Wow! The elections are over and I'm still in shock by what happened. Not just the presidency, but we also got the US House and the Senate! And . . . If that weren't enough, Missouri made history! For the first time in the history of this state, we elected Republicans to every state office from Governor, to Treasurer, to Attorney General, and all the others. This has never happened before. And it was the title wave from conservative SW Missouri that overturned the liberal votes of Kansas City and St. Louis. Wow!
And, for those of you wondering, yes, we got to meet Ted Cruz and get a group picture with him. We also got to meet our new Governor elect and his wife and get a group picture with them. American Government Camp was great! I'm still really tired. On election day I was up at 4:30, at the polls by 5:20 and didn't leave the County Seat until 8:30. Then I went to the Republican HQ for the watch party and didn't leave there until after 1:00 and got to bed about 1:30. If I had stayed up 3 more hours I could have stayed up 24 hours. Ha! Just what I didn't want to do! :P
Now I'm trying to catch up on everything. I have messes to clean up, emails to reply to or send, a desk that is covered with all sorts of things, and I'd really like to just go back to bed. ;)
I hope you enjoy this next part of Hymns in the Hills.
My Song Shall be of Jesus
Ali jumped off the rock and brought Mattie back from her wanderings, offering her a small branch with a few green leaves to play with. “Ain’t any need fer ya ta help all the time. Weren’t nothin’ fer ya to do anyhow with the young’uns all sleepin’. Say, Belle, what’s yer home like, back in the city? I ain’t never been anywhere’s bigger’n the town. Is the city much bigger? Zeke said it is, but I kain’t see how he knows since he ain’t never been there.”
“Oh, yes, the city is much bigger than the town. Why, there are hundreds of houses and streets. The main streets are busy with trolly cars and buggies. Some of the shops are so big that you could take all the children there and lose them in five minutes if you didn’t keep your eyes on them.” She laughed at the thought.
“Ya ain’t joshin’ are ya?”
“Not the least bit.” Then she began to describe the house she had lived in all her life; the green lawns around it, the flower gardens which had been her special care, and the shady trees. “We didn’t have as many trees as you have here though. And there weren’t as many hills either.”
“Why did Aunt Lynn move away from here, I wonder,” Ali spoke quietly.
“I don’t know for sure. I think she fell in love with Papa. But I don’t know where they met. I wish now I had asked her all about it. But you see I didn’t know I was going to be coming out here until just last week.”
Belle shook her head. “No, Papa had been sick now and then, and the doctor said he needed a change. But he couldn’t leave his business right away, and they thought it best if I was somewhere else where they wouldn’t have to worry about me. Mama had written Aunt Lillian to see if I could come here, and I only found out when it was time to pack. It was all so sudden. You see, Papa got worse, and the doctor said he must leave even if his business wasn’t ready. So Uncle Archie said he’d take care of the business, I was packed off here, and Mama and Papa were to leave on the very next train.”
“Do you miss ‘em?”
Not trusting herself to speak, Belle only nodded.
“I ain’t never been away from my family fer more’n a few hours,” confessed Ali. “An’ then it were jest at our cousins.”
“There are more cousins?” Belle forgot her homesickness and stared.
“Yep. Didn’t Aunt Lynn tell ya about Uncle Nate an’ Aunt Claire?”
With a doubtful shake of the head, Belle replied slowly, “She talked about Uncle Nathan, but he wasn’t married.”
Ali laughed merrily. “Maybe he weren’t married when she left, but he shore is now. Why they got most as many young’uns as we got. Only they ain’t got the older ones ta help. Sometimes Jess, Riss an’ me take turns goin’ over ta help Aunt Claire. I reckon I’ll ask Ma if’n we kain’t go over an’ see ‘em soon.”
Dumbfounded by this news, Belle could only stare at Ali in silence. More cousins. And an aunt she knew nothing about. She wondered if her mama had known of Aunt Claire and had just forgotten to tell her. But then she hadn’t known about all the cousins either. She would certainly have a lot to write her parents about. Suddenly she frowned. “Ali, how do folks mail letters out here? Is there a postoffice?”
“I ‘spect there’s one in town.”
“Does anyone go to town very often?”
Ali shrugged. “Sometimes Zeke an’ Ez go ‘cause they kin git work there, but it ain’t close enough fer the rest of us ta go much.”
Belle could understand why.
A shadow fell across the girls and they looked up. Zeke was standing there. “Ain’t ya comin’ ta supper?”
“Ain’t no one said it were time,” Ali retorted, lifting Mattie and holding her out to her brother.
“Humph,” Zeke grunted, swinging the little one to his broad shoulders. “Jess called ya twice.”
Startled by this piece of news, the two girls scrambled to their feet and hurried down the sunny slope to the house with Zeke behind them.
The rest of the family was already seated at the table when they entered, and Belle thought she caught a glare from Kade’s expressive eyes. “I’m so sorry we are late, Aunt Lillian, Uncle Benjamin,” she began. “Ali and I were talking and we didn’t hear a thing.”
“I reckon once ain’t goin’ ta hurt, but pay more attention next time er ya might have ta eat when the food’s cold. If’n there’s any left.” Uncle Benjamin nodded to the empty places. “Ya still wantin’ ta say grace?” he asked Belle.
“I will if you don’t want to, Uncle.”
Uncle Benjamin motioned her to proceed and Belle did.
Part way through the meal, Ali turned to her father. “Pa, Belle learned us a new song on the way ta church this mornin’.”
“Yep. Learned us all. Then we sung it in church an’ the minister said we did fine.”
“Well, I reckon we can listen to it after we eat an’ the dishes are cleaned up.”
Ali took a few more bites before looking up again. “An’ Ma, kin Belle an’ me go over ta Aunt Claire’s this week? Belle said she ain’t known Uncle Nate were married.”
“Aw, he’s always been married,” Kade protested. “I betcha she were jest makin’ it up.”
“No, I wasn’t, Kade, really,” Belle insisted. “I don’t know if my mama knew Uncle Nathan had gotten married. If she did, she never mentioned it to me. I didn’t even know about all of you until I arrived.”
Kade turned and eyed his cousin skeptically. “Honest?”
Belle nodded. Then her eyes began to sparkle and a smile spread across her face. “I’m going to have such a lot to tell her and Papa in my letter.”
Have you ever missed the call to supper?
Did you get out and vote this week?
Next week I'll be posting some of "Dylan's Story." Will you be here?