Sara Harris makes her home with her family of seven, which includes her romance novelesque husband and her five children.
She holds her BA in history and is currently back in school seeking her BSN.
An Amish settlement. An English stranger. The Blizzard of 1888. Who can Rebekah trust when the line between the Amish and the English becomes blurred?
A sweet and gentle love blossoms between Rebekah Stoll and her childhood friend Joseph Graber, despite attempts by her saucy nemesis, Katie Knepp, to sway the young man’s affections her way.
When Joseph hints at the promise of forever, Rebekah is positive she should say yes to his proposal – until a mysterious English stranger shows up at her homestead and sets everything she thought she knew about her world on end.
“I understand you wanting to keep her, Elnora,” Samuel’s patient voice was gentle when he finally returned to the wagon. Gentle and firm. “Especially since the Lord has yet to bless us with children of our own.”
Elnora fixed her eyes on the baby who lay asleep in the nest of pillowy quilts in the wagon bed. Usually, Elnora was unable to tear her gaze from the stars in the night sky. They seemed to wink at each other in the blackness, making her think they were simply bright young children, playing gotcha-games in Heaven. Tonight though, Elnora couldn’t force herself to look away from the tiny miracle of a girl. “Gelassenheit,” she whispered. “We must trust His divine reasons and timing.”
Samuel exhaled, swiping his gritty hands on his britches. “We simply can’t keep her. She is not one of us.” Exhaustion weighted his words.
“Ja Samuel, but those she belonged to are now with Our Lord.” Elnora sucked in a breath. “Aren’t we all children of God?” Her gentle voice wafted with the night breezes.
Samuel rubbed the bridge of his nose. The other men had returned to their families and were already fast asleep in their wagons, evident by several different tones of snoring. “Ah, Elnora. I love you and your compassionate heart. I want so to make you a happy wife.” He stifled a yawn.
“You do, Samuel.” The baby stirred and began to squeak.
Elnora’s voice was tender as she plucked the rooting babe from the nest of blankets. “Come here, Rebekah.”
“Oh mein! You’ve given her a name?”
She smiled, rocking Rebekah to and fro.
Sarah Wagler’s shy voice came from somewhere in the near darkness. “Elnora? Samuel? Are you awake?”
“Yes Sarah, we are.” Elnora bounced Rebekah in her arms as the infants squeaks grew into angry coughs and sputters.
“I heard the baby fussing.”
Crimson colored Elnora’s cheeks. “I’m sorry to have woken you Sarah–”
Waving a hand, Sarah cut her off. “Oh no, you see, the baby sounds hungry.” The flickering firelight from the Wagler’s dying fire illuminated her timidity. “And Elijah is only six months old. So I thought I might feed her until…”
The worried creases melted from Elnora’s face. “Thank you for your kind offer, Sarah. We call her Rebekah. Danke.”
Sarah accepted Rebekah and turned back to her wagon, picking her way carefully amid the carefully stacked wares and items. “Ah, sweet Rebekah,” she cooed. “I will share with you the story of your namesake.”
“Wake me when you bring her back,” Elnora whispered loud enough for Sarah to hear.
As Sarah and Rebekah retreated to the Wagler wagon, Samuel turned back to his wife. His hazel eyes shined with the tender light of a father. Squatting, he scooped both her hands into his. “Elnora, would it be agreeable to you if we keep the child-”
She nodded emphatically, the straps to her covering bouncing against her shoulders.
Samuel’s face clouded over. “Dear Wife, if we keep her safe only until another English wagon happens by?”
With pain cramping her heart, Elnora managed a compliant smile. “That is agreeable, Husband.” Her words hung in the air as the song of a night bird laced the momentary silence with hope. “But what should become of Rebekah should we not meet another English traveler?”
Samuel’s gleaming white teeth were visible above his inky beard. He stood and ran his thumbs along the inside of his black braces. “Elnora, the English are moving west in droves.” He extended his hand and helped Elnora to her feet. “The Pike is rumored to be the most traveled route in The United States now. We will meet more English, you’ll see.”
Unable to meet his warm and weary gaze, Elnora nodded at the ground.
“Come Wife, let’s go to bed.”
With a heavy heart, Elnora closed her eyes. Though whether it was to hasten sleep or hold in the tears, she couldn’t be sure.
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