Saturday, September 29, 2018


I was nearing my seventeenth birthday and the time was getting closer for LV and me to have our first date. Our house had never been a nice one but it had never bothered me up to this point. But knowing that LV would soon be coming to call on me all the obvious flaws of the house were glaringly magnified.

The drop ceiling tiles in the living room were stained and ugly, the windows were so old that looking through the glass made everything appear wavy. The trim and windowsills had paint worn off.

The little room at the top of the basement stairs between the living room and kitchen was horrible. The floor consisted of unfinished plywood with gaps between the sheets. Three of the walls were ancient gray two by fours and the fourth wall had lattice that was trying to hold in crumbling plaster that kept releasing little bits onto the floor. There was a a sizable hole in the floor along the edge that used to serve as my dustpan when I was nine and ten. There were nails pounded into one of the walls on which we hung all of our coats and boots were lined up neatly underneath. The door to the basement was white and orange striped and never latched.

The linoleum in the living was cracked and worn with several areas worn all the way through. The kitchen was better since it was a new addition but it had never been finished with trim around the windows or baseboard.

I knew I couldn't do anything about the little room except put a clean rug down in hopes it would distract from the cracks and try to hang a curtain of sorts to hide most of the walls and our coats. I asked Mom for permission to make curtains for the room. She didn't answer immediately but told me I could paint the woodwork in the living room and if I wanted to I could take the drop ceiling tiles down and paint them too.

I was happy to make any improvements and proceeded to take the tile down. Several hours later Daddy came into the living room to view my progress and then started to measure the little room. A little later a driver came and Daddy left with him.

When he came home that evening I was thrilled to see that he had bought things to transform the ugly little corner. Under his capable hands a closet emerged and the walls were covered with beautiful mahogany. The floor was fixed and new linoleum put down. I could hardly believe how something that had looked so awful for all these years was suddenly the nicest spot in the house.

We pulled out the old linoleum from the living room and were happy to find that over the years the previous owners used to lay new linoleum on top of the old without gluing it down or anything. The third layer was a soft golden brown in a pattern to make it look like a rug. It didn't appear to have much wear so we left it. With several coats of wax it became gleaming and with fresh paint on all the woodwork I was pleased with how the living room looked.

Daddy said the trim for the kitchen would have to wait a while yet, but I didn't mind. I was deeply grateful that he had taken time from his busy woodworking shop to make the house a little nicer before LV came for the first time.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Street Preacher

Fern was a gentle little horse and after Daddy drove her for a little while he pronounced her safe for me to drive to town on my own. 

One Monday morning in early fall Daddy and Mom had things that needed to be done in town. They asked John and me if we wanted to go and we jumped at the chance.

After John hitched Fern to the buggy we headed down the road to the little town of Meyersdale 10 miles away. We agreed that I could drive on the way in and he would drive on the way back. The drive in was short as we talked and enjoyed the scenery and each others company.

Once we got to town we tied Fern to the hitching rack that was situated close to the middle of town. 

We walked to the stores and then had to carry all our purchases back to the buggy before we went to the next store. On our last trip back to the buggy we were surprise to see a man standing on one of the nearby benches shouting something on top of his lungs. As we placed the groceries into the buggy we stood and listened to him for a while.

"You have to repent!" he yelled. "You have to accept Jesus as your Saviour and become saved!" he bellowed. "You are all on your way to hell!" he continued.  We untied Fern and sat in the buggy and watched him jump around on the bench and swing his arms wildly as he kept repeating his three lines over and over at the top of his lungs.

As we drove away I tried to repress a shudder. Somehow the day didn't seem quite as bright any longer. I was glad that I was Amish and didn't have to worry about what the bellowing man had been saying.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Reader Hodgepodge

1. Do you eat dinner at noon or for the evening meal or do you eat dinner and supper?

We have lunch at noon and supper for our evening meal. If the evening meal involves guests, or is fancier for some reason we will call it dinner.

2. Have your children attended an Amish church service and what do they think about it?

Our three oldest children used to attend Amish church services with us regularly before we left. Steven attended an Amish wedding with us this summer. Their wedding services are very similar to their regular church services. He didn't care for it.

3. I was wondering what happens, in the Amish community, when both parents die? Do they have a will or something in writing that makes their wishes known regarding their children and who they live with or what happens to them? If they had a lot of children, would they be able to stay together, or would they be split up?

If the parents had a will, and mentioned where they wish their children to live, people would try to honor that. If they died without a will other family members would step up to give the children a home, without splitting them up.

4.  My questions are about your children, who seem to enjoy learning and seem to be bright kids. Are any of them interested in college? If so, would you allow them to go? I have read about the Amish children taking time to explore the world before "settling down". Will your children do that? 

At this point, none of them seem interested in attending a traditional college. Kenneth is thinking about going the technical route to become certified in his field of interest. And yes, we will allow him to do so.

The whole thing about Amish children taking time to explore the world before settling down, is simply not true. Do some teenagers leave? Yes. But the parents are heartbroken. The church teaches against leaving the Amish. 

5. I wondered if money and time were not a factor, What country would you visit and why.

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to visit Switzerland. Partly because of the book, Heidi, partly because of the scenery, and partly I'm sure because it is the land of my ancestors.

I would also love to be able to visit Israel. To see the places I have only ever heard about in the Bible. To walk the places where my precious Saviour walked, and see the river where he was baptized, and maybe take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

Random bit.

Rain, rain, and more rain. It makes for excellent puddles to jump in for Buddy, and keeps the waterfall thundering as it rushes the water in the creek on its way.

Yesterday Steven was standing by the window looking out at the pouring rain and said. "Mom, come look! Don't you love the way the raindrops dance on the road?"

Yes, yes I do!

And I also love that our children seem to have inherited my love of rainy days.

Monday, September 24, 2018


Elmer and Lucy lived in a small addition to their son's farmhouse. They were a friendly older couple and every one enjoyed visits with them.

News spread fast through out the community. Lucy had been badly burned when she mistook a can of gas for kerosene when she was lighting their stove which had caused an explosion.

She was in the hospital but things didn't look good. A few days later news came that Lucy had passed away.

For the second time our district had to plan and prepare for a funeral. Daddy was still one of the men that had to help dig the grave by hand. And I again went to help with all the cleaning and food preparation.

Working at Elmer's house without hearing his laughter felt eerie and oppressive and I breathed a sigh of relief when evening came and it was time to go home.

On the day of the funeral I sat with my friends. As people started filing past the casket my stomach knotted when I saw Elmer sitting next to the casket, his shoulders shaking from silent sobs. I felt all choked up and wished for just one time people could break their solemn traditions and pause for a moment to say a few comforting words to Elmer but the lines of people kept on going and everyone peered into the casket for one last glimpse of Lucy but they all ignored Elmer sitting there next to her.

I shuddered as I thought that someday it could be me in that casket and the thought of people staring at me and ignoring my loved ones made me cringe. I was glad when the three seated buggy drove up to the porch and it was time for the girls who would be serving lunch to leave.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reader Hodgepodge

1. Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in "the zone"?
I spent way too much time sitting here trying to think how to answer this, but I can't think of any activity I do that I get lost in. Probably because the house is never quiet long enough to give me an opportunity to do so. There are simple tasks I can do without really being aware that I'm doing them, such as peeling potatoes and kneading bread dough, but that's usually because I'm busy talking to one of the children, not simply wandering off in my imagination.

2. When it might hurt their feelings, how do you feel about telling your friends the truth?
I won't lie, but if it's not absolutely necessary I will avoid saying something that I know will hurt a friend's feelings even if it's the truth. Just because something is true, doesn't mean it has to be said.

3. Do you talk with your hands?
My hands seem to want to join the conversations I have. Quite uninvited. I haven't figured out how to get rid of that habit. Even worse though is how my face will contort in different ways to match the emotions, and facial expressions of who ever I'm listening to. Only it never looks as good on me as it did on the original person. I never realize I'm doing it though, and really, really wish I knew how to stop that!

4. What kind of milk did you drink, growing up? And now?
Growing up we drank raw milk from our Jersey cow. It was the best!

Now, we buy our milk at the store, while I dream of the day when I can have my own little cow again.

5. What age do you wish you could permanently be?
Thirty is a pretty good age. Had I had the option I probably would have wanted to freeze time then assuming of course it would freeze for the entire family. Life is good, even though everyone keeps growing older.

6. What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

I could answer this question, because there is one I get all the time, but I value friendships more and will answer what ever questions I receive. (Other than this one)

7. What do the Amish do to stay cool during the summer?

With out the option of using an air conditioner or a fan our bodies seemed to get used to the summer heat. We didn't do anything special to try to stay cool other than having the windows open and allowing the breeze to blow through the house.

8. Random bit.

Fall seems to have arrived here in our little corner of the world. The big maple tree in front of the house has already lost over half of its leaves, but it's been so wet that we haven't been able to keep them raked up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Two weeks after "ordnungs" church we once again packed our lunches and headed to church for another all day service. Once again they touched on all the sermon points that they had the previous service but after several hours they started with the birth and life of Jesus followed by his crucifixion and resurrection. At three o'clock it was finally time to to partake of communion.

The bishop read a part of scripture and asked everyone to stand while he blessed the bread. All the children sat down as the members remained standing and bishop walked from person to person breaking off a small piece of bread. As the member received it he/she would bend their knees slightly and sit down while placing the piece of bread in their mouth.

I used to enjoy watching everyone and felt a little nervous that I would now have to be a part of this important event. All the men got their piece of bread first then the boys and the women. I wished we girls wouldn't have had to stand there the longest with everyone watching.

Once they were finished with the bread the bishop returned to his seat and asked everyone to stand while he prayed a prayer of thanks for the bread we had received and blessed the grape juice. One of the ministers poured a big thick mug full of juice and the bishop took the first swallow and handed it to one of the ministers who took a swallow and then went from person to person giving everyone a swallow. The other minister would come and refill  the mug when ever it became empty.

By the time it was my turn the mug was all sticky and gross with multiple streams of juice that trickled down the side of the mug from all the people who had already had their swallow. I quickly took my swallow and handed the mug back as I sat down.

Once they were done with the grape juice everyone stood again while the minister read a little prayer of thanks. Then it was time to sing the last song and wash each others feet. The ministers brought in two pails for the men and boys while their wives brought in two more pails for the women and girls. Once the feet washing was done it was time to give Alms. One of the ministers would stand behind a door and everyone took turns going out and handing him a little bit of money.

My first communion was over and the bishop remarked that all those that had been recently baptized were now considered to truly be a full member now. I still didn't feel any different but I had enough other things to fill my thoughts that I pushed everything concerning church to the back of my mind.

Monday, September 17, 2018

"Ordnungs" Church

Two weeks after baptismal services the second annual special preparatory services were held. I had wondered what goes on at those services as far back as I could remember, but now that I was to be a part of it I viewed it with mixed emotions.

Several days earlier Mom had given me a short piece to memorize saying that I agreed with and supported all the doctrines of faith they shared with us and also all the rules that they (The bishop and ministers) decided to make and enforce. That I confessed I was weak and unworthy to partake of communion and if anyone sees something in my life that they are concerned about that they would tell me and I would, with God's help improve my walk in life.

I asked Mom what I should do if I don't agree with all the new rules they want to make and she informed me that a woman can never do anything except agree with what ever the ministers say. Men had the option to disagree but the only thing a woman could do in order not to lie and say they agree is to say that they will be satisfied however the church decides.

I found this to be a little disturbing and wondered why we were supposed to vote on issues if the bishop already controlled how all the women voted.

We packed our lunch to take along and eat at noon since church would last all day. 

Once church services were over all the members were asked to remain seated while everyone else was dismissed. Once all the children were outside and the doors to the main church room was closed the bishop rose and started talking. He again shared all the important points from the garden of Eden to when the Israelites finally entered Canaan. It took a long time for him to get through everything and I wondered why it was necessary especially since we had heard all of it earlier that day.

Once he got done with that he said it is now time to work with the church since they have quite a few things that need to be taken care of. To start off his list of things there were some changes made to what would no longer be accepted among farmers and then he said they realize that there are several people who don't have a farm and they want to strongly encourage everyone to not try to have something else as a main source of income. My stomach knotted up a little as I wondered what we were supposed to do with our woodworking shop. I glanced over at Daddy but his face was expressionless as he sat there listening. There were a lot of other things that they had decided would no longer be permitted and then it was time to address the things that concerned the womenfolk. There was something wrong with a few of the coverings that they didn't fit properly, they noticed that there were a few apron belts that were more than an inch wide, and they decided to no longer allow shoes with moc toes. I quickly tucked my feet under the bench where no one could see I was wearing those shoes, and had for every Sunday since I had been old enough to wear slippers.

By the time he got to the end of his long row of don'ts I felt hopelessly frustrated and irritated and I wondered what on earth I had gotten myself into when I had made all those baptismal vows a few weeks earlier. The bishop continued and said that they expect all these things to be taken care of before communion in two weeks.

It was finally time to vote on the changes and the two ministers got up while the bishop sat down. The one minister went to the men's side of the church while the other one went to the women's side where he bent down so they could whisper their little memorized piece into his ear. It took quite a long time as they made their way to each person and everything in the church house was quiet except for the sound of low whispers and the ministers moving quietly along the rows of people.

As I waited for my turn I tried to decide which was worse. Leaving part of the piece out about how I agreed with everything or lying and saying I agreed. I decided I would not lie and by the time he got to me I hurried and whispered my piece omitting the part where I agreed with all the changes. 

On the way home I asked Daddy what we were going to do since we could no longer have a woodworking shop. I was relieved to hear that we would continue woodworking and that even Jesus had been a carpenters son.

I was glad ordnungs church was over and already dreaded the one that would come the next spring.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reader's Hodgepodge

1. Where is the most beautiful place you have been?

It's hard answering questions like this because as soon as I write an answer some other answer pops in my head, so I'll be sharing several different ones.

-Niagara Fall is beautiful, Growing up we used to visit it every summer. I've never grown tired of it.
-Bandelier National Park, New Mexico, as well as other spots in the state.
-Watkins Glen State Park in New York is beautiful in its own way. I've been there numerous times, and I look forward to experiencing it again with our children.
- Our bedroom in our house in Missouri. It's the spot where LV and I "met" Jesus and He became our Saviour. There's nothing I can think of that is more beautiful than that.

2. Which do you prefer? Books or movies?

Books, books, books!

- Movies leave out so many good things from books, and add other things that always makes me feel sad when I watch a movie based on a book.
- When I read a book I can get totally immersed in the story and I become the main character. Seeing, feeling, and experiencing everything. When I watch a movie I only get to see someone else experience, see, and feel things.

Books all the way!

3. What was the last song you listened to?

The last song I listened to was Everything by TobyMac

4. When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?

They will probably ask me to tell them stories from my childhood as a little Amish girl.

5. What did you Google last?

The last thing I did a Google search for, was a recipe for a new marinade for steak. I don't eat steak, ever, but I enjoy cooking them for those in my family who do like them.

6. Random bit.

My power is back! This morning there was a deafening crackling boom that scared me worse than I've been startled in a while. Immediately the power went off. It's such a helpless feeling not being able to carry on in normal fashion when that happens. Thankfully it came back on sooner than I was thinking it might.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Yesterday morning when Steven woke up he tiptoed down the stairs with one of his stuffed animals. He set it on the stairs and walked into the school room where the girls and I had already started our school day.

"It's R's birthday today," he announced in a loud whisper. (He loves the alphabet and has named his stuffed animals with his favorite letters.)

"How old is he?" Rosie Mae whispered back.

"He's eight!" Steven said. "I'm going to have a party for him, and you're all invited."

The girls played along, "I'll bake a cake for him," Rosie Mae offered. "I'll help you make a card and a gift," Sharon offered. Just like that there was an air of secrecy and celebration in the house.

Steven hurried through his school and was ready to help Rosie Mae by the time she was ready to start the cake. He set his bear by Sharon so she could keep an eye on him, and he wouldn't noticed the cake baking happening in the next room.

Once the cake was done he led the singing of the Happy Birthday song and then decided his bear would like to play a board game or two.

This was the first time we ever "celebrated" a stuffed animal's birthday. And very likely the last time.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ready for Baptism ~ Part Two

Sunday morning dawned and we prepared to go to church. Before we left Mom and Daddy told me how glad they were to be celebrating this great occasion in my life when I would start becoming part of the family of God. And how fresh, clean, and forgiven I would feel right after being baptized. I would not be considered a full part of the church family until I partook of communion several weeks later.

I really looked forward to experience that, not that I thought of myself as a sinner. I knew I wasn't perfect, but considered myself to be a good person.

After everyone was seated in the church house and the singing started we joined the ministers in their little conference room for the last time where they talked to us about the sacred importance of the vows we would be making later that day. 

When we were dismissed we went back into the church house but this time instead of sitting at our usual places we sat on the front bench that had been reserved for us. Church continued much the same as any other service and then it was time to be baptized. The bishop addressed us and said if we were still willing to forsake all the world has to offer and our own desires and come to God and the church we can kneel down.

As we knelt he asked if we believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. We took turns answering "Yes, I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God.  He then asked if we can promise to stay with the church until we die. Again we answered "yes."  The next question was if we promised to help keep the church the way it is supposed to be by helping vote, work, and discipline. Again we each answered with a yes.  

He then asked the rest of the church to stand while he read a long prayer from the little black prayer book. My legs were beginning to fall asleep from kneeling so long and my knees were creaking. Finally he got to the end of his prayer and everyone sat down. The bishop's wife came and removed my covering while the bishop cupped his hands above my head and one of the ministers brought a cup of water and poured three small trickles of water into his hand as the bishop said I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and smoothed his hands over my head. I waited expectantly for this great feeling of cleansing that Mom and Daddy and the preachers had talked about but other than my slightly damp hair I felt exactly as I had before.

I felt disappointed and wondered what was wrong with me that I didn't feel anything different as the bishops wife replaced my covering, gave me a holy kiss and presented me to the rest of the church as a new member. As I sat down the bishop said that he always has to think. What nicer time to die than right now when all your sins are forgiven."  I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat knowing that I didn't feel a bit more ready to die than I ever had.

After church was over all my uncles and aunts gathered for dinner in honor of the important milestone in my life. Most of them gave words of encouragement about the important journey I embarked on as a child of God. A few added that it was very comforting to know that even if I happen to do something I shouldn't after I'm baptized that communion is a sort of renewing. I was so relieved to hear that and hoped that sometime I would start feeling as if I truly was a child of God because though I knew I was considered to be one now I still didn't feel different.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Ready for Baptism ~ Part One

Every church Sunday that summer Simon, Nancy, and I joined the ministers in their little conference room while the rest of the congregation was singing. They would explain to us the eighteen doctrines of our faith. I tried hard to listen because I really did want to be a good person, but as they droned on and on in their boring fashion I always gave up and let my mind wander to things much more interesting than their boring  German recitation.

The third Sunday they told us they would be having a special meeting with all the members after church to tell them to watch us carefully to make sure we lived a life worthy of being baptized by fall. I wasn't thrilled about that and the rest of the summer was spent trying extra hard to make sure I didn't do or say anything that might be held against me when ever they voted whether or not to baptize me.

The Sunday before baptismal services they again had a special members meeting where they asked everyone individually whether or not they had noticed anything in our conduct that summer that would warrant being excluded from becoming a member of the church. There were a few small complaints, someone had seen one of us with a piece of gum on a Sunday evening before the singing. The bishop decided it wasn't important enough to put off baptismal services if the parents would talk to the guilty one and let him know gum was forbidden on Sundays.

On Saturday afternoon before Sunday services we had to meet with the ministers again. This time Daddy went along and we sat in the church house where the bishop got the Martyrs Mirror and started reading the first article of faith. Once he got done with it he tried to explain it a little more plainly and then passed the book to the minister sitting next to him. And so it continued all afternoon and into the evening until they had read all eighteen articles of faith. By the time they were done I was more bored than I had ever been in my life. And so very tired of sitting unmoving on the bench in front of them.  Just as we were ready to be dismissed they asked Simon if he can promise to be willing to be a preacher if the time should ever come that the church would vote for him. He answered with a yes. I was so happy that I was a girl and didn't have to make a promise like that.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far? (It's still summer people!)

Our summer was a full one. The highlight though that will always stand out as something to remember from Summer 2018 is that Kenneth got engaged to a sweet young lady.

Other fun, but less memorable things from this summer are the days we spent at the County Fair, the hiking and exploring we did, and how extremely wet it was.

2. What do you wish you'd done more of this summer? Less of?

I wish we could have done even more hiking. Less of ... definitely could have done without the ugly virus we managed to pick up and fought with for weeks.

3. Something you're looking forward to on your September calendar?

My September calendar is looking more relaxing and I'm really looking forward to that. We do have plans for some fun projects, and it's the time of year to start thinking of fall housecleaning which is all of a sudden making my unscheduled September look a whole lot less relaxing.

4. Best/favorite book you've read this summer?

The best book I read this summer, and yes I'm repeating my last post, but the book is good enough that I don't feel bad about mentioning it in back to back posts. How to Live Like a King's Kid by Harold Hill.  It's so encouraging, convicting, and inspirational. Our family already has testimonies we could share of the things God has been doing, since we've read it.

A close second is a book I'm reading right now by the same author ... How to Live in High Victory.

5. Share something positive, encouraging, or uplifting here.

It's so encouraging to this Mama's heart to hear the thoughts and questions this little guy has about all things and how they relate to God and life.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

The summer break for the Wednesday Hodgepodge is over. However it looks like this might be the last one that its creator, Joyce, from The Far Side of the Pond will be doing. I'll miss it. In its absence I'll be continuing answering weekly reader questions, as I was doing during the break.

Monday, September 3, 2018


Reading ... through the gospel of John in the Bible. It's taking me a little while because I keep rereading parts of it to be able to soak it in more. In other books I read How to Live Like a King's Kid.

One of my friends on Facebook had mentioned it, and it intrigued me enough to go on a search. I tried the library. They didn't have it and couldn't find it anywhere on their interlibrary loan system. I went home and hopped on Amazon and found a used copy. All I can say is WOW!! Life changing! Encouraging. Inspirational. Convicting. The rest of the family read it too, and we all got excited together. It has taken us back to the same excitement and living life the way we did after Jesus saved us, and before well meaning Christians told us all the ways God does not work.

In fiction I'm reading Enter Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse. It's been a fun little read so far. Then there is the ever changing stack of library books I read to Steven for our daily story times.

Writing ... not much at the moment. I want to fill out this weeks spread in my planner today. There are always my idea books, but I don't count those as writing.

Watching ... we have an episode of Bringing up Bates waiting to be watched.

Listening ... to Phil Wickham  - Living Hope

I love everything about this song.

Cooking ... for dinner tonight I'll be making scallops and a salad for those of us who enjoy scallops. The rest of the family gets to have leftovers.

Wearing ... a gray patterned skirt and a pink top.

Loving ... the conversations that happen in the mornings before we buckle down to do school. They can be some of the most deep, insightful conversations, or utterly hilarious, to anything in between. I'll miss it once this phase of life is over.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Wedding ~ Part Three

As evening approached buggies started streaming into the driveway, the youth had spent their day with families that had not been invited to the reception and were now coming for supper and singing. As the buggies stopped at the house and the girls hopped off, their arms laden with gifts that needed to be carried upstairs and piled on the bed that was already filled with gifts.

I was happy to see my best friends Nancy and Esther arrive and went to visit with them until LV came back and it would be time to have the youth pair up to go sing. It was the first wedding for both of them to attend and they were nervous about have to be paired up with someone and were hoping desperately it would be someone that wouldn't be too awkward. As we were talking I noticed my friend Edith* was strangely quiet and seemed almost upset about something. It wasn't very uncommon to see her miffed at someone so I didn't pay too much attention to her and went on enjoying my other friends.

Before long LV came and it was time to go outside and watch as the boys and girls paired off. The list of girls names that Vernon and Fannie had worked on that afternoon had been used at a first come first choice therefore the reason the buggies had all seemed to stream into the driveway at the earliest permissible time.

The two boys that traditionally took care of the transportation for the bridal party would call a girls name and she walked over to him where he told her which of the boys asked to be her escort for the evening. It was her one opportunity to decline but no one did in fear they would be one of the "leftovers"

After everyone had been paired up there were five more girls than boys. I felt very sorry for them as they stood there dejectedly. One of Fannie's married brothers came outside to tell everyone in what order to go inside. The bridal party of course went first followed by cousins and close friends then the rest of the youth. Bringing up the tail end were the five girls that didn't have an escort.

After everyone was seated someone announced a song and the next two hours were spent singing. Finally Vernon announced the last song and it was time to eat. After we were done eating LV told me if I would wait until the rest of the youth went home,  he would walk home with me. I was happy to consent. It had been a great day. My feet felt as if they weren't touching the ground as I went upstairs with the rest of the girls to get my bonnet.

It didn't take me long to come crashing back down to earth. As I stepped into the hallway there was a firm tug on my sleeve and I found myself facing Edith* "Come with me," she hissed through clenched teeth. Feeling flustered I followed her into a room where she closed the door. I was surprised to see three of her sisters waiting for me. They said some nasty things and then stepped outside while Edith let me know exactly what was on her mind. LV was going to be her husband. They promised each other they would marry when they were in the first grade and that I was a terrible person to come between them. I had no business whatsoever to have been escorted by LV or to have been Fannie's bridesmaid especially since she was her cousin and I wasn't even distantly related.

I stood there in stunned silence as her accusations poured over me. Finally she stormed out of the room and I went to get my bonnet. I wasn't sure if I should wait for LV to walk home with me or just try to slip away unnoticed. When I got downstairs LV's grandmother came to talk to me wondering who my parents were and a lot of other questions. She seemed genuinely friendly and by the time I was done talking with her Edith had already gone home and LV was waiting to walk home with me.

On the way he wondered what was troubling me and I told him that I never meant to come between him and Edith and that he really doesn't have to see me home.

I was glad to hear him laugh as he assured me that he had not the slightest intentions on ever having Edith for his girlfriend. when he was done laughing, his voice changed as he reached for my hand. "I have really been enjoying our rides to the singing together and once your parents say you are old enough I would really like to come calling if you would let me."

I didn't even have to think twice and told him I would be happy to have him come calling. I would have to talk to my parents but I was sure they wouldn't mind. When we got home we stopped under the pine trees in front of the house and said goodnight. I went into the house, my heart singing happily. LV wanted to come calling. I couldn't wait to tell Mom and Daddy about it.  I wasn't sure what Edith would do when she found out but determined to not let her put a cloud over my happiness.

*Name changed to protect identity.