Friday, May 12, 2017

Joy in the Everyday: Chapter 2

You'll find Chaper One here.
Chapter 2


Much to my relief Betty took over.  She started the dish water as George took his leave. I stacked the dishes on the counter and then picked up the towel Betty had set out and began to dry.

“I hear you and George had quite an adventure last night. We waited up for you until 9:30 and I was plumb worried. Jake sat in his chair dozing off and finally said my fretting wouldn’t change anything. The two of you were in the Lords hands and we needed to get ourselves up to bed.  When I heard rattling in the kitchen I expected to come down and find you. Imagine my surprise when George told me he had dropped you off here and was bedding down on our couch for the night.”

 “Yes, it was certainly an adventure. My train was running an hour behind schedule and then on the way here there was a flat on the truck. It was almost 10:30 by the time George changed the tire and we were on the road again. He didn’t want us to wake you up with my arrival so he stopped here to settle me in and then went to your place. I protested at first since it didn't seem proper. He said that no matter the time you would be up and fussing over me and honestly we all needed to get some rest. I thought it best to submit to his wish.”

They finished the dishes in silence. Betty knew the busy bodies would have a hay day if they found out Maggie had sleep here before marriage. No matter that George stayed at her place, they would certainly twist it all up to no good. This little piece of information would never be spoken of again. Betty knew George nor Maggie would mention it either. Once done Betty went to wipe down the counters and table top while Maggie finished putting the dishes away.

“My Jake and I have been praying for you for a long time. “ Betty declared.

I wasn’t sure how to reply.  “I assume George mentioned our letter when we first exchanged them.”

 “Goodness no” Betty laughed.  “We had never heard a peep about you until Sunday. George usually has his Sunday meal with us. He was a fidgeting mess all through service and when he was late for the meal I pressed him about it. He finally stated how he was late due to asking the pastor to come out and perform his wedding on Wednesday. I was speechless! Imagine me, Betty Peterson, speechless” she said with a hearty laugh.

My expression must have said it all.  Betty took my hand and we moved to sit at the table. “Although we were surprised by George’s announcement we couldn’t be happier. Jake and I have been praying for years for the good Lord to bring the right woman to join our George.  You, my dear, are an answer to our prayers.”

Me? I’ve never been an answer to someone’s prayer. As I wiped away a tear Betty pushed back from the table and declared that was enough. She was up and heading toward the bedroom.

“I must see what you brought to be married in. I imagine it will need a hot iron after your journey.”

Maggie was hesitant to show what she had brought. The brown skirt and white blouse she had traveled in was in need of washing. Today she was wearing a light blue dress with small white flowers. The only other dress was off white with pink flowers. That is the dress Maggie planned to be wed in.

Betty looked around the room and spied a small suitcase. If you could call it that as it was more of an overnight bag.  “Well, you do travel light. Which dress is for today?”

As Maggie pointed to the off white dress she inwardly sighed with relief. She didn’t want to explain why she had brought so little with her.  Oh how she wanted to put the past to rest.  

 “Good choice. I will press this while you take a nice long bath.”

While Betty pressed the dress she couldn’t help but wonder why Maggie didn’t bring more. Winter was around the corner and these cotton dresses and a light blouse would never do. For a moment she wondered if she didn’t intend to stay.  Betty was always a good judge of character and she quickly dismissed the thought as she could feel Maggie wasn’t the type to take commitment lightly.

The bath felt delightful. Maggie could feel herself relax and some of the nervousness subsided.  A really long bath would be wonderful but she knew her hair needed time to dry. Reluctantly she pulled the plug.

As Maggie came out Betty was coming with her dress. “That was good timing.  Thank you for pressing my dress.”

“My pleasure, I will make us a bite to eat. Why don’t you stay in your robe until after we eat. Come to the kitchen when you’re ready.” 

Maggie towel dried and brushed out her hair, she then joined Betty in the kitchen.  Betty turned as she entered and stared for a moment. “I do declare that is some long, thick, beautiful hair you have. Do you ever leave it down?”

 Maggie blushed. “Not in a long time. My uncle, well, he said it was straight, stringy, the color of dirt and didn’t think it was fit to wear down. I have worn it up for many years.”

 “Men, what do they know about a womans hair? I have an idea. Let’s eat and then we will get right to it. I hope you don’t mind eating the soup we had for dinner last night. I made the boys ham sandwiches to go along with it. I thought you might like to eat lighter so I brought only the soup and thought I might butter some of the bread I brought over yesterday.” Betty reached out and patted my back as she turned from setting the bread on the table.

 “Leftover soup is fine. A light meal is perfect.” Maggie said with a faint smile.

After saying grace Betty carried on the conversation while she ate and Maggie picked at her soup. Once they were finished Betty set the dishes in the dish water and turned around with a basket of rags. Surely Betty wasn’t planning for them to clean when she would be getting ready in a few hours!

 “Sit down, Maggie, and I will fix your hair.”

I sat down and Betty ripped the rags into strips and rolled my hair around them until it touched my head. She then tied each of them. She chatted the entire time and then declared the deed done. She scooted me out the back door and took a chair and set it in the sun. “Now sit here so your hair will dry faster. I will be right back with another chair so you can prop your feet up. Now don’t get use to this fancy treatment as you will be married to a farmer just like me. There is plenty of work for a farm wife” she said with a smile.

 I was happy for the time alone as I needed to gather my thoughts and pray.  A dreadful encounter, three exchanged letters and thirty days had turned my life upside down. I knew this is what had to be done.  I could feel that this was God’s will for my life. I closed my eyes and let the warmth of the sun and the love of the Son wash over me.

I must have dozed off for a minute. The next thing I know Betty is telling me it's time get ready. She begins to unroll my hair. I am amazed to see that my straight, brown hair has turned into a mass of waves.

 “Sweet girl, this is turning out better then I imagined! George won’t know what hit him when he sees you. Now I know it's the heart that makes a person beautiful but this pretty hair won’t hurt either” Betty chuckled.

I smiled.  Beautiful is a word that I wouldn’t use to describe myself. Hearing Betty go on and on made me want to believe that I am beautiful and worthy. For the first time in a very long time I had hope.

As I stepped inside I was surprised to see all that Betty had accomplished. There was a pretty table cloth on the kitchen table. It was white with a pink crochet border. Each corner had two pink embroidered roses. There was also a little cake with flowers. Pink flowers that looked almost exactly like the flowers on the dress I would be wearing.  A dish of nuts and candies were also on the table. I was filled with joy that Betty had taken the time to make this day special. I gave her a big hug.

“Now we don’t have time for that. You run along and put on your dress. I will be there in a minute to finish up your hair. Hurry now! I see that our boys are walking over the hill and the pastor is coming up the lane.”   



I can't say thank you enough for your encouraging words on Chapter One.  My hope is to add a new chapter each Friday. Of course, that is depending on the time I have to put into writing. As you all know my family is my top priority. :) Again, thank you for your kind words.






5 comments:

  1. I have been waiting for this chapter. You have a way with words and I really enjoy the descriptions of the homemaking. I look forward to reading more. Enjoy your week.

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  2. Awesome, anxious for the next chapter. I will be patient though! 😄

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  3. I'm enjoying this, Wendi!

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  4. Another beautiful chapetr! It's so cozy and I'm loving it!
    :)

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  5. Wonderful chapter two! How wonderful for Maggie to have a Betty in her life :) Looking forward to the next installment...

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