Monday, August 23, 2010

Weddings, great friends and Winter Wheat

Hope everyone had a good weekend. It was a beautiful sunny and hot weekend here in Manitoba, and a perfect weekend for a wedding.  A very special couple tied the knot this weekend... congratulations to Trevor and Andrea on their marriage on Saturday.  Much happiness to you bothI.


I'd also like to thank our friend Bill for visiting us on Saturday and making Gary's day such a happy one.  Hope you had a safe trip home to Fargo.


I am still on the hunt for a Chatty Baby, but I was trying to identify a doll that a friend had purchased and as often happens on the Internet, one page leads to another and I stumbled upon this video on Doll repair - in particular Chatty Cathy doll repair... kinda freaked me out how she pops these dolls apart to repair them.  I'm all for doll repair, but I'm not quite sure I agree with it to this extent... still it is interesting to watch. Not much original about the dolls after she is done with them... but they do look nice.




So on to Chapter 20 of Winter Wheat.


Frederich Barnes walked along the edge of his wheat field, and absently kicked at the stone that had been in his way for the last quarter of a mile.  Damn this world anyway, he thought to himself, as he ambled alone but for his crowed thoughts.  Here he was, fifty-seven years of age, and thinking about starting a family for the first time in his life.  Oh he had thought about it many times in the past when he and Annie had been younger, in fact for many years it had been all they had thought about, wished for, and worked towards – but that had been a long time ago.  They had tried for years to have the family they so desperately wanted, but it had never happened.
After all this time, they had grown accustomed to the realization that they would live out their lives alone, but now, suddenly, things had changed.  Suddenly everything they had yearned for was right beneath their fingertips, and still they hesitated.  Too late, he thought.  It was too late, they were too old, to tired, to set in their ways.  But then God had sent them Joseph and Fred, and sweet, sweet, Warren.  Again it was too late, because already he could not imagine his life without the love of the three children whom he had come to consider his own.  His Annie would fight to the death for those children, just like he knew Emilie would fight for everyone of the children she cared for.  
Yes it was too late all around.  What should he do; what could he do?  It would kill Annie to give up those children, and it would kill him to imagine them living in an orphanage, or being split apart and adopted into strange families.  He sighed heavily and raised his attention to the path he followed instead of his feet.  Karl Wright stood three feet ahead of him, waiting patiently.  He recognized the same feelings in his friend as the ones he battled this very moment, and he knew they both had important decisions to be made, and soon.
“Frederich,”  Karl fell into step alongside his older friend.  “Your crop looks like mine,”  he said, as he gazed over the wheat crop that by now should have been six inches taller.
“Yeah, it’s not looking too good,”  Frederich answered, as his head tipped up and he gazed at the sky.  “We need rain, Karl; without it we are going to be in trouble.”
The season, which had started uncharacteristically warm, had continued to be hot and dry.  No rain had fallen since the seeding had finished, and although several violent lightening storms had passed overhead in the past few days, not a single drop of rain had reached the ground.  The green vegetation was fast disappearing to be replaced by the brown, dry; sun baked remains of a promising spring.
Karl shook his head in agreement, and continued to walk silently by Frederich’s side.
Frederich glanced at his friend.  “So, how are things at your house?”  
Karl lifted his face to the sun,  “ Oh you know Frederich, the same as I suspect at yours.  Emilie is an emotional wreck; the children are too quiet . . .”
“And you, Karl?”
Karl looked at his friend and shook his head.  “I’m worried about a lot of things, Fred; the crops, the children, Emilie – it’s a tough time right now.”
Frederich nodded his head, but made no comment.  Whatever his young neighbor had come to discuss must be serious.  In all the years he had known Karl Wright, the few times that he had sought advice had been when his young friend had reached a turning point in his life.  Karl was a proud man, and generally solved his own problems.  Him showing up now with his chin to the ground indicated to Frederich that something serious was happening in Karl Wright’s life.
“Remember when Judith died, I vowed never to take a wife again?”
Frederich chuckled, suddenly understanding the young man’s plight.  “Yes I remember, but that was before Emilie, eh my friend . . .”  he teased mildly.
Karl grinned, and nodded,  “Can you believe it Karl - she asked me to marry her last night!”  his face sobered quickly with his next words,  “She’s so set on keeping those kids that she thought nothing of asking that of me!”
“So what did you answer?”  
“I didn’t answer her; how could I?  She’s asking me to marry her so that we can adopt four more children!   It would mean starting off our married life with six children!  What is a man supposed to say to a prospect like that?”
Frederich rubbed his chin thoughtfully.  “Seems to me if a man loved the woman enough he would say yes to any prospect of a long happy life with her.”
Karl ignored Frederich’s words and continued to voice his thoughts.  “What if we have more children of our own?”
“Then you build a bigger house,”  Frederich teased some more, and wondered if Karl objected more to the size of the family he would inherit, than to the idea that a woman had proposed to him first.
“Oh Frederich, I’m serious.  You know as well as I do that hard times are ahead.  Just look at how much the price of wheat has dropped in the past few years.  A couple of years ago we were getting over two dollars a bushel, this year they say we’ll be lucky to get eighty cents, and that’s if we have a crop!  If this hot dry spell lasts much longer, we aren’t even going to have enough wheat to sell!”
Frederich knew the truth of Karl’s words.  The world was changing around them.  The last time he had gone to town he had seen dozens of men riding the rods - desperate men with families like the one Karl wanted to protect - men who had no choice but to jump the freight trains from town to town, looking for work so they could feed and clothe their families.
  “I haven’t even told Emilie this yet, but two days ago I received a letter from my sister Martha.  Her husband has lost his job, and can’t find anything else.  They are on relief, but the money is not enough for the size of their family, they are probably going to loose their home very soon.  Martha wants to come and live out here . . .”



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