Bella hung up the phone, her throat tight. Blinking back hot tears, she pulled aside the blue check curtains over the kitchen sink and watched her twin girls playing. We were just getting settled, she sighed.
Two months and ninety-six boxes later, Bella climbed off the kitchen counter and looked up at the blue checked curtains she had just hung. She closed her eyes, willing herself to feel at home in this new apartment. This new town.
Digging through the remaining boxes in the living room, Bella came across an old carton, the one her mother had give her just before the cancer took over. "I think you'd enjoy these old letters, Sweetie. They're from your Great-Great-Great-Aunt Belle. Your namesake." Her mother's familiar scrawl across the top of the box blurred, the emotions of the past months catching up with her.
"Now is as good a time as any, I guess," Bella whispered into the foreign house. Pulling the loose end of the packing tape free from the ancient box, she lifted the lid. The musty smell of old paper filled the air as she picked up the first letter from the box, the stationary yellowed with age. The faded, careful script read:
Thank you for your letter. I am grateful for news from home, especially during these long winter months. It has been difficult to make acquaintances here in Silver City with the recent hard weather and a dreadful, virulent fever that kept us indoors.
I am pleased to announce that you will be an aunt again come August. Another blessing from God. Little Robert continues to grow strong and Emma, even at her young age, has been a wonderful help as I have been not feeling well.
Robert is well. He works long hours, sun up to sun down. We are grateful for his pay, but the danger in these mountain mines has taken the lives of many men in this past twelve-month. In spite of the continued good fortune, I sense Robert is getting restless again. He has commented numerous times in these past few days about the crowded mines. Just last night he talked of a new claim further north in Gold Hill. The rumor of a new vein has spread like fire among the town folk.
I hope to stay here until the baby arrives, but I know that we will settle again, wherever God takes us. I remember your words to me when Robert and I were wed and I cherish them, especially when I find it hard to honor Robert's prospecting whims. I trust in God to care for us ...
A tear splashed on Belle Marshall's delicate signature. Wiping away the tears, Bella reached for another letter and found comfort in a woman's words from another time and place.
Linking up with Write at the Merge this week - inspired by the picture above. I have had this story bumping around in my head for awhile ... definitely more here to flesh out. Especially with our current move across the state looming in our immediate future (hence the sabbatical from writing), I am inspired to share the process of yielding to God (and husbands), especially when it's hard and filled with unknowns.