Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Wild Rose Mountain Trail




September 6th 1928

Dear Diary,

This morning as I walked to my second day of school this new term; I listened to the birds chirping and singing in the Gap and Hollows below. I heard the squirrels in their quarreling voices high in the mountain trees. I saw a deer feeding by a stream below my high mountain trail---only nature’s beauty could take my breath away this early fall morning with its leaves of many hues laid before me and cushioned my path.

In places where the leaves did not fall I felt the sharp rocks through my shoes as I walked slowly on the side of Wild Rose Mountain. And, I knew I should never take this high trail; but the scenery was so beautiful. My Pa and brothers would throw a country fit if they knew I walked this trail once in a blue moon.

When I arrived at schoolhouse a big box stood in front of the double doors on the porch. I did not order anything for school as I did that during the summer. But I thought perhaps my sweet brothers sent the children something, and I smiled as I walked up the steps to the box.

The note said: Dear Rebecca, I sent these supplies for the art glass I heard you wanted to teach and I hope this will be a start for the children, signed, Andrew.

Only my brothers knew about my plans of teaching art to the children, as I wanted them well- rounded in their knowledge of all that any civilization offered in this world. I never wanted them to feel out-of- place anywhere they might travel on this earth, or worse of all feel uneducated.

I heard the sound of leaves being walked on; then suddenly I saw who made the noise. My brother Matthew smiled as he walked up the steps of the schoolhouse and stopped when he saw the huge box.

He hugged me with one arm and started opening the box for me with the other hand. How in the world I thought did he know.

“Matthew, did you know about this wonderful gift Andrew gave the children?”

“Becca, I did not know about this generous gift, but I came to talk to you about Sam. Sam sent word through his solicitor that he would be in Europe for many months and he really does not know when he will return. He sent word to you that he cares for you deeply, but his family needs him now. And, Becca I don’t think you should wait for him; if you are developing feelings for Andrew.”


I looked at my brother through tears and said, “Matthew, I will always love Sam as a friend, and yes---at one time I thought it was becoming more, but now I know it was only a great friendship. I worry about Sam as he always lets his heart guide him---I hope his family knows how lucky they are to have such a caring person as Sam. What did you tell his solicitor?”

“I told him to inform Sam that we will take care of his farm and that I hired a family. We placed them in the quest house. And, that no one will go into his house without Mark or me there. I told him not to worry about you, that I will tell you to go forward with your life and not to wait for him to return. I told him to communicate more often as we waited for his instructions on his farm.”

I rang the school bell as the children played and talked in the school yard. Matthew stored all the art supplies in the big closet he and my brother Mark built for me. If nothing else wonderful ever happened in my life---I am so blessed for Matthew and Mark as my brothers.

I hugged Matthew bye and started my school day with all the excited school children so happy for another year of learning about the world and themselves. I feel blessed with these children who want to learn and they are so well-behaved---it is almost a miracle.

The day flew by and I began walking home once again on my secret way home high on Wild Rose Mountain, because I felt the need for solitude to think about so many things crowding my tired schoolteacher brain. I suppose my attention did not focus on the trail and what stood in front of me until I hit it. And, as I started to fall; strong arms wrapped around me and pulled me close.

 I looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes which at the moment looked concerned as they caressed my face in slow motion. And, then suddenly set free from the strong grip of closeness but not let go completely. My eyes never left Andrews face; as we stared at each other in the silence.

My pet crow broke the quietness of the fall afternoon and then Andrew offered me his arm as we continued our walk home. However, I forgot to ask him why he appeared on Wild Rose Mountain---I thought no one knew I loved this trail. However, I did remember to thank him for the art supplies.

Dear Diary, I feel drained and we will talk more later.

My mixed pleasures of the day with sadness about Sam-- sprinkled across my mind and I am sure I will dream about it all. Especially---concerned blue eyes that caressed my face. Good night Dear Diary, my favorite journal..

Becca
© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love or Infatuation at First Sight?



September 5, 1928

Dear Diary,

I told Ma and Pa about Andrew coming by to take me to Mark and Matthew’s dinner party, so they could discuss business. Pa looked up from fixing an old clock for a neighbor and smiled and said: “Your Ma and I are going on a date tonight to the Fall Festival in Hawkins Creek. The festival will be there for a week if interested. We cannot wait to meet Andrew---Mark told us about what a gentlemen he is and they are anxious to do business with him.”

At five there was a knock on the door and since Pa and Ma had left for their date---I answered the door. There stood Andrew dressed in a blue suit which made his eyes shine bluer and his blond hair glowed with sunshine and he held a big bouquet of wildflowers. We both stood for an eternity just staring until my pet crow landed on the porch and broke the spell. Why we both act this way is such a mystery to me. Maybe Mark or Matthew will know what is going on as I cannot recall ever being this rude.



I invited Andrew in and explained about Pa and Ma not being here as I put the flowers in a vase. Andrew stood by my side and I could smell the cologne he wore. I had an overwhelming urge to smell his neck which proves I am surely going insane. I turned towards him and said I was ready to leave now as I smiled up at him to find him staring at me again.

Finally, we started on our journey in a one horse buggy which was very comfortable. The black horse’s coat shined from the last light---that filtered through the trees---in the early evening just as the sun slowly slipped behind the mountains, we arrived at Matthew’s home. Andrew lifted me down slowly as he seemed to enjoy holding me. And, I did not mind his strong hands around my waist as they sent warmth through my body.

Mark and Matthew were by our sides in minutes bringing their wives to introduce to Andrew. I ran to hug and kiss my sweet nephews and nieces and picked up the new baby girl of Matthews and Elizabeth ‘Liz’. 

My brothers both wanted six children each as they both said: “If we can afford them---then I want six children to take care of me in my old age.” And, then my brother laughed because he will always be the one taking care of someone else. 

He just loves children and his beautiful wife loves him so much---I watched as she listened to every word he uttered while she watched his sweet expressions. They as well as my brother Mark and his wife Kathryn ‘Katie’ are deeply in love.


Their love is like Ma and Pa’s love---very deep and forever---that is what I want for myself. I hope one day I will find it, so I will be a mother of four children---this is what I want.

At dinner my brothers watched Andrew as he watched me and they smiled and talked. It was one happy dinner and everyone noticed when Andrew pulled my chair out and made sure I had everything on my plate that I wanted. He acted like we were old friends instead of just meeting today.

After dinner Mark, Matthew and Andrew went into the library to smoke a cigar and talk. This is the time I love the most because I rocked all the babies and helped put them to bed; this is the best part of having dinner at my brothers’ home---the babies. My sister-in-laws are such sweet women who have become very popular with the community. If anyone needed help with raising money for any event they always go to Liz and Katie. 

And, I am not sure if they just wanted two beautiful women to bring in the crowd or if they just enjoy being around them like my family.


Today was the first of school however; it felt like a week had passed in lieu of one day? Too soon it was time to go home, and after our good-byes we started home. It seemed Andrew did not rush as we talked about everything along the way. He asked me if I wanted children since I had a school-house full of them. And, I told him yes I wanted four children to love and watch them grow in this community where everyone knows you and are always there for a neighbor in need.

I told him our Gap needed more stores, a playhouse for plays to encourage the acting talents of our children, a museum filled with all the treasures found in our area and from around the world to share with other countries. We needed a huge park for families to enjoy taking their children for a day of fun outdoors. With picnic tables, nature trails for all to learn more about the woods and mountains surrounding us. There are so many possibilities for this growing community.




Finally we reached home and Andrew did not move from his seat---he asked if I would go with him to the Fall Festival in Hawkins Creek Saturday. And, I said yes. Andrew kissed my hand and left me dazed at the front door. 

Although I knew my brothers would be visiting school tomorrow giving their sister their approval or disapproval with a big brotherly hug. My brothers are the absolute joy of my life and they make me feel safe and loved.

Well, Dear Diary tomorrow is only the second day of school and I am praying for a slow calm one.

Love,

Becca





© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Romance for Rebecca



September 4, 1928

Dear Diary,

Today would be embedded as a jewel of a first day forever in my memory; with all my children returning for another year of school. I stood on the top step watching as they walked down their mountain trails, meeting and hugging friends; sharing their summer events and laughing and jumping for joy because they were together once again.


This year everyone’s syrup pail was full of their lunch and a snack. I saw they all had shoes on their feet and their faces and clothes were clean. And, I can thank my brothers and my Pa for being responsible for this great gift to my children. Tears filled my eyes as I continued to watch the children walk nearer to the school yard.

I noticed an elderly woman bringing a little girl by the hand to school. The woman arthritic hand was holding the child’s gently and they finally stood at the bottom step looking up at me.
Finally, I was able to speak after the shock of their torn and grimy clothes worn over equally dirty bodies. I asked them to please come in because I would ring the bell in thirty (30) minutes. The children on the school ground were too busy to notice the surprise of the day.

The woman’s name was Helen Woodward and the little girl was her granddaughter, they moved to the Gap two days before and they had very little she said: “We stayed in an old house that no one wants, and we do not have any money for Holly’s school clothes or for food. I came looking to stay with my sister, but she died years ago; I just found out.” Mrs. Woodward dried her eyes on a dirty ragged sleeve which smeared the dirt worse on her wrinkled face.

This morning got the prize for being the biggest first day of school shocker---my brothers Matthew and Mark just walked in to check on their sister---thank God and green apples they did. I took Holly and Miss Helen (as she asked me to call her) ---to my desk and gave them my lunch.

While they ate I told Matthew and Mark her story. It seems Holly’s mother went missing years ago and no one knew who Holly’s father was and if he even knew he was a father. Well, this was right up my sweet brothers' big hearts, and they said do not worry my darling sister we will take care of everything.

They took both Miss Helen and Holly and I smiled at being bless with such great men as brothers in my life. What goes around comes back to love you as I always hear them tell me over and again.

I rang the bell for the first day of school to begin and I received inundations of love from each child as they walked into the little school-house with greetings and hugs. Then I began to call the roll and to my great joy everyone was present.

Just before lunch as everyone was doing their writing assignments---a loud knock cause me to drop my chalk and it broke into pieces. One of the children picked it up for me. And when I looked up a very handsome blond-haired man was looking down at me; it seemed that time stood still as we both just looked and did not move; until the children started giggling.

I then smiled and offered my hand and told him my name; and waited for him to reply---as his light blue eyes seems glued to my face. Suddenly, he spoke: “I am sorry for being so rude, but I was expecting a much older teacher since everyone told me of the different grades you were teaching and how the end of the year grades excelled the ones in the larger cities.”

“I am Andrew MacThomas, the new lawyer in the Gap, your brothers someone told me would be here this morning and I wanted to meet them. Are they young also?”

I evidently was hanging on his every word as one of my children said: “Teacher is it lunch time?”
I could feel my face getting warm as I walked to the top step and rang the lunch time bell; then stood to watch the children as they went to the picnic tables for lunch.

I thought as I turned to enter the room; what else could happen today. Then happily I found out. It seemed Andrew as he told me to call him was here to begin a new business and hope to add stores for the Gap, such as grocery stores, clothing and shoe stores, but he had to meet with my brothers first. Matthew and Mark owned most of the land in the Gap so one would need to talk with them about any new venture.

Andrew took my hand and said he would like to see me later for tea and he would bring it to the school-house for an after school treat. I just shook my head and smiled up at him and he seemed paralyzed, because he was not moving. Then he looked deeply in my eyes and turned and walked down the school steps into the mountain woods.

I rang the bell for the children to return to their seats and the afternoon flew by until the clock said it was time to ring my---school is out bell. And then I was alone with the lessons to prepare for tomorrow; and to straighten the classroom and put the first lesson of the morning on the board for the five year old children to review their vowels.

When I finished I turned around and there stood my two brothers and Andrew with big smiles on their face. Needless to say Andrew and I did not have tea; because of an invitation to Mark’s house for dinner.

Dear Diary I am so tired I will tell you later.
Becca

© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved

School Days Dear Old Golden Rule Days

                                                                 Fall in the Mountains
September 3 1928

Dear Diary,

I’ve been too busy to write much during the summer because it’s canning time of all the crops grown on my Pa’s land and my brothers. Pa and Ma always plant huge crops of everything that will grow to harvest in the mountains. Pa plants a huge garden every year for all the mountain people who do not have husbands to care for them and their children.

Ma and I spent the summer picking, cleaning and canning until my fingers and minds grew numb. And, I cleaned house and cooked while Ma goes to her ladies quilting club at the school-house during the summer months. It is my pleasure to do anything for my Ma and Pa, and I know how much she loves being with the ladies as their fingers fly with their long needle and coarse thread---sewing through the layers that makes a quilts, as they laugh and talk.

Then, Ma returns home smiling and teasing as she jokes with Pa; acting probably like when they were first married---I am just thinking this since I was not here to witness it. Their love grows each day, and this is the kind of love I want, but it keeps escaping me.

Sam left for Europe in June on business, and I received two letters from him and then nothing for six weeks now. It seems men keep slipping through my fingers, like water through a sieve.

My sister Margaret visited with baby Johnny; he is my heart’s delight and he loves me too. We bonded from the beginning. And Margaret wants another child with John (my once love Johnny) and yes I am trying’ but sometimes it still hurts like an unhealed wound. I am trying to rise above it all and think of my next nine months with my sweet children returning to school.

Tomorrow morning is the first day of school and everyone seems excited; especially me, as I have my dress picked out that Ma made during the summer, and we went shopping in Bonner Gap---0a huge town at the bottom of our mountains. Pa gave us money for all new clothes, shoes and anything we wanted.

I mainly spent for my school children who needed it most. To be given as a prize otherwise, their parents would not accept it---mountain people and their pride. One needs savvy ways and thinking to out maneuver these mountain people. I know I am one of them and proud of my ancestors.

Pa said a new lawyer would be setting up an office in our Gap this coming week. I am sure I will meet them and their children when they settle in.

Well, I will say Good Night my sweet Diary, because tomorrow will be a busy day.
© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved



Friday, August 30, 2013

A Beautiful Siblings Bonding

                                     The  Beauty of the Mountains Made Hard Times Easier
April 28th 1928

Dear Diary,

This has been such a busy end of the year with all the different levels of exams I had to prepare and give to each grade. I was so tired at night I just fell into bed. One day seem to melt into another as I went from school home, and then from home to school. And, finally the last day of school arrived on April 27th. All the children were so tired, but happy as they hurried out the doors and down the steps to a long vacation.
Ma would not let me help her cook for the reunion because she said most of the food was being prepared by others and she was only taking pies and cakes. Ma loves the word only---she uses it when she wants others to not question her about what she is doing.

I will spend next week at school grading all the exams and fixing the schoolhouse up so the ladies can have a larger place for quilting. Quilts from Ma and Pa’s ancestors are cherished in our home. Therefore, Ma wants to make as many quilts for all her children and grandchildren to keep the tradition going while she is living. It gives her a purpose since all her babies are grown.

Well, I suppose I must finally get to the reunion and what happened while I was there with Sam. Sam came to pick me up and I was wearing the new white lace dress Ma made for me because Pa loves white and blue dresses on Ma and me and thinks we should never wear any other color. That is how my sweet lovable Pa thinks---and when he saw me at the reunion he kissed me on the forehead and then shook Sam’s hand.

I have to be honest about my feeling for my sister Margaret, I still feel bruised that she ran away when I was eight years old. My little eight year old heart ached for years after she left us. I know she left the entire family behind, but I still feel that she left me. And, when I let myself think about it; I know I could never do this to Margaret. In all the years she was gone she never let my parents know that she was alive and doing well. As far as Johnny goes I do not blame anyone because he is a man and he made his choice. Besides we were only children and I suppose I cared more than he did, evidentially.

When Sam and I arrived there were about 35 people there, and some were strangers to me. Johnny and Margaret were at their front gate welcoming everyone and showing their baby to all the relatives. I really wished at that moment I was invisible. Before I could think, Mark and Matthew took me by the hand to be greeted by Margaret and Johnny. Sam was behind us and when I looked around at Sam he was smiling at me; and it gave me a calmness I needed for this day.

Margaret came forward with the baby and put him in my arms and then hugged me. The baby’s named after his father, so now big Johnny would be called John and the baby Johnny. He felt so warm and sweet in my arms, I did not have eyes for anyone or anything else. I cooed to him and kissed his little hands as his big blue eyes watched me in wonder. Little Johnny felt so good in my arms I did not want to let him go. However, it was Matthew and Marks turn to hold him and when he was taken away from me he let out the biggest cry, which got everyone’s attention. Little Johnny was handed back to me; and, he stopped crying and started cooing again. Everyone laughed in amazement.

Sam was by my side cooing at the baby and, I heard Mark whispered to Sam: “So you like babies.”  Sam smiled and answered: “I hope to have some one day when the time is right.” Mark whispered back: “Don’t wait too long.”

Margaret came to stand with Sam and me and when little Johnny went to sleep she took him into the house. Margaret came back and invited Sam and I next weekend to a picnic with her and John and the rest of my family. Sam accepted for both of us and I smiled at him.

John came over and shook Sam’s hand and then took mine and told me in front of Sam that he always wanted a sister and he hoped one day I would consider him as my third brother. And, that I could count on him when Matthew and Mark were not around. When he finished I took my hands back and thanked him. I could feel Sam’s eyes on me as John talked to me and see his glances towards John as he talked.

I wished I could say all is forgiven towards Margaret, but I hope it will be in time. I noticed Pa and Ma standing under the Cedar Tree with others facing towards us as we stood with Margaret and then John. Neither has Pa or Ma spoken to me about my feelings towards Margaret and what she did to our family.

Dear Diary it has been a long and sweet day because I met my nephew Johnny, but it will take more time before my heart forgives Margaret and John. And, I saw my other precious nieces and nephews—Mark and Matthews children and their beautiful mothers. I believe we had a beautiful siblings bonding.

Becca


© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved

Faith Triumphs Over Cancer---Is my sister Paula's story---Link Below

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rescued from My Paradise

                                                               My Paradise

Dear Diary

April 17th, 1928


After school I went through the woods to another area, which always had the most beautiful wildflowers in every color one can envision. My brothers did not like me to go alone; however I thought this would be a good time to think and have a talk with me. It is good to have a little me time in such a paradise, so I spread out my little blanket amongst the beauty of blossoms, and sat down to think.

It was so peaceful and serene I went to sleep. I cannot believe it, but when I woke up the sun was going down and it was getting colder by the minute. I heard Truce barking and my brothers calling me and, as quickly as I could I grabbed my blanket and ran to greet them.

I suppose I was looking down and not up as I ran towards the sounds of my brothers voices because I collided with Johnny. He grabbed me to keep me from falling. I had to tell him I was fine that he could let me stand alone, but he did not seem to hear and he pulled me closer. I was trying to push away from him when two big hands lifted me away from Johnny.

It was Sam with Mark and Matthew behind him. Sam glared at Johnny without saying a word, and turned me around to face him. Mark asked if I was fine and what happened and if I came here alone.

I explained to everyone what happened and that I fell asleep and when I woke I heard Truce barking and my brothers calling my name. Then, I started running towards my brothers and ran right into Johnny. I looked around and thanked Johnny for catching me and then I looked at Sam, Mark and Matthew and stated I was ready to go home.

Matthew said: “Well I guess you are Missy, and how many time have I begged you not to come here alone. There are bears, and other deadly creatures that would love to eat a sleeping beauty.”

While I was half-way listening to Matthew I saw Sam and Johnny talking and it did not appear friendly. Mark walked over and said something to them both; then it was total silence, then Johnny turned towards his mountain to go home.

Paradise Mountains

When we arrived home Pa greeted me with words that makes me feel like he was annoyed with me, he said: Daughter, it is nice of you to come home early today as we had some good news to share. He wrapped his big arms around me and pulled Ma in the mix and hugged us to pieces. And, not letting us go until we got his big kiss on our foreheads.

Mark said: “Matthew and I went by the schoolhouse to see you, but you were not there so we came by Ma and Pa’s and stayed long enough to eat blueberry pie and drink coffee.”

As the story goes they decided to take Truce back to the schoolhouse and let him trail me. They met Sam on the way here so he joined them in my rescue. 

The big news Pa wanted to share was there will be a family reunion at Mark’s house next week with all the family together so they can meet Margaret, Johnny and the baby. I could have lived without that news today.

Sam took me on the porch and said he would be there with me at the family reunion unless I had rather he not be there. I told him of course I want you to be there with me. Then, I got his beautiful smile and a kiss on the cheek good night. 

I watched him as he walked away and I wondered why he did not know I loved him. I believe he feels there are still feeling between Johnny and me, which is not true on my part.

And, that is how I was found in my paradise without doing any thinking Dear Diary and now I am tired and will go to sleep.

Later Dear Diary,

Becca

© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sam's Home

April 16th, 1928

Dear Diary,

Sam is such a wonderful man---such a positive and kind person. Not to mention how handsome he is as I stole glances when he was not looking. We traveled over the flat-lands to Sam's farm, which nestled in the foot of mountains surrounding the beauty of the green fields and pastures. A large creek flowed through the property originating from the highest purple mountain that protected the farm.

Cattle and horses were in the fields eating the lush emerald colored grass. The grass was grown from the riches soil for many miles around---I knew this because my brothers told me. And, the healthy animals were proof of its medicinal assets.

I could see the three storied house from a distance as we crossed the covered bridge over the widest part of the creek which looked more like a river to me. Sam's home looked like a painting it was so beautiful and unreal with the smoke curling upward from the brick chimney to the mountain behind it. What a wonderful place to live and have children I thought---but why was my thoughts going in this direction? I was just daydreaming I told myself.

We were almost there and the closer we traveled to our destination the more lovely it was everywhere I looked. The huge barn behind the house had farmhands unloading hay for the horses and to place hay on the floors of the stalls. Other farmhands were mixing the feed for the horses and taking hay to the cows.

Finally, we came to the bricked circle drive way, which outlined an Angel Fountain with cherubs playing around in the water under the Angel's wings. I felt like I was coming home---this was in my heart, but whatever expression was on my face Sam liked it---he smiled as he hopped from the buggy and lifted me down---slowly.

A tall gray-haired lady approached us smiling and Sam immediately introduced her as Mrs. Anderson and I offered my hand, but she hugged me instead. That hug was so warm and motherly I remembered it for a long time. So maybe this was what it felt like having a grandmother---since mine had died before I was born on Pa and Ma's side.

Sam took my hand and we walked into the beautiful unbelievable home. I was overwhelmed with all the shining Cherry wood on the floor and outlining the wallpapered rooms. In the front of the house was double winding stairs going to the second and third floors. Sam had his office on the third floor away from any noise that would disturb him as he did his farm books.

It took over an hour for Sam to show me the entire house and I enjoyed every minute of it. We ended our tour in the library with a vast collection of books. I told Sam I could live in the library and what he said shocked me.

“Rebecca you will have many years to read all these books, so why don’t you start now and Mrs. Anderson will bring our dinner in here by the fire and we can talk and read.” Sam smiled and stood as if to leave, but stopped in front of me and kissed me on the forehead, which sent electric shock waves of warmth through my body. That kiss reached my toes and I swear they curled upward with the pleasure of it all.

It was such a wonder time at Sam’s home, but I had to return to my home with Ma and Pa or it would rain down frogs on Sam and I---one of my Ma’s sayings. So, I told Mrs. Anderson bye and we began our journey home---it was such a wonderful day I will dream about for sure Dear Diary.

Until Later,

Becca

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My Brothers Mark and Matthew


                                                                       Sam's Farm

April 15, 1928

Dear Diary,

When I awoke this morning I was so thankful it was Saturday and I did not have to rush to school this morning. Since I came in late last night--- everyone was in bed---I still did not know what was happening within my family. So I dressed and went into the kitchen, but no one was there---so I got a cup of coffee and one of Ma’s wonderful biscuits and put some jam in the hole I punched in the middle of it. Then I put on my boots and my destination was Mark and Matthews homes to see what was happening with the new arrivals.

I suppose I was really afraid to take much time alone to think about how I felt---my sister Margaret had run away from home when I was eight years old and I was still wearing the locket from Johnny. She was gone for half of my life---she feels like a stranger to me now---and I feel so bad even thinking that Dear Diary.

My sister is now married to my Johnny and she is five years older than he is---but maybe my brothers will have the answers. And the sad thing is I still have that purple rock Johnny gave me, and this morning I took off the locket and put it in the back of my closet to never wear it again. I am not saying this in a mean way—Dear Diary.

When I got to my Brother Mark’s house it was the closest one to our home---Matthew was there also---still angry I could tell by how hard he hugged me. A cup of tea was pushed into my hands and chair was pulled out for me from the table. Their wives were at a quilting bee with Ma---so I was on my own with all this anger.

Mark said, “This is what Johnny told us---Margaret was so smart in school by completing the 12th grade at that age of 13. When she ran away she got a job teaching in the same city Johnny lived in and that is how they met again. Johnny’s parents rented a room to her so she was part of the family you might say. Long story short---she and Johnny fell in love and just got married after the baby was born. And now they have come home to Johnny’s grandparent’s old home place where he will farm and do whatever---and she wants to stay home and have babies.”

I just looked at Mark and then Matthew and then I cried for the first time---which made my brothers go berserk as they ran to my chair and hugged and kissed me and I just let them---because I was in shock and could not move.

My sister Margaret ran away---why? What did she say about the reason she ran away? My brothers did not speak of that and my mind was not working right at the moment so I did not ask.

How could Margaret marry the boy she knew I loved? How does a sister do that? I had a lot to think about. But before I could leave my brothers—Sam walked in. I love to hear him talk with his Scottish accent---he melts my heart.

Sam walked over to me and took my hand for me to rise and then he told Mark and Matthew---I am taking your sister to my home for the day. And yes she will be chaperone because my housekeeper will be there.

I must have smiled at that moment because Matthew said, “Sam if you can keep her smiling---you have my blessing for what it is worth.” Then Mark and Matthew hugged me, and I kissed them bye.

Sam had a buggy waiting to go over the flatland where he has his huge farm. He picked me up and put me in the seat and covered my legs with a light blanket and off we went.

Later Dear Diary,

Becca

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Triple Surprise


April 14, 1928

Dear Diary,

Loud voices roused me from my faint---angry loud voices of my brothers---Mark and Matthew
directed at Margaret my sister. I opened my bedroom door to have both my brothers run to
my side. Mark picked me up and carried me to where Sam was on the couch. Sam stood up
to take me in his arms and to my surprise Mark handed me to him like I was a toy doll.
I was still confused and I felt like I might faint again---so I fought as hard as I could against it---what was wrong with me I wondered. But I only had a short time to think about myself. Suddenly the front door flew opened and Pa and Ma stormed in.
Ma started crying and praising God---then grabbed Margaret---and held her while she cried some more. Pa just stood there red in the face and not smiling. It was then I remembered I saw Johnny---so I looked around the room to find him in Ma's rocking chair holding a baby.
Sam saw where I was looking and he whispered in my ear---that everything would be fine---and to remember Johnny and Margaret are married now and they have a baby. I could not register this in my mind---I kept thinking that Johnny had found Margaret and brought her home to us. I looked back at my brothers---now they were in a corner glaring at Johnny and Margaret.
Sam stood me up and took my hand as we walked slowly out the door---it seemed like a dream---this could not be real. As we walked to the darkest park of the porch I heard Pa's voice get loud and then the baby started crying. I want to go take care of the baby---but Sam said it would be best if we took a long walk and let the dust settle at home.
We walked to a ledge overlooking a winding river below which flowed between four mountains. The moon was full tonight with the stars brilliantly shining in the dark never ending sky. The Evergreen trees outlined the rushing river below on both sides. Sam and I could smell the nightly freshness as a soft breeze filtered through the trees.

The events at home seemed unreal---but being with Sam was very real and I did not want it to end anytime soon. He gently guided me into his arms and kissed my forehead---his lips were so sweet and felt so warm on my cool skin. He held me close as he softly sang, "Always."

It was wonderful and I did not want it to end. Then he wrapped his jacket around me and continued to hold me while we used a big log as our bench while we viewed the wonders of the night as we talked for hours before he walked me home.

I will tell you more Dear Diary later,

Becca
 
© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home Surprise


                                                   Movie of 1928 "Steamboat Bill."

Dear Diary

Saturday April 13, 1928

Today has been a wonderful sunny day in the mountains of Purvis Gap, and I feel so exhilarated for some reason. Maybe it is because Sam has asked me to the movies. If I sound like I am now living in the city---that would be laughable---because the movies are here in Purvis Gap every Saturday night at the old ballpark.

The men of the Gap---mostly my Pa and brothers built a huge screen out of lumber sawed from some trees on my brother’s property. And they painted the rough boards white---so it looks as great as any movie screen---at least we grateful mountain dwellers think so.

My brother Mark rents the movies from a studio in California. He shows westerns, dramas, mysteries, romance, and movies about love. But tonight we are going to see ”Steamboat Bill” and while Mark is busy running the movie---his wife will be selling popcorn to one and all for a penny a bag with free sweet tea.

Mark has the best ideas and is the most generous man---sharing his wealth with his---family, friends and neighbors. To get into the movies each family has to donate a jar of something canned. Some bring honey, corn, tomatoes, soup, and anything that can be grown in the mountains is also canned. Also canned meats are a popular item to bring.

And all the canned goods are stored in the church’s pantry for the hard winter months for all to share. What goes around comes back around to stare hungry children in the face in the hard months of snow on the frozen ground---but with my brothers kindness all the people of Purvis Gap now live a better and happier life. Yes we are blessed in these mountains with love and kindness.

I am dressed in a new pink dress that Ma made me with lace and pearl buttons in the back down to my waist and on the sleeves. Pa said I will make Sam's eyes pop out when I opened the door to his knock. Pa is so funny---because I resemble my mother so much he thinks I am beautiful like she is---but no one can be as lovely as my Ma. She walks and talks like an Angel and she is one to all who know her.

I was putting the jars of canned food in my satchel when someone knocked. I knew it had to be Sam---so for the little vain part of me I wanted to see his reaction to see if Pa’s predictions lived up to his words.

I open the door with a big smile and then it froze---I had opened the door to a very handsome stranger and I was here all alone. The stranger smiled and asked, “Is that you Rebecca?”

“Yes, my name is Rebecca---but how do I know you?”

“Don’t you recognize me---I am Johnny.”

Well I could have fainted---and I almost did—but I caught myself in time and invited him in.

As I said please come in---a young woman stepped from behind Johnny and smiled.

“Hi Becca—it is me Margaret.”

And then I did faint.

© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Classroom Visitor



April 9, 1928
Dear Diary,
Monday morning proved to be a disappointment as it rained all day, and when it rains the children’s pent up energy has to come out sooner or later because they cannot go out to run and play in the rain. So after lessons we rearranged the classroom and I let the children decide who they wanted to sit by and everyone was happy.

All the reorganizing took some of the energy away so it would not explode into fights between the boys. I baked a surprised Birthday Cake for little Sammy the youngest child in my class. He was five years old and was reading on a sixth grade level. I loved this child---he was so sweet and polite and everyone loved him; and the children protected him from the older boys of the Gap.

I let the children sing “Happy Birthday to Sammy” and the oldest girls handed out the cake as I cut it. I let little Susie take the rest of the cake home to her five little sisters. She was so happy to share something good with them. One of the oldest boys carried it for her. I taught these children good manners and how to care for and help others.

These are the best children in Purvis Gap, and as I was thinking about my lesson plans for tomorrow---a knock sounded on the double wood doors of the school house. I went to open them and it was Sam standing there with a rose in his hand.

I smiled and invited him in to the school house to see how well Purvis Gap provided for the children. He looked around and said, “Rebecca I cannot believe how well your library is furnished and with all new books which are up to date.” He said as his fingers went through page after page as if he could not believe it.

I did not know if I should be proud or feel insulted that he must think we are backwoods uneducated mountain people.

And I suppose he could read it in my face as I looked at him. Then he laughed, “Oh my---I am just amazed that Purvis Gap felt so deeply about education---not all mountain communities are this lucky.” Then he handed me the lavender rose which smelled so heavenly.

I still felt a little taken back but I thanked him for the rose and he walked me home. I did not invite him in as no one was home. So we said our goodbyes and I went in and started supper. Ma was quilting in the Hollow and Pa was collecting honey so I knew I had time to prepare them a great meal.

I cannot help but think of Johnny and why I have not heard from him.

Dear Diary I am tired so we will talk tomorrow.

Good night,

Becca

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Picnic


April 7th 1928

Dear Diary,

I was so tired last night that I could not even make a footnote. However, yesterday meeting Sam was one of the happiest moments I have experienced in a long time. Well---since Johnny really and sometimes even though I try to be nonchalant about it---my heart feels bruised as I still have not heard from him in months.

Sam stayed with me---and my family the whole day as we visited the other picnickers--- and then he joined our picnic dinner because my family insisted. Sam added his fried chicken and a chocolate cake to our table---and the cake was out of this world.

Mark asked, “Sam who baked this delicious cake?”

And Sam answered, “I made it by my Mother’s secret recipe.”

The silence was louder than thunder---with everyone looking at each other and then back to Sam.

Sam informed everyone, “My Mother owns a bakery and she taught me at seven years old how to bake, and I now use it as therapy to clear my mind---and it works wonders. My parents will be visiting me in the fall and I would like to invite you and your family over to meet them.”

Ma and Pa replied that would be their honor to do so. And there it was---already a connection of the two families and I thought what will become of this---I wonder.

After the picnic dinner some of the children went swimming while their parents watched. My two brothers surprised me by not running and jumping in. And I suppose Mark read my thoughts because he whispered to me that just our family was coming back next weekend for a private picnic and swim.

And then he walked over to Sam and my father and told them---and at the same time invited Sam to come. Sam shakes Mark’s hand and turns and gives me big dimpled smile. I am so thankful no one could see my heart melting and singing at the same time. There is only one way to describe Sam and that is he is beautiful and has the sweetest personality---he is unbelievable

What an emotional mess I was after the excitement of the day and meeting Sam. He was one surprise my heart did not need at the moment---but I was enjoying it.

So---Dear Diary what will next week bring in the lives of all who lives in Purvis Gap? I am praying for the children to be in good health and to learn in leaps and bounds (which is a redundant phrase---but it is the way of the gap people and sometimes it fits.)

Good Night

Becca
© BEPH 2013 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rebecca Meets Sam

April 6, 1928
Dear Diary,


My Pa carried all the food I prepared to the wagon and then helped Ma on to ride to Boone Lake. The morning was so beautiful that I wanted to walk and carry the wildflowers I picked along the way.

I stood on the mountain range overlooking the rapids below and thank God for all the beauty he made for the mountain people who took the time to enjoy it. This is one lesson I taught my students to appreciate what we have in front of us---all the beauty of nature and the creatures and birds that live with us on these mountains.

I wore my light blue dress that Pa loved---he said my blue eyes shined like Ma’s and my blonde hair glowed in the sunlight. Ma said Pa secretly wrote poems---this was one of our secrets Ma and I shared.

I wondered why I should worry about shining and glowing as Johnny was not here and probably would never be again. So life goes on and on like the wheel of time---it keeps turning.

Although beautiful as our mountain trails are---one has to keep their attention on where they are going. So I will always wonder why I rounded the Blue Rock with my head in my flowers smelling them.

Because I was not paying attention--- I walked into a moving mountain with arms that grabbed me and held me so tightly I could not breathe. And then of all things that are holy I fainted for the first time in my life.

When I opened my eyes I was staring into the lightest green eyes I had ever seen, and then I heard my brother’s Mark and Matthew voices as they ran towards us. I heard Mark’s voice which seemed at the end of a long tunnel shout---as he loudly said, “Sam, what happened to our sister---let me have her.”
                                                                           

Sam spoke softly back and said, “Mark, I will never let anyone have her---she will be mine forever if she will have me. I knew I came to this mountain to meet my soul mate and now I am holding her Mah darlin' o' th' ben .”  His Scottish brogue awakened my heart and I wanted to stay in his arms forever.
This did not go over too well with my brothers---but they backed down as it would have taken both of them to take Sam down and I was slowly waking up.

Later Dear Diary,


Becca



                                                                                                                   Sam

Boone Lake

April 5th, 1928
                                                                Boone Lake

Dear Diary,
I stood on the school steps ringing the bell for the students to return to school this morning. And I was so pleasantly surprised to see such happy faces returning to me. 

Their young minds are filled with all the knowledge from books and life’s experience of our ancestors---which keeps them wanting more. And I pray it will always be like this for them. My sweet children of Purvis Gap are learning seekers of the mountains.

I taught them to always ask question and to research because the answers are in books for them to find. Our school library grows with all the donations from the gap’s families that can afford in helping to expand our library.

Our church is having a big social tomorrow---a picnic by Boone Lake where our ancestors began their lives in our mountains. I will return home after school to begin cooking for the grand celebration that my parents and bothers enjoy so much.

I enjoy seeing everyone---especially my twin nephews and niece. And I am hoping there will be more to love in the near future. My brothers are now the wealthiest residents of Purvis Gap and they are building more stores to help the people here. They are such a blessing---my sweet brothers.

Talk later Dear Diary,

Becca

Springtime in Rebecca's Mountains



March 20, 1928


Dear Diary,

It is springtime in our beautiful mountains and the beauty of all the blooming flowers will take ones breath away. I planted lily bulbs at home and in the flowers boxes at the school in the fall; so my students would see what beauty can burst from the ground.

All the boys who are older enough to plant are out for the spring holidays in the mountains---so my school is quiet now. All my children are home helping their parents for three weeks and then back to school they will gladly return.

I am 18 years old now and still living at home with my parents. I do not mind since my mother has slowed down and she is enjoying reading more and rocking in her favorite chair on our wrap-around porch.

I have given up on seeing my Johnny again, and since his grandparents moved out of the gap, I never get news anymore about him.

We have a new blacksmith in Purvis Gap and the single women are talking about how handsome he is with big muscles that ripple from his strong tan fingers up to his shoulders.

I heard the women in church talking and his name is Samuel O’Walker from Scotland. His ancestors settled in the Appalachian Mountains in 1600’s. His parents were Missionaries on the Islands of Hawaii and he wanted to live in the mountains and start his family here. I am sure all the single young girls and women will occupy his time with dishes of food to show him they can cook.

I hope they all have fun as we have very little entertainment for most of the thrill seekers of lonely women. As for myself I have better things to do than to chase a man of all things.

I will talk to you again Dear Diary.

Becca

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rebecca’s Dairy Updates

                                   Winter in Purvis Gap

December 10, 1926
Hello Diary,
It has been years since I last wrote in you and that is because my sister Margaret ran away from home when I was eight years old. And she was only thirteen years old. She had a big fight with Ma and Pa about going to college. She graduated from the 12th grade at 13 years old and she wanted to complete college and then teach.
My sister Margaret has always wanted to be a teacher and I pray that where ever she is now---that she is one. I worried about her after she left---I was heart-broken---I could not eat or sleep. Pa had all the law men out searching but either they did not look long enough or did not care---either way I found them totally inept.
 The law men who came to our house had terrible grammar and spit brown juice out of their mouths. My brothers said it was tobacco---and all I can say is it was a nasty thing to do. It made their teeth brown and they appeared more unclean.
Ma and Pa were sick about Margaret leaving and my brothers searched with Mr. King’s bloodhounds until they stopped trailing at the
Mackie River Raft---no more scent because of the water. Pa said Margaret was a smart girl and since she outsmarted everyone---she would have to outsmart herself back home.
I could not write in my diary since my heart was broken---but it has mended some thanks to my brothers. Mark and Matthews are 22 and 24 years old and married with babies. Mark has Luke and John twin boys and they are two years old now---I love them so much. And Matthew has a little girl who is three years old.
Sometimes I baby sit with all three and it is so much fun---I don’t want to leave them. They all have blonde hair and blue eyes and are so sweet. I am their aunt and they call me Aunty Becca. These are the times that I wish with all my heart that Margaret was here. She would be 21 years old now and I miss her so.
 Now Diary I know you want to know about Johnny. My Johnny was so smart he is in law school and I am still waiting for him. I am a full grown woman at 16 years old. I graduated the 12th grade at 12 years old and took college correspondence lessons through the mail and now I teach here in Purvis Gap.
I help Ma around the house and I make her rest more as she is slowing down some. But not my Pa---he is still going full blast. My brothers have a big farm together and are doing well---and the most important part they are very happy with their beautiful wives and babies.
I will tell you more about my life later Dear Diary.
 Love Becca