Friday, September 27, 2013

Farmer, Orb's Year 933-936


 Orb's Year 933
Braden Farmer was surprised when Robin Carpenter stopped by and formally asked for his sister Fiona's hand in marriage.  It seemed he was looking to settle down and had been introduced to Fiona by the gypsy matchmaker.

Braden did  not know much about Robin, but thought he was a good sort.  "As long as she is in agreement and you swear to take good care of her," Braden said, "I don't see why not."

Robin smiled.  "Thank you, I will make her happy."

***

Inside, Uma Farmer sang with Helga as Shanna, her sister-in-law, hummed along cleaning house.  Uma was far too pregnant to scrub floors on her hands and knees, so she entertained her young daughter.  She knew after her new baby was born, her attention would be split.  Orb's blessing their baby would be a strong boy to inherit the small little farm for her husband!

***

"Uma should deliver your baby any day now," Cade said over their meal.  "She's determined to provide you with an heir!"

"It doesn't matter to me either way.  This is just as much your land as it is mine.  Whether Garth makes us proud or a son of my own, it makes no difference to me!"

Cade didn't look convinced.  "What about all the years you toiled in the fields alone?" he asked, somewhat ashamed of his pleasure-seeking youth.  "You mean you really wouldn't mind if Garth inherits the Farmer fields?"
Braden grinned at his brother, attempting to set his mind at ease.  "I'm sure.  Garth would make Father proud, just as he makes us proud.  He'll carry on our traditions long after we're gone." Pausing a moment, Braden added, "And although we have not borne any sons, we have two amazing daughters.  And how could I ever regret Gia or Helga being in our lives?"

The matter put to rest, the brothers moved on to talk of the winter winds and protecting the 
Late that night, as Braden prepared Helga for bed, he couldn't help snuggling her extra tight.  His girls meant the world to him!

***

The brothers were out in the fields when they heard Uma's cry.  Dropping their bags, they rushed inside.
As they ran to the nursery where they heard her cry, they rushed through the door in time to see Uma deliver their baby.
Uma gazed down at the child she held her in arms and then glanced up to her husband with a stricken look.  "It's a girl..." she whispered, closing her eyes.

Braden hurried to stand by his wife and comforted her.  "A beautiful girl that will shine like you do," he told her.  "We will call her Ingrid."

As Uma wept over the disappointment of not providing her husband with an heir, Cade backed out of the room to give them privacy.

Orb's Year 934
"Garth, I would like a word with you, son," Cade interrupted as the cousins Gia and Garth played castle. 
"What is it?" Garth asked as his father led him to the other room.

Cade put his hands on his hips and nodded towards the work left undone on the floor.  "You were raised better than to put off work.  Although we are peasants and dirty our hands in the fields, we also exercise our minds!"

"But Dad..." Garth started to whine before he stopped at his father's glance.   
It's a gift your Grandma and Grandpa passed down to us.  Grandma Beth Ann taught your Grandpa Able to read after they were married, and they in turn instilled that love of knowledge to their children!"  Cade lectured.
In the back of his mind, Cade had to smile at the memory of his own work piled high as he goofed off.  If his teenage self could see him now, he was sure the younger version of himself would be quite appalled!  Working hard, tending the fields, and making his son do the homework Lady Danica Knowles assigned.

***

"Look, your baby sister Ingrid is sleeping," Uma told her daughter Helga, as she lifted the young child up to see in the crib. 
"Baby sista!" Helga said.  "She sweeping!"

"That's right. She's sleeping.  Come along, let's leave her be," Uma said as she carried Helga from the room.

***

Mama said that she could play in the room as long as she was quiet, so Gia was quiet as a mouse.  She didn't want to get in trouble for waking the baby up!

Smelling something horrible, Gia jumped up and stared at the crib.  

Was that smell from the baby?! she thought with horror. "No, no, no!" Gia lectured the sweet sleeping child.  "I'm telling Mama!"

Orb's Year 935
"Gia?" Helga asked nervously.  "Mama asked if you would check on the baby and then make dinner.  She needs to get ready for work."
Gia sighed.  "I'll do it," she said.  Sometimes it was hard being the oldest child.  Parents often expected more work from you!
"Come on sweetheart, it's time for dinner," she said as she picked up Ingrid and carried her to the kitchen area. 
Handing Ingrid a bottle, Gia began to whip up a meal for the family.  Her papa and uncle would soon be coming in from the fields and they would need something hearty to eat.
"Dinner is ready!" she called out.  "Garth, go run and tell the men to come in for dinner."  Gia nodded as Garth hurried outside and she began setting the table.
 
***

"Once upon a time," Braden read to Ingrid, smiling as she crammed both fists in her mouth. 
"Daddy?" Helga asked as she came up behind her father quietly.  "Will you read to me?"

Braden glanced up at his daughter and smiled.  "Of course.  In fact, I can do better than that! Would you like to learn to read?"

Delight raced across Helga's face.  "I would love to, Daddy!  You'll teach me! You mean it?!"

Braden settled his daughter down and began to work on the basics with her, walking away from an unhappy toddler Ingrid.
As Ingrid began to fuss and wail for attention, Garth leaned down and kissed his cousin's cheek.  "Don't worry, Ingrid.  You can come play with me," he told her.  Holding out his hand, he led her to the nursery where they played castle.
He laughed when Ingrid shoved them into her mouth, gnawing on the well-worn pieces.  He remembered when he was her age doing the exact same thing!

Orb's Year 936
Cade had begun to head to the fields when he caught sight of Garth out of the corner of his eye.  Stopping, he turned towards his son and sized him up.  He was growing up fast.  "Are you ready to come help in the fields?" he asked.

"Am I ever!" Garth said excitedly.

Cade clasped his son on the shoulder and grinned.  "Wonderful!  You'll start by looking for bugs on the plants."

Garth grimaced.   "Can't I do something more helpful?" he asked.  "I'm not a baby!"

Cade knelt before his son.  "Every piece is important, Garth, from laying the compost to picking the bugs to tending the weeds.  If one step is skipped, the harvest will fail and our bellies will be empty.  Do you understand?"
Garth had nodded and eagerly ran outside to help make sure the plants thrived by picking off bugs.
Towards the end of the work day, his dad even let him plant some tomatoes. 
Cade watched his son rub the soil from his hands as he stood up.  He couldn't get over how much his son had grown these past years.

Glancing at his brother, Braden, Cade knew that it would soon be time to begin teaching Garth all they knew about the fields and farming to continue their proud heritage.
"I'm proud of you, son," Cade said, clasping his son's shoulder. 

***

Gia helped Helga with her assignments as her father taught Ingrid to walk.  Everyone always seemed to be so busy in their home.  But, their home was bursting at the seams with children and Gia knew it was within her power to ease her parents burden.
Gia waited until her parents were enjoying lunch and sat down beside them.  "I've decided to go work at the Royale castle.  I've heard that the King is in need of another housekeep after Aunt Emily passed away."
Uma glanced sharply at her daughter. This was so out of the blue!  "But why?" she asked fitfully.  "Why do you want to leave?"

Uma looked at her fingers, twirled in her lap.  "I don't want to go, but I know that I need to go.  The King needs service and I am of an age.  Uncle Ennis will be there to watch out for me."  Besides, she added silently, it will free up space in the home for her growing sisters.
Braden and Uma met eyes and had a silent conversation.  Braden nodded and glanced at Gia.  "If you're sure?" he asked, leaving her plenty of room to change her mind.
Gia nodded, valiantly trying to keep the tears at bay.  "I'm sure.  I've thought very hard about this.  I feel it's right."

Braden kissed his daughter's cheek.  "We will miss you."

Cade watched as Gia hugged her parents goodbye.  "I was going to go to Grocer's Delicatessen to sell our produce.  I can drop her off before I speak with Gemma."
Braden smirked at his brother.  "Are you sure you can manage to deliver her to the right household this time?"

Cade playfully tapped his brother's shoulder.  "I think it would be quite hard to miss the King's castle!"

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