Monday, August 9, 2010

Vacation, Fall, and Chapter 17

Another week of vacation has come and gone, and with it another week of summer.  I noticed one of the elm trees on my street has some turning leaves on it.  It can't be from dryness, because we have had more rain this year than most.  So does this mean fall is near.

Here in Manitoba there are no guarantees as to when one season ends and another begins.  Although very rare, it is possible for frost in August.. but certainly in September frost is possible, even certain.  So why am I thinking about fall when summer is not yet over?  I really don't know, might have something to do with the store shelves being full of school supplies, the evenings growing dark by nine o'clock, the fact that I have already plugged my timer into my living room lights, (I haven't turned them on pretty much since June.  But whatever is making me feel like fall is also making me panic a bit about getting down and being serious about doing some serious crafting for my craft sales.  I had planned on getting a head start this week... but that didn't happen... so I'll shoot for next week I guess.

In the meantime, Chapter 17 is starting.  Maybe some of you are wondering if we will ever finish this darn book... I promise we will... sometime before fall really calls us away to other chores...


Chapter 17 begins.........


The days passed, and Emilie kept herself busy caring for the children and Karl’s home as if they were her own.  A seed catalogue from a mail order company had arrived in the mail, and because all of her newly acquired friends had been talking about the gardens that they would be planting, Emilie began to spend endless hours looking at the pictures of vegetables and flowers that she could grow if only she acquired the seed.  She envisioned her own a large productive vegetable garden, somewhere out beneath the snow, and while she had no idea just where on the property the garden was located, she saw in her mind’s eye, just how it would look come summer.
George watched Emilie pouring over the catalogue every evening and knew that more than anything Emilie would have loved to be able to read the words that were printed under each picture she studied.  On one such evening he broached the subject that had been on his mind for weeks.
“Would you like me to teach you how to read English, Emilie?”  he asked under his breath so the other children would not overhear him.
Emilie’s head popped up at his words.  “Do you think you could, George?”  she wondered aloud, her eyes sparkling with interest and excitement at the prospect of being able to read.       
“I don’t see why not, if the little kids can do it, why can’t you?”
Emilie blushed,  “Well I can certainly try.  When could you teach me?”
George produced his younger brother’s spelling book.  “What about right now!”  Without further comment he opened the book to the first page and started copying the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper.  Beside each letter, he drew a picture of an object, and then he slid the page across the table to where Emilie waited.
“The first letter is A.  A is for apple.  This is what the letter A looks like.”
“A for apple,”  Emilie repeated slowly.
“Next is B.  B is for bread, and barn, and . . .”
“Baby!”  Emilie suggested quickly, as she clapped her hands in delight.
“Yeah, that’s right.  Baby.  This here is what the letter B looks like, Emilie.”  George demonstrated with pride.
They covered half of the alphabet that night before Emilie called their progress to a halt.  It was very late, and she knew that she would not remember half of what she had learned that night.  George was proud of his student and knew that with the other children’s help they would have Emilie reading in no time.
Every evening they continued the lessons, and soon everyone joined George in his task as teacher.  It was helpful for the younger children to show her how to form her letters, and everyone except Anne-Marie who was much too young to learn, benefited from the nightly lessons.
They received two letters from Karl, which George, at Emilie’s urging promptly answered.  By the time Karl’s third letter arrived in early March, Emilie, with George’s help was able to pen her reply herself.
Dear Karl,
How are you?  We are all fine hear.  The childwren all say hello.  I have learned to reed and right now.  Come home soon.
Emilie

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