Love's Abundant Harvest

Love's Abundant Harvest by Beth Shriver

Book: Love's Abundant Harvest by Beth Shriver Read Free Book Online
Authors: Beth Shriver
Manny turned around on a heel and stuck his hands
on his hips. “Are you all right?” He didn’t know where his courage came from, but
he couldn’t leave without asking.
    Lucy’s face turned pink. “Manny—”
    “I won’t do or say a thing. I just need to know.” He waited a beat and then another,
thinking he wasn’t going to get an answer. He was about to turn around when she said
his name.
    “Manny, danke .” When she stood and walked into the haus , he’d never felt so helpless.

T he women took their places at the large table around the quilting frame in Frieda’s
kitchen. “It’s about time we all got together to quilt. I thought I was gonna end
up making this whole quilt myself.” Frieda’s tone wasn’t pleasant, but she had reason
to be a little frustrated. They had been increasingly busy. With the beginning of
fall harvest around the corner, they were hopping from farm to farm, threshing, cutting,
and baling as much as they could before the more time-consuming crops would need
to be tended to.
    “Now, Frieda, you know I’ll always get us together and work double-time if need be.”
Nellie took two stitches, using her thimble to push the needle back and forth through
the fabric. “Lucy’s little one isn’t due for a few more weeks now. Remember in the
days when we used cotton? It was like quilting through butter.”
    Lucy admired Nellie’s gift of quilting and wished she could do half as well. She
made it seem effortless. Nellie’s hand was poised above the quilt as she watched
the others work. It was as if she had two sets of eyes—one stitching and one overseeing
others’ work. After hearing Nellie’s story, Lucy admired her even more, not only
for her love of quilting but also for her independent nature, something rare among
the Amish.
    “That’s when we were down south, and the cotton was plentiful.” Rosy wiggled her
fingers to get the knots out of them. “Those were the days, weren’t they?” She looked
up as if seeing that time all over again. Her bright-blue eyes gazed upward as if
she were there.
    “You missing Tennessee, Rosy?” Frieda took a back stitch and then pushed the thread
under the quilt and snipped off the head. Lucy watched and learned more than she
quilted. These women had experience on their side, spending many years making the
most difficult stitch look easy.
    Rosy leveled her head to meet Lucy’s gaze. “You miss it there, don’t ya, hon?”
    A lump formed in Lucy’s throat as she recalled the pain of leaving there. Being the
youngest to find a husband had become a concern, not so much for her as for her mamm .
But Lucy hadn’t been happy since she’d moved away and figured she wouldn’t ever live
there again. Sam would never leave even though his family was up north, and she would
never ask him to. With his mamm and daed gone and only one surviving sister that
he didn’t speak to, he had no reason to go. But in Lucy’s mind, he had little reason
to stay, especially since her family was down south.
    Lucy watched Rosy cut a length of thread, lick its end, and then pick up a magnifying
glass that Mammi had wired to the quilt frame to thread the needle. “What will we
stuff this one with?”
    Lucy hadn’t used anything but old dresses, old quilts, or worn-out pants. She wanted
only the best for the little one, something that she’d made. Lucy knew the babe would
have plenty to rest her head on, but the one from her would have to be extra special.
    “Something warm.” Mamm had been quiet until now and looked over at Lucy. “So you’ll
have something to keep you and the baby warm.”
    “Well then, we might have to put some cotton in there.” Frieda winked at Lucy and
grinned. “We wouldn’t want you or little Joe to catch a chill.”
    “Little Joe?” Lucy stared at Frieda. “You’ve decided it’s a boy and named him already?”
    Frieda nodded. “ Jah , I know you want a girl, but I’m thinking that by the way he’s
sitting down low,

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