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Saturday, February 2, 2013

LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI Chapter 18

Wedding
courtesy Free Clip Art

Lee and Sam located in Oakland where Lee helped Sam get a job as an assistant pilot on the train ferries.  Sam changed his name, and with Lee's assistance he managed to get the required pilot's license.

Lee found his job confusing for they kept changing his responsibilities, but eventually things eased up when they finally decided how they were going to use him.

He and Sam secured rent houses for themselves, and Sam's family moved to West Oakland to be near where they worked.  Claire and Odette got jobs cleaning the passenger cars, and it wasn't long before they were saving enough money to buy a house of their own.

Lee had a well paying job, and he was able to save money for the same purpose.

Since they arrived in Oakland Lee had seen very little of Odette except when he went over to their house for a meal. This wasn't by choice but because everyone was busy working and getting settled in.

Things were a lot different on the West coast than they were in the New Orleans area. Sam realized that they needed to get rid of their heavy Cajun accent for people in California had difficulty understanding them.

A year had passed.  Sam had a regular run as a pilot.  

He still was second mate as it were, but he had done the same thing on the Mississippi River.

Claire was still cleaning the passenger cars while Odette had moved into the office where there were about fifty girls working plus a large number of eligible bachelors.

She saw Lee more often while working there and they frequently had lunch together.  

Then one day while eating their meal, she said, “I'm ready to get married.  You need to know that there are several men who want to start courting me, and what I want to know is if you have any interest in me or not.”

Coming out of the blue like that left Lee with his mouth open.  All he was expecting was a sandwich and coffee, and here he was faced with what sounded like an ultimatum.  

Off hand he didn't know if he was ready to marry, but the one thing he did know was he didn't want someone else marrying her.

He stumbled around with his words but finally murmured something like “Maybe I should start dating you in earnest.”

In times past, her mother and father were in on everything they did and they were never alone, but now that the courting started this moved things on more quickly.

They continued to have lunch together and go out once or twice a week until one night Lee said, “We might as well get married and save a lot of time going back and forth.  It looks like if we are going to marry, it might as well be now so we can get on with our life. “

This wasn't a very romantic proposal but Odette decided to settle for it because she knew Lee was very reserved and he must have struggled to get those words out.

Sam and Claire insisted that their wedding be a Cajun style wedding.

They had met several Cajun families, and the singing and the food and dancing was all Cajun just as if they were in the bayous of Louisiana.

Lee thought back to the time when he first met this ten year old girl who said, “When I'm ready I guess he'll do."

True to her words she was ready, and Lee said to himself, “I guess I will do for her.”

The End

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