“I hope so”. Said Jim. “But I just wanted to know, since I’ll be out here most of the time now, could I board with you until our home is ready so we can get married.”
“Why of course< “ Mother said, heading the way into the house.
Father’s and brother’s arrival home was not uneventful, for we had been looking for them. They arrived on the train in Burley from Portland the night before. Then took the stage to Sublett. Mother was glad and my sister-in-law was overjoyed. They were only home a while when people who learned they were carpenters suddenly seemed to need ranch homes, barns, granaries to hold grain, a church , and the Government needed a ranger’s station built. There would also be our house to build. They never lacked for work. It kept them going to keep up with all of it. They took on a ranch home first. These folks had turkeys and geese, and knowing Mother’s love for these. Father brought home one evening three turkey hens, a gobbler, and a pair of geese, a goose and a gander. Mother was so pleased but she was also afraid the coyotes would get the turkeys. So father fixed a place for her to shut them up at night, then turn them out in the daytime. This went on until the three turkey hens began to lay. They always liked to steal their nests out. This kept Mother busy. About the time she’d find their nests, they would change them. Then she wouldn’t turn them out until she could follow them. They were cunning and sly. They’d go everyplace other than their nest when someone was following, until they just had to dash to the nest to lay their eggs. Then Mother had them. She would save and turn the eggs each day until one of the hens wanted to set. They wanted to set out too. But after they became broody, you could set them where they would be safe. I thought Mother would tire of traveling those many miles each day. But she loved it. I never saw her look healthier and so cheerful. The geese proved to be very little trouble. When the goose had laid a setting, she took to her nest, but the one bad thing about them was they liked to swim and paddle in Shirley Creek where we would get the water. Until that was fixed, then they would go in the creek by the wild cherry orchard. But coyotes could sneak in among the brush and catch them. One day they put up an awful racket. Mother thought sure the coyotes had them, but it was the magpies, a crow-like looking bird. They had returned in a drove to the cherry grove for summer, flapping of wings and cry of Maggie, scared the geese to distraction, so Mother’s mind was relieved for once. When Mother’s goose took to her nest to hatch her young, the gander never ventured far away. And most generally, sat close by talking to her in gander language.
Jim made his trips back and forth regularly, hauling lumber, and each time hauling out some of his things to our place. This was on of his days to return. My sister and I had been going everywhere, with Beauty and the buggy. So we went to the store and Post Office for groceries and mail in the P. M. While driving along, a cowboy galloped up behind us. My sister had gone with him quite a bit. He said, “I hear your horse can really travel, let’s see her go.” I gave Beauty the reins and left him galloping behind in the dust at top speed. When I pulled her in, he caught up with us. His comment was, “I’ll say she can go.”
We drove on down by our place. Jim had been there and left, had unhitched from the load of lumber, riding one of the horses on up to our place. He would unload it later and return to Rupert the next day for another load. This kept up for some time until finally , it was all hauled. The following Sunday , my sister and I thought we would go to church.
We heard some folks from the homesteads in the valley were having church each Sunday in the school house. Not knowing the people every well, only that quite a number of them were from the hill country of Kentucky and thinking it would be nice to get acquainted with them, we dressed up in our (best bib and tucker) good clothes and went.
We were a little late, and thinking the minister was praying paused at the door. But when it kept up, we finally thought we’d better go quietly in, sitting down in a seat near the door. To our amazement, he was standing there singing his sermon in a chanting voice, not very well understandable. When we went in, his voice rose to a higher pitch. This went on for some little time. Making use of the platform, he was jumping and walking in a running-like walk back and forth and mopping his perspiring face. After some little time of this, we began to hope he would wear himself out and be quiet. But nothing seemed to slacken him; then, suddenly he came to a halt, sitting down quickly and saying, “there it is brothers and sisters, I’ve given it to you straight” and getting up again just as quickly, took a hymn book, started waving his hands, motioning to the crowd to stand up and sing. We knew the hymn, but he didn’t go by the tune, just chanted it like he did the sermon. Every one was doing the same. They had no musical instrument. My sister and I tried to sing it the way it was supposed to be sung, but found it useless. So we just stood there. Then stopping just as suddenly, he said a few brief words. “There you have it, Sisters and brothers,“ then everyone started to leave. I think we were about the first to leave and waited outside to shake hands with some we knew and others we didn’t know. Mother wondered why we had been gone so long. When we finished telling her, she said, “they must be what they call the “hardshell Baptist.” She said she had heard of them. (Well, whatever they were, My sister and I figured that once was enough, for now at least.)
Monday evening, Jim came again with a load of lumber. He had just so long to unload the freight car, and said his length of days were nearing and he’d have to work pretty steadily this next week so he could release the car to the railroad. Each load of lumber looked better when he piled it in stacks that were to be used first in building our home.