Sunday morning dawned and the rain continued to fall. Since Thursday it hadn't been as heavy yet it still fell steadily. Maggie stretched and threw back the covers. She wasn't sure if she had an uneasy feeling due to the rain or because she felt like a fool for her behavior over thinking George broke an engagement to marry her. My, she had some things to learn!
After breakfast George and Maggie took turns reading scripture. Despite the rain the heat and muggy feel of the air had departed. There was actually a pleasant breeze coming through the windows. Maggie was glad there was something to be grateful for with the continued rainfall.
The morning passed quickly. It was comfortable sitting together and talking. The uneasiness Maggie felt upon waking seemed to dissipate. There was a new depth to their relationship since they cleared the air about Vivian. Harry had been a subject discussed several times and George felt good to speak freely and fondly of his long ago friend. There was even laughter over some of their boyhood antics.
He had come to the conclusion that calling Vivian ,Viv did add some intimacy and he would no longer call her Viv. He would not let the sorrow over losing Harry allow for behavior that was out of line for their now adult stature. He hated that Maggie had been hurt in the misunderstanding but he was glad that it opened his eyes to his short coming in the situation.
After a simple Sunday dinner of ham steaks, green beans with potatoes and cornbread George asked Maggie to join him on a walk.
"With the break in the clouds and rain I wouldn't mind getting out. Would you be interesed in a soggy walk over the hill to the pond?" George asked.
"Sounds great! I am starting to feel a bit of cabin fever only venturing as far as the porch." Maggie said as she smiled. "Let me clean up dinner and I will be ready."
"I can't let you go stir crazy. Let's get the dishes done and get out of here!" George declared.
It was a muddy, slick mess as they treked up the hill. When they reached the top and started down Maggies' footing slipped a little. George reached for her hand to steady her and didn't let it go as they continuted on.
Betty and Jake must have had the same idea. When Maggie steadied herself she heard Jake yell to them.
"Lookie what the cat drug out." Jake yelled in a kidding tone.
It took a minute for them to respond as they needed to watch their step down the rest of the hill. Plus they were both struck silent by the size of the pond.
"I guess we all had the same idea. I don't remember the pond ever being so large. Do you, Jake?" Betty asked.
"I don't recogin I do." Jake replied. "We had years with lots of rain just never this much at one time."
They all started walking to the toward the narrow end of the pond so they wouldn't have to yell. Betty took notice that George hadn't let go of Maggie's hand since she started to slip coming over the hill. That made her happy. Happy indeed.
After a little bit of chit chat the men moved over to the edge of the Peterson cornfield. Maggie thought it looked more like a creek then a cornfield. Maggie and Betty hung back some.
"How worried is George?" Betty asked.
"He isn't saying much but he keeps taking his coffee out to the porch. It seems he does more staring out at the horizon then drinking."
"Yes Ma'am, I've been seeing the same thing. I think we might be in for a mightly long year. Looks like us girls will have to get creative making do. Jake and I have been through hard times but I don't think any have been as hard as what is coming. Jake said he thinks all of the crop will be lost." Betty shook her head as she continued "The only advise I will give you is to love your man, support your man, and make things as easy for him as possible. Most importantly pray and lean on the Lord."
Maggie nodded. She had been wondering about the crop. "I know you said that you would be sharing the produce you put up. If you can't spare them now I understand." Maggie softly said.
"Oh no! I wouldn't think of not sharing. I always put up enough for us, George and then some. As my Mother always said "make hay while the sun shines." That is exactly what I do. I can until there is nothing let to can. You never know when that rainy day might come."
Maggie could help but chuckle.
"I guess the rainy day has come!" Betty laughed. "I made a chocolate cake would you all like to come up for a slice?"
Maggie hoped so as she enjoyed chocolate cake. "Let me check with George."
"Sounds great! Chocolate cake would be a good ending to the fine dinner I had." George said.
Maggie blushed. It had been a quick, easy meal and nothing for George to go on about. She smiled as they started for the house.
It didn't go unnoticed by Betty or Maggie that George slipped his hand into Maggies as they started off.
"Betty, this cake is delicious! Of course I am partial to chocolate." Maggie delared.
"Let me get you another slice."
"No, thank you, I couldn't." Maggie said shyly.
"Well, I don't know about you but I could use a little more. How about we split a slice." George said with a wink.
The afternoon soon slipped into evening and Betty pulled the leftover ham out of the icebox and insisted everyone stay for sandwiches. She served a tangy potato salad beside it.
"George, have you been up the orchard recently." Betty inquired.
"No, I haven't. I imagine the McIntosh should be about ready." George replied.
"That's what I was thinking also. We'll have to make our way up there soon. Maggie and I will need to get busy and preserve all we can. Plus there might be some we could share or sell." Betty said.
"That's my girl, always thinking." Jake beamed.
Maggie started to think of all the ways she could use apples. She hoped the harvest would be good. She had noticed George seemed to be partial to apple pie and it would be good to dry some for the winter.
George came in from the porch as Maggie was wiping off the table. "We should head over the hill soon. I want the light to be good so we don't fall."
"I'll be along shortly." Maggie replied.
"Let me send some cake and a few slices of ham for breakfast." Betty said as she pulled out a knife. "I'll pack this up and send you on your way. The work is almost done in here and I can finish the rest."
Maggie always enjoyed her time with the Petersons. She felt refreshed as they climbed the hill. She was sliently giving praise when the skies open up and it once again began to pour.
George and Maggie raced down the hill slipping and sliding. They were sopping wet and both laughing by the time they reached the back porch.
Once they could stop giggling like school children George sent Maggie in for a warm bath while he went to do the barn chores. When she came out she found that George had changed into his bed clothes and was sitting in his chair in prayer.
Maggie quietly went to the kitchen to make some cocoa. George joined her as she was pouring it into cups.
"This is exactly what I needed." George said as he took a cup.
"Should you bathe to warm up?"
"No need. This will warm me up. Thank you."
"You're welcome. George, Betty said that Jake thinks all of the crop will be lost."
With defeat in his voice George said, "I pray he is wrong, but I believe he is correct. I'm afraid that before the fields will have a chance to dry the crop will mold and rot."
Maggie reached over and placed her hand on top of Georges'. "There have been many times in my life that I have worried about tomorrow. More times then I would like to admit. There is a verse that I turn to when I am uncertain of the future. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. From Matthew. 6:34."
George smiled at Maggie and reached over and put his other hand on top of hers. He knew with the Lord and Maggie he would be alright regarless of the harvest.