Maggie quickly dressed and stared into the mirror. It was hard to believe she was looking at the same girl that boarded a train four days ago. Betty was right my hair did look nice. Did I dare? I reached into the little elastic compartment on the lid of my suitcase and pulled out a lipstick. My thoughts instantly went to Sarah, my childhood friend, who gave me strength and peace in the mist of a miserable childhood. Oh, how I missed her! She tucked this into my hand as she hugged me and whispered that I should wear it when I married George. I am not a make up wearing girl and had immediately stuffed it into my suitcase. I opened it and saw that it was a light, soft pink color. I was here for a fresh start, so I took a deep breath and put some on.
At that moment Betty tapped on the door and walked in. “My, that dress looks nice on you.” Betty stared for a moment and then said, “I like the lipstick. It is subtle and nice. Now if you will turn around I will finish your hair.”
Betty pulled the hair back off of my face and tied it back with a pink ribbon. This caused the curly waves to become fuller in the back and some of it cascaded over my shoulders. I would need to ask Betty more about those rags she used in my hair.
Betty stood back and smiled. “I do believe you're ready. Pastor Dan would like to come speak with you before the ceremony. Are you ready for him to come in?” I nodded my answer.
When Betty left, I sat on the edge of the bed waiting for the pastor to come in. I looked out the window and saw Pastor Dan and George under the maple tree in prayer. That scene immediately gave me peace. When they were finished Pastor Dan smiled and slapped George on the back. A moment later there was a knock on the door.
“Come in” I softly replied.
“Hello, Miss McPherson, it's a pleasure to meet you. I am Doug Daniel. Most people call me Pastor Dan or plain ol’Dan. If George didn’t point out the church it’s the little white building about two miles from the main road on the right. Since I made the introduction of George to you I know how your courtship was through letters and the circumstances surrounding it. Now I am not here to judge, I am here to make sure you are ready for marriage. Marriage is a life long commitment and I want to be sure you understand the commitment that you are making to not only George, but before God.”
Maggie had been looking at her hands folded in her lap while Pastor Dan spoke. She looked up with a weak smile and said, “I am thankful for your willingness to help me and for the introduction to George. I would be pleased if you would call me Maggie.”
Pastor Dan nodded. “May I ask how old you are?”
“I am twenty as of last week.”
Pastor Dan smiled. “You have no concerns about marrying a man that is seven years older then yourself?”
“No, I find security in the fact that George is mature and settled. He will be able to provide a safe and secure life for me.”
“I grew up with Sissy and if she vouches for your character then that satisfies me. Tell me about Sissy.”
“Miss Sissy was the cook when I moved in with my grandparents after the passing of my parents. Sissy is like a mother to me. It is at her side I learned how to cook, garden, sew and love the Lord. I love and miss her dearly.”
“She always had a kind heart.” Pastor Dan said with a far away look. “Do you want to be married to George this afternoon?”
“Yes, I feel it is God’s will and marrying George is my desire” I squeaked out.
“Good, good, then it is time for a wedding! I wish my Martha could be here for this. She has been gone for three years now. She loved weddings and would have loved to see George say I do. We both think of him as a fine man. I will send Betty in and we will start when you are ready.” He smiled as he closed the door on the way out.
Betty rushed in. “Sweet girl are you ready to marry our George?” I smiled and shook my head yes. “What are we waiting for; the boys are waiting under the maple tree waiting for us.” Betty took my arm and away we went.
Betty stepped out onto the back porch pulling me along. I tried to grab the screen door before it slammed shut. Too late! It hit the door frame with a thud. Betty’s back went straight which caused me to smile. The moment I looked up I saw that the men were looking at us. George meet my eyes and it took me a second to get my feet moving toward him.
The slam of the door caused George to look over. He knew Betty had gone to get Maggie but he wasn’t prepared for what he saw. Her smile warmed him like sunshine on a winter day and her hair. He had never seen more beautiful hair. Many women had started to cut their hair shorter these days. He knew that in the eyes of most Maggie would be considered ordinary. In the eyes of George, Maggie was stunning!
Maggie walked toward George who stood under the maple tree that created a huge canopy of shade.Once under the tree Pastor Dan asked George and Maggie to face each other. I know that we said our vows and I remember saying “I will” as far as the rest of ceremony it seems like a blur. That is until the end.
“Let me read Matthew 19:6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. ” Pastor Dan smiled at us both. “I now present Mr. and Mrs. George Kraft. George you may kiss your bride.”
I started to feel panic and then George moved slowly forward and ever so gently his lips brushed mine. I was now a married woman and had experienced my first kiss! There was no time to ponder all of this as Betty threw her arms around us both and blubbered how happy she was. That is all we needed for the tension to be released. George and I looked at each other and had a nervous laugh.
“Let’s celebrate! I do believe there is a cake.” Jake stated as he took Betty by the arm and led her toward the back door.
“Lands sake Jake is your stomach all you can think about!” Betty scolded as she mopped her face with a hankie.
Jake reached over and planted a kiss on her forehead. “Woman you should know by now that’s the truth!” Then he turned and winked at us. “I do like to get this girl going!”
We all laughed as we headed in to celebrate.