Thursday, July 20, 1944

Sleep was fitful and I naturally woke up with the dawn. There was no sense staying in bed if I am already wide awake. I figured Livy would like to sleep in after a long trip and eventful yesterday. I said my morning prayers and headed for the bathroom. I stopped at Livy’s door and pressed my ear on the surface for any signs of breathing. There was no sound coming from her room. Doubt somehow threatened my resolve from checking the other side of the door.

Did all that really happen yesterday?

As I brushed my teeth I kept reasoning to the image staring at me in the mirror.

Might she have gone in the middle of the night and returned to Denver?

I immediately squashed the dreadful thought. No, she’s tired and is sleeping soundly in her room.

I hurriedly shaved and washed my face, all the while debating with my own thoughts.

What proof is there that she was here? Ah—the Bible.

There it was. I castigated myself for my skepticism. I’ll let her sleep through and get her much needed rest and quietly went downstairs to get my jacket. I headed for the barn and then to the Stewarts after.

The Stewart household was bustling in action. I saw the boys and Hank tending their morning chores at the barn. Hank handed me a crate of produce that they forgot to bring yesterday to church. I carried it to their kitchen and plopped down at one of the chairs in the dining room.

The house smells delicious, I suddenly became very famished. I supposed I didn’t really get to eat much yesterday. Martha pointed to the loaves of bread sitting on the table and told me to grab one for the house, she had baked them earlier that morning.

I was subjected to Ruthie’s unyielding questions about her new aunt. I told her she’ll have to be the judge of everything when she meets her in person. I think like me she had already painted a picture of Livy in her mind. It will be really good for her to have another female in the family and I really believe Livy will be a good aunt and friend to her.

I hurriedly returned home an hour later for I wouldn’t want Livy to wake up to an empty house. As I headed into the house, I saw a somewhat flustered Livy come out of the front door to meet me. I think she had not intended to have overslept this morning, I assured her that she needed it. We were unexpectedly interrupted by an overly enthusiastic Franklin. Boy, does he long for company (other than me) all right! Livy, doesn’t seem too eager to make the acquaintance yet. I wondered if she was ever around animals before. Just the same, she is all loveliness this morning.

She wanted to drive into town to make a call and tell her family she has arrived here. Of course, I felt guilty that I hadn’t thought of it first. Maybe the drive will be a good way to start all over. Somehow telling her I’d drive didn’t quite sit well with her for I saw a tinge of disappointed in her face. Maybe I came across as somewhat harsh for not letting her take the beetbox. She must be quite independent in the city and I have no qualms about her being so. I have decided to teach her how to handle the beetbox as well as get to know the farm and routes to and from town if time permitted it today.

I was quite excited to show her the farm and the town. I shall get books for both of us to read. I stole a glance in her direction and I found her quite contented watching the countryside go by as we drove. I now wonder if she’s still vexed at me for coming along on this trip. Although I get this feeling that she would rather spend this first week apart from each other, I think I am quite reasonable to suggest that I would accompany her to town for the first time. The farms are situated far and wide around here that one could get easily lost.

Unlike yesterday, I initiated a conversation with her, asking a few questions and interspersing it with introductions to significant places that I felt she’ll want to get familiarized en route to our destination. I felt that I’ve quite accomplished my determination to be more talkative around her. She didn’t say much but I’ve learned some things about her. I was delighted that she showed some interest in the crops that we grow in the farm. She was very kind to offer some help but I felt in her current condition that would not be a good idea. I graciously turned her down and suggested that there are plenty of things to do in the house. After sometime, I somehow felt that she’s not up to talking any longer. We drove in silence until our arrival in town.

We parked in front of the telephone stall and I offered her some change but she declined. Somehow I detected a tinge of irritation from Livy – or did I just imagine it? I dismissed it as she seemed very anxious to make her call and I must be detaining her for it. I went ahead to the library located just across the street to give her some privacy.

I must confess that it’s been a while since I’ve visited the library. There are only a few books that I have in mind. I made a beeline over to the cooking section and picked up a couple of easy cookbooks for Livy. I then went on the family section and started my perusal of the books they have there. There were quite a selection, I did a quick sweep of the titles and one caught my eye – Getting Prepared for Baby. I think this would appropriately address the many questions I have in my mind without making it more complicated as it is. Maybe later on as we progress in the pregnancy, I’ll get another book. I dropped the books on the counter and was flustered when the lady had asked me if we were expecting. I felt joy and pride overcome me and a hint of self consciousness within the public place. I glanced around and saw Livy through the window. We will be a family and the mother of my child, yet I hardly know her. It reminded me of my urge to know more of her and I asked the librarian assistance in finding the book Livy had used for her thesis in graduate school. By the time I gathered what I’ve checked out and headed towards the door, I almost bumped into Livy. She wanted to check the library as well. I just had to stow the books behind the truck and head on to the mercantile store to pay my store credit. I returned to the library to find Livy had decided on two cookbooks, I went to the counter to check those out. I was glad that she didn’t have to come with me, as she was held up at the periodicals section, for I wouldn’t know how she would react if the lady mentioned about expecting in front of her.

By the time we left the library, it was almost noon and I broached the subject of lunch. I directed her to the nearest diner around the corner and we got ourselves good seating by the window. I was concerned that she hardly touched her food last night and I supposed she hadn’t taken any breakfast and must be starved by then. I insisted that we order dessert and had her pick her choice, however, she won’t agree unless we share one – she said half of it will just go to waste if she tried to order one for herself. We enjoyed the fruit tart she picked from the glass pedestal on the counter. As we talked and yes- laughed at times – I found myself mesmerized by the way she chews her every bite of food. I’ve never seen such gracefulness in such a basic task as eating, it is hard not to admire her more each day.

As we headed home, I glanced over to Livy and saw her enjoying the warm breeze hitting her face through the open window. She had a smile on her face. I stopped the truck and as expected knew she’d asked why. I smiled as I began to get off the truck. I told her to move over for we have time for her to learn to drive the beetbox. She thought I was kidding but I was halfway around and opening her side of the door and she was forced to move over to the driver’s seat. I felt her apprehension as I learned that she drove her father’s Oldsmobile Hydramatic which had automatic transmission. The beetbox may be a ‘cranky’ at times but one just had to adjust to it and it will prove to be a very reliable truck. She was a fast learner. After only a few reminders to shift gears, which she wasn’t used to, she got the transmission and the foot pedal to a good rhythm. I enjoyed seeing her laugh, I felt I scored some good points with her. I proceeded to instruct her about special tricks about the truck most especially concerning the gas gauge. God forbid she neglects to realize that it’s out of gas. I always bring an extra gas can just in case.

As we drove past the south field, she noticed and was surprised that we employ Japanese workers in the farm. She seemed quite fascinated and I explained to her how we came about working together. Now that this is our farm, I have to share and teach her more things about it one day at a time.

I think I shall rate this day as a big improvement from yesterday. Although our day was a mixture of good and not so good times, I am hopeful that it will get better for we had more good times today. We earned some memories and we’ve learned a bit of what each other was like. I have to declare that I close this day as a man more captivated by his wife.