Thursday, February 1, 2018

In the Name of Love, oh My! by Nancy M Bell

Click on the cover for a buy link.

Soooo....when I was young (but old enought to know better) I had a HUGE crush on a boy a few years older than me. He treated me like a kid sister and I shamelessly followed him around like a puppy dog. They had a cottage across the channel from ours and our families were good friends.
Any get to the crazy part. He had an old car, a Pontiac with a Cadillac engine so we all called it the Chevyac. One weekend he left the Chevyac parked behind his cottage and rode home with his parents. In a very pathetic attempt to feel close to him, me and my BFF who also had a crush on the guy climbed up the hill to spend some time with the car. I know, sad and pathetic.
The car was unlocked (his first mistake LOL) so we got in and just kind of sat and gossiped. Then when we were leaving by a different route, we planned to walk out the long drive through the bush rather than go back down the hill and we came across a squashed gartersnake. I know, gross and yuck. It was flattened and had been laying there in the sun for who knew how long.
So what did us two enterprising young ladies do? Why of course we scooped it up on a piece of bark and put into the car.
We laughed like loons and giggled all the way back down to the lake. But...after a few days and as Friday night drew nearer we had serious second thoughts. So, back up the hill we went only to discover that we had accidently locked the doors so now there was no way to get the stinking thing out of the vehicle. Panic ensued, but we were hooped.
Friday night rolled around and my heart sank and my stomach curdled when the lights went on in the cottage up on the hill. Nothing happened that night except I didn't sleep for worrying about what my dad would do when he found out what I'd done.
Saturday morning was no better. I just wanted to throw up and hide, but no chance of that. My BFF was a no show all morning. The object of my affections showed up around ten in the morning and I tried to play it cool. Of course he knew who the culprit was.
I got off with a dunking in the lake (which wasn't all that bad as he came in with me hehehe) but I did catch heck from my parents AND I had to clean the car.

So I guess that's the craziest, dumbest thing I've ever done in the name of love.

For a more sedate expression of that celebrated emotion Love, here is a short excerpt from Landmark Roses.

This is Elsie and Ike's first date being set up:

On an afternoon in September, much like this one, she’d been dancing with girlfriends to polkas on the windup gramophone. Oh, the fun they used to have. Her cousin, Anamarie teasing her about Henry Penner, saying how he was planning to ask her out. Elsie had snorted through her nose at the thought. Henry was nice enough, she supposed, but to go out with him…? Now if it was Ike Neufeld who was doing the asking…that was another story. He was tall and handsome with a shock of dark hair that persisted in hanging over his forehead. His broad shoulders and narrow hips struck a chord deep within her that Elsie hadn’t fully understood at the time.
Her fingers stroked the top of the back of the sofa absently brushing off a speck of dust. She let her gaze roam over the polished mantle-piece where a small clock ticked off the time.
It was later that same long ago day, after they’d worn themselves thin dancing and laughing that Ike approached her. Elsie and Liz were gathering up the faspa remains and taking them to the kitchen. Ike held the door to the summer kitchen and to her surprise followed the two girls inside. She’d been further nonplused when he’d shooed Liz away to get the rest of the dishes.
Elsie pressed a hand to her breast in memory of the tumult that exploded in her chest that long ago day. She closed her eyes to better remember the deep timbre of his voice.
“Elsie, I’ve been thinking…” he’d paused and his ears had flamed red.
“Yes, Ike? What are you thinking?” Her pulse had thundered in her ears and she’d had to bury her hands in her apron to hide the trembling. Even her knees had gone weak.
“I was wondering if you’d like to go with me to the dance next Saturday. I mean, it’s okay if you’ve got plans already…” his voice trailed off and his big booted feet shuffled on the clean-swept floor boards.
“Well, aren’t we all going together? Fred’s borrowing a car from a friend in Landmark and we can take the buggy…Why wouldn’t you come with us?”
Ike blushed deeper and shoved his large hands into his trouser pockets, dropping his head so she couldn’t see his face. “We always go together. But I didn’t mean like that…I meant would you go with me, like just you and me, just the two of us? If you’d rather not, I understand. It’s okay.” He turned to leave as Liz returned with a basketful of table clothes and napkins, topped by the last of the dishes.
“Oh, you’re still here, Ike?” She’d halted in the doorway, her gaze darting to Elsie’s face.
Elsie had tried to shoo her away, but she must have misunderstood as she stepped past Ike and began to fill the enameled washbowl with water heated in a copper tub on the stove.
“I was just leaving.” Ike stepped over the threshold into the bright evening sunlight.
“I’ll be right back, Liz.” Elsie dried her hands on her apron and hurried after him. “Ike. Wait.”
The tall young man halted and half turned back toward her. “Yes?”
Taking her courage in her hands, Elsie swallowed hard against the sudden dryness in her mouth. “Ike, I would like very much to go to the dance with you. Not as part of the group, but just you and me, going with the rest of them.” She laid a hand on his arm, the long muscles hard under her fingers.
“Really?” Ike had tipped his head back. Elsie could still see him as if he stood in front of her. The sun picking out the strong contours of his features, his blue eyes bright and intense on her face.
The memory still quickened her heart and brought a smile to her face.
“Yes, really,” she’d answered him, a smile breaking across her face.
“Good.” He cleared his throat. “That’s good, then. I’ll be by to meet you beforehand. Before Fred gets here with the car. I can hitch the wagon for you.”
Elsie had laughed, she remembered. “I think I can harness Polly. I’ve done it a hundred times…” she’d faltered at the expression chasing across his face. “But, if you’d like to do it for me, I’d appreciate it. Save me from worrying about getting my dress dirty. Thank you, Ike.”
“That’s set then. I…I…I gotta go.” He strode across the short grass by the house, eschewing the path beaten in the dirt. If he’d gone any faster the poor boy would have been running.

Me and a few of my favourite photos to round out the post. Until next month stay well, stay happy.

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