Tuesday, July 18, 1944

I spent the majority of the day cleaning the house. I think I’ve never scrubbed as hard ever before but I want Olivia to feel at home and the house like new for her. I really wished I had time to paint the inside of the house but feel it is still fine. I’ll let Olivia decide should she want to color the white walls.

I was just brushing my teeth when I remembered that I needed to wear a suit for the ceremony tomorrow! I had then spent about a good half hour trying it on and brushing it clean. It’s a good thing I still had one decent shirt that I re-ironed. Why I did all this, I cannot possibly explain for I only own one good set that I always wear every Sunday to church. Naturally, my thoughts had wandered to the ceremony and then to a sinking realization that I had forgotten to find Mama’s ring –the ring! I had half scrambled and tumbled down to the cellar and frantically tried to remember where I had stashed Mama’s jewelry box when I suddenly recalled that it was one of the items I’ve set aside, as with Pa’s watch. It’s in a shoebox up on the closet shelf in the bunk room. I sat in the closet and contemplated on the ring…will she like it or hate it? Will she get upset that I had presumed she’d want a ring or would she rather that she pick her own or maybe that’s not an important thing for her. How should I know this? It is now giving me a headache, I returned the ring in its place and will decide what it will be tomorrow. I wish I had remembered it earlier, now I won’t have time to decide as to its fate but I would be ideal if Olivia can wear my Ma’s ring. I am sure she would love to pass it along to her.

I have to admit, this unexpected exercise gave me a rush of energy but my nervousness combined with the exhaustion had finally caught up. I must sleep now or I will miss my own wedding. Before that I must also remember to at least wind Pa’s clock for good luck and to not fall asleep before I can say my evening prayers. Easing my nervousness does little to help me when the realization finally dawns that I will be a married man tomorrow. What future holds for me and Olivia?

Monday, July 17, 1944

July 17, Monday

I went into town to buy farm supplies and last minute sundries. Before heading back home I had stopped by the General Store to get some co’colas. I think a city girl expects to find these in their icebox. It will go well with Mrs. Pratt’s chocolate cake.

The cleaned curtains are up and the kitchen and back screen doors now painted. I tested it by leaving the doors open all afternoon to air the house out while I surveyed the front yard – I sighed -- well that’s one thing that will just do for I have no clue how I’ll make this even close to presentable to Olivia. I’ve devoted my allotted time just getting the inside of the house in order and that was plenty enough to give me nights of sound but exhausted sleep.

Sunday, July 16, 1944

I received a chocolate cake from Mrs. Pratt during the church potluck today. Martha suggested I don’t share it with them this time and keep it whole for Olivia on Wednesday. I agreed. Next week, I’ll be coming to church with Olivia, I look forward to finally having someone attend services with me.

Rev. Case set me aside after the services and we talked about Wednesday when Olivia arrives. I am to come to church around 1pm and wait for her arrival there. He inquired how I’ve been doing these past few weeks and I had divulged some of the things I’ve done to the house to accommodate her. I didn’t mention that I am a bit nervous now that he’s confirmed the events with me but I believe this did not escape the pious Reverend. He patted me on the back and warmly shook my hands. It felt like I could have shared this moment with my own Pa but I quickly put the thought out lest I turn sentimental in front of Rev. Case. I am sure my parents are happy about this union, I know they are, for I am also quite a changed man these past few weeks.

Thursday, July 13, 1944

Yesterday, Martha and Ruth came by just as I was finishing up on the last box that’s headed for the cellar.

She gave me much needed suggestions about what else need to be done to the house. I must say it had not crossed my mind yet as to how I was going to deal with our sleeping arrangements next week. There is now a joke from Hank that maybe I was thinking of putting Olivia in the bunk next to me. I believe I always thought that she’d take Martha’s room but Martha’s suggestion did make sense that she make use of our parents’ bedroom. We’ll have to take this relationship one day at a time, we have plenty of time to know each other but I hope it won’t take a lifetime to be at ease with one another. My parents’ bedroom is quite the right size, not too small or too big, and it faces the front of house which gives it more sunlight during the day than the other rooms in the house. I’ve also cleared more furniture from the living room. I am so used to seeing this room with all of the things in it that it never occurred to me that it’s quite cluttered. It now contains only a few pieces that we think is necessary for now.

The ladies employed themselves with cleaning and arranging the things in the kitchen. This will probably be Olivia’s favorite room in the house and so I hope she will find everything in it the way she likes it to be. They left today with all of the curtains in the house. It was getting late and she needed to prepare supper for the family. I am to get them back on Sunday when we see each other at church.

The barn residents have been unhappy with me this week. Matilda is quite put out with me for being unable to milk her yesterday. I think the house is ready for Olivia. Except for some dusting and fresh cleaning the day before she arrives, I think I am in good shape and I will have to pick on other areas I’ve neglected since. It’s good to get back to my routine and relieve my mind about thinking of her for I am a bit feeling anxious now that the day of her arrival is looming, next week my life will turn in a whole new direction.

Friday, July 7, 1944

It has been another busy week. I did not even have one second of regret or complaints about the craziness that transpired here this week, it’s actually quite exhilarating. I’ve never been fueled with such enthusiasm. Suddenly I am seeing the house in a different light instead of just a roof over my head and a place to sleep, it’s now looking and feeling like a home – a home I can share with someone. The bathroom project, though finished not without setbacks, went quite smoothly with the help of Hank. The days we labored on this seemed to have quickly passed for Hank never disappoints you with his jovial disposition and entertaining stories. I believe it’s been a while since I’ve remembered laughing as much as this week.

The pipes I later discovered cannot be put in behind where the sink used to be, which is right next to the toilet. We now had to move the sink to the left wall of the bathroom so we can run the pipes on that side of the house. This way it will be on the same side as the line that supplies the kitchen sink. Maybe later on I can also have hot water running in the kitchen as well. Overall, I think it’s been a good move and Hank’s agreement in the idea gave me confidence that I am planning for future improvements rather than just a fix for the current situation.

Also this week I was able to repair the doors on the back and the side of the kitchen. Since these do not have the protection of an eave or awning, it’s seen better days. I’ll also have to put in new screen doors so the doors can be left open to bring in fresh air during the hot summer months. This will be a project for next week for I needed to get more supplies from town.

I did come into town on the 4th to partake in the annual barbeque and town gathering. There Martha expressed her wish to come by the following week to check on our progress and to help me with the cleaning. I am sure she’d like to also see how I am doing on it, but frankly I am glad that she volunteered for I feel this is one of my failings. It would really help to see a female point of view for I feel, besides what I’ve already listed, the house to me is fine as it is.

It seems that three weeks was plenty of time but now it’s coming down to a little over a week before her arrival, I think I have to double my effort so I can do all there is to do around here.