Home, The Best Place To Be!

Joab could see the lights of home, 
back where life, he hoped,  
would take on 
a semblance of sanity. 
Back to the real place of peace. 
Memories of his childhood 
rushed him by surprise. 
He had not told Rachel 
exactly when he would return. 
But she knew it would be before 
Thanksgiving. He was certain 
Jonathan had taken care of 
the turkey and that Isaac and Jennie 
would help with the vegetables 
and Rachel … well Rachel 
would have everything under control.

He had left Aggie behind, a hard thing … possibly the hardest thing he had done, that is, since the war and all the death in his own family. Life, fragile at its best, had dealt Joab a few losses. He hoped Aggie would not be included. He could not bear to lose her, to death or for any other reason. He had experienced a fair measure of the brittle thread over the past few months. He thought—life is as fragile as Aggie. But she is beautiful, delicate, like a piece of lace or a crystal prism through which I see life as carefree and lighthearted. I wish for her this moment.
He struck his mare for a gallop to the house in the valley. The old place looked lonesome and rundown in the dusk of an early evening, almost as if no one lived there. It was late fall, though, and all the leaves were on the ground. The trees were stark and bare. The flowers were gone. Maybe that was the reason it looked … desolate. He choked back his emotions, hoping to greet his mother and Samuel with smiles instead of tears when Samuel cleared the porch steps and ran up the dirt road toward his brother. Joab dismounted and held his arms open. Samuel leaped into them.
“Whoa, little brother, you have grown a foot since I left.”
Sam grinned but couldn’t say a word. His blue eyes glistened as he swallowed hard and fought tears. He cleared his throat and said, “We didn’t know when you were coming back, but Mama has been planning every day, knowing she would soon get it right.”
“I’ve been counting the days, myself, Sam. I’ve missed you and Mama, wishing every day you could have been with me. It will take a while, but I’ll tell you all about it.”
Joab would tell only the lovely parts, leaving out the darkness and death. Samuel and his mother had experienced enough of that, as had he. His mother, Rachel, could take it; however, Sam was too young. He would not lay that upon him.
Joab looked up toward the house and there stood Rachel on the porch, smiling. She was beautiful as ever, her long dark curly hair with very few strands of gray touching her shoulders, pulled back by her ribbon of red. She looked thinner, so much thinner. He mounted, gave Samuel a hand, pulled him up onto Star, and rode to the porch. He jumped off and gathered Rachel into his arms and swung her around as he had done for as long as he could remember then put her down. She held his face and then buried her own into his chest.

JOAB is coming soon.
This is an excerpt for your enjoyment.
Thanks for reading.

Jane Bennett Gaddy
Trinity, FLA


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