Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CHAPTER TWO WILHELMINA ELIZABETH, Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch

Beth rode the old horse slowly up the road towards Calkington. She tried to get the nag to speed up. This proved to be impossible. The poor old creature was just bones and skin. Beth finally took pity on him. They just plodded along. At one point where the road was steep she got off the horse. Carefully she pulled him after her. Beth was cruel, and manipulative towards humans. The best of her nature she gave to animals. Instead of whipping the old horse, or coaxing him beyond his strength she spoke to him softly, patting his gray muzzle.

As they walked along in the earliest, dark, hours of morning Beth found comfort talking to the creature. “When I first got home from Switzerland I thought that everybody would be the same. Somehow I thought that I was the only one who would change in those three years. So I was REALLY surprised to find that Mother and Papa looked older, and Bertie, and Alexa didn’t let me boss them around any more.”

With nothing but time on her hands Beth remembered out loud the whole situation. “Bertie, we need to hold an emergency meeting in the parlor please go get Alexa.” “Queen Bee’s fly again,” Beth said. “Queen Bee’s,” Beth murmured to herself as she picked up a pad of paper, and a pencil. “I haven’t heard that name for three years. I feel a little silly using it, now. Still, it can be very useful.” Beth thoughtfully walked down the stairs.

Bertie, and Alexa, were expectantly waiting for Beth in the parlor. “We want you to know that we have proudly kept the Queen Bee tradition alive since you’ve been away at school.” Alexa smiled brightly. Beth spoke up, “That’s good, but I think it’s time to change the name. We’re getting older now. I think it’s time we make the name more mature, like the Sisters Club, or something like that.” Both girls protested loudly at once. “It just wouldn’t be the same,” Bertie cried. “We like the name. That makes the vote two to one,” Alexa chorused.

Beth nodded in a way that she hoped made her look more adult. “Remember I have the power of veto, which I only use when I think it’s important.” “Not anymore,” Bertie protested. “You’ve been gone for three years. The power of veto has been passed to the next officer, that’s me. If I go away to school next year, it will be Alexa’s turn.” Beth spoke sharply, “My veto power is absolute. I don’t know how you think that has changed.”

Alexa said, “I remember that it was your idea to cut Angela Butler’s braid off. Bertie, and I both got in trouble and you didn’t. Strange since it was your idea!” “Alexandra Bond that was a long time ago.” Beth sniffed most unattractively, “Besides, I know that Mother wouldn’t care anymore.” “Maybe not, but Papa would.” Beth sniffed again but she didn’t feel as confident as she was trying to act.

“Papa wouldn’t do anything. You both know that Papa doesn’t do anything about the family or the home. He always says that he and Mother are a team. He takes care of the bank. Mother runs the home, and family.” “He would be upset, nonetheless. After all, Blake Calkin, her guardian, is the biggest investor in the bank. If he withdrew his money because of what you did….well I really don’t think you want Papa to know anything about it. Do you remember his reaction when you and Mama vetoed Celeste Calkin from joining the Calkington Lady’s Society?”

Beth recalled quite vividly that unpleasant experience. Her Papa had been LIVID with anger. She had never seen his face turn bright red, and he shook all over. He was quite honest in explaining that they would lose everything if Blake Calkin withdrew his substantial funds in the bank.

Taking a deep breath Beth said, “I guess you two were pretty busy while I was away, weren’t you? You took over our little organization!” Anger brought a red blush to Beth’s porcelain fair cheeks. “Fine, Bertie, you have the veto, for now. This isn’t the last time we’ll discuss this. I’m only putting it aside for now because we have much more important things to talk about.”

“The emergency that I called you here for is my marriage. You both know that I told Angela about the effect her unfortunate choice to marry Eric Calkin would have on his future.” Beth smiled a malicious, grim, little smile. It hardened her features very unattractively. “Her leaving town was the best decision she has made since she was twelve.” “You mean it was the best decision for you, so that you could marry Eric. Too bad he left the next day and hasn’t come home since.” Bertie spoke quietly. Beth turned swiftly, “You remember the oath of loyalty that we all took, don’t you Bertie?”

“Blood to blood, under the full moon, I’m not liable to forget that, or the trouble that I got in with Mother when I was being loyal to you. Alexa, and I think that it’s interesting that the oath of loyalty, always somehow meant that WE got in trouble. Especially since you are the one that planned the ideas. Then you would make us help you carry them out. An oath of loyalty SHOULD mean loyal to EACH OTHER, not just you. It doesn’t just mean that everything is all for you, and none for us.”

“Well, well, you two have certainly forgotten some important details since I’ve been gone. I can see that I shall have to remind you.” “It won’t work anymore Beth.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Bertie shook her fist at Beth. “Oh yes you do. You know very well that you used to break things, or steal something from Mama. Then you would blame us for those things that YOU did. We’re not going to let you do that anymore.” “You never could prove that I did any of those things.” “The very fact that all of ‘those things’ as you call them quit happening as soon as you went away to school, speaks for itself.”

Beth’s tone changed. Beth was the mistress of manipulation. She changed her tact. “You’re right. That was very childish of me to behave in that manner. I know that we’ve all grown up a lot in the last three years.” Bertie and Alexa were both dizzy from Beth’s rapid-fire change. “Wait just a minute, Miss Beth,” Alexa said, “Being chummy sweet isn’t going to work either.”

Bertie spoke up, “As the current Queen of the Queen Bee’s, I will explain to you the way this will work. You will tell Alexa, and I in simple terms what new idea you have cooked up. Then Alexa, and I will decide whether or not we want to be involved. You will have NO vote in the matter. IF we agree to your idea, we will decide how to plan the matter. Under no circumstances will we EVER take responsibility for it. Now that you understand, tell us what you are thinking.”

“Well, my goodness. If I weren’t so proud of the way you two have matured, I would be angry. How can I possibly be angry when you have become almost as sneaky and bossy as I am? I did, after all, teach you everything that you know.”

Without waiting for an answer Beth continued. “I doubt that I will be able to marry Eric. He is ridiculously attached to that white trash, Angela.” Beth’s face was as pale as snow. She seemed so cold that Bertie thought she looked as though she were encased in ice.

“Instead I WILL have revenge. Since I can’t have Eric vengeance will have to console me over his loss. Jamie WILL succumb to my womanly wiles. He will grow to love me. Then I’ll leave him. I will break his heart. The entire family will be heartbroken by Jamie’s sorrow. I will now take suggestions on creative ways that I can accomplish this goal.”

Bertie, and Alexa were silent for one full minute. Then at the exact same moment they began to speak. “That’s rotten even for….” Beth smiled smugly. “You have to work hard to get what you want in this world.”

Bertie spoke up, “This idea of yours is too horrible for the Queen Bees. While you have been gone we have changed the mission of the Queen Bee’s. We now work together to do good anonymously. We have taken food to the Shelton’s when their Mama died. We have cleaned houses when someone was sick. Sometimes we volunteer at the clinic with Dr. Cloyd.”

“We work to do our deeds anonymously as much as possible. After all, the Bible says that it’s best to do your ‘alms’ in secret. Alexa, how do you feel about helping Willy get revenge on the Calkin’s?”

Alexa smiled slowly. “Beth did you just see what happened? Bertie asked MY opinion. You NEVER did that. You rarely even asked Bertie’s opinion. You just commanded us to do what you wanted. Well that’s over Willy….I mean Beth. Bertie, and I have changed the nature of our organization. It’s not going back to what it was when you were President. You should try serving sometime. You’d be surprised by how good it feels!”

Lucille called out, “Come and get it!” Beth’s face was blush red with frustration. “This isn’t the last of this. I can’t believe my very own sisters would turn on me!” Alexa said, “Believe it Beth. We won’t do your dirty work anymore! We love you but it’s time for you to grow up!”

Bertie, and Alexa left to have dinner. Beth stayed behind a moment. She suddenly had the direst feeling that her life had ended. She had no idea what she would do with her future. She started to cry but she wiped the bitter tears away with the back of her sleeve.

Beth had made good on her idea of revenge. She had used her considerable talent to convince Jamie that she was in love with him. During their courtship she had always enjoyed his kisses, and his caresses. Jamie was a romantic man, tender, and loving.

Shaking her head Beth came back to the present. Sometimes she cried on the old horse’s brown, rough, coat. Other times she would be very quiet, convinced that she had heard a wild animal of prey coming to attack. It was a very, VERY, long trip back to Calkington.

When she arrived at home she found her family seated at the breakfast table. Her parents jumped up in surprise. They ran towards her. Her Mother reached her first. “Bethie, darling, are you all right? Where is Jamie?” Beth hugged her Mother hard. She said, “Mother, I will go put the horse I rented, Old Jacob, in the barn then I’ll come visit.”

Willard was dressed for work in a beautiful pinstriped suit. “I’ll come help you Beth.” “No Papa, you are dressed too nicely. You may spoil your suit or shoes!” Willard just smiled, “All of those things are washable. Besides, I’ll cover up. No excuses, I’m coming with you.” At the doorway, Willard changed into his work shoes. He put an old pair of overalls over his suit.

Silently they walked together towards the barn. Beth was so tired she felt like she was going to faint. When they walked in the barn Willard closed the door. He got a feedbag. Next he filled it with grains. Beth got the brush and began to brush Jacob, long, soothing strokes. When Beth was through Willard lifted a blanket onto the old horse. Beth thought she heard the old creature sigh audibly with relief. Comfort filled Beth as she performed chores that were familiar.

After the duties were finished Willard said, “Beth, before you go in to your Mother, and sisters I want to know what is going on. Just tell me the basic facts, don’t use lots of emotions or flowery words.” “What do you mean, what is going on? I just came to visit my family.”

Willard took out his handkerchief and wiped his face with it. “Beth, I mean it, don’t waste my time or yours with machinations.” Beth broke down in tears. She twisted her hands nervously. “Papa, I can’t be married. I need to get an annulment.” “Beth there is a very private question I must ask. Did you have sexual intercourse with Jamie?” Beth was shocked at her Father’s frankness. “Beth, this is no time for maidenly modesty, I need to know the truth here.” “Yeeess Papa, I did.”

Willard took Beth by the arm. He led her to an old chair. “Beth you cannot get an annulment once you have consummated your union with Jamie.” Beth wailed in little girl voice, “Papa, I can’t be married to Jamie.” “Beth, it seems that yesterday would have been a better time for this realization.”

Beth whined, “Oh Papa, I can’t be married to Jamie, I waaaannntt Eric.” Willard stopped her. “Please do NOT tell me that you actually married Jamie Calkin to hurt Angela or Eric!” Beth continued crying, “I thought I looooovvved him but IIIII…..”

Willard scratched his head. “No Beth, you didn’t love him. If you loved him you would have cared about his wishes and feelings more than your own. All that you thought about was your own feelings. Well my darling, you have made your bed, and you will lie in it.” “Papa, what do you mean? I can’t live with Jamie. I WON’T live with Jamie. If I can’t get an annulment, I’ll get a divorce.”

Willard pulled Beth up from the chair. “Oh my little girl, you will NOT get a divorce. Listen very carefully to me. Your Mother and I have established a trust fund for you. I was afraid that you would do something foolish of this nature. If you do not stay married to Jamie for one entire year you will never receive a penny of your inheritance.”

“What? Papa how could you?” Beth’s face was contorted with anger. “Beth, how could you marry a man to hurt his brother, his family?” Beth started to splutter, “You’re my Papa you can’t do this to me.” Willard stopped her; “I should have been regularly paddling your backside for the last twenty-one years. Then maybe just maybe you wouldn’t have gotten yourself in this mess.”

“Understand Beth, there is nothing that you can do. You WILL live with Jamie Calkin in the house he provides you for one year. If I hear of you living elsewhere, or being unfaithful in any way, you will be cut off from your inheritance. That means you will not come back and move into our home. You would have to find a job. Like most of the rest of the human race you’d have to support yourself.”

Willard pulled Beth into his arms. “Maybe someday my sweet you will realize that I’m doing this because I love you. I can’t let you go on hurting others, and yourself. I will always love you no matter what. Still I must do something to help you learn a better way to live.”

“Beth, does it occur to you that you might be carrying Jamie’s child?” “Yes, and I’m sickened at the thought. I can’t carry a child that has Indian blood. I simply couldn’t allow it to happen!” Willard spoke grimly, “Again, Beth that would have been a very important point to consider before yesterday not after!”

Willard pulled Beth up so that they were face to face. “Did he beat you? Did he force himself upon you?” Beth’s face lightened, “Yeeesss,” There was a long drawn out awkward pause. She sighed raggedly, “No, no he didn’t. I can’t lie about that.” Willard shook his head, “Thank the good Lord. I would hope that you can’t lie about ANYTHING, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.”

Beth began crying again, “Papa, he didn’t hurt me. The worst part is that I liked it.” Willard put his head close to Beth’s head, her words muffled by her crying. “What did you say, Beth?” “I LIKED IT!” Beth was mortified, realizing that she had shouted the words.

Willard smiled. “Beth, honey, that’s good news not bad news!” Beth cried harder, “Mother said, that it’s a duty, good women don’t like it!” Willard shook his head again, “Beth, your Mother is a good woman. She’s a dear wife, but she told you wrong. It’s something that both husband and wife should enjoy. It’s a God given gift.” “What?” Beth looked confused.

Willard took Beth by the hand, “I know I’ve given you a lot to think about my sweet. Just one more thing, intimacy is reserved for after marriage. In marriage it’s a joyous celebration of your love. I pray that sometime you WILL understand that.”

“Come along dear, let’s go in the house. You look exhausted. I know your Mother will want to feed you, and ask a million questions. I’m surprised that she hasn’t come out to the barn by now.”

“Just remember Beth, you WILL live with Jamie for one year as man and wife. Don’t try to get around me on this with your mother. We made this decision together. I think you have finally met your match my Beth. You are not going to squirm out of this marriage. The best thing for you to do would be to honestly strive to love Jamie. Any two people can make a marriage work if they both think more about each other than themselves.”

Beth was relieved when she got inside to see that her sisters were gone. She had no desire to discuss this mess with them. Her mother had cleared away all of the dishes on the table but one. She had carefully made a place setting that looked inviting. “Come sit my darling. I made Swedish pancakes. Here are bacon, and eggs. You look like you’re starved. Eat and then we’ll talk.” Beth was happy to dig in to her mother’s excellent cooking.

When she was done Lucille sat down by her. “Tell your Mother, Beth. What is going on?” Beth started sobbing. Lucille pulled Beth’s head onto her ample bosom. “Oh now, shh, shh, it can’t be that bad. At least I hope it can’t! Did Jamie force you? Did he beat you? Oh not that, he seems like such a nice boy!”

Finally Beth managed to say, “Oh Mother, he didn’t beat me or mo…mo…molest me.” Beth put her head down and said in a tiny voice, “Mother, I like IT!” Lucille looked confused at the “IT” to which Beth was referring. “You liked what?” “I like IT! I liked the whole intimacy thing between Jamie and I. He was thoughtful, considerate, and it was amazing. I knew when I woke up a little later that I can’t possibly stay married to him!”

Lucille now looked totally confused. “You liked sexual contact but you don’t want to be married to him? What?” “Oh Mother, you said that intimacy was a woman’s duty. You said that I wasn’t supposed to like it. Decent women don’t like it.” Lucille’s eyes widened. “Oh, I did say that, didn’t I? I’m sorry Beth, I didn’t mean that YOU wouldn’t, or that I don’t, well I did a pretty bad job! Oh my sweet, come here.”

Lucille led the way to a white rocker in the corner. This was the family rocker. Many of life’s challenges, and confusions had been solved in this chair. Beth followed her mother. She sat in Lucille’s lap. It didn’t feel odd. Even though Beth was much taller than her Mother Lucille would ALWAYS be Beth’s Mother.

“Beth, my beloved daughter, I guess I just said to you what I was told on the eve of our wedding. I was given that talk by a stiff, unloving, bitter, Aunt. She had never been married. There was nobody else to give me the talk. Considering it her duty she wasn’t one to shirk responsibility. I should have had the wisdom to revise that talk.”

“The truth is my first married daughter, that intimacy can be a genuinely, pleasurable, experience. Your father and I, well, let’s just say that we enjoy each other in many ways.” “Mother!” Beth sat up in surprise, and embarrassment. Lucille just pulled Beth’s head down against her heart. They rocked silently for a few moments.

“Mother.” Lucille muttered, “Hmmm,” “Mother, Papa says that I have to stay married to Jamie.” Lucille sat up with a jerk. “Is that what you are trying to do?” Lucille stood up. Beth fell to the floor. “You’re trying to get around your Father through me aren’t you?”

Beth stood up wiping off her bottom. “No, I wouldn’t, why Mother!” “It’s no good Beth. Papa and I have talked a lot about this subject. As I raised all of you I totally lost perspective. I was spoiling all of you. You were becoming the kind of people that I hate. Willful, manipulative, deceitful, you were becoming that type of woman. The worst part is that you were learning from my example. I had to do some pretty serious introspection. I didn’t like a lot of what I saw. The good news is that I’m still young enough to change. You’re still young enough to change.”

“You’re also old enough to know what a covenant is.” “A what?” “A covenant, Beth, it’s a two way promise. That’s what you made yesterday. You promised Jamie that you would love him as he loved you. In return he promised to love you as you loved him.”

“You made that covenant before God. I have not done a lot of talking about God in our house. I regret that too. You don’t make a promise before God lightly. If you do you will come to regret it. Is that what you did, Beth?”

Beth’s head was lowered. Tears were flooding her face. Lucille was devastated. “Oh my Bethie, how could you? I know that you are bitter about Eric and Angela, but oh Bethie! Did you stop to think about Jamie? He’s a nice young man.” “Mother, how can you say that? He’s a half-breed, not all of one race. You always taught us to hate Indian’s! What about your Grandma and Grandpa being murdered by the Indians!”

“Oh Beth, that was a long time ago. They were different times. Here in Calkington I like to believe that we don’t worry about what color our skin is.” “Mother, I can’t believe you’re saying these things. What would you think if you had a grandchild with brown skin?” Lucile clapped her hands, “I would think, goodie, goodie, look this child is as beautiful as his Mother and Father!”

“Now listen to me dear, this is what is going to happen. You’re going to go upstairs to your bedroom and have a nice rest. When you wake up I’ll help you saddle your horse, and you’ll go back to Astoria.”

“I agree with your Father, Beth. I signed that trust that stated you have to stay married for one year before you could receive your inheritance.” “Mother, how could you do that to me?”

Lucille smiled. She briefly hugged her daughter. “I told you Bethie, I did it because I knew that it wasn’t too late to help you change. So, scoot, get on upstairs and sleep. Hurry along now!” Lucille gently tapped Beth on the bottom. In shock, Beth went upstairs to her old room.

Everything in her room was the same. She couldn’t believe that she had left it, was it just yesterday? She looked at herself in the mirror. Beth was not the same person that the looking glass had reflected for all her life. She pulled the covers down on her bed and climbed in. She sobbed herself into a fitful sleep.

Monday, May 30, 2011


ANNOUNCING....I'm having a contest.

REWARD As my family and friends know I LOVE to knit. I like to call myself a "knitwit." So I'm offering a prize....one of my lovely hand knitted afghans. There will be a choice from three different colors and styles.

The contest is this....I'm posting a chapter of my book online everyday for the next 24 days. To win you simply have to make a comment (one word will do), everyday for the next 24 days. Of course I would LOVE it if you actually read the material before you commented. You can earn extra points...see below.

1. No more than one comment per person per day
2. Extra points will be given for posting about the contest and book on your Facebook wall, email, BLOG, or website. You can receive one point for posting on each of these places.

Wilhelmina Elizabeth....Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch - should not be read by anyone under 16. There is NO explicit sex, but human sexuality is discussed. Beth (shortened version of her name) is a miserable, mixed-up mess. She marries a man to get revenge on his brother and family. She believes that the Calkin family has cheated her out of her biggest life goal....to marry Eric Calkin. To make matters worse, Eric is marrying her WORST ENEMY, Angela Butler.

Thanks in advance for your participation....enjoy reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Publishing Online

I've decided that I'm going to post my first novel Wilhelmina Elizabeth online. I'm hoping that perhaps....just perhaps friends, and family will read it, be interested and recommend it to friends, or other family members.

The point here is that if I self-publish, and keep putting books for sale, and people keep reading, and buying, eventually a traditional agent, or publisher may become interested and look closer at my body of work.

It's a NEW, EXCITING world today, self-publishing, and ebooks. I don't think traditional publishing, and agents will go away completely, but they will have to change to face the future!


Wilhelmina Elizabeth...Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch


Chapter One

“White hot evil joy sliced through Beth. She knew that her desire for revenge would carry her through this day. Her mother was taking Beth’s hair out of rag curlers. Beth felt like she was outside her body watching everything that was happening.

Beth couldn’t accept that she would never have Eric Calkin. As long as she could remember she had a life plan to marry Eric. Angela Butler had ruined her plans. Her plans had changed. Beth would marry Jamie, Eric’s half brother. Then when she broke Jamie’s heart it would hurt the entire Calkin family.

How could they have ruined her perfect plans? She was a much better match for Eric. He needed a woman of refinement, and breeding. Eric needed a woman who could help him move forward into a positive future.

Jamie was a half-breed. Beth was convinced that he wasn’t good enough for her. When she revealed her spite for Jamie, when she made him as miserable as he deserved, well that would show Eric, and Angela. It would wouldn’t it? Sometimes in Beth’s darker moments it seemed that the only person that would be hurt by her twisted, bitter plans was herself.

For a moment Beth remembered her sister’s words of the night before. “Beth, Alexa asked me to speak for both of us. We feel very strongly that we should stop this marriage from taking place.” Alexa nodded her face grim. “We know that you aren’t in love with Jamie. You’re marrying him to get revenge. That type of marriage will never succeed. As your sisters we feel duty bound to stop you…” Bertie never finished.

Beth cut her words off. “You will do nothing of the kind. If you say one word to anyone I’ll let Richard Cloyd know that you were an opium addict.” Alexa frowned, “It won’t work this time WILLY. We’re not falling for your lies and blackmail anymore!” Beth turned towards Alexa. “You’ll change your mind when the school you want to attend finds out that you’ve cheated to get good grades!”

Bertie turned towards Alexa, Alexa towards Bertie. They stood and chatted in low tones for a few moments. Finally Bertie said, “Isn’t there anything we can say that will change your mind?” Beth frowned and nodded her head no. “This is my decision. I will live with the consequences. You have no business interfering.” “It’s NOT just your decision. Jamie, and his family will also live with the consequences.” Beth smiled a truly nasty grin, “If I work it just right I WILL make them ALL miserable.”

When Angela and Eric became engaged, Beth had convinced Angela that she must leave town. She told Angela that Beth could and would ruin Eric’s life if Angela married him. Angela left town with no note or word left behind. The entire Calkin family had been torn apart by Beth’s vicious plan to make Eric her own.

Her scheme had backfired. Eric left town. He searched high and low for Angela. When he found her he convinced Angela to marry him. When they returned from Baker City, Oregon they were husband and wife.

Beth was angry and bitter. She had lost Eric for now, but she was convinced that she would win him over in the long term. There would be a way to make good on her threats to Angela. She knew that the Calkin’s were a very tight-knit family. If she broke Jamie’s heart, it would hurt the entire family. If Beth couldn’t have Eric, she could still make the entire family as miserable as she was.

Lucille Bond, Beth’s Mother, was all-atwitter. Her oldest daughter was marrying Jamie Calkin. She would have preferred to have her marry Eric Calkin. After all, he was the oldest son. In addition, Jamie had the stain of being a half-breed Indian. Lucille convinced herself that it didn’t matter. After all the young man had breeding, and money. In addition, his Mother had been the Leader of the People, a very prestigious tribe of Native American’s.

Lucille helped Beth dress from skin out in her wedding raiment. Her under clothing were of the finest materials. Delicate lace trimmed them. Lucille had knitted the lace whenever she could snatch the time. As Lucille had stitched she had dreamed of this day. Beth wore a chemise, bloomers, corset, petticoats, and a white satin wedding-dress.

Celeste, Jamie’s Mother, had made the dress. Celeste was a seamstress with her own shop. The dress was designed from a new French pattern. There were rows, and rows of tucks in the bodice. There were tiny seed pearls sewn on the tall collar. In the back was a full bustle.

Beth looked elegant in the sophisticated gown. Her long thin neck looked graceful. Her small bust was camouflaged within the elegant tucks. The dress nipped in sharply at Beth’s tiny waist. Beth’s white blond hair was arranged in a lovely French Twist with gentle curled tendrils at the side of her face. Her fair skin, blond eyelashes, eyebrows, and soft gray eyes made her look like the Queen of Ice, lovely, but cold.

Beth looked at the mirror, and saw a reflective stranger facing her. She wondered who this woman was. Facing an uncertain future the lady in the mirror blinked back at her in seeming serenity.

All too quickly Beth was alone with her mother for the infamous, talk. Lucille was perspiring. It was obvious that she was uncomfortable about this discussion. “Wilhelmina Elizabeth, as your mother it is my duty to explain certain um, er, aspects of married life. You know that as a wife it will be expected of you to give your husband children. The creation of children can be an unpleasant experience. Indeed, it can be described as odious. Yet, it is a woman’s duty. She must make certain that her husband is pleased in all aspects.”

Now Beth was perspiring. This stiff, disconcerting, vague discussion of “odious duty” was not improving a nightmarish day. Lucille continued, “I have already explained to you the basics of childbirth. I have taught you about your body and it’s functions. I have taught you how important proper hygiene is.”

“You know that a man is created differently than a woman. It is necessary to be in umm, hmmm, well private positions. I’m certain that Jamie will know the duties that a husband has. This will make it easier for you to understand what you should do. Initially it may be painful. After that, well it may be unpleasant most of the time. Again, it’s simply one of life’s necessities to create life. You will also need to keep your husband satisfied. Men find this experience desirable. You will need to put Jamie’s needs ahead of your own.”

Lucille took her hankie out of her pocket, and wiped her perspiring brow. “Do you have any questions Wilhelmina Elizabeth?” Beth couldn’t have said a word if her life depended on it. Now she was not only heartbroken that she was marrying the wrong man but terrified of what was expected of her.

Lucille began to cry. She threw her arms around Beth. “Oh my precious baby. Where did the years go? I love you so much my darling. Don’t be frightened. You’ll find that there are great joys in loving a man, and bearing children. I am very happy that you will still be close. I couldn’t bear it if you married and moved far away.”

Willard, Beth’s father, knocked on the door, and stuck his head in. “Ladies, we have an impatient groom waiting at the altar. Oh my,” Willard’s breath came out in one loud sound. He walked into the room with his arms open. Beth walked into them. “Oh Papa.”

Beth began to cry. Willard was concerned, “Here, here, darling, what is all this about?” Beth took several deep breaths, “Oh Papa, I’m just now realizing that I’m grown up. I loved being your little girl.” Willard suddenly looked old. He bravely put a smile on his face. He was determined not to sadden this day for the child he loved more than life itself.

“Oh my sweet, wipe your eyes. This should be the happiest day of your life.” Beth realized that her father was right. It should be the happiest day of her life. Willard, and Lucille could just not know what she was about to do.

She looked in the mirror, pinched her cheeks, put a dash of rouge on her lips, and walked to Willard. “I’m ready now Papa, and Mother.” Lucille, and Willard Bond followed closely behind their oldest daughter. Beth had requested that both of her parents walk her down the aisle.

When they reached the door to the chapel Willard, and Lucille each put an arm through Beth’s. They walked with her ceremoniously. Beth saw Jamie standing before Blake Calkin. Blake was the town Justice of the Peace. He had been asked to perform the service since his two sons were the grooms.

Eric was on the other side of the wide aisle waiting for Angela. Beth nearly fainted. She pretended that she was walking towards Eric, and not Jamie. The ruse got her down the aisle. When she was next to Jamie; Lucille, and Willard each kissed her on the cheek. Then they put her arm through Jamie’s.

Jamie turned. He looked at her, and grinned. He was incredibly handsome. Jamie’s face appeared as though it was the creation of an artist. Chiseled his nose was not too long, or too wide. His teeth were perfect, even, white, gleaming when he grinned. Bronzed by the sun and his heritage his skin was a warm coppery color. Jamie’s thick, black, hair was shiny as the wing of a crow. When he grinned a faint dimple winked in his right cheek. The soft dimple kept Jamie from appearing too perfect. It made his heart stopping handsomeness more approachable.

They made a distinctive couple, her fairness, his darkness, her coolness, the warmth and passion of his glance. Beth did not understand the longing in her heart for the less handsome brother to the left of Jamie. Eric was not attractive in the traditional sense. His features were not even. His rugged face belied his charismatic personality, refined sensibilities, and many talents.

Beth’s long held dream had been marriage with Eric. She couldn’t change her dream this quickly. So, as she stood beside one man, and promised herself to him she imagined she was promising herself to his brother. It didn’t occur to her that by doing this she was committing many sins. She had become so used to manipulating life to achieve her desires she couldn’t imagine failing now.

When Blake Calkin told Eric, and Jamie to kiss their respective brides Beth imagined it was Eric that kissed her. She imagined that he kissed her with the hint of unknown passions to come. When she opened her eyes it surprised her to see Jamie looking down at her. Quickly she shifted her reality to fit her dream.

The reception was large, loud, and lonely. Crowds of people surrounded Beth. Still she felt completely, and utterly alone. She had never been hugged so much in her entire life. Jamie seemed uncomfortable. Beth refused to look at the other side of the room. Well-wishers surrounded Angela, and Eric. Beth made no move to congratulate the other couple. She simply could not bear speaking to them. Their obvious happiness deepened her anguish.

Within an hour Beth longed for a long, hot, bath. She felt dirtied by the contact of so many people. She had been hugged, over, and over, and over again. Others kissed her on both cheeks, and lips. The oldest man in Calkington, proudly one hundred years old kissed her soundly on the mouth.

Finally, her mother escorted her upstairs to help her change into her traveling suit. She and Jamie were leaving to stay at her families second home in Astoria. Astoria was a small town twelve miles southwest from their town of Calkington. Beth was very happy to slip out of her wedding dress. Soiled by the crowds of people and her vengeful motivation in marrying Jamie Calkin she knew she didn’t want to see the dress again.

A moment of panic swept through Beth as Jamie helped her into the buggy to leave for their honeymoon. The buggy had been decorated with large bows of ribbon. There was a sign that said, “Just Married.” Strings of tin cans, and old shoes dragged from behind the buggy.

Jamie said, “Giddiup.” The horse jumped forward. Beth kept her face trained on her Mother, and Father. She looked back at them until they were lost in shadow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WILHELMINA ELIZABETH...Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch

Here is a tiny snippet from my book Wilhelmina Elizabeth Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch...I will be self-publishing it in the fall.

Here comes the networking part. Can any of my beloved friends or family help me develop
a cover page for my book? I have NO artistic ability when it comes to the visual arts. Scratch that....I have MINUS ability when it comes to visual arts. So...if any of you know any of you
that could help me....it would be on contingency....contingent to my actually selling some books...GRIN Thanks for your loving care and attention.

Jamie walked out of the room, through the house, and slammed the door for emphasis. Beth collapsed onto the bedspread. Looking at the quilt blocks that had lovingly been stitched by her family and Jamie’s family before their wedding she began to cry. She sobbed so hard that finally she fell asleep.

The moon warmly peeked into the window. Awakened she was confused. Where was Jamie? It wasn’t like him to come to bed so late. Then it all came rushing back. She didn’t know what to do. The silence that terrified her seemed to fill every cell in her body. “Who, whoooo, whoooo,” came the cry of the hunting owl. The wolves howling at the moon seemed far too close to Beth.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I would like my Blog to be more of a forum, an interactive space where I can learn and maybe teach others as well. So today I'm typing up a questionaire and hoping that family and friends will respond to it.

1. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life?

2. What are the things that you CAN cope with? What are the things that put you on tilt?

3. Do you feel as though you have spiritual, emotional, or physical limits?

4. Do you ever feel like a thirsty old car, needing fuel poured in to fill up your tank?

5. Have you ever laughed out loud in a movie when everyone else was silent?

6. What is your very, most favoritest (it is too a word) thing to do in the whole, widest, of the world?

7. What is your favorite food?

8. What is your favorite movie?

9. What emotional reaction do you have to the statement, "When life hands you lemons make lemonade?"

10. Please share a funny story that happened to you.

Now I realize that you probably can't answer all of these questions in the comment space. So if you would be so kind as to send the answers to lovethatcj@gmail.com. I will read your answers and post some of them on my Blog.

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I HAVE the best Mommy EVER!

I know that on Mother's Day we all believe we have the best Mom EVER! Let me tell you a little about my Mom and I'm certain that you'll all agree I ACTUALLY do have the BEST MOM EVER!

At the age of 32 my dear Mommy lost a precious son, David Mark. The birth and loss were so traumatic that her body went into shock. Her hormones went crazy and she went into menopause. When the doctor discovered this he administered to her the hormones needed for her to come back into balance.

She was then told that she should NEVER try to be pregnant. She simply had too many health issues to go through that process ever again. My Mom has never been bowed too far down by authority figures, (that includes doctors).

When she became pregnant her doctor said, "Well Sarah, I'm a devout Catholic, and you're a staunch Mormon and neither of us believe in abortion. So we'll just have to make this pregnancy work!"

Oh the complications I gave my beloved Mother before I even opened my eyes in this world. I truly made her life difficult. I wonder if she ever saw those nine months as a precursor for my life to come?

I was born a healthy, eight pound baby. Delivery occurred a mere twenty minutes after she arrived at the hospital. My Father made a remark that he regretted for the rest of his life. He was NOT allowed in the delivery room. He said, "Well that was fast. It couldn't have been too bad!" Oh Father, I think you know now that speed does not ensure ease!!

The happy parents brought me home to a loving brother and sister. That would probably provide the "Happily Ever After," ending of fairytales....EXCEPT! One day I turned blue. YUP, blue like the SMURF's, which is NOT a happy sign for a baby.

So off to the hospital my parents took me. I was oxygen starved. It was discovered soon that I had almost no immune system, and was allergic to pretty much every substance on this planet. The doctors all shook their heads and told my parents that I couldn't possibly live. If I did it would only be a couple of years.

That probably was the best thing they could have done. My Mother's response? "What did those doctor's know!" Prayers, faith, and years and years of medical treatments later....I'm STILL here! Mama took me to naturopaths, chiropodists, chiropractors, herbalogists, you name it we tried it. Along the way I gained a hearty admiration for the wonders of this world....the many different ways there are to approach a medical problem, but most of all THE POWER OF RIGHTEOUS PARENTS! Since this post is especially about my Mama I'll save my Papa's myriad contributions for a separate post.

At ninety-two my Mama is still making my life better by her loving example. I saw her on Saturday. She made sure before I left that I had used the bathroom, taken a water bottle with me, and had the necessary tissues, and mints! The questions she asked and the subject she discussed the most?? Our family...were we all well, thriving, learning?

Thank you forever Mama for your selfless love, and your hearty endurance that not only brought me here, but KEPT me here!


My earliest memories include the surge of joy that washes over me when I have an audience. I will sing, dance, or write if I feel that somehow those activities will be watched and appreciated by others.

As a little girl my beloved brother and sister would teach me song and dance routines. They would then have me perform for family, and friends. In their opinion I was even cuter then the all time child star favorite Shirley Temple! (Don't try to deny it Howard and Carla-Rae...you KNOW it's true...hee hee)

I have discovered my favorite audience of ALL time! I volunteer in our faith The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. I am the music director for the children. Every Sunday I help little ones from 3 to 12 learn how to worship through joyous music, and movement. Oh the movements aren't intricate. For example, "I'm all made of hinges causes everything bends...from the top of my head and clear down to my ends...I'm hinges in front and I'm hinges in back, but I have to be hinges or else I would CRACK! What joyous, resounding sound is made by all of those small hands coming together as they sing aloud the word CRACK!

As we sing the words we move back and forth, to and fro, around, up, and down. I'm ALWAYS grateful that I used to be a limber dancer. That helps me still so that I can move in all the directions I wish and need to!

How those precious little ones just draw all that is best from me. I feel more loving, and more LOVED, happier, and funnier....I just feel wonderful....and I hope I make THEM feel more wonderful!

When I teach the three year olds, their eyes open so wide! My mind opens wide at the knowledge that I'm teaching these precious little ones just new to the earth the glory and joyous celebration of MUSIC! Oh they don't always sing....or even understand the words, but they look at me with such wonder as I teach.

YUP....definitely the BEST church position EVER! SHHHH! Don't tell anybody in my church group. They'll all be trying to get my job! lol

To the beloved teachers of my youth that gave me a love and need for music....that includes first my parents, grandparents, brother, sister, and then church teachers, and school teachers....THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I am forever in grateful debt to you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Waiting for the Storm to Pass!

Sometimes as I'm dancing furiously in the rain, while waiting for the storm to pass I find a moment of quiet wisdom. Sometimes I find anger waiting there. Frustration, or depression often try to find me as well.

What do we do when negative emotion threatens to define us....drive us? I find comfort in the possibly sacchrine sweet idea that "Happiness is a choice." Yet I BELIEVE IT! I believe that we have the power within us to wrest happiness from even the roughest of times. Trust me...I KNOW ROUGH TIMES!

When I post ideas on my Blog it is not just to touch others, or to help others. Somehow, it seems to lift me as well. I think that is one of the most important lessons in life, in helping others we help ourselves!

So....even if your day is a rough one today....look for the joy, it really, truly IS there....sometimes you just have to squeeze life a little harder to find it!