|Grandpa suggested hard work would rest my mind.|
Monday, November 14, 2016
Randle Chimes chapter 14 The Wedding
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Chapter fourteen (Conclusion)
I must admit that leaving the river wasn't easy for we had gained a new intimacy there. From there it was just one more step to becoming one in a spiritual sense.
The next six weeks seemed to be an eternity away and it was clear I had to involve myself in an activity that would help the time to pass quickly.
I told Grandpa my predicament and he squelched a smile while knowingly said he understood.
He said what I needed was some hard labor, something that would make me so tired that all I could think about was getting some rest.
He said there was forty acres he hadn't planned on planting this year but there was no reason not to go ahead and get a crop this year. He said he had two teams I could use them alternating every other day or using them just a half day each day. He said which ever way I decided on the teams would always be fresh.
To be honest I wasn't to excited for his suggestion but I knew it would take my mind off of the wedding. I managed to get word to Nell that I would see her Sunday and tell her what I was doing.
The next morning I hitched up one of the teams and after breakfast headed off to the field. As I figured it - - there was more than enough time to plow the entire forty acres and drag and harrow it making it ready for planting.
I had no interest in putting the crop in while dreading the rain we were sure to get. Dirt and water equaled mud and I hated to try to plow a muddy field. The only good thing about the rain was the teams got some extra rest which they would need.
Come Sunday I was glad to go to church. I surely wasn't cut out to be a dirt farmer. The thing I hated the most was your shoes were filled with the new turned soil and was uncomfortable to walk in.
When I saw Nell the juices began to flow in my mouth. I didn't know what that was all about but I knew it was somehow connected with Nell.
She wanted me to have dinner at her folks place which I agreed to but told them I couldn't stay long for I had to get home and get ready for the coming week.
During dinner I talked to Nell's folks about everything except the wedding. Seemed the subject was off limits at this stage of the engagement.
After we finished eating, I helped clear the table and her mother told us to scat and visit until I had to go. Nell brought me up to date about how everything was going and I tried my best to show some interest in what she was doing. To me it seemed like a lot of extra work but it was so very important to the females in both families.
I had to stop at the mercantile store and pick up some new harness for the teams. The store owner grumbled for having to open up for business on Sunday but he didn't dare to refuse because we bought so much stuff from him.
I had brought the buckboard from him, and also picked up a lot of miscellaneous stuff for the ranch like barbed wire, bacon, beans and, flour.
When I arriver at the ranch I got a couple of hands to unload the buckboard while I swapped out the new harness parts for the worn out ones.
The ranch hands looked puzzled because I was going to do the plowing myself when I could have hired three or four farmers to do the work in a weeks time. I didn't bother to explain my reasons I just went on repairing the harness.
After finishing that task I felt proud of the job I had done. Both teams had their own set of harness and at least one extra set in case something broke.
The next morning I was up farmer style before daybreak for breakfast. We men were proud about the work we did but as I was eating it struck me that the women were up earlier than the men to fix breakfast for us and start preparing the rest of the day’s chores.
I never said anything but I had to admit the women really earned their keep.
I hitched one of the teams to the wagon with the new plows and other equipment and tied the other team to the back of the wagon. Just after daybreak I was hooked up and plowed my first furrow.
This continued till about ten when I took a break and watered the horses. I gave them a fifteen minute rest and then it was on till dinner time.
Once again I watered the morning team and removed their harness. Then I let them graze till time to head back to the ranch house. Just before evening came I stripped the harness from the second team and put it on the wagon with the first.
I rode one of the horses and led the others to the barn and then rubbed them all down. One of the hands had put some feed in the corral so I let them loose to feed and rest till morning.
For the next three weeks this continued the same each day. My feet hurt and I was sore all over. It made me appreciate the work the farmers did year after year. I had brought in another team so every third day a team had a full day off.
With the fields plowed I took the next and final week running the drags and harrows over the fields and prepared them for planting. Once finished I turned the planting over to our farm hands.
It was one more week until I would be a married man. I had waited for this moment for all my life and I felt both excited and worried.
I knew the mechanics of being a husband, the part and responsibilities the man played so it wasn't that but how I was going to measure up to the job had me bothered not just a little.
I took a lot of good natured teasing about the coming event. A lot of it revolved around the wedding night and talk of a shivaree where the bride was whisked away and kept the whole night.
Although I knew it was all in fun I still had a little apprehension about the whole idea.
The wedding day arrived and I drove the decorated buggy to the church. Nell and family were late and I was left standing down in the front of the church with the preacher. After the longest ten minutes of my life Nell and her father appeared in the back of the church and started walking down the aisle in step with the music.
Everything went off well! Nell was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. We and the family greeted everyone and had a feast on the grounds.
It was getting on in the afternoon by the time the people left.
Nell and I headed to the hotel where we would spend the first night of married life.
Since my family owned the hotel we had the entire top floor to our selves with a couple of tough guards making sure we were not disturbed.
Once in a while I think about Jenny and wonder what my life would have been like with her instead of Nell.
My conclusion is the same always; it couldn't have been any better for Nell was simply wonderful.