It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book’s FIRST chapter!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Thomas Nelson (September 9, 2008)
About the Author:
Writing has always been a part of Beth Wisemanâ€™s life. When she was introduced to the Amish, she gained an appreciation for their simpler way of life and began writing novels featuring this endearing group. Her first novel was Plain Perfect. She and her family live in Texas.
As a newspaper reporter, Beth has been honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards in the past four years – most recently, first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. Following completion of five manuscripts, Wiseman’s inspirational fiction series set in Pennsylvania Dutch Country is where she found her voice.
“It took me a while,” she says. “But I knew right away that Plain Perfect was the one. Writing about the Amish lifestyle within a fictional love story has been a wonderful experience. The Amish and Mennonite contacts I have established in Lancaster County help me to keep the books authentic. These very private people might dress differently, avoid the use of electricity and modern conveniences, but they are just like everyone else. They love, hurt, have daily challenges and struggles, and strive to be the best they can be. An often misunderstood sect of people, it has been a privilege to learn about their ways.”
(ISBN#9781595546302, 352pp, $14.99)
She lowered the drape and paced the living room in Rickieâ€™s house, silently blasting herself for ever moving in with him in the first place. Her stomach writhed at the thought of one more day under the same roof with him. And yet her window of time for her departure was closing, she realized, glancing at her watch.
She tugged at the drapes again. Relief fell over her when she saw the yellow cab pull into the driveway. Snatching her red suitcase and purse, she bolted for the door, shuffling toward the driver as he opened the trunk.
â€œPlease hurry,â€ she said to the driver, handing him her suitcase.
The driver stowed her luggage without comment and was climbing into the driverâ€™s seat when she saw Rickieâ€™s black Lexus rounding the corner and heading up the street. Her heart sank.
â€œWhere to?â€ the driver asked.
â€œIntercontinental Airport,â€ she answered. â€œHurry, please.â€
As the driver made his way down Harper Avenue, Lillian watched out the rearview window. Rickieâ€™s car slowly neared the house.
The cab driver turned at the corner. Sheâ€™d made it. A clean getaway.
Irma Rose Miller couldnâ€™t help but notice the bounce in her husbandâ€™s steps. The cancer kept him down and out on most days, but not today. Today Lilly was coming, and his anticipation and joy were evident.
â€œDanki,â€ Jonas said as Irma Rose poured him another cup of coffee.
Her tall husband, once muscular and strong as an ox, sat hunched over the wooden table between them. His healthy load of gray locks and full beard were now thinning and brittle. Dark circles under his eyes and sunken features revealed the many sleepless nights of pain he had endured over the past few months. God had given her husband of forty-eight years a challenging road to travel, and he was making the trip with dignity and grace.
â€œOur Lilly will be here this afternoon.â€ Jonas smiled and raised the cup to his mouth. His hands trembled, but his eyes twinkled with a merriment Irma Rose hadnâ€™t seen since the first mention of their granddaughter coming to stay with them. She hoped he wouldnâ€™t be disappointed. They hadnâ€™t seen the girl in seventeen years, since she was ten years old.
Irma Rose stood to retrieve some donuts from a pan atop the wooden stove.
â€œIt will be wunderbaar gut to have her here.â€
Irma Rose placed two donuts on her husbandâ€™s plate. â€œYa, that it will. But, Jonas, you must keep in mind how different our ways are. We will seem like foreigners to our Englisch granddaughter.â€
â€œThese donuts are appeditlich,â€ Jonas said.
â€œDanki. But, Jonas, you need to prepare yourself. Sarah Jane raised Lilly in the outside world. We donâ€™t know her. As a matter of fact, we donâ€™t know exactly how Sarah Jane raised her.â€
The thought twisted Irma Roseâ€™s stomach in familiar knots. It had been hard enough when her daughter chose to leave the Old Order Amish community at the age of eighteen, but even more difficult when she wrote to tell them she was in a family way soon thereafter . . . with no husband.
â€œShe was a glorious child,â€ Jonas said. â€œRemember how quickly she learned to ice skate? What a joy she was. What a gut Christmas holiday we all had.â€
Irma Rose shook her head at her husbandâ€™s ignorance of the obvious. Lilly wasnâ€™t a child any more. She was a grown woman. Jonas had talked about that last Christmas together until the next season came and went. When Sarah Jane and Lilly didnâ€™t show up the following year, he merely shrugged and said, â€œMaybe they will visit next year.â€ And each Christmas thereafter Jonas anticipated a visit that never happened.
Jonas never uttered a negative word about Sarah Janeâ€™s choices. But sheâ€™d seen the sadness in his eyes when their daughter left home, and she knew the pain dwelled in his heart over the years. But he only said it was impossible to always understand Godâ€™s direction for His childrenâ€”their child. Their only child. The good Lord had only seen fit to bless them with one. A beautiful daughter who had chosen a life rife with hardship.
Irma Rose had prayed hard over the years to cleanse herself of any discontentment with her daughter. Sarah Janeâ€™s choice to leave the Amish faith was prior to her baptism and church membership. Therefore her daughter was never shunned by the community. She had chosen to avoid visits with her parents. From the little Irma Rose gathered over the years, Sarah Jane and Lilly had lived with friends and moved around a lot.
An occasional letter arrived from her daughter, to which Irma Rose always responded right away. More times than not, the letters were returned unopened. It was less painful to assume Sarah Jane had moved on and the letters were returned by the postal service. Although sometimes it cut Irma Rose to the bone when she recognized her daughterâ€™s penmanship: Return to sender.
She was thankful her last letter to Sarah Jane had not been returned. She couldnâ€™t help but wonder if the news about Jonasâ€™s cancer had prompted her granddaughterâ€™s visit. When Lillianâ€™s letter arrived over a month ago, Irma Rose had followed her instructions not to return a letter but to call her on the telephone if at all possible. She wasted no time going to the nearby shanty to phone her granddaughter. The conversation was strained and the child seemed frantic to come for a visit.
â€œIâ€™m a teacher and when school is out in May, Iâ€™d like to come for a visit,â€ her granddaughter had said on the phone. â€œMaybe stay for the summer. Or maybe even longer?â€ There was a sense of urgency in the girlâ€™s tone.
Irma Rose feared her faith had not been as strong as her husbandâ€™s and that a tinge of resentment and hurt still loitered in her heart where Sarah Jane was concerned. She didnâ€™t want any of those feelings to spill over with her granddaughter. She would need to pray harder.
As if reading her mind, Jonas said, â€œIrma Rose, everything will be fine. You just wait and see.â€
It wasnâ€™t until the plane was high above the Houston skyline that the realization of what sheâ€™d done hit Lillian. After landing in Philadelphia, she caught a train to Lancaster City and hopped a bus to Paradise, which landed her only a few miles from her grandparentsâ€™ farm. She was glad there was a bit of a walk to their property; she wanted to wind down and freshen up before she reacquainted herself with her relatives. Plus, sheâ€™d had enough time on the plane to wonder if this whole thing was a huge mistake. Her mom hadnâ€™t wanted to be here, so why think it would be any better for her?
Not that she had much choice at this point. She had no money, no home, no job, and she was more than a little irritated with her mother. When her mom had begged Lillian to loan her the money sheâ€™d painstakingly saved to get away from Rickie and start fresh, Lillian reluctantly agreed, with the stipulation she got her money back as soon as possible. But her mom had never repaid a loan before. Lillian didnâ€™t know why she thought it would be any different this time. When the promised repayment never came, Lillian quit her job and made a decision to distance herself from her mother and Rickie by coming to a place where she knew neither of them would follow: Lancaster County.
Lillian shook her head, wondering if she was making a bigger mistake by coming here. She didnâ€™t know if sheâ€™d ever understand what ultimately drove her mother from the Plain lifestyle. From what she read, it rarely happenedâ€”Amish children fleeing from all theyâ€™d ever known. The circumstances must have been severe to drive her mother away.
Although . . . it didnâ€™t look so bad from Lillianâ€™s point of view, now that she was there. Aside from having a dreadful wardrobe, she thought the Amish men and women strolling by looked quite content. They seemed oblivious to the touristy stares. The women wore simple, dark-colored dresses with little white coverings on their heads. The men were in cotton shirts, dark pants with suspenders, and straw hats with a wide brim. Box-shaped, horse-drawn buggies were abundant.
Ironically, it all seemed quite normal.
She took a seat on a bench outside the Quik Mart at the corner of Lincoln Highway and Black Horse Road and watched the passersby. Clearly, Paradise was a tourist town, like most of Lancaster County, with everyone wanting to have a look at the Amish people.
Watching them now, she wondered if the Amish were all as peaceful as they appeared. Despite her initial thoughts, she decided they couldnâ€™t be. Everyone had stress. Everyone had problems. Surely the Plain People of Lancaster County were not an exception.
But they could have fooled Lillian.
Samuel Stoltzfus gave hasty good-byes to Levina Esh and Sadie Fisher and flicked his horse into action, hiding a smile as his buggy inched forward. The competitiveness of those two widow women! First Levina had presented him with her prize-winning shoofly pie. Not to be outdone, Sadie quickly offered up her own prize-winning version. Stalemate. The two of them had stood there glaring at each other while he tried to think of ways to escape unhurt . . . and unattached.
He might have to rethink his shopping day. Both women knew he went to the farmerâ€™s market on Thursdays . . . Once he cleared town, he picked up the pace. The road to his farm near the town of Paradise was less traveled, and he was particularly glad of that on this day. It was a glorious sunny afternoon, perfect for a buggy ride through the countryside.
Pleased he had chosen his spring buggy instead of his covered one, he relished the warmth of the late afternoon sun. Rachel had loved this time of year, when spring gave way to summertime and all the world felt full of promise.
Godâ€™s soil was tilled, and corn, alfalfa, and grain had been planted. Life would be busy as he awaited the bountiful rewards of springâ€™s labor. There was the garden, with peas to pick. The strawberries would be ready. Lots of canning and freezing. Much time went into preparing a garden for harvest.
And Rachelâ€™s garden had always been lush and plentiful. Gardening was work for the womenfolk, but Samuel had done the best he could the past two years. He was thankful his sisters took care of most of the canning and freezing.
He closed his eyes, his shoulders lifting with his sigh. He missed Rachel the most this time of year.
Lillian felt like a fool. Didnâ€™t â€œdown yonder a spellâ€ mean right down the road? The friendly Amish boy had pointed down Black Horse Road and uttered those exact words when sheâ€™d asked for directions to her grandparentsâ€™ farm. Sheâ€™d thought the walk would do her goodâ€”help her shed some of the calories she ingested while sitting at the Quik Mart with a large cinnamon roll and cola.
Evidently, sheâ€™d mistranslated â€œdown yonder a spell.â€ There wasnâ€™t a farmhouse in sight.
She really should have considered the strappy sandals she was wearing before opting to venture down the road to nowhere. Her capri blue jeans and short-sleeved pink-cotton shirt were good choices, however. The clement sun mixing with a soft breeze made for a perfect day. An excellent day for a walk . . . if only sheâ€™d had better shoes.
Setting her red suitcase on the grassy shoulder of the paved road, she plopped down on top of it and scanned the farmland surrounding her. It was so quiet. Peaceful. She could only hope that some of the peacefulness the Amish were known for would rub off on her during her stay. She needed it. Life had not been easy to her the past few years.
Her momâ€™s idea of parenting had left much to be desiredâ€” jumping from one man to the next looking for something she never seemed to find. All the while sheâ€™d toted Lillian along. Lillian had grown up changing schools, saying good-bye to friends, and continually hoping Momâ€™s next boyfriend would be better than the last. At the first chance, Lillian had bailed on the situation, telling herself she could do better.
Despite her good intentions, sheâ€™d ended up close to following in her motherâ€™s footsteps. After putting herself through college while living with three other girls in a small apartment, sheâ€™d landed a teaching job. There had been boyfriends, and sheâ€™d definitely made her own share of mistakes.
But always, something had whispered to her that there was another way to live. Sometimes sheâ€™d listened, sometimes not. But she never felt comfortable enough to ask herself just where that voice was coming fromâ€”she just didnâ€™t know enough to form an opinion. She didnâ€™t listen to the voice when it cautioned her not to move in with Rickie. But when the voice became too strong to ignore, she knew it was time to get out of that situation.
Despite the complete lack of religious upbringing, she always suspected there might be a God looking down on her. But in light of her momâ€™s thoughts on church, she couldnâ€™t ask her about it. Her mother seemed angry at religion. While she heartily encouraged Lillian to attend various churches with her friends when she was a child, she herself would have no part of it. It was a huge contradiction in parenting, and Lillian didnâ€™t understand it to this day.
Now, knowing the Amish to be solid in their faith, Lillian decided it might be best to keep her suspicions about a possible God to herself around her grandparents.
â€œGuess I better get moving and find out how far â€˜down yonder a spellâ€™ really is.â€ She jumped off the suitcase, gave it a heave-hoe, and started back down the paved road, gazing to either side where the acreage stretched as far she could see. The sun pressing down on the horizon left her a tad worried about how much further the farm was.
â€œWhoa, boy!â€ Samuel yelled to his horse. The animal slowed his pace to a gentle trot, bringing the buggy alongside an Englisch woman cumbersomely toting a bright-red suitcase. She was minus a shoe . . . if you called a flat-bottom sole with two small straps a shoe. Certainly not a good walking instrument.
â€œCan I offer you a ride?â€ He pulled back on the reins and came to a complete halt, as did the small-framed woman. When she turned, he was met by radiant green eyes in a delicate face.
Delicate, that is, until she grimaced and blew a tendril of hair out of her face.
Then she smiled, and her face transformed, lighting up like the morning sun. He was momentarily struck dumb.
It didnâ€™t matter. The woman was focused on his horse. Deserting her suitcase on the side of the road, she stumbled over to Pete and reached out to stroke his nose without so much as a â€œMay I?â€
Thankfully, Pete was a gentle giant.
â€œHeâ€™s beautiful,â€ she said, glancing briefly in Samuelâ€™s direction, eyes sparkling.
He cleared his throat. â€œYa. And a fine work horse too.â€
What an interesting woman this was. Unafraid. And beautiful, he had to admit. He watched as her long brown hair danced in the wind, framing her face in layers. She wore no makeup and seemed lacking in the traditional Englisch look, although her brightly colored blouse and calf-length breeches certainly gave her away. A tourist, most likely. But a tourist walking alone down Blackhorse Road?
The womanâ€™s mouth curved upward in delight as she cooed over Pete. The horse gently snorted, nudged her, and she laughed heartily, her head thrown back. It was a thoroughly enchanting scene.
Suddenly uncomfortable at his thoughts, he straightened and coughed. It was enough to bring the womanâ€™s attention back to him.
â€œI would love a ride!â€ With a final kiss on the old horseâ€™s muzzle, she went back for her suitcase. â€œWhere should I put this?â€
â€œAch, my manners.â€ Samuel jumped out of the buggy and made his way to the woman. â€œLet me.â€ He took the suitcase from her, quite surprised at how heavy the small bundle was. After stowing it behind the double seat, he offered his hand to assist her into the buggy.
â€œThank you.â€ Now she was studying him . . . seemingly from head to toe. At her open glance, he felt a flush tint his cheeks.
â€œIâ€™m Samuel Stoltzfus,â€ he said, extending his hand but avoiding her questioning eyes.
â€œIâ€™m Lillian Miller.â€
Her hands were certainly that of an Englisch woman, soft and void of a hard dayâ€™s work. The Plain women in Lancaster County tilled gardens, shelled peas, kneaded bread, and a host of other necessary chores uncommon to Englisch women from the city. City womenâ€™s hands were not only smooth and manicured, but pleasing to the touch.
Returning to his seat, he started up the buggy again. The woman was obviously tired and happy to be resting; with a slight groan she stretched her legs out. He found his eyes wandering her way and silently remonstrated himself.
â€œWhere are you from, Lillian? Or, more important, where are you going?â€
â€œIâ€™m from Houston.â€
â€œYa, Texas,â€ he said, slightly surprised. They didnâ€™t usually get Texans walking the roads out here. â€œLots of farms in Texas. What brings you to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania?â€
â€œIâ€™m coming to stay with my grandparents for a while.â€ She smiled. â€œTheyâ€™re Amish.â€
Amish? He was once more at a loss for words. Not to worryâ€” the Englisch woman wasnâ€™t.
â€œActually, I guess Iâ€™m Amish too,â€ she added.
Discreetly glancing at her Englisch clothes, he wondered how that could be so.
â€œMy grandparents are Irma Rose and Jonas Miller. Iâ€™ll be staying with them for a while.â€ She looked his way as if waiting for a response that never came. â€œIâ€™d like to adapt myself to the Amish ways. I need a peaceful, calm lifestyle away from the city. Anyway, Iâ€™ve decided to be Amish for a while.â€
Samuel had been trying to connect this vivacious outsider with the staunch Irma Rose and Jonas he knew, but these words jostled him out of his musings. â€œYouâ€™d like to be Amish for a while?â€
â€œYes. Although I donâ€™t plan to wear one of those dark-colored dresses or white caps like the women I saw strolling by earlier.â€
In spite of himself, Samuel chuckled. â€œDo you even know what being Amish means?â€ He didnâ€™t mean the remark as harshly as it sounded.
Lillian slanted her eyes in his direction, as if slightly offended.
Unexpectedly, the buggy wheel hit a rut. With an oomph, his new friend bounced in her seat. She was a tiny little thing. Luckily, she didnâ€™t catapult right off the seat and onto the pavement.
â€œYikes!â€ she said when her behind returned to the seat. And then she giggled. As Peteâ€™s ears swiveled back to catch the commotion, Samuel couldnâ€™t help but grin. The womanâ€™s enthusiasm was contagious.
He decided to drop the subject. He knew Irma Rose and Jonas well enough to figure theyâ€™d set her right about being Amish and what it really meant. Samuel reckoned theyâ€™d have their hands full with their granddaughter.
As Samuel righted the buggy, he asked, â€œWhen is the last time you saw your grandparents?â€ He hadnâ€™t even known Irma Rose and Jonas had a granddaughter.
â€œWhen I was ten. Seventeen years ago. It was the first time I saw snow. Real snow.â€ Her eyes twinkled from the memory.
â€œAnyway, I know things will be different from what Iâ€™m used to. But I can live without television. Thereâ€™s too much bad news on TV anyway. And I know Amish women cook a lot. Iâ€™m a great cook.â€ She shrugged. â€œIâ€™m a hard worker in general. I know Amish get up early and go to bed early. I know they work hard during the day. And if thatâ€™s what it takes to feel peaceful and calm . . . Iâ€™m in!â€
Samuel found her enthusiasm charming, no matter how misdirected it was. â€œLillian, Iâ€™m sure Irma Rose and Jonas will appreciate you helping with household duties, but it will take more than chores and giving up worldly things to provide you with the peacefulness youâ€™re lookinâ€™ for.â€
â€œWell, itâ€™s a start,â€ she said, sounding optimistic.
As for that . . . who was he to argue?
Lillian remembered the Christmas visit with her grandparents at their farm, especially the snow. Unlike the icy mix of sludge found rarely in her hometown state, snow in Lancaster County glistened with a tranquil purity. Almost two decades later, she could still recall the towering cedar trees blanketed in white and ice skating on the crystalline pond in her motherâ€™s old ice skates.
The presents had been few. She remembered that. And while she recollected her grandparents as warm and loving, she also remembered the tension between them and her mother. Her grandfather had kept the mood festive, suggested the ice-skating, and seemed to make it his mission for Lillian to have a good timeâ€”even carting her to town and back in his gray, horsedrawn buggy. It had been the highlight of her trip.
â€œI remember liking the way my grandparents talked,â€ she recalled to Samuel. â€œI didnâ€™t understand a lot of things they said. Things like â€˜Outen the lights until sunrise when weâ€™ll redd-up the house.â€™ And â€˜It wonders me if it will make wet tomorrow.â€™ Mom translated those to mean â€˜Turn out the lights until in the morning when weâ€™ll clean up the houseâ€™ and â€˜I wonder if it will rain tomorrow.â€™â€
â€œThat would be right,â€ Samuel said.
Grandma and Grandpa both spoke another language sheâ€™d later found out was Pennsylvania Deitsch. Lots of times they would commingle their language with English. â€œDanki, Sarah Jane, for bringing our little kinskind for a visit,â€ her grandfather told her mother that Christmas. To which Sarah Jane Miller forced a smile and nodded.
â€œGrandma, why are you and Grandpa wearing those costumes?â€
Lillian recalled asking her grandparents.
Grandpa had just laughed and said, â€œIt is our faith, my kinskind. We wear these plain clothes to encourage humility and separation from the world.â€
At ten, Lillian had little understanding of what that signified. Except somewhere in the translation she knew it meant they couldnâ€™t have a television or a phone. Several times after their one and only trip, Lillian had asked her mother if she could call her grandparents. Mom reminded her no phones were allowed at Grandma and Grandpaâ€™s house.
â€œEvidently, my grandparents came to Houston a couple of times before our visit at Christmas, but I donâ€™t remember,â€ she told Samuel. â€œThat Christmas was my last trip to Lancaster County and the last time I saw my grandparents. Until now.â€
â€œI reckon Irma Rose and Jonas are really looking forward to seeing you.â€
â€œI hope so.â€
Lillian tried to keep her gaze focused on the road in front of her. But her eyes kept involuntarily trailing to her left. Samuel Stoltzfus was as handsome a man as she had ever seen in the city. His plain clothes did little to mask his solid build and appealing smile each time she glanced in his direction. But it was his piercing blue eyes Lillian couldnâ€™t seem to draw away from.
â€œSo, how long have you been married?â€ Nosey, nosey. The astonished look on his face confirmed her worry. She was crossing the line. â€œIâ€™m sorry. I just noticed that you have the customary beard following marriage.â€ Sheâ€™d done her research before arriving here. â€œAnd . . . I was just . . . curious.â€ And curious why? Heâ€™s Amish, for heavenâ€™s sake.
â€œIâ€™m not married. Iâ€™m widowed.â€
â€œOh,â€ she said softly, thinking how young his wife must have been when she died. â€œ Iâ€™m so sorry. When did your wife die?â€
â€œMei fraa, Rachel, passed almost two years ago,â€ he answered without looking her way.
â€œAgain, Iâ€™m so sorry.â€
Samuel continued to stare at the road ahead. â€œIt was Godâ€™s will.â€
There was no sadness or regret in his tone. Just fact. Lillian knew she should leave it alone, but . . . â€œIâ€™m sure you miss her very much.â€
He didnâ€™t glance her way. â€œThereâ€™s Irma Rose and Jonasâ€™s farm,â€ he said, pointing to their right. â€œI better take you right up to the house.â€ He coaxed Pete down a long dirt drive leading from the road to the white farmhouse.
â€œOh, you donâ€™t have to do that. I can walk.â€ She wondered if Samuel Stoltzfus was ready to be rid of her. His eyebrows edged upward beneath his dark bangs and he glanced at her shoeless foot.
Point taken. â€œA ride to the house would be great.â€
As Pete trotted down the dirt driveway toward the farmhouse, reality sank in. This would be her new home for the summerâ€”or however long it took to accomplish her goal. At first glance, everything seemed lovely. The prodigious fields on either side of the lane were neatly mowed, and the white fencing in good repair. But unlike the farms she passed on the way, there were no signs of new life planted. It wasnâ€™t until they drew closer to the farmhouse that she spotted a small garden off to her left enclosed by a wire-mesh fence. Parallel rows of greenery indicated vegetables would be forthcoming.
Also off to her left was a large barn, the paint weathered and chipping. Another smaller barn to her right also was in need of a fresh paint job. She recalled the barns they had passed on her journey down Black Horse Road. Most were a bright crimson color.
The white farmhouse appeared freshly painted, but with flowerbeds absent of flowers or shrubs. They must have been beautiful at one time. But now theyâ€”and the rest of the yardâ€”lent an air of neglect to the farm.
A wraparound porch with two rockers looked inviting. But while the idea of curling up with a good book in one of the rockers was appealing, Lillian knew it was the inside of the house and its inhabitants she feared most. Her grandma had seemed pleasant enough on the phone, but what if she and her grandfather were too set in their ways to make room for her? And what if she couldnâ€™t adjust to their ways? No electricity meant no hairdryer, curling iron, or other modern convenience she considered a necessity. How would she charge her cell phone? And she couldnâ€™t imagine a summer without air conditioning.
Grimacing as the thoughts rattled around her head, she reminded herself why sheâ€™d come. Sheâ€™d had a month to consider all of these factors. She thought she had. But as her fantasy of leaving everything behind for this became absolute, her tummy twirled with uncertainty.
She was still attempting to envision her new way of life when Samuel brought Pete up next to a gray buggy parked on one side of the house. Samuel moved quickly to get her suitcase from behind the seat and extended his hand to help her out of the buggy. Towering over her, he promptly released her fingers.
â€œThank you for the ride. Maybe I will see you again.â€ She could only hope. But his lack of response as he quickly jumped back in the carriage left her wondering.
Lillian waved good-bye and watched until horse, buggy, and man were back on the paved road. She knew she was stalling. Her grandparents would be strangers to her, and she would be a stranger to them. Yet they had encouraged her to come and stay with them. â€œFor as long as you like,â€ her grandmother had said.
Striving to cast her worries aside, she turned around, picked up her suitcase, and headed up the walk toward what would be her new home . . . for a while.
Check back soon for my review. Don’t forget to click the bookcover or title for more info or to buy a copy. Look for other FIRST Wildcard member posts and opinions on this book in today’s blog postings. Click the author’s name or photo to visit her website.