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