The Peters home was very lively that winter. It was so much fun for them to plan for Walter and Amelia’s wedding in the spring. Rebecca came home one day from the Bradley’s house. “Hello, everyone!” she called happily.
“Hello, Rebecca,” they all answered. By the stove was Mother, frying some chicken. Amelia and Annie were helping her with supper, while Sarah set the table. Matthew and Ben sat by the fire playing checkers. Rachel was sitting on the floor as she held Ruth and Joseph, who were playing with wooden blocks. Father sat in his chair reading a book. Rebecca got ready to help Mother with the chicken. When they were ready, everyone sat down and ate.
After supper was done, they started to clean up. A loud knock was heard at the door. “It must be Walter!” Amelia called delightedly. She hurried and opened the door.
The Peters family was very happy to see him. “Hello, a letter came for you,” Walter said, stepping in. They quickly took his outer garments and brushed the snow off. The letter was from Gabriel, and Mother quickly read it aloud.
January 6, 1844
To my honoured family,
I hope this letter finds you in good health. I wrote in my last letter of how I hoped this year would be better than the other ones. Well, besides my marrying Rose, it has not been good. I have still not had success in finding gold. I am not happy and I am moving back as soon as the paths are clear. I am very thankful to have my good horse team and wagon that can bring me home.
You mentioned in your last letter that Mother was expecting another child. Are the new baby and the rest of my siblings doing well? I hope to see you in April, weather permitting.
Your most devoted son Gabriel
They were all so happy to hear that Gabriel would be returning. Walter and Amelia were glad that Gabriel and Rose would be able to be at their wedding.
“I suppose we shall be housing them until they have their own farm,” Mother said. “How delightful.”
The evening with Walter was wonderful, but not as wonderful as that letter. When Walter left, everyone started to settle down for the night.
The next morning, Rebecca put on her warm wool dress and had Annie button it up the back. The girls were soon ready and went down the stairs.
“Good morning, girls,” Mother said. “Rachel and Sarah got up early. They were so excited about Gabriel that they did not get a good night’s rest. I had them help me with breakfast.”
“We are having hotcakes,” Sarah announced happily as she set the syrup on the table. Rachel came with the butter, Mother came with the hotcakes, and everyone at breakfast. It was so delicious.
“I wonder what Rose will be like, “Sarah said.
“Probably nice,” Rachel answered.
“We should tell Jacob, Marie, Josie, and Daniel about Gabriel coming back home,” Mother said, her eyes sparkling.
When Rebecca was done eating, she bundled up and went out into the snowy winter world. She stomped through the snow to the Bradley’s house. She had a wonderful day, and marched through the snow again on her way home. She had barely come through the door when Sarah said, “We are going to Jacob’s house!” Everyone was busy preparing.
“Really?” Rebecca asked, taking off her coat and accessories.
“Yes, Rebecca, we are going to surprise them with the good news about Gabriel. They might not have enough food for all of us, so we are bringing our own supper,” Mother explained. “Come help.”
Rebecca was immediately caught in the whirlwind of preparing. They were all so happy as they rode to Jacob and Marie’s house. When they knocked on the door, Marie opened it. “What are you doing here?” she asked joyfully, as she took their coats.
“We came to tell you the news–Gabriel and Rose are coming back!” Mother announced happily.
“When?” Jacob asked, surprised.
“In the spring!” Matthew replied.
“What made him want to come back home?” Jacob asked.
“He was not having success in Carolina,” Rebecca said.
“That is too bad,” Jacob said. “But at least he is coming home.” Everyone was so happy, and the meal was so great. After cleaning up, Marie played on her piano. Everyone loved it. They had such a wonderful time. Rebecca’s family did not want to leave.
“Do not feel sad about leaving,” Mother said as the wagon headed home. “We will go to Josie and Daniel’s house tomorrow!” Everyone cheered. Rebecca went to bed feeling full to the brim of happiness.
The next day they did as Mother had said. They went to visit Josie and Daniel almost as soon as Rebecca came home. They rode through the snow-covered Boston streets. It was so much fun to go surprise visiting!
Josie was excited to see them. “You did not send word that you were coming, and the weather is not good. What brings you out tonight?” Josie asked as she let them in.
“We had to tell you the news,” Annie said.
“What news?” Daniel asked, as Josie took away their coats.
“Rose and Gabriel are coming home!” Sarah called.
Everyone was so happy, even babies Joseph and Charlotte.
Josie and Daniel asked many questions.
“Why are they coming home?”
“Will they be staying with you?”
The questions were gladly answered. There was much talk. Supper was delicious. Everyone had a good time. When the night was over, everyone was sad to leave.
The next day Rebecca came home and realized that it was strange not preparing to go somewhere. She knew everyone felt like her. Sarah and Rachel were frowning, Father and Annie were reading, Mother and Amelia were cooking, Matthew and Ben were just sitting, and Ruth was sulking. Joseph was the only one who was happy, lying in his crib.
“Why is everyone sad?” Rebecca asked. “Why, when Gabriel and Rose are coming and we had such a fun time the last two nights?”
“Why? Because we are bored.” Matthew said. “We do not have anyone to visit tonight.”
“I agree with Rebecca,” Mother said. “We have many blessings, why pout?”
After those words and a good, warm meal, everyone’s spirits were lifted and they enjoyed a normal night at the Peters home, being thankful for their blessings.
See complete list of chapters here.