Monday, April 29, 2013

Farmer, Orb's Year 901-904

Orb's Year 901

Able Farmer had been relieved to hear that Amy Baker had not been successful in foisting off any of her daughters on the upper classes.  Especially Beth Ann.  Able had always held a tender spot for sweet Beth Ann, even during childhood. 

He would have made an offer years ago, but Beth Ann's mother had made it clear that she was hoping for an advantageous marriage.  And Able had nothing to offer but his love and a modest life as a peasant.  In some ways, he had hoped that she might catch Aidan Taveryn's eye or even Arthur Knightley so that she'd be better provided for and happy.

When he heard that Beth Ann was still unmarried, he wasted no time inviting Amy over to discuss a marriage proposal. As he expected, Amy drove a hard bargain and Able agreed on a substantially lower dowry just to have the pleasure of calling Beth Ann his wife.

Orb's Year 902

Aidan and Beth Ann didn't throw a big celebration on their wedding day.  They simply had a simple handfasting wedding out by the garden. 
And then there was work to do!
Before long, the Farmers invited Beth Ann's family over to celebrate their pregnancy.  Before long, there would be another mouth to feed!
Able watched his wife as she read through a cook book, planning their weekly meals.  She often said she was surprised by how little she knew of cooking even though she'd spent her entire life baking for others!
"Do you think you could teach me?" Able asked one day.

Beth Ann had looked up, surprised.  "Of course.  I didn't know you were interested!"

Able felt embarrassed.  "I just never had the time to go to instructional school.  There were always crops to harvest.  And I don't want my children to be ashamed of me."

Beth Ann nodded.  She had always wondered why she never saw him at class.  "You could never shame our children," she'd said
fiercely.  "But, the first thing you need to do is learn your letters.  I want you to practice every day!"  Then, Beth Ann spent the next 30 minutes showing Able how to make each letter.

Orb's Year 903 

Able practiced his letters daily after he'd worked the morning away in the crops.  Beth Ann was always nearby to help him if he needed it.  Slowly, he was beginning to recognize each letter and the sound that it made.  He could tell he was doing well by how excited Beth Ann got each time he remembered a letter.  He hoped to be able to read bedtime stories by the time Beth Ann delivered their child.

Their child had other plans, though!
Beth Ann delivered a healthy baby boy that the couple named Braden. He was a beautiful black-haired baby with his mother's brown eyes.
Braden couldn't have been blessed with a kindler, gentler mother than Beth Ann. She lovingly bathed him in their wash bucket because they did not own a fancy baby changing table.

Able grinned and reached out for his wife's hand.  He thanked the celestial orb that he'd had the courage to pursue Beth Ann and his happiness.

Orb's Year 904 
It was a wet, rainy season Able thought sourly as he worked in the fields, trying to keep the weeds from choking out his plants.  When he'd finished each morning, Beth Ann had been ready with a warm bath to relieve his cold, soaking bones.  She'd confessed that she was worried he would take a chill.  He'd assured her that his people had been farming this land in all types of weather for hundreds of years and a little bit of rain wouldn't affect his bones.
But, Able was worried about the crops.  They were getting too much rain and soon they would be ruined.  He just prayed to the celestial orb that they bore some vegetables before it was too late.  Taxes would be due soon and he hated to think about what would happen if they didn't have the money.
"Thank the celestial orbs!" Beth Ann shouted as she ran inside, waking up baby Braden.  "Able! Wake up!  The vegetables have matured!  We must gather it up tonight!"  Excitedly, the couple had run outside in the dark of the morning and harvested all the vegetables that they could.  Beth Ann threw her arms around Able and hugged him tight.  "I knew it would all work out, I just knew it!" she said happily.

Able squeezed her happily, not trusting his voice to stay steady.
As the sun rose, they began working the field again to plant another crop of plants to carry them through the next season.
Beth Ann hadn't imagined life could be this wonderful!  Her mother had always spoken poorly of their father, and really... any man.  And yet, Able had been so thoughtful, steady and true.  He was a wonderful husband and father.  She was so happy that her mother hadn't succeeded in marrying her off to some nobleman.  She didn't care if they didn't have lots of gold... they had each other and that was all that mattered!

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