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