Aileen sighed, and leaned on her husband. They were on their way to Randy's house from the O'Riley's, having just completed their wedding ceremony there.
"You know," Aileen said as the thought struck her. "I know absolutely nothing about the place where I'm going to live. You've told me all about the land and what you plan to do with it, but you haven't said a thing about the house. I assume it's like all the other cabins, but for all I really know it could be a dugout with a goat on top of it eating a hole in my roof!"
"It's not a dugout, I'll tell you that. But that's all. You'll have to wait until we get to the house to have any further details."
"It is a cabin, though, right?"
"Of sorts." Randy replied vaguely.
"Now you're making me nervous."
"Randyyyy!" Aileen whined.
Aileen sighed resignedly. She obviously wasn't going to get anything out of him.
Randy smiled. "Here we are." He continued to drive the team toward the cabin.
Aileen looked at him, puzzled. "That's one big room! Definitely not regulation size."
"It's not 16x14, and it's not one room, it's two."
Aileen smiled. "Why so big?"
"I want only the best for you. The best for the best."
"Who's getting sappy now?"
"Well," Randy jumped out of the wagon and came around to help Aileen down. "It's the truth. You don't mind having a bigger house, do you?"
"No, I just don't want it to look like we think we're better than anyone else."
Randy grinned as Aileen jumped form the wagon, her skirts billowing out around her. "They know us better than that."
"I suppose so." Aileen took her crate of clothing from the wagon bed and went inside, leaving Randy to care for the horses.
She pushed the door open with her hip and stood for a moment sizing up Randy's house. Our house. She reminded herself stepping over the threshold.
Aileen looked around in surprise. Had Randy ever had time to sleep? There was furniture here, a luxury none of the other cabins had yet to see.
There was a fireplace taking up all of one wall, and a small table in the middle of the room, with two straight-backed chairs beside it. It wasn't much but it was more than could be said for the other cabins.
Aileen moved on to the next room, a small bedroom. There was a bed with a ratty, faded quilt spread over it and there was a trunk at the end of the bed. Both bed and trunk, Aileen was sure, were new, homemade.
Aileen sat her crate on the bed and opened the trunk. There was plenty of room for her clothing. She unpacked her clothes quickly and then took the two quilts that Emily had brought with her, and insisted that Aileen take, out of the trunk.
They were finely made, done by a seamstress in Boston, Emily had said. The rows were straight, neat, and small, and when Aileen had asked Emily how someone might make them so perfect, she had said that they had been done by a sewing machine.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a sewing machine? I'd never have to stitch another stitch in all my life! What a heavenly thought!
Aileen shook her head at her outlandish thoughts. "Don't be silly." She admonished herself, taking the crate, which still held one of the quilts, out to the barn.
"Where should I put this?" Aileen asked Randy.
"A'ight." Aileen sat it in a far corner by a feed sack. She turned back around to face him. "Would it be all right if I swapped that quilt you have on the bed now for one that Emily gave me?"
Randy shrugged. "Won't bother me one way or the other."
"Good." Aileen was half way out of the barn when Randy called, "I'll be in for supper in about fifteen minutes.
"Oh. All right." Aileen's mind raced to think of something that could be made in such a short time, or where to find the food to begin with. Maybe there was a root cellar?
Aileen walked around the house until she came upon a root cellar in the back. Eureka!
She opened the door, and finding a rope attached to a pulley, pulled it. A small platform appeared sporting a dozen cans of fruits and vegetables, along with a bag of about twice as many potatoes. Potatoes! Now she knew what to have for supper.
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