Secrets of Willow Springs
Emma sat in the far corner of her parent’s porch protected from the rain and hidden from the watchful eye of her
Sitting back up in her chair, she petted Someday on his head and wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered. “I can always count on you to be glad to see me.” Listening to the sound of the rain on the roof was just what she needed to calm her anxiety over staying out of her
It was just about as soothing as working in the garden. She loved the feel of the warm soil in her hands and enjoyed tending to the gardens around the farm. The purple and white pansies along the picket fence were in full bloom, and she smiled at how they looked as if they were welcoming the spring rain. Closing her eyes again, she leaned back and replayed the conversation she had had with her
“Do you know what today is?”
“A canning day,” her
“That too, but it’s June 17, and it’s just thirty more days until my birthday.”
She turned toward her
“Well, you thought wrong.”
She knew better than to argue and just went back to her breakfast, feeling defeated again by his sharp tone.
The sound of the sliding barn door startled her, and she opened her eyes and looked across the yard. Matthew, her
She leaned back and thought how rare it was to be enjoying such a long break from her Saturday chores. They had been making jam all morning, and the smell of strawberries was still thick in the air. They had just come upstairs from the basement kitchen when her
Stella pulled a chair out so Jacob could sit down. She glanced to make sure Emma had left the room and grabbed Jacob’s hand and started to rub it lovingly. “What’s the matter?” she asked as she handed him a glass of tea. “I don’t understand how three orders got mixed up, the lumber delivery delayed, and why Matthew has another sick calf.”
“Let Kathryn worry about the orders, and Matthew will figure out what the problem is in the barn. You need to quit letting these little things upset you so.”
He knew she was right, but it was getting harder and harder to control his anxiety. When silence fell between them, Stella looked into his eyes and saw the same fear she saw six months ago, when the letter and the newspaper article came from his
He hung his head and started to rub the back of his neck with his free hand. “I have a notion this has more to do with Emma’s birthday than anything else. When she mentioned her birthday this morning, I saw that panicked look in your eyes. I pray Gott will give us direction and show us what we need to do. He won’t let us down, Jacob. There’s nothing we can do to protect Emma other than
Jacob leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes, and said, “I know He’ll watch over her, but we’re running out of time. No matter how hard I try to keep her close, I think what I’m really doing is pushing her away. I promised
“Jacob, we knew this day would come, and I’m as worried as you are. But what good are we doing by forbidding her to leave the
“I’m afraid she won’t want to stay with us once she learns the truth.”
Stella leaned in closer and laid her head against his while she recited one of her favorite Bible verses, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Emma felt protected in the corner of the porch where she couldn’t be seen. Across the yard, she spotted her
As she continued to enjoy her solitude, she heard the clip-clop announcing her
As Emma rocked in her favorite chair, she suddenly remembered the strawberry flower Samuel Yoder had picked and quietly passed to her without a word yesterday. Him on one side of the row, and her on the other, their fingers often brushed as they reached to pick the ripest berry. On one of her last reaches, he slipped the little white flower into the palm of her hand. When she looked up, he acted like he had done nothing out of the ordinary. As quickly as he passed the flower, he rolled one of his corny jokes off his lips. “What do you call a cow that has the jitters?”
She put the flower in her apron pocket without mentioning it and said, “I don’t know. What do you call a cow with the jitters?”
“Beef jerky!” Samuel laughed at his own joke and got up and carried his full basket to the wagon at the end of the row. No words were needed, and the silent connection and joyful way he had at making her laugh
Samuel was two years older and was already attending Sunday night
The Yoders’ farm butted up against their farm, dividing the two properties with a line of sugar maple trees. Emma and Katie’s
The rain had stopped, and the sun was starting to peek through the clouds when she heard the screen door slam. Shortly after, she saw her
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You have a wealth of information about the Amish. I am so glad that you share this with the multitude of us who do not. I am dismayed by the huge addiction to anything electronic. I miss direct communication; phone calls, letters. I do not do well with texts and messages on my cell phone. I own the phone. It does not own me. No, I do not check it. I carry it because it is great for an emergency. All pay phones have disappeared. I have had limited experience with the Amish. I admire their courage to follow their convictions. I am amazed by their ability to forgive! I was raised to value hard work and a job well done. The Amish have this down. The more I learn about them, the more I admire them. Please keep up the good work!Noreen McCafferty
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