Thunderstorm

Hello! I am here again! Today I am posting a poem my sister and I wrote just last night. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Thunderstorm
By Faith and S. Rose Williams.

Thunder cracks
And lightning does streak
Across the night sky
Cold and bleak

It shines throughout the sky
It roars through the vast expanse
Over the rolling hills
And fields of growing plants

The storm rages
The winds do blow
The rain beats hard
Against the window

But by that window
A child sleeps
Gently smiling
Clothed in peace

So when life’s storms assail us
And life’s comforts cease
We can trust in Yeshua
And He will give us peace

Passover Stories

Hurray! It is that time of the year again. Spring has come, the weather has changed, flowers have bloomed, and Passover is here! For me and my siblings, all sorts of wonderful memories are associated with this fun biblical festival.

It says in the Bible that we are to recount the things Yehovah did in Egypt, and this year, we recounted the Exodus by doing creative writing assignments. I, of course, was very happy to write. Since I enjoy writing so much, I was commissioned to write two stories, one about what it would have been like to live during the plague of pestilence and one about what it would have been like to live through the final plague, the death of the first-born. I want to share them both with you.

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The Plague of Pestilence

Early one day, I stepped out of my home, thinking of all of the plagues we in Egypt had endured. I shuddered as I remembered what I had heard this morning just before Father left. He told Mother that Mosheh had gone to visit Pharaoh. That could only mean one thing–another plague was headed our way. I pet one of our cows, who was laying sleepily on the ground, as I left, skipping cheerfully away to the Nile to play with the other girls my age.

When I came back later that afternoon, I looked at the cow I had pet earlier. He was dead. Then I looked around at our other animals. They were all dead. They had all died in one day. They stunk. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. I gave a shriek and ran into the house. “Mother!” I yelled. “The animals, they all died!”

“Yes,” Mother nodded solemnly. “It is another plague.”

“Why?” I asked. “Aren’t the gods supposed to protect the animals?” Mother looked at me blankly and answered not a word.

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The Death of the First-born

One hot Egyptian day, Abba came into the house carrying a little lamb! Can you believe it? It was so small, soft, and cute. Yerachmiel, my brother, told me that the lamb was only one year old! Havah and Sarah, my sisters, and I all were cooing over the lamb.

“What is he doing in here, Abba?” Sarah asked.

“Mosheh said that every family should take a lamb and slaughter it in a few days. That way we will be safe from the next plague,” Abba answered. I wondered what the next plague would be, but I was too sad and surprised to ask.

“We’ll have to kill the lamb?” asked Havah, her brown eyes bulging from her thin face. Sarah and I stared wordlessly at Abba.

“Yes, we will have to,” Abba said, A sympathetic but stern look crossing his severely sunburnt face.

“But why, Abba?” Sarah asked.

“It is what Mosheh said to do,” Abba said. All of us girls glanced nervously at each other.

“Then I guess we had better do it!” Ima called. She was right. Yehovah punished everyone who did not obey Mosheh, because if you do not obey Mosheh, then you do not obey Yehovah because Mosheh says what Yehovah wants us to do.

For the next few days the lamb was in the house with us. He jumped on our table, he ate some of our food, he lay by the fire with us while Abba told us stories of Canaan, the Promised Land, and he was ready to play with us when we children had a spare moment. Somehow we found a lot of spare moments, even though we were extremely busy.

After the lamb had been with us for two days, Ima and Sarah went out to visit all of our Egyptian neighbors. “Mosheh says that we are to ask the Egyptians for objects of silver and gold,” Ima explained.

“I doubt that they will give us anything,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes.

“We will see,” Ima said in a very interesting tone.

Later that evening Ima and Sarah came back with baskets loaded with silver and gold. Sarah, Havah, and I danced around our house singing, “We are rich now!” It was a lot of fun!

The day after that, Abba came back from working for Pharoah. He was sweating and hot, so Ima got him a cup of water. Then he turned to Yerachmiel and said, “It is time.” A somber look crossed his face as he set down the empty cup and headed back out of the door, Yerachmiel following behind. A sudden, sinking feeling came upon me. I had never felt that before. I moved slowly toward the corner of our small home. Havah ran over to my side and tugged on my worn dress.

“Rina,” she said, a deep sadness filling her beautiful eyes.

“Yes, Havah?” I said, stroking her knotted brown hair.

“Is Abba going…” She whispered, her lips quivering, “to kill the lamb?”

“I’m afraid so,” I said, as tears filled our eyes. I hugged my little sister close as Sarah joined us. We three sisters sat down and cried together. Little Yitzchak, who was just learning to speak, turned to us and said, “What is wrong?” I looked at his face, so full of youthfulness and sincerity. “Oh, don’t worry about us, Yitzchak,” I said, tears falling.

The little lamb that had been walking about unnoticed came over to us girls. Just then Abba walked in to get the lamb, but I snatched it up in my arms.

“Hand him to me, Rina,” Abba said in a gentle voice.

“Why must you do this, Abba?” I cried.

“Because Mosheh said so. Did I not tell you?” he answered.

“But why did Mosheh say to kill the lamb?” Havah asked, a pout crossing her thin tear-streaked face.

“Because Yehovah told him this is how to escape the plague,” Abba said. Then he continued, “I am surprised you curious girls did not ask me what the plague is.”

“You know?” Sarah called in surprise.

“What is it?” Havah asked. I stayed silent.

“It is a very sad plague–the worst of them all,” Abba said.

“How could anything be worse than what we have already endured?” I muttered gloomily.

“You know how in the last plagues all of the plants, animals, and some people died?” Abba asked.

“Yes,” we answered in unison. We knew the horrors of the plagues all too well, even though we were Hebrews and had been spared from most of them. Abba had told us about the awful things he had seen. And once, during the previous plague, we had gone to the boundary of Goshen and seen the darkness. It was so freaky.

“Well, in this plague,” Abba explained, “all of the first-born males of animals and men will die–all of those who do not have the blood of a lamb on their doorposts.” We were frozen in shock. This truly was worse than the other plagues. Death. The very word made goosebumps rise on my arms.

“None of us will die, right, Abba?” Havah asked, her eyes fearful and teary. I wished she did not have to worry about such matters.

“No, no, dearest!” Abba said, picking Havah up. “None of us will die. Do not be scared. But, in order that Yerachmiel will not die, we must slay our lamb.”

We all looked at Yerachmiel as he entered our home. He looked at our tearful faces with a somber, manly expression. He was the first-born, strong and responsible. Abba’s voice broke the silence as he said, “So, girls, who would you rather have die–the lamb or Yerachmiel?”

Sarah and Havah ran to Yerachmiel as I gave the lamb to Abba and said while crying, “We choose for the lamb to die so our brother can live.”

“Good,” Abba said, as he held the lamb in his arms. Then he and Yerachmiel left with the lamb as we girls stood side by side solemnly watching.

Later, as the lamb roasted in the fireplace, my heart ached. Abba brushed the blood on the doorposts. I looked at Yerachmiel and reminded myself that I would rather have the lamb gone than have Yerachmiel gone. I busily helped Ima prepare our Passover meal. Ima explained the rules of the Passover meal: no leaven, no water on the meat, and we must eat bitter herbs. We should eat it quickly, and we should have our sandals on.

“Why must we eat quickly, Ima?” Sarah asked, as she mixed the bread dough.

“Because Mosheh says to do this. I am not certain why,” Ima replied. “But I am sure something amazing is about to happen.”

When the sun set, we ate our Passover meal hastily, just like Ima said we should. Nothing amazing or crazy happened as we ate our Passover lamb and bitter herbs.

“When will the death come, Abba?” Havah asked with scared eyes.

“No death will come to our house, Havah, because we have the blood on our doorposts,” Abba explained. “But to the people who have no blood on their doorposts, the death will come at midnight.”

After the Passover meal, we all sat around and did nothing for a few minutes since we were told by Mosheh not to work. It was so weird because we are usually working all of the time.

“We had better get some sleep,” Abba said, walking toward the fire. He burned the leftover meat in the fire. Abba explained that Mosheh told us not to leave any of our meat until morning. We all wrapped up in our blankets as Abba put out the fire. Then everything was dark. I soon drifted off into a world of dreams.

In the middle of the night I woke to a piercing scream. “Rina,” Havah called, as she gripped onto me. “Is it the death?”

“I-I-I think so,” I stuttered, still scared and sleepy.

“It is midnight,” I heard Abba say from the other side of the room “We are all okay, girls.”

“Praise Yehovah,” I heard Yerachmiel say.

“Thank Yehovah you are okay,” Ima said. Again and again we heard the wails of the Egyptian women all around us. It was so freaky and terrifying.

“Did all of the Egyptians first-born get killed, Abba?” Havah asked.

“No, not all,” Abba said. “Some Egyptians put blood on their doors.” We all sat there stunned. None of us could sleep. None of us even tried. Then, suddenly, someone was banging at our door. Abba opened the door and found one of our neighbors standing there.

“Hurry! Pharaoh said we can leave and we must leave quickly!” he called. We grabbed everything we owned: our bowls, our plates, our unleavened bread, our tools, the stuff from the Egyptians, and more. We charged out the door and joined the millions of people who were assembling for the departure. My sisters and I sang cheerfully of Yehovah’s goodness in delivering us from Egypt. Everyone was full of unmeasurable joy as we marched away from Ramses to freedom.

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I hope you enjoyed those!

Happy Passover,

Faith

Pet Photoshoot

Hello, everybody! I do not take pictures often at all, and rarely do I share any on this blog, but that is what I have decided to do on this blog today: share pictures of pets.

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Pet Number 1: Georgia Cherokee

My calico cat, Georgia, is such a sweet, cute cat. Here are some pictures of her.

“Chin scratch, please!”

Georgia sleeping in a box in our garage. Oh, how cute!

Pet Number 2: Texas Cheyenne

We say that our second cat, Texas, always wakes up “bright eyed and bushy tailed” as some people like to say. Since she is only about nine months old, she is still just a kitten.

Isn’t she so adorable?

Texas in the snow for her first time last winter!

Another snow shot. “I am waiting for you to let me in!”

A picture-perfect cat!

Pet Number 3: Dixie

My brother and sister-in-law have a cute little dog that I managed to get some photos with. She is a little chihuahua puppy. Welcome, Dixie!

Dixie doing a close-up in my sister’s arms. I guess she wants you to see her face, and her huge eyes!

She was so excited to see me, she jumped on me!

“What are you up to?” “Oh, just taking pictures of you, Dixie!”

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Well, that is all! I hope you enjoyed my photographic efforts!

~Faith

Tornado!

We had tornadoes here in my hometown! My little town that no one knows about made national news! The tornado formed over my road around 9:00 Monday night. We were huddled in the safest room in our basement with pillows over our heads. (It was pretty funny to have pillows over our heads, even though it was such a dangerous situation!) It was dark because we had lost all power and, of course, it was nighttime. We stayed in the basement until 9:35, when the tornado warning was ended. All of us, and my darling kitties, made it through not the least bit hurt. Yehovah (God) protected us.

The next morning we woke up and looked at all of the wreckage around us. Numerous trees had fallen, many fences were crushed, shingles had been blown away, and two of our neighbors had trees through their roofs, but our house was unscathed. Not a single shingle was missing. Once again we marveled as we saw how good Yehovah was to us all in our town. There was a crazy amount of damage, but not one person was killed by the tornadoes. Yehovah is so good!

^^^^^^^^

This has taught me that even when a situation looks hopeless, Yahovah can protect you. He can do anything! It also taught me that every day, every breath, is a treasure–a gift from Yehovah. How are you using your treasure?

~Faith

The Sabbath

The Sabbath is coming
The Sabbath is near–
The sun has gone down
The Sabbath is here!

The Sabbath is holy
It gives the weary rest
The Sabbath is special
The Sabbath is a test

The Sabbath is a break
From all our busy lives.
The Sabbath gives us time,
Time to recognize–

Who blessings come from
Who made earth and heaven
Who worked for six days
And rests on the seventh

On Sabbath there’s peace
In the midst of a storm
On Sabbath there’s joy
Wherever you call home

On Sabbath God calls
Saying, “Come be with Me.
The Sabbath is a sign
Between you and Me!”

Hymns

Two weeks ago I found a hymnal lying near the piano. It was an old hymnal from my great-grandfather, Charles Elliott. (You may have read about him in “The Reverend’s Daughter,” which is on this blog.) I knew we had the hymnal, but I had never really paused to looked at it.

I opened it, sat down at the piano, and played one of my favorite hymns, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. My voice soon followed the voice of the piano as we sang.

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changeth not, thine compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever will be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided–
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided–
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

As I finished the song, I continued to another one of my favorite hymns: “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” Once again, my voice joined in singing the song below.

I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live form day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies my turn to gray.

I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

I suddenly realized just how meaningful and truthful the words of these hymns, and many more hymns, are. The next few days I spent hours at the piano singing and playing hymns from the old hymnal. I could not believe how many good songs I found in that book, including “Marching to Zion,” “Bringing in the Sheaves,” “Glory to His Name,” “Amazing Grace,” “More Abundantly,” and “Glory to God, Hallelujah.” (You should definitely look up the hymns I just listed!) When I began to feel sick that week, the hymns cheered me up.

One night as I tried to sleep, I asked my sister to sing a hymn for me. I was certain a hymn would do for me what it had done before–cheer me up. She gladly agreed and began to sing the below hymn.

Under His wings I am safely abiding;
Tho’ the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me;
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from his love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly tuns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blest.

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from his love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

It was indeed comforting to know I am under His wings, like the hymn said, and I happily went to sleep.

Hymns are wonderful worship songs about God. They remind us of God’s promises, faithfulness, goodness, and more. I was surprised how many hymns are based on Bible verses. They are all so wonderful to hear and they minister to your soul. What is your favorite hymn? Do you often play or listen to hymns? Comment below and let me know!

~Faith

P.S. You can find two more of my favorite hymns, “Victory in Jesus” and “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” in this chapter of my story The Reverend’s Daughter Chapter 2, “One Sunday Night”

A Play!

Hello everyone! Today  I am here to share about the play I directed last week! It was fabulous. We all had so much fun! Here is more about the play:

– The play was titled “Broken Window”.
– We did it in a pavilion at a nearby park.
– The cast included me, two of my sisters, my brother, and a friend.
– I played the part of a mean girl who yells at people. It is so fun to pretend you are a mean girl!
– I was the director, but I got a lot of needed help from my cast.

Oh, and one last thing about the play. While we were doing a quick practice right before the show began, my sister Joy got engaged! My sister and her fiancé are planning on getting married soon, and I get to be a bridesmaid! I am so excited!

Well, that is all! I hope to have more stories out soon, but we’ll see. Please remember to comment below. I love to hear from you!

~Faith

A Boston Adventure, Chapter 11 “New Life”

Life went on at the Peters home, but it did not seem right without Amelia. Rebecca was sad she was gone, but she was happy for Amelia. It was bittersweet for all of the family.

Spring came and everyone’s moods brightened. One day in early May, Rebecca arrived at the Bradley home. Instead of  being greeted by Mrs. Bradley, Bethany opened the door. “Mama had the baby!” she exclaimed. “His name is John David!” Rebecca hurried to the bedroom where Mrs. Bradley was holding a newborn baby.

“You had the baby!” Rebecca called happily. “When was he born?”

“Early this morning,” Mrs. Bradley replied. I started having pains shortly after you left yesterday.

“Oh, he is so cute!” Rebecca said as she gazed fondly at the beautiful boy. Then she went to talk to the other children and get to work. It was a happy day.

When Rebecca went home she called, “Mrs. Bradley had her baby! He is a boy named John David.”

“Oh, send her my congratulations,” Mother said. Then they all sat down to eat. Rebecca was very hungry, so she ate quickly. She noticed that Rose hardly touched her food. Rebecca wondered if she was still sick.

After dinner they went to the parlor. Rebecca and Annie worked on a new quilt. Rebecca wasn’t paying too much attention to the chatter until suddenly she heard Rose say, “We are expecting a baby this summer.” Rebecca quickly dropped her sewing and ran over to Rose and Gabriel.

“Congratulations!” she called, hugging Rose and Gabriel.

“Thank you,” they said. Everyone was excited. This was quite the day, Rebecca thought. Miss Bradley had her baby and Rose is expecting. She was very happy.

The days passed pleasantly. Knowing about Rose’s baby, the men worked extra hard on the house. By June, Gabriel and Rose’s house was finished. The entire Peters family was very happy. They wouldn’t have to live with Rose anymore. Rose noticed their delight, even though they tried to hide it.

“Why are you all so happy that I am leaving?” Rose asked scoffingly one day as the girls were making dinner. “Usually when a relative moves away, people are sad.”

“We are happy you have your own house now,” Annie said. “I am sure you do not like living in a house that belongs to someone else.”

“That is right,” Rose said. “I do not.” Then Mother came in the room so everyone shut up.

The next day Gabriel and Rose moved to their new home. The Peters family missed Gabriel, but not Rose. The next weekend they all went to see the new house. They had not seen it since it had been completed.

“It is pretty!” Rebecca said as they came inside. There was a large oak table in the middle, and beautiful blue curtains at the windows. Rose’s second-hand cast-iron stove sat at the side with the wood box next to it. At the other end of the room there was a ladder to the attic. It was indeed very nice.

“I love it, Rose!” said Annie.

“Very beautiful, Rose,” said Mother.

“Thank you,” Rose said with a smile. For once she looked happy. I am not sure if I have ever seen her smile, Rebecca thought. They all had dinner and then went home. It was a fun night.

Now the Peters family was busy planting. And Rebecca had another little one to attend at the Bradley house. They were happy days, though they did miss Amelia. One day at dinner, Ruth turned to Mother and said, “Mother, when will we ever see Amelia and Walter?”

Mother smiled and said, “Some day, dear. Some day.” Rebecca hoped that day would be soon, but she knew it was a long way off.

—————————–Four years later———————————–

Rebecca sat in a rocker in the Bradley’s parlor wondering where the last few years had gone. They had been busy, joyful, and fun, but they had also held their share of trials.

The Bradley twins, Hope and Lydia, ran about the room joyfully. They were no longer toddlers. “Girls, behave! We have company!” Mrs. Bradley insisted.

“Oh, I do not mind, Mrs. Bradley,” Rebecca laughed. “I would not care if they ran up the walls!” She cherished the moment, her heart was filled with joy. Mother always told me that every moment is precious, Rebecca thought. Then Rebecca’s husband, James Olsen, entered the red-walled room carrying their little baby girl, Betsy Ann. She was only a few months old and her head was covered with short blonde hair. Rebecca’s heart melted every time Betsy smiled. James handed the baby to Rebecca.

“Thank you, James,” she replied. She looked down at the baby and smiled as she thought, God has been so good. With Him by my side, how could I need anything?

Temporal vs. Eternal

Let us not focus on the temporal,
That which swiftly passes away.
Let us focus on the eternal,
That which forever does stay.

Let us not focus on little cares,
Though they might seem large.
No matter how anything fares,
Remember that God is in charge.

Some things that are important today,
Some things that cause sorrow,
Some things that we think shall always stay,
Shall swiftly vanish tomorrow.

The eternal things
Shall never fade;
The eternal things
Are things God made.

What about you? What about me?
Our souls are eternal too.
Where will you spend eternity?
The choice is up to you!

A New Beginning Chapter 2

The next morning Nina woke up abruptly to someone shaking her and calling, “Girl, girl, wake up!” She wearily opened her eyes and looked up at the face of a tan, wrinkled man wearing a torn blue shirt and denim overalls.

“I was–sleeping,” she replied.

“Why were you sleeping on my property?” he questioned.

“I did not know that this was your property, sir,” she said standing up. “I will leave.”

“Why did you set up these logs?” The man asked.

“Because I wanted to make a house for myself,” she said.

“Where is the house you live in?” he asked. “Is it nearby?”

“I live in this house, sir,” she said, solemnly pointing at the lean-to.

“Do you have a family?” he asked, his brown eyes narrowing.

“No, sir,” she said. “I am alone.”

He looked thoughtfully at the ground and said, “Well, I could take you to an orphanage and–” As soon as he said “orphanage,” Nina darted into the woods at a breakneck speed. The man ran after her. The man may not have been as fast as little Nina, but he had endurance. Finally, after racing through the trees and underbrush, he caught up with her and grabbed her shoulder. “Why did you run away?” he gasped.

“Because you are not sending me to an orphanage!” she retorted, her eyes flashing.

“Okay, then. If you do not want to go to the orphanage then come on to my house and I will decide what to do with you,” he said and let go of her. Nina was so shocked that he’d let go of her shoulder. Should she go with him or run away again? “Are you coming?” he said, slowly walking away.

“Yes,” she said. She decided she was going to try to trust this man. She followed the man back through the woods. They passed the place Nina had made her home and she grabbed her things. Soon they exited the woods and entered a huge Kentucky field. Most of the field was fenced off, and Nina saw about five horses in the fence.

“What is your name, girl?” the man asked.

“Nina,” she replied.

“Nina?” he queried. “Is that short for something?”

“Yes,” she said.

“What for?” he questioned.

“What does it matter to you?” she answered. “I am Nina.”

“Okay, then, Nina,” he said. “There is my home,” he said as he pointed past the field. The simple log house with a window in the front and smoke coming from the chimney was so quaint and lovely, at least in Nina’s mind. Anyone else would have probably considered it just an old, boring Kentucky home, but Nina thought it was beautiful. As they continued up the dirt path leading to the house, a little girl came running out. She was about five years old with curly brown hair tied up in a ribbon.

“Father!” she called, as she ran up the path and hugged the man.

“Susan!” he called back chuckling.

“Who is this?” she asked, looking shyly up at Nina.

“This is Nina,” said the man. “She will be visiting us for a while.” Then they all entered the house.

In the house everyone was busy. The man’s wife was scrambling eggs at the fireplace, a brown haired girl that looked about Nina’s age was washing a curly-haired toddler at a washbasin on the other side of the room, and another curly brown-haired girl was setting plates around the table. All of the girls and his wife had on simple cotton dresses and dirty white aprons.

“Oh, who is this?” his wife asked, poising her spoon in midair.

“This is Nina,” the man explained. “I found her sleeping in the woods.”

“Hello,” Nina said quietly. Then an older boy and a younger boy, also wearing plain cotton clothes, came in carrying water. The older boy had brown hair and hazel eyes and the younger boy had blonde hair and blue eyes. The younger boy set his jug of water on a nearby shelf and the older boy set his bucket by the fireplace.

“You found this girl in the woods?” his wife asked. “Why was she there? Does she have a family?”

“She does not have a family or a home,” he explained.

“Sit down, Nina, and eat some food,” his wife said with a smile. “Far be it from us not to practice some pure religion like the Bible says. Right, children?”

“Yes, ma’am,” said the children simultaneously, as they all sat down for breakfast.

The man said grace and then he announced, “Nina will be staying with us for a while. We do not know how long.” Then he turned to Nina. “Nina, I am George Walsh and this is my family: my wife Elsie, my eldest Andrew,” he said, motioning toward the older boy. “My daughters Annamarie and Katherine,” he continued, motioning toward the older girls. “My son Jonah, and, of course, Susan,  and Charity,” he said as he introduced the youngest children.

“It is nice to meet you all,” Nina said properly.

“What is your last name, Nina?” Jonah asked.

“Jameson,” she replied with a smile, as Mrs. Walsh served the eggs. Nina tried to eat slowly, but the food was so good that she had trouble containing herself. It was a good and happy breakfast.

After breakfast and kitchen chores were done, Annamarie asked, “Nina, do you want to meet our horses? Katherine and I are going to the horse barn to feed the horses and thought you might want to come along.”

“Sure, I will come,” Nina said. Then the three girls set off across the field.

The high grass, wildflowers, and various weeds tickled the girl’s bare feet and legs as they strolled along toward the barn. The sun shone brightly over the beautiful trees of Kentucky. “I love horses,” Annamarie randomly stated, shaking Nina from a world of thought.

“They are very pretty and graceful,” Nina replied.

“I love to ride them!” Katherine called. “It gives me such a thrill.”

“How old are you Nina?” Annamarie asked.

“Fourteen,” Nina replied.

“Then you are Annamarie’s age,” Katherine commented happily.

“Which horse would you like to ride?” Annamarie asked as they entered the shade of the wooden barn.

“I do not know. What is that horse’s name?” Nina asked, pointing at their pretty black Arabian horse.

“Bonnie,” Annamarie said as she put some food in her bucket.

“What is this one called?” Nina asked, coming to the next stall in which was a brown American paint horse with a mane and tail of the same color.

“Cowboy. He is my favorite,” Annamarie replied before going on to the third stall in which resided a dark brown American quarter horse with an even darker mane and tail. “This one is named Ranger.”

“Oh, he is so pretty!” Nina called. “I want to ride him.” Then the girls went on to feed the last three horses: an American paint horse named Willy, a white quarter horse named Angel, and Angel’s white colt Snowy. When they were all done feeding the horses, Katherine cheerfully said,

“Let us not just ride our horses; let us have a race!”

“What a grand idea!” Annamarie called. “Would you like to race, Nina?”

“Sure,” Nina said, a competitive gleam shining in her eyes. “I used to live on a farm, so I am pretty stiff competition. Are you sure you are up for the challenge?”

“Oh, certainly,” Annamarie said, her eyes glistening as well. “You used to live on a farm, but I have lived on a farm my whole life!”

“Oh, Annamarie,” Katherine sighed. “You never pass up a competition!”

“Well you are the one who decided to race,” Annamarie commented to Katherine. “I will ride Cowboy.”

“I will ride Bonnie,” Katherine said.

“And I will take Ranger,” Nina said. They got all the horses tack on, bridles, bits, and all. Then Annamarie jumped onto Cowboy and called,

“Come on girls, let us go race!” They trotted out of the barn and lined up for the race.

“Go!” Katherine yelled, and the race was on. Nina charged with all of her might, gently prodding Ranger to go faster and faster. She did not look back, but only toward the finish line. She rushed closer and closer to the finish line. She could taste victory when…

“I won!” Annamarie called loudly. Nina crossed the finish line right behind her and leaped off of Ranger’s back.

“You were really fast, Nina!” Annamarie congratulated. “In all honesty, you surprised me. You must have practiced a lot when you lived on a farm.”

“Oh, yes,” Nina said. “I raced often.”

“Well, I have got chores to do, and so do you , Katherine. Let us cool down the horses and then get those chores done.”

“Oh, yes, and maybe after chores you could meet the cows,” Katherine commented.

“Oh, yes,” Nina laughed. “I will.” Then the girls started walking the horses across the field.

The next few days passed pleasantly as Nina enjoyed riding Ranger and playing with Coco, the energetic dog. One of the best things about the Walsh farm was the good food they provided for her. She had not eaten such wholesome food since her mother had fallen ill. And she was delighted to sleep by the warm fireplace at night. Those days were very special.