I must be getting old, the days are flying by and it is time for LBC members to visit the playground once more. Our topic this week was chosen by Padmini.
The animosity that Julia had shown to Edgar was difficult to understand. There seemed no reason for it. Edgar loved his wife, provided well for their four sons and showed care for his community by being a member of the voluntary Fire Brigade within the local area. A loud siren reminiscent of war time, wailed over the town when the firemen were needed. Nowadays the siren is silent and the volunteers are called by mobile phones. Edgar’s days of fire fighting are well over.
Julia, born and bred on a rural farm, didn’t stray far from home when she married. She had met Nick at a harvest supper in her local church. The harvest supper was the hi-light of the social year round those parts, it was an occasion for a new dress, or at least new ribbons and lace to update last year’s creation.
Nick had inherited the family farm when his father died a year earlier. Romance was far from his mind. Nick saw Julia as a good catch, she knew the ways of the land and seemed capable of running a home, her offerings for the harvest supper were wholesome and tasty. As they chatter over the tea cups he judged her capable of dealing with the accounts too. It would leave him free to work the land, so he began calling regularly to visit her and eventually marriage seemed the natural progression.
Nick was a quiet hardworking man of the land with little in the way of humour to lighten his load. He rose early, worked all the daylight hours and sat by the fire of an evening reading his bible or the weekly newspaper. He had no truck with dancing, or the demon drink. He had given Julia a daughter, and once that duty was out of the way he contented himself to peaceful uninterrupted sleep.
Julia devoted her every waking moment to her duties, her head for figures stood to her and she watched as the farm increased in size. They had a good living from it and she had her only daughter for company. She knitted and sewed, cooked and baked all for her beloved Ann, but mostly she dreamed for a future that she herself had missed.
Ann was a lively student who showed promise. Julia was torn between encouraging her to further education, but that would mean moving away from home, or keeping her close to hand for the company. If truth were told, Ann was the only friend that Julia had so she set her heart on finding a farmer husband for her daughter, who would one day take over from Nick and run Ann’s inheritance.
Ann, a young lady of her time had other ideas. Life in the back of beyond was rather dull and she craved being at least closer to the town, if not the City. When any chance came her way, she sought permission to stay with one of her class mates. The girls loved dancing and it was at one of the local dances in the town hall that Edgar invited her on to the floor. They moved with ease, perfectly comfortable in each other’s arms. The sprung floor was an added bonus. They danced together for the remainder of the evening and at every dance that they both attended.
Ann felt she had found her dream, and forgot all about moving away to college. Julia was again torn, annoyed that Ann would not go further with her education, yet secretly pleased that she would remain close to home. As soon as Ann reached her majority, she married Edgar and moved into a modern house in the town.
Within a year the twins, Roger and Oliver were born and Ann and Edgar were delighted. Their dream was complete and they had little room for any outside distraction. Giles arrived when the twins were two, and the love for the growing family increased. Five years later the family was completed with Christopher, or Crisp as the twins loved to call him. Somehow the name stuck.
Edgar worked all the harder and for longer hours in order to give the boys a good education. For Roger and Oliver learning came easily, and they were star pupils all the way through school. Giles followed in their footsteps. It became a quiet household of books and study, Ann and Edgar were happy and provided every opportunity for learning to their beloved boys.
Crisp seemed a little different, not so fond of his books but happier working with his hands. He liked to go to the farm and help his grandfather. As he grew the more time he spent with his grandparents, Nick was happy, but Julia still missed the companionship of her daughter. She blamed Edgar for taking Ann away.
Then one year Nick had a nasty accident on his tractor. His back gave him trouble and his farm became an impossible chore. Julia made the decision to sell up, it was the opportunity she was waiting for, and the farm was on the market before she even told Nick. She had always kept her eye on property for sale, farms were making good money and she saw a suitable house for sale around the corner from Ann. The fact that it was also around the corner from Edgar never entered her head.
Julia sold the farm and made a tidy profit, to secure a comfortable old age, even after buying the house and re decorating and furnishing it. The garden was small and easy to look after. Still in charge of the money, Julia arranged to have the wills updated. She talked Nick into following her wishes, which he did without a murmur. Everything was left to each other with a settlement made for Ann. Julia was happier than she had been in years. She saw Ann nearly every day.
With retirement, Nick had developed the habit of bringing morning tea to Julia in bed. One morning she was still asleep when he set the small tray on the bedside locker. Shaking her arm gently, it suddenly and heavily fell over the edge of the bed. It was cold to the touch and Nick realised that he would no longer be carrying that tray to the bedroom. Julia was dead. How would he tell Ann? How would he manage without Julia to take care of him. He would think about that last question tomorrow.
By the time the twins went to College Giles had caught up with them. All three boys graduated with First Class Honours. It was a wonderful time of family celebration. The boys moved across the world as they continued with their careers. They kept in touch with home no matter where they went. Crisp missed his brothers and struggled with school. He stuck it out until he was sixteen and went in search of an apprenticeship.
At this time Nick was becoming frail so Edgar suggested to Ann that he move in with them. The boys were away and there was plenty of space. It worked well. With regular meals prepared for him and constant company Nick improved and began to enjoy life once more.
Ann had a blow out on the motorway and broke through the central reservation into the path of an on coming truck. She was dead before the traffic stopped. The family were devastated and pulled closer together. With time a form of normality settled in and Nick, Edgar and Crisp learned to care for each other. They had a lady who came in for a few hours every day, making the main meal and dealing with the cleaning and washing. It was a good arrangement.
An early frost took Nick by surprise and he had a fall hitting his head on the edge of a sharp kerb. Two days later he was gone to be with Julia and Ann.
At the reading of his will things were easy to organise. Nick had quietly visited the solicitor after Julia had died, The main beneficiary was to be Ann, and since the older boys were doing well, he left a larger portion of the residue to Crisp.
Now Ann was gone, and Edgar was the next of kin, Ann’s portion went to him.
Crisp bought a motorbike with his inheritance and his first journey turned into his last. Young people may know how to increase and reduce speed, but that does not mean they are able to control the weight of a motor bike. His next of kin was his father so Edgar ended up with all the money that Julia didn’t want him to have!
Now it is time for you to visit Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Magpie 11, Noor, Padmini, Ramana, Rohit, The Silver Fox Whispers, The Student Diaries, Will ,Nema, Paul &Plain Joe and discover the take they have of our topic.