That one rebellious decision turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. On this site, and in particular in the forums, I found the kindest, honest, heart-felt people I have ever met... and I mean this with all sincerity. I don't care where you go online, and who you talk to online - you will never find a group like this anywhere, but at Craftbuddy.com.
Like all things on the web, Craftbuddy (the site) has gone through a tough spot of late, but the same dedicated people who have become my dearest friends have all rallied together to get it back on it's feet and restore it to the best craft site on the net... So if you have never been there, and are curious or if you have been there and have wanted to return... now is the time...
Sign in, build your profile and join us on this very special site, where crafters meet to share, talk, swap, challenge and do what we do best... craft. See you there.
Winter Wheat Chapter 4 begins
The gentle pop of the stovepipe expanding as it heated awakened Emilie from a deep sleep the next morning. She had no idea what time it was, but it was still dark, so it was early. She could hear someone moving about on the main floor below, and the clang of the stove reservoir cover being lowered in place alerted her that her first day on this prairie farm had begun.
She lifted her head from the pillow and peered through the darkness to the children’s side of the room. She had pined the curtain aside before retiring to bed the night before; now she had a clear view of the two small beds, they were both empty.
“Mein! Wieviel Uhr ist es?” She flung the heavy covers aside and hurriedly sprang from the bed, the moment her feet hit the cold floor and she yelped and jumped back onto the bed.
“Does the man have no rugs!” she muttered, her feet once more tucked beneath the covers as she leaned over the edge of the bed and reached for her overstuffed bag.
“No rugs! Kalt, kalt… cold!” she addressed the empty room as if there was a room full of people listening to her tirade.
Finding her knitted slippers, she quickly donned them on her frigid feet and rose from the bed. She shivered wildly. She had been warm enough under the heavy protection of the feather quilts and extra blankets that were piled high on the bed, but now out from under their warm protection, she was chilled to the bone. She threw the heavy chenille robe that Martha had given her over her shoulders, slipped her arms in the sleeves and tied the sash with a firm tug. Tucking her cold hands up the sleeves of her robe she made her way to the warmer rooms down the stairs.
The scene that greeted her as she stopped on the last stair before entering the kitchen brought a lump to her throat. Karl Wright sat at the kitchen table his hair a tussled mess sticking out at all angles from his head. He looked as if he’d dressed in a hurry as the top of his long underwear, worn instead of a shirt, was buttoned haphazardly revealing more than a glimpse of a muscular chest heavily covered with thick golden hair. The suspenders attached to his trousers dangled to the floor as if he had not yet had the opportunity to slip his arms through them. His feet were bare, and he was in dire need of a shave.
Directly in front of him on the table sat two bowls of steaming porridge, one filled to the top, the other barely half full. As she watched he took a tiny spoonful of the smaller portion, blew on it a moment and offered it to the female cherub sitting in the high chair in front of him. Tucked close to his other side sat Raymond, who fed himself from his own bowl, his eyes alternating from his bowl to his father’s hand, as it swung by him on the way to his sister’s lips.
At first no one noticed her standing on the bottom stair uncertainly, but then Raymond spied her. “Good morning, Emilie,” he said with his mouth full of his breakfast.
Karl spun around on his chair so quickly that he almost upended himself and his chair to the floor.
“Ray, don’t talk with your mouth full of food,” he admonished, as he took in the sight of Emilie standing on the bottom step, her slipper-covered toes curled around the edge of the stair board, as if that alone would hold her upright. To a man who had not been in the company of a woman for many months, she was a vision to behold. Her dazzling blue eyes danced enticingly as she regarded his children; all traces of her former tiredness were now gone. Her long honey-brown hair fell to her shoulder in a long thick braid, the end of which came to rest just above her right breast. The thick pink chenille robe she wore covered her completely from neck to ankle, but that didn’t stop the male in him from imagining what lay beneath it.
Karl swallowed hard and cleared his throat, but his voice still cracked when he spoke. “Good morning, Emilie, I hope you slept well,” he said inanely, before returning his attention to his daughter, who was now becoming impatient to finish her breakfast.
“What’d she say?” Raymond addressed his father seriously.
“I think she said Good Morning in German.”
“German is the language that people living in Germany speak. That’s where Emilie comes from – a country called Germany.”
Emily smiled at their conversation and turned her full attention to the little girl in the high chair.
“Good morning, Lieben,” she crooned softly to the child. “Can I feed you while your Papa has his own breakfast?”
“That’s okay, I can finish feeding her,” Karl filled the spoon with more porridge and returned to his task. “There is hot cereal on the stove, help yourself to some breakfast. The bowls are in the cupboard above the sink.”
“Nonsense Karl, you finish your meal, I will eat later.” She approached Karl’s side and held out her hand ready to receive the spoon from him.
Karl shrugged his massive shoulders and handed the child’s spoon over to her. He picked up his own bowl of cereal and moved to sit on the other side of his son. He watched as Emilie sat in the chair he had just vacated, and proceeded to feed his daughter as if she had been doing it every morning since the child’s birth.
“Why does she not feed herself?”
“Oh she can, I just find it’s quicker for me to do it. When I am alone I am often in a rush so it has just become easier for me to feed her,” Karl answered around a mouthful of his own food, just as he’d cautioned his son not to do only moments before.
Emilie studied the small child before her, then smiled brightly, “Anne-Marie, I think starting today, you will feed yourself.”
She picked up the bowl and spoon and placed both on the little table attached to the highchair.
“Here you go Anne-Marie,” She watched as the young child took the spoon and began to feed herself.
As soon as Emilie had determined that Anne-Marie was capable of handling the job at hand she excused herself and went to the cupboard. She retrieved a bowl from the second shelf above the sink, spooned a generous portion of porridge into the bowl and resumed her seat at the table. She reached across the table for the jar of sugar, sprinkled a small amount on her cereal and accepting the jug of milk that Raymond slid across the table, lifted it and poured a generous amount over the contents in her bowl. She smiled brightly to all who shared the table with her, then proceeded to consume her morning meal in less time than it had taken Karl to prepare it.