Monday, March 13, 2017

GRANDDAUGHTER

She drives along the roads of Amish country until she stops at the farm that she seeks and parks on the side of the road. As she steps to the house, a tall man appears from the side of the house.
"Are you lost?" He asks.
She doesn't speak, just stares at him.
He walks closer to her. "Do you need directions?" He asks.
"I'm looking for Chester," she says.
"My name is Chester," he says.
"I am your granddaughter, Rebecca; my mother is your daughter, Kate," Rebecca says.
Chester displays no emotion, keeping his long lost grief in him. "I remember what I had to do," he says.
"Does that mean me too?" Rebecca asks.
Chester inhales deep then exhale. "No," he says.
"Thank you," Rebecca says.

In the kitchen, they eat a snack Chester prepared and he listens to Rebecca's recollection of her life with her mother. She asks about her grandmother. He talks about his wife from their marriage to the birth of Kate and then their mother, daughter relationship until his wife's death and how he began both parents until that day when she left him. Rebecca peeks at her wristwatch. "Oh, wow, time just flew by." Chester pulls out his pocket-watch. "Yes, it did," he says in a manner to announce to himself that he forgot to do his chores. She stands. "I have the summer off before college," she says.
"That's good," he says.
"I wonder if I can spend it here," she says.
"What will your mother say?" H e asks.
"It's just a summer vacation," she says.
After a thought, he says, "well, if, your mother approves."
They stand on the porch. He watches her walk to her car then stop.
"I didn't say a word about my father," she says.
"That was good," he says.

"Rebecca where have you been all day?" Kate asks.
"Up state, in Amish country," Rebecca says.
Kate's heart misses a beat. "What on earth for?" she asks.
"To find my grandfather," Rebecca says.
"Did you find him?" Kate asks.
"Sure did and we talked for hours," Rebecca says.
"You should not have gone there without letting me know," Kate says.
"If I told you would you have let me go?" Rebecca asks.
"I always wanted you to meet him but," Kate says.
"Well, at least that problem has been solved," Rebecca says.
"How did you fine him?" Kate asks.
"A year ago, grand-mommy mentioned him and I just started going to Amish markets and asking around and one day, I just got lucky," Rebecca says.
"And, you found my father from that?" Kate asks.
"Yes, and I also found out that Jeb got married to a fine wife and they have a son and daughter, and he took over his family farm," Rebecca says.
Kate has not thought of her Amish suitor in years. He promised to welcome and care for a not yet born Rebecca as his daughter but John was her father so she left the Amish world for his.

During dinner, John learns of his daughter's trip to the Amish country and meeting her grandfather without a display of concern; then, she mentions that she wanted to spend her summer vacation with her Amish grandfather.
"Out of the question," John snaps.
"Why not? She should get to know the other branch of her family tree," Kate says.
"I don't like it; remember what they did to you," John says.
Before Kate can say a word, John says, "we can't visit you."
"Did you pass a road side diner with a blue front," Kate asks Rebecca.
"Yes, I did," Rebecca says.
"We can meet her there," Kate says.
"Your father doesn't have a telephone or a computer; did you see any of that there, Rebecca?" John asks.
"No, but there was a mailbox," Rebecca says.

Rebecca arrives at Chester's egg and poultry farm; during dinner, Chester explains the operations of his free range chicken and turkey farm, growing and storing feed corn and selling eggs to nearby stores.
"You need to get out of those clothes. Your room was once your mother's and I never got around to tossing her clothes. Now, the work day starts early here so I'll wake you until your natural clock begins to go off," Chester says.
It takes a couple of weeks for Rebecca's natural clock to set and her muscle memory to become in the habit of the routine; so much so that by the close of summer, she is an old hand at it and she wants to stay.

In the diner, John keeps his anger in check. "You said, just for the summer," he says.
"I changed my mind," Rebecca says.
"What about college?" Kate asks.
"It doesn't interest me no more," Rebecca says.
"Let her go you said, it will be good for her," John tells Kate.
"I didn't think that this would happen; Did you meet a suitor," Kaye says.
"No, I didn't meet anyone. I'm just happy here," Rebecca says.
"He brainwashed you," John says.
"The life did that," Rebecca says.
"Just like the life of the outside world did for me," Kate says.

Chester sits in the one horse drawn buggy; he follows the ritual, however, he moves the side mirror to see Kate with John saying goodbye to Rebecca. As they walk to their car, Chester moves the mirror to keep Kate image on it; she stops, looks in his direction, wave then blows him a kiss that he catches, presses against his cheek; tears brightens father and daughter eyes. Rebecca climbs into the buggy.
"Ready grandfather?" She asks.
"Ready granddaughter," he says.





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