of looking around, Mr. Bergman was back. “It won’t take us much longer to reach our place, children,” he said, climbing back up to my seat.
Quickly the children scrambled back in and we were off, lumbering down the street and out of town, back to the seemingly endless prairie. Mr. Bergman had been right, it didn’t take us even an hour to reach our new place. I heard Mr. Bergman mention that fact to his wife when we arrived.
There was a cabin already built, and soon everyone was running around, in and out of the door, and shouts and exclamations filled the air. When at last they had all settled down and the oxen had been unhitched, Mr. Bergman said something about unloading me, but Mrs. Bergman shook her head.
“Not yet, Henry. This cabin needs cleaned first before we put any of our things in it. Who knows what kind of people lived here or what kind of creatures have made themselves at home here.”
I heard the groans from the children, but soon everyone was busy scrubbing the house. Everyone that is except Baby Ester. I was left to watch her while the others worked. She had been tied to me by a stout string attached to her little pinafore. Perhaps some wouldn’t think that was very kind, but what else were they to do? There were no neighbors to watch her, and she had become quite an active young thing. Attaching her to me was the only sensible thing to do. I wouldn’t let her toddle off and get lost, nor would I allow her to wander too close to the oxen or the horses and risk being stepped on. Neither of us minded. I was content to sit still and rest in the lovely sunshine, listening to her baby prattle as she played with the rocks or tried to grab a grasshopper.
Finally the cabin was clean enough for Mrs. Bergman and the unloading began. You’ll never think what a relief it was to me as each thing was lifted from my bed and carried inside. I creaked my gratitude, but I think Elizabeth was the only one who understood me. My canvas top was taken off and the sun felt so wonderful on my bed, where I hadn’t felt sunshine for such a long time.
That night, I no longer bore the heavy load I had carried for so many weeks, and I missed it. I felt lonely. My family was not with me, and I missed feeling them settle down to sleep in my bed. Elizabeth came out and whispered good night to me, just as she had every night on our trip. At least she hadn’t forgotten me. The stars were bright and all the night sounds meant little to me, for I no longer had to think about the safety of my family. They were inside a sturdy house with a solid roof over their heads.
How would you feel to finally sleep in a house again?
Do you think you'd like to travel by covered wagon?
Would you like to read a part of the new Graham Quartet?