Amish violet, p.1
Amish Violet, page 1
Amish Love Blooms Book 5
Copyright © 2016 by Samantha Price
Copyright © 2017 Samantha Price
All Rights Reserved
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No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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Nancy stared at her sister, Nerida, wondering how she could bring up the subject. It had been some years since the last of Nancy’s four daughters had gotten married and it was high time there was another wedding in the family. In short, it was her niece Violet’s turn to get married. The trouble was, Violet was an introvert who preferred her own company to that of those around her. The next sentence that came out of her sister’s mouth pleased Nancy enormously.
“Do you remember a few years ago, just after Lily got married, that you offered your help in finding a man for Violet?”
Nancy remembered it was Nerida who asked her. She never actually offered her help, but that didn’t matter so much. “Jah. Has that been on your mind all this time?”
Nerida chortled. “Only over the last few days. We’ve both been so busy with other things, but now Violet is well over eighteen.”
“You want my help now?”
“Jah, John and I have been worried about her. You know she’s not … Well, she’s a quiet girl. Will you help us? Each of your girls has married a lovely man and I want the same for Violet.”
Nancy’s face beamed. “I’d love to help.”
Nerida shook her head and looked down at the kitchen table where they both sat. “She worries me because she’s so quiet, and she’s barely been out of the haus since she’s had to start wearing those glasses.”
“That’s exactly why she needs our help, Nerida.”
“Do you think so?”
“I know so. She needs more confidence as well as the right man. If she has no confidence, she won’t act appropriately when the right man comes along.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“I usually am.”
Nancy cackled. “Don’t you start.”
Nerida laughed and then pushed her chair out and stood up. “More tea?”
Nancy stared at the contents of the plain white china teacup. She drained the last mouthful. “Jah, denke.” She placed the teacup down onto her saucer and Nerida picked up the pot and poured her some fresh tea. “Now sit down and don’t try to change the subject.”
“I won’t. I admit I need your help. And I’m ready to get started on whatever you plan that we should do.” Nerida sat again and looked directly at her older sister.
“Why are you bringing this up now, Nerida? Is there a young man you've found who you think might suit her?”
Nancy said, “Just because I haven’t said anything doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about your girls and what will become of them.” Nancy looked away from her sister. She’d probably said too much.
Nerida narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean by that, Nancy?”
“I mean everybody needs help. Well, not everybody, but if Gott hasn’t chosen to place someone in her way before now, she plainly needs our help.”
Nerida sighed as she slumped further into her chair. “Maybe you’re right.”
Relief washed over Nancy. She’d saved herself from an awkward situation and she even had Nerida agreeing with her.
“What shall we do, Nancy?”
“The first thing we need to do is make a list of all the young men in the community that would suit her—all of them.”
Nerida drummed her fingers on the wooden kitchen table. “Should we find out which ones she likes first?”
Nancy threw her head back and laughed. “Girls her age don’t know what time of day it is, let alone what kind of husband would be good for them.”
“I don’t know if that’s true. When I was her age, John and I were married already.”
“Well, things are different in these modern times.”
They both looked around when they heard someone walk into the kitchen. It was Willow.
“Hello, Aunt Nancy.” Willow hurried toward Nancy and hugged her tightly and Nancy gave her a pat on the back.
When Willow straightened, Nancy asked, “How’s my favorite niece doing today?”
Willow giggled at her aunt. Nancy always called each of her nieces her ‘favorite niece.’ “I’m good.”
“Why don’t you run along, Willow? Aunt Nancy and I are having a private discussion.”
Willow’s eyes opened wide. “What about?”
“Not about you, if that’s what you’re worried about.” Nancy gave a laugh.
Willow’s head whipped around and she stared at her mother. “About Violet?”
Nerida answered, “We’re just having a private discussion; it doesn’t have to be about anyone.”
“It normally is,” Willow said, now standing with her hands on her hips.
“Go and check the washing on the line, see if it’s dry, and then see what food we’re running low on for the livestock.”
“Dat keeps an eye on the animal food.”
“Willow, what have I told you about doing what you’re told when you’re told?”
“I’m going.” Willow sighed and walked away, dragging her feet.
Nerida called after her, “After you’ve finished doing that, why don’t you go find your schweschder? I think she’s paying her respects to Lorraine’s friends. She went to Molly Gingerich’s.”
“Jah, okay. I’ll do that after I check on the washing.”
Once Willow was out of the room, Nerida leaned forward. “Now, where were we?”
“We were talking about making a list of all the eligible bachelors. And if there are none who are suitable, we’ll have to broaden our search and look further afield.”
“Surely there’ll be someone who’s right for her here in this community. I don’t want her moving away.” Nerida’s mouth downturned.
“We’ll just have to hope and pray that someone from around these parts will suit her.”
“I suppose we should be thinking about Lorraine’s funeral rather than being selfish and thinking about our own family,” Nerida said.
“Valerie and I have got all that under control. Valerie’s doing most of the organizing since Lorraine’s son is useless for that.”
“It wonders me why he’s come back here after all this time.”
“Well, he’d have to go to his mudder’s funeral and now he’ll probably live in the haus since he’s probably got nowhere else to live.”
“That’s a bit harsh, Nancy. I’ve never heard you speak that way.”
Nancy lifted her chin. “He wasn’t around when she was sick. If he was, I didn’t see him. I’m sorry, but he’s got no care or thought for anyone but himself.” She nodded her head sharply. “That’s what it seems like to me.”
As Violet saw Mrs. Gingerich’s small house, a wave of sorrow washed over her, knowing the old woman had lost her good friend.
Lorraine Beiler had been a lovely woman who had brought joy to everyone around her before she’d gotten ill. Violet had known her all her life, and the last two years, she’d slipped down in health. It was shortly after Lorraine’s husband had died that she’d gotten sick, and Violet was certain that she’d died of a broken heart.
Violet’s mother was always one to rally around the grieving family members at times like these. Violet often accompanied her mother on these trips, but Molly Gingerich and her mother hadn’t always gotten along. That’s why Violet had come on her own.
When Violet tried to open the front gate, she saw it was tied up with a rope. Unable to see a way to undo it, she picked up the lower edge of her dress and climbed over the top, hoping no one would see the unladylike antic. It seemed that the old lady might have been trying to discourage visitors.
A few minutes later, after several knocks, the door slowly opened and Mrs. Gingerich stood there staring up at her. At first, the woman didn’t speak or even smile. She looked past Violet and then up and down the street.
“Are you here alone?” she asked, opening the door slightly wider.
“Jah, I came alone.”
She pushed the door open fully. “Come in.”
Violet stepped inside, waited, and then followed her as she walked into the kitchen.
She pointed to the table. “Sit down.”
After Violet did what she’d been told, Mrs. Gingerich sat next to her, and said, “What’s a young girl like you coming to see me for?”
“I came to see how you are. I know Lorraine was a good friend of yours, and I know you must be missing her. That’s why I stopped by.”
“Denke for coming.” The old woman slowly smiled and peered into her face. “Can I get you anything? I’ve just made some ginger beer.”
“I’d like that very much, denke.” The old lady was a good twenty to thirty years older than Lorraine, since Lorraine had to have been in her fifties and Mrs. Gingerich must’ve been in her seventies.
Mrs. Gingerich placed a glass of ginger beer in front of Violet. After she took a sip and complimented the old woman on the taste, she asked, “Do you know what ever happened to Lorraine’s son?”
“Jah, I do. Nathan’s back.”
Violet’s eyes opened wide. “Is he?” Violet had grown up with Nathan Beiler, gone through school at the same time, and they’d always gotten along. In truth, she’d had a crush on him for years. He’d left the community shortly after his father had died.
“Jah, he’s living back where he was.”
“In Lorraine’s haus?”
“He must feel dreadful. His vadder died two years ago and now his mudder has gone. He’s so young and he’s got no one.”
“It’s no use him being back now. He should’ve been back here when she was sick and needed caring for. Although, from time to time I did see a car parked out front of Lorraine’s haus. Maybe he did visit.” The old lady shook her head.
“Is he back to stay?”
She shook her head again. “I don’t know. I haven’t heard. Cookies? Would you like some sugar cookies? I only baked them recently.”
“Okay. Lovely, denke.”
Mrs. Gingerich rustled around in her cupboard and then placed a tin of cookies on the table in front of Violet. As Violet reached out to take one, the old woman asked, “Where’s your mudder today?”
“She’s at home. Aunt Nancy came to visit and they’re at home talking.”
“Did she send you here?”
“Who, Nancy or Mamm?”
“Nee. I came here on my own because I know you’re a good friend ... um, you were a good friend of Lorraine’s.”
“Denke. We weren’t that close.”
“Oh, I thought you were.”
“Nee. You’re a nice girl. Just make sure you stay that way. It can’t be easy for you.”
Violet resisted asking why or what couldn’t be easy for her and munched on a cookie instead. She guessed it had something to do with what Mrs. Gingerich thought of her mother.
“Did you know your mudder and I used to get along once?”
“Nee, I didn’t know that.”
“She’s not easy to get along with, you know. Well, jah, I suppose you do know that.”
Violet raised her eyebrows and remained silent. It was most likely true, since Mamm had been in a long disagreement with her own sister. It had lasted most of Violet’s life. Only in the last couple of years had they started being close once again, and Aunt Nancy still seemed cautious about whatever she said. “Did you have a falling out over something in particular?” Violet asked.
Mrs. Gingerich laughed. “It was years ago. We had an argument over cake. I barely remember the whole thing now. I was aggravated how your mudder thinks she can do everything better than anybody else.”
“Oh, I didn’t know.”
“Nee. You wouldn’t. You must take after your vadder. Your mudder is very competitive. I think it’s to do with her living under Nancy’s shadow as her younger schweschder.”
“Er ... jah. One or two people have mentioned she’s competitive.”
“Now, your Aunt Nancy is a different one. She’s always helping others. She’s always looking after the sick, taking them soup, and visiting them.”
“She’s very kind. My mudder does a lot of things like that too, though. She’s always out and about seeing where she can be of service.”
“Your mudder could learn a thing or two from her older schweschder.”
“She’s been a gut mudder to me,” Violet said in her mother’s defense.
“You’d have to say that.”
“I mean it. It’s true. I know she gets on the wrong side of a lot of people and I don’t know why. She doesn’t mean to. Anyway, I didn’t come here to talk about my mudder. I came to see how you are.”
“I’ll miss Lorraine. I couldn’t see her as much as I would’ve liked due to my failing health.”
“Jah, she’ll be missed. She was a nice lady.”
After another hour and another glass of ginger beer, Violet said goodbye to Mrs. Gingerich and started off back home. It was an hour’s walk back to her house, and Violet loved to walk in the sun in the springtime. The sun warmed her skin as she made her way down the tree-lined road while the sunlight dappled its way through the trees.
In the distance, she caught sight of Willow running toward her. Fearing something was wrong because she’d not seen Willow run since she was a child, she ran to meet her.
“Willow, what is it?”
Willow doubled over, trying to catch her breath. When she straightened, she was still huffing and puffing and her full cheeks were bright red.
“Is Mamm okay?” Violet asked, fearing the worst. Then she thought of her father. “Is Dat okay?”
“Jah, and jah,” Willow managed to say in between sharp breaths.
“Well, what is it?”
“They were talking about you.”
The only ‘they’ Willow could’ve been talking about was her mother and Aunt Nancy. “Mamm and Aunt Nancy?”
Willow put her hands on her hips and nodded.
“What did they say?”
“They’re getting you married off.”
Violet didn’t like the sound of that. Marry her off to who? “And you ran all that way just to tell me?”
“Jah. I thought you’d want to know.”
Violet forced a giggle, not wanting her sister to see she was concerned.
“It’s not funny, Violet.”
Still laughing, Vi
Willow looked a little upset at her giggles. “They were making a plan and writing a list.”
That didn’t sound good. Violet could no longer put on an act. “What? A list for what?”
“A list of bachelors.”
Violet tugged on the strings of her prayer kapp. It sounded serious if they were making a list. “Denke for telling me, Willow.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’ll tell them I’m not interested.”
“Nee, you can’t say anything. Then they’ll know I was listening in and I’ll get into trouble again. You can’t.”
“What do you suggest I do?”
“They can’t force you to get married.”
“Nee, but they can make my life awfully uncomfortable in the process of trying. And what about the poor men they’ve picked for me? None of them will be interested either.” Violet rolled her eyes.
“You can’t say you weren’t warned that they’d do this.”
“I know. Both Lily and Daisy told me what they were like, but I thought I might’ve escaped it. I was sure Aunt Nancy would consider me a lost cause. All the cousins are so pretty and I’m not. I’m plain. I’m a plain Jane.”
“Because of your glasses?”
“Nee, but denke for reminding me about that.”
“You still look pretty.”
“You don’t have to try to make me feel better. I know what I look like.”
Willow’s eyebrows flew upward. “I think you’re pretty, I do.”
Violet pulled a face. “Yeah, well, what you think doesn’t count.”
“It counts for me.”
Violet laughed. “Denke, but you know what I mean.”
by Samantha Price have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes