These We Remember

We're almost there! Just a few minor adjustments and this book can go to the publisher. It has been a long time coming. Over a year for this one. But there were many interruptions along the way. The sale of our house in Florida. The move to South Carolina. And in these last few weeks, I was overtaken by the flu and pneumonia that took a large portion of my strength. I keep saying I hope to be fully recovered in a few days, but it is taking longer than I thought.

In the meantime, I share another portion of TO LOVE AGAIN with you. Look at the photos down the side of the blog. They are of McGill Creek, a very real place, it's history dating back to before the War Between the States when T.G. Clark and his family lived and worked and played right here. It was my joy to visit the old home place of my ancestors last summer, a place I had written about having no idea the full impact. I wish I had known. But now it is indelible in my mind and the pictures will keep the memories alive forever.

This is from Chapter Ten

The hardwood trees were naked now, the ground covered with their summer clothing of dry brown leaves. Tall pines and cedar intermingled to keep the color green year round. They walked gingerly and crept closer to the edge on the steep banks where they could now see on both sides. It was like a rising place. Every step they took brought them closer to the precipice and in circle vision, the banks rose up before them revealing a breathtaking view of the creek bed below.
Oscar gasped. “Amazing,” he breathed.
“This is McGill Creek. I guess it has been here since these hills and valleys were formed. It will be easier to see to the bottom now that the leaves have fallen.”
A little gust of cold wind blew off the stream below, hitting the clay wall. They shivered and walked on, Rachel leading the way.
“The boys grew up on this creek bed. The water gets a little deeper downstream. It looks like another country down there, don’t you think, Oscar?”
“Yes, it is amazing. In the first place, I would never have dreamed it is here, hidden by all the trees and bushes. You see the tree line and then, suddenly, you could easily fall off the edge. It’s indescribable, Rachel. I can see why you love this place. It looks like God landscaped it just for the Payne family. People would envy you this enigmatic hiding place. Until you come to the edge, you would never know what is beyond this tree line.”
“I don’t come as often as I used to. The boys are afraid I'll slip and fall or that I will attempt something dangerous like we all once did. They scold me every time I tell them I’ve been. That is not reason enough to stay away.”
“Indeed. But now I will be the one worrying that you might get hurt if you come here alone. On a more positive note, let’s hope that you are seriously thinking of coming back with me to New York.”
“I am thinking about it, Oscar. But, will you consider staying with us until after Thanksgiving? Jessie and I have planned to have both our families and a small group of close friends, including Winfield and he is bringing Matlock with him. Knowing all my friends and family as I do, they would not expect me to stay, but I have that expectation of myself. What do you say, Oscar? I know you need time to think it over and that you must get back to the newspaper, so I am not going to pressure you.”
“Rachel, you do drive a hard bargain, but let me send Carlisle some wires and receive some thoughts from him about how things are going there. As you know, he has sent only positive wires so far. I have to believe things are as they should be. But if he hears me say I will not return until after Thanksgiving, he could well panic. That is three weeks away. I want to say yes so badly. I don’t even want to return to New York yet. But I need to get a room in town. I have stayed far too long in Jessie’s home.”
“I don’t think Jessie is going to stand for that. I will leave it between you and her, hoping that you will stay with us. What on earth will Savannah do if you leave? I cannot vouch for The Inn personally, for I’ve never stayed overnight there. Let’s just say you could possibly take a different view of Sarepta, if you know what I mean.”
“I am persuaded,” he said. “I’ll have a talk with Jessie.”
“And I’m relieved,” she said. “Now let’s get going before it starts to get dark and colder.”
They mounted and Oscar pulled his steed close to Jasmine, reached over and tightened Rachel’s shawl about her. She smiled and touched his hand. They started to ride away and he spoke from his heart. “Rachel, this has been one of the best days of my life. Seeing how you have lived through the years, the blessed peacefulness of this place. Visualizing all the hard work and sacrifice it has taken—I am beyond awed. I am more on the jealous side. And why shouldn’t I be? There is never a day that you cannot get out of the house and walk ten feet to come in communion with God in your own special meeting place. There is something to be said for a proper portion of tranquility and the hustle and bustle of city life."

Jane Bennett Gaddy
Sunday Evening
April 10


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