Did I say I was ready for spring to get here? I think I should be careful what I wish for. I was looking at an Amish website awhile back and saw the cook columnist had taken the month off because she needed to help the family with home butchering. I know from my childhood that it’s a big job to process a beef or hog by canning and preserving all the meat. Also, I know something about home butchering today, but I’m lucky to have plenty of freezer space.
As my week has turned hectic and my Tuesday post date came and went, I wondered how I was going to squeeze this post in this week. Did I have any excuses to measure up to the Amish cook’s? First of all, we are making many trips out to the barn to check for new babies (lambs and kid goats). I had been going to bottle feed two lambs four times a day. I cut my trips down to three Monday so I didn’t have the bedtime feeding. A sister- in- law had surgery last week. I offered to stay with her from 1 to 10 while my husband’s brother is at work. My husband now does the dinner time bottle feeding and watches the mothers after I leave. Yesterday morning, I had a scheduled appointment at the nursing home, I used to work at, to take a lamb and baby goat in for the residents to see. I was asked several times what I do to keep busy now that I’m retired. I repeated much the same as this post. The replies were it didn’t sound like I retired. After the visit, it was back home by noon, fix lunch, feed babies, and go help the sister-in-law, come home, change into chore clothes, go to barn and help new mother and babies.
With all that the exciting news is I stopped at the post office Monday and Tuesday morning with a box full of new books to send buyers. So there was packaging and email buyers those mornings. I enjoy hearing from new buyers and returned buyers that have become old friend, email pen pals in the last few years because they buy my books. My latest Amish book is the second in the Nurse Hal Among The Amish series – The Rainbow’s End- if you want to look for it on Amazon or ebay.
Now I promised you an excerpt from my Amazing Gracie Mystery Series – The Chance Of A Sparrow. So here is Gracie Evan trying to cope with spring fever and suddenly her prayer comes true. Oh by the way, this book and the other four in the mystery series are sold on Amazon and ebay.
Tightening her grip on the railing, Gracie climbed the church steps. In the quiet, her black, high topped shoes made a hollow tapping sound. She opened one of the double doors. The groan from the hinges echoed through the empty building, reinforcing her despair. Persistent irritation with everyone and everything that she had no power to change welled up in her.
Gracie shut the door behind her as easy as she could and proceeded up the aisle. Normally, she stayed toward the back during the service, but this time she had the whole church to herself. Best time to come when she didn’t have to worry about the greeters and hand shakers getting in her way. Gracie marched down the aisle past the slick, dark pews and plopped down in the front row. That was as close as she could get. She intended to have a serious talk with God now that she had made up her mind to do so. Since he hadn’t been paying much attention to her concerns lately, she wondered if it was because he had become hard of hearing over the years. She sympathized with him. If she felt old, think how old God must feel.
Gracie twisted to face the simple, unadorned cross above the pulpit. She smoothed her
braids, then clasped her hands together and licked her lips. Inhaling deeply, she began, "God, I’ve had plenty of time to give some thought to how things work in life. Don’t mean to complain, mind you." She paused a minute. It occurred to her she should be truthful. After all, this was God she was talking to, and she figured he pretty much knew what she had on her mind before she did even. "Well, that’s not exactly right. I do mean to complain. That’s why I’m here. In the short time it took you, I think you did a wondrous job creating the world and all the creatures, but seems to me, you might have gotten in something of a hurry when you made them all in seven days. For instance, maybe you should have taken just a little more time to think about some way to improve on humans. Take sparrows. Lord, did you ever stop to think sparrows get a chance to have two families a year? That’s ever year, mind you, but humans only get one chance in their life time. Take me. All my family is gone now, and I didn’t choose to marry and have younguns. Now that’s not your fault. I made the choice to say no when Millard Sokal ask me all those years ago, but now I’m sitting in a rest home with no family, wasting away the last of my days. Oh, I know there’s not much you can do about it now that you have everything created, but I just wish you’d have thought to give us lonesome human beings the chance of the sparrows. Well, that’s all I got to say on the subject. Just wanted to get what I was thinking off my chest. Thank you for listening God. Amen."
The rest home’s front screen door clattered shut, echoing down the entry hall and into the library. "Where you at Molly?"
Molly Lang stopped writing. She knew from the sound of Orie’s voice that something had him excited. She dropped her pen in the cobalt, ink well on the writing table and combed her fingers through her honey shaded hair before she called, "In the library."
Her hazel eyes twinkled when she smiled at her tall, dark haired husband as he burst through the door. He was definitely easy to look at, striding hurriedly across the room. "Molly, I have something to tell you."
"What are you doing home this time of morning? Is everything all right at the farm?"
"Yes, everything’s fine." Orie yanked the chair across from Molly out from the table and plopped down. "You know how mopey Miss Gracie’s been lately?"
Molly furrowed her eyebrows together. "Yes. The poor dear. I’m really worried about her. She hasn’t eaten well for days. She’s beginning to look thin."
Orie shook his head. "Undeniably the worse case of spring fever I’ve ever seen, but I have an idea how we can perk her up."
Molly suddenly straightened in her chair. "By the way, speaking of spring, could you bring home a wagon load of straw to use under the rug in the parlor? It’s time to take the old up and put down new."
"Yes, yes, I can do that. Molly, you want to hear what I have to say or not?" Orie asked impatiently.
Trying to look serious, Molly folded her hands in her lap, giving him her complete attention. "All right. Tell me your news."
"This morning on the way to the farm, Thaddeus Sawyer stopped me. You know, the man that rents Miss Gracie’s farm, Three Oaks. Seems he needs someone to stay at his place to keep an eye on it for about a month. He wanted to know if I knew anyone he could ask. Right away I thought of Miss Gracie."
"Oh, Orie, I don’t know. Miss Gracie? All the way out there by herself," groaned Molly.
Orie shook his head sideways. "It wouldn’t be all that bad. I go by there every day to the farm so I could check on her. I could pick her up on Sundays and bring her in for church. Maybe I could even talk our neighbor, Millard Sokal, into looking in on her, too."
"Would Mr. Sokal want to do that?"
"We’ve helped each other farm for years. I’m sure he would do this as a favor to me,"
assured Orie. "I think Miss Gracie would perk up if she had the chance to get out in the country again."
Molly worried, "But, Orie, she couldn’t do farm work anymore."
"Thaddeus said all she’d have to do is milk twice a day and gather the eggs. I think it would do her good to go home for awhile. Work the spring fever out of her system," Orie pleaded.