Hard Time Marrying Part 30

 

Mary Elizabeth Perkins and Roscoe Gordon Holdaway Wedding Pictu

My grandparent’s wedding picture, though this is not their story.  I am posting an extra story today as an early Christmas gift.

 

The situation Joe had most dreaded had come to a head at Anya’s most vulnerable time.  Making a run for it with two little ones and a newborn would be futile.  He’d just have to face this situation straight on.  No one was going to hurt Anya and rip his family apart after they’d struggled so hard to be together. 

Seeing Anya’s joy in Rose Anya was bittersweet, knowing what he’d have to tell her, but he could let her have this day unmarred.  Emma had left a pot of soup bubbling on the hearth.  Joe decided to do nothing but necessary chores and store up the joy of this day.  When Anya wasn’t holding Rose Anya, he was.  The little ones played happily in the warmth of family.

Joe didn’t allow himself to think of the preacher and sheriff’s impending visit.  The sheriff didn’t wait a few days, just showed up with the preacher the next morning, probably to avoid the problem of having to pursue them.  Joe greeted them gruffly.  The sheriff was a definite threat, and Joe had never known kindness, only judgment from church folk.

“I know why you are here.  I ain’t gonna let you make trouble for us.  My wife just gave birth to an early baby and she ain’t strong

“We need to talk to her.  I just need the preacher to say if she’s the same woman you married.  We won’t take much of your time.” The sheriff stood his ground.

 The preacher rocked back and forth with his hands clasped behind him.  “Lord knows we hate to bother you, but the sheriff says this has got to be done.  I’d be obliged if we could get it over with so I can get back to town.  I got a couple that wants marrying.”

Grudgingly, Joe showed them in.  “Anya, this here is the sheriff and the preacher what married us.  I know you remember him, even though you was so sick.”

Anya’s eyes widened in fear, taking the situation in.  “Why shore I do.  A woman don’t fergit her weddin’.  Welcome preacher.  I cain’t git up cause I’m nursing my baby.  She’s a mite early an’ I don’t want to jostle her.  She ain’t strong an’ needs to nurse.”

“Why shore, Ma’am.  Good to see you again.  That baby is a tiny little thing.  I wouldn’t want to unsettle her. It’s good to see things working out so good for you.”  Anya took heart from his kind words.

The sheriff took his cue.  “Ma’am, I’m sorry I had to bother you, but I needed to git the preacher to identify you.  I am glad ever’thing worked out so good.  Joe, you take care of this fine woman an’ that purty, little baby.  I got to be going.”

“Sheriff, if you can wait a few minutes, this little one needs christening.  It’s a long trip to town an’ I can git the job done as long as I’m here,” the preacher addressed the sheriff.

“Why shore.  I’ll just wait outside.” He left them alone. 

The preacher faced Joe and Anya.  “I don’t know how I done it, but I realized after y’all left that night I never gave you a certificate.   I’d like to marry you again an’ make sure ever’thing’s right before I christen that baby if that’s alright with you. I disremember the date, but you can help with that. Then we can git that little feller taken care of.  The Lord wouldn’t want me to leave a job half-done.”

A giant load was lifted off Joe’s heart.

Advertisements

10 Reasons a Woman Would Want Santa’s Job

 

img_1640

Adapted from internet

No more panicking about what to wear to work.

No one would dare ask Santa Claus for a ride to work.

One big brown belt and you’d be accessorized for life.

Sensible footwear.

You’d never have to make the coffee.

No office politics; a hearty ho-ho-ho would remind everyone who is the boss.

Your children would adore you; even your teenagers would want to sit in your lap.

You’d never take the wrong coat on your way home.

You could grow a tummy the size of Texas and consider it a job requirement.

No one would ask to see your job description.

Hard Time Marrying Part 29

Early the next morning, Rufus rattled up in the wagon with the children just as Emma’s biscuits in the Dutch Oven browned.  Sally was ecstatic about her new sister, but Little Joe wanted a puppy.  “Well, if you are a good boy, maybe we can git you one of Fred Mason’s brown and white puppies, unless you decide you want another sister.” Joe teased.

” No, no.  I want a puppy.” Little Joe insisted.

Joe brought Anya a plate of gravy and biscuits and a glass of milk.  “Now you eat all of this. You got to feed that baby.”

“I ain’t never et this much.  You must think Rose Anya is a baby pig.”  Emma and Rufus chuckled at the happy couple.

They lingered long over coffee while the children played and Anya nursed the baby. While Emma tidied up, Rufus asked if Joe had a part he needed for his windmill.  Once they were out of earshot, Rufus passed some news on to Joe.  “You remember my boy, Melvin, come up on that peddler somebody knocked in the head.  The sheriff come by late yesterday asking some questions.  A feller come to Talco saying his brother was supposed to meet him in Amarillo and never showed up.  A couple of fellers told him they’d seen had seen him with a blonde woman west of Talco.  The sheriff was asking me if I knowed of a blonde woman that showed up around here lately.  I told him I didn’t know of none that was unaccounted for.  He asked about Anya an’ I told him you wrote off for her and picked her and the kids at the train station and married her before you left town that night.  The preacher told him that was the way it happened.  He said he might want to come talk to y’all, anyhow.  I told him Emma was over helpin’ Anya birth her baby right then and he said he’d wait a few days before stopping by.  I just thought you ought to know.”

Joe felt a chill.  “I ‘preciate you letting me know.  It happened just like you said.  I don’t want him bothering Anya, none.  That there preacher can vouch I picked her and the kids up at the train and married her before I brung her home.  I still got the letter I wrote asking her to come.  It ought not to be no problem.”

 

 

 

 

He Axed for It

Man splitting log in half for fire wood with ax

Man splitting log in half for fire wood with ax

It’s hard to imagine why, but all Billy asked for that Christmas was an ax. Maybe he was remembering the year before with Evil Larry. That’s not a typical item for an eleven-year-old to ask for, but he stuck to his guns. The ax was his only request. Christmas morning he got up to find the tree mounded up with presents, but no ax shaped gifts, though it’s hard to imagine how one might expect to see an ax wrapped. After a few tension filled minutes of searching, he spotted the old broken ax that had been lying out on the wood pile the night before. Whoever was playing Santa tricks hadn’t even bothered to buff the rust off the head or knock the dried cow manure off the cracked handle. It lay carelessly against the brick hearth where it had been tossed at the last minute. Bill was sick. He looked at Daddy’s stern face, “You didn’t really think you’d get something dangerous as an ax, did you?” His Christmas was ruined. Daddy let him suffer a minute of devastation before pulling the age old trick. “Well, if you look behind the tree, you might find…………” Of course, it was the ax of his dreams, complete with a bright red bow, probably the only ax delivered that Christmas morning. He was delighted! He had to hang around long enough to open the rest of his gifts, including the obligatory item he needed, new shoes for school. He endured a safety lecture before bursting outdoors to try his ax.

He had a glorious time for several days, chopping everything in sight. After he seemed like he might have the essentials down, Daddy put a pretty sharp edge on it, thinking he understood the danger now. Big mistake. He just had time to build up a little confidence. He took a whack a log. It rolled. He whacked again. It rolled again. He steadied it with his foot this time. Hitting his foot with a glancing blow, he was horrified to see a cut on the side of his show. Knowing there was no way to hide the damage to his shoe, he headed for the house, ready to face the music, ax still in hand. He came into the living room. “Mother, I cut my new shoe.”

She blanched. “Did you cut your foot? Take off your shoe and let me see!”

“No ma’am! I just cut my shoe, but you can take it to the shoe shop and get it sewn up.”

“Don’t worry about that. . Just take off the shoe and let me see about your foot!” He should have left it on. When the shoe came off, it looked like the side of his foot came with it.  Blood gushed all over the floor. “Oh, My Lord! Somebody get me some towels! We gotta get to the doctor!” My aunt and her boys were there. The women scooped him up, Mother holding pressure, and my aunt driving. In the brief time they were gone, her four-year-old twins were skating around in the huge puddle of blood like they were the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Thank God, Daddy met them just down the road and he and Mother took Billy on to the doctor to be stitched up. This freed Aunt Esther up to come back and clean up her little hellions and their blood bath. Amazingly, he’d sliced neatly through the ball of his foot, missing bones and tendons. Though he had dozens of stitches, inside and out, it healed beautifully, with no problems.

Later that evening, he lay on the couch, foot elevated on a pillow. He’d had pain medication and finally felt well enought to eat. Mother felt awful for him, so had made oyster stew, his favorite. She brought it to him on a tray table, so he could eat without moving. That would have been wonderful, had she not maneuvered just perfectly and whacked him directly on his bandanged foot, rewaking his screaming pain.

Our budget being what it was, that shoe did go to the shoe shop to be mended. Bill was restricted to crutches, so Mother borrowed a set from a friend. The fly in the ointment, was that one of them lacked a safety tip. Mother really meant to get a replacement, but time got away from her. It probably wouldn’t have mattered except for the ice storm the night before he started back to school. He hobbled out toward the bus, managing pretty well till he hit a patch of ice with that slick crutch tip. He went flying head over rear, landing in icy mud, skidding the rest of the way to the bus. For what it was worth, he got an extra day of vacation.

Recently, I asked Bill why in the world he’d wanted that ax. We had just moved onto a farm of one-hundred twenty acres, all uncleared.  Daddy set to clearing the land, he cut the trees and it fell to me and Billy to pile the brush.  Naturally, Daddy didn’t let us near the power saw.  Billy wanted the ax so he could clear the smaller stuff and avoid some of the brush piling.