Friday, June 4, 2010

Winter Wheat chapt 1 cont...

I have been teaching myself a new craft... quilt making. I have wanted to try my hand at this for years, but not being a huge fan of sewing has always seemed to stop me before I actually got started. Aunt Margaret so kindly donated tons and tons of scraps to my meager stash, so I decided to give it a go.

I don't have all proper quilt-making tools (rotary cutters, mats, guides etc), but I do have a great pair of Fiscar's (scissors) a fairly new measuring tape, and a couple of my son's school rulers, and lots of straight pins. I decided I would make do with my current supplies until I decided if I enjoyed the craft or not... after all why spend money on craft supplies I might not use! Probably the first and only time I've done that!

So here are the first 2 blocks of a 9 block wall-hanging I am trying to make for my bedroom wall. I suppose I should have started with a simpler pattern, but I'm more inclined to finish projects that I like as opposed to ones that are the easiest.
Now - on to more Winter Wheat....

The cold wind whipped around Emilie’s stocking-covered legs as the next morning she set off along the long driveway leading away from the Tober’s home. She passed through the intricately carved iron gates that surrounded the Tober’s property and set off down the avenue leading to the downtown section of the city.
At any other time, she would have enjoyed the scenic walk along the wealthy Wellington Row, for she had walked this way many a time during her stay here. The properties along this street were immense and each mansion had an architectural style all of its own. No one home was more beautiful than the other but each was impressive in their uniqueness. The lawns and gardens were professionally manicured and even with the leaves from the massive elm trees now heavily carpeting the lawns, the properties still boasted exceptional wealth and care.
Unlike the other times she had strolled down this street, today these places of dreams held no fascination for her. She would probably never walk along this street again, now that she was no longer living with the prestigious Mr. and Mrs. Tober.
She stopped, lowered the heavy garment bag she carried to the ground and felt the pain of circulation returning to her cramped hand and arm. She took a deep breath, picked the bag up with her other hand, and moved on.
She performed this same act several times before she reached the closest main thoroughfare that ran through the city.
A kaleidoscope of vehicles moved around her as she paused on the busy street corner wondering which way to go. Model -T Fords with their drivers bouncing along on the rough stone roadways paid no regard to the pedestrians as they whizzed by. Horse drawn wagons and carriages for those not affluent or rich enough to own motor-driven vehicles moved at a sedate pace, but they too paid little heed to those waiting to cross the street. Even bicycles whirled past in their hopeless attempt to control the road.
Emilie’s eyes settled on the myriad of signs advertising goods for sale; Rooms for Let; and Help Wanted, and wished that she could read the English words that she saw there. It had taken her many months to learn to speak the language; reading it was another matter entirely.
She crossed the street all the while watching for some errant driver to run her down and heaved a sigh of relief when her foot reached the curb on the other side. She had no idea where to go so she wandered aimlessly down the main street, pausing to look into store windows now and again.
She wondered where she would eat her dinner and where she would rest her tired body at the end of the day. She tried not to think of her brother Wilhelm, for that would surely bring tears of remembrance; but in the end she could not help but think of him and so her tears did fall - slowly at first and then more swiftly as she swallowed back the loneliness that had gripped her heart since her brother’s death.
She approached a squat wooden building and knew by the aroma coming from the establishment that it was a restaurant of some type. Squaring her shoulders in resolve, she hoisted her bags higher in her grasp and entered the building.
Several men of various ages sat at the small tables crowded into the scant dining room. A long counter ran the length of one wall with a row of stools on one side of it and a cooking area on the other. She stood uncertainly for a moment and then decided that if she was going to make a start toward her new life, she’d best get to it.
“Excuse me, sir.” Her voice had almost deserted her, so she cleared her throat. “I seek employment. I can cook or serve or even do dishes,” she smiled confidently at the middle-aged man on the other side of the counter who wore a yellowed bakers hat and a large white apron.
“You got to be kidding, lady!” his eyes raked her from top to toe. “What would I want a kraut-head working in my place for?” his smile widened to a large grin when he heard the men snickering from the tables just a few feet away. “You’d better get yourself off to German town if you know what’s good for you lady.”
“I don’t know such a place. Where is German town?”
“She doesn’t know where German town is?” He mocked to the men who had snickered before. “I thought every kraut-head knew where German town was!”
Emilie took a step backwards and bumped into one of the tables behind her. The men sitting there laughed at her clumsiness.
“Maybe I could take you there,” one of the men winked at her obvious distress, then pretended concern. “You wouldn’t have to worry none; I wouldn’t hurt you.” They laughed again, and Emilie knew that they would continue their fun at her expense unless she left at once.
She turned quickly and with her luggage grasped tightly in her hands fled the restaurant as fast as she could. She plowed into several pedestrians in her haste to get as far away from the restaurant as she could and each time she did she apologized profusely in German whether they could understand her or not. Two blocks later she finally stopped running and leaned heavily against a sturdy light standard. She dropped her bags to the ground and struggled to catch her breath.
She was lost. Nothing she saw looked at all familiar to her. She had no idea which way to go or even where she was going. With no destination in mind she could be wandering the streets for hours.
Maybe that is what God had intended for her, she thought. Perhaps she too would meet her end this very day, and maybe that would be a blessing. She had no one, and no place to go… heaven could only be better than the lonely life she faced now. She raised her face to the clear blue sky, closed her eyes and quietly recited a German prayer she had been taught as a child. When she opened her eyes she turned in a semicircle. What greeted her eyes surely was an omen of some sort, if not that then most assuredly it was an immediate answer to her prayers.
On the opposite street corner stood a large stone church, its ivy-covered fa├žade reminding Emilie of the beautiful cathedrals in Europe. Oh how she missed the old church buildings of her homeland, she thought, as she surveyed the building from her resting spot. Her mind immediately conjured up a conversation between her and Wilhelm upon their arrival to this new country.
“If you are ever lost or alone or afraid,” Wilhelm had instructed, “You must find a Church and take refuge there. You will not be turned away from a church, Emilie; just remember that!”
Not for one moment had she believed she would ever have to take heed of his words, for theirs had been a future rich with promise and prosperity. She remembered laughing at his ridiculous instructions and thinking her beloved Wilhelm was such a worrier to even think of such a thing. The day would never come - she had been so confident that it would never come…
But the day had come. Today was that day; and as she heard his voice speaking softly to her in her mind, she swallowed back a sob and willed her feet to move forward.

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