A snippet from the MacDougals of 1871
It’s Christmas of 1871. Amelia MacDougal is well along in her pregnancy. Tanner’s Ford is celebrating the holiday.
“Kiss her, laddie, then give us a turn,” roared Gillis.
Ross took Amelia’s hand and, careful of the large bump between them, kissed her tenderly. She returned it just as sweetly.
“That’s not how ye kiss a bride!”
“She was a bride in June and I kissed her like one.” Ross placed both hands over his wife’s distended abdomen. A rare smile reached his eyes. “Because of that, in a few months my son will be born.”
“No, my daughter,” replied Amelia, continuing the longstanding argument. She winced at the same time that Ross lifted his hand.
“With the strength of that kick, I think there’s a boy in there.” He leaned over and spoke to her belly. “Be strong, my son. Soon you will be free.”
She pouted at him, an exaggerated expression. “It won’t be soon enough for me. You should try what it feels like from this side.”
He moved around to stand at her back and reached his long arms around her belly. “I think I’d better take you upstairs to rest.”
“Rest? Is that what you call it,” hooted Jack. “Beth, you want some rest?”
Beth scowled. “You’ll be bedding down in the barn tonight, Jack Elliott.” She shook her finger at Jack. Simon caught it, curled her fingers and kissed her knuckles. Beth had let slip that she thought James would be having a brother or sister during the coming summer. The way Simon looked at her, it was obvious who the father was this time.
Meggie reluctantly let Trace take James from her arms.
“Another couple of years and you might have one of your own,” said Trace, her loving stepfather. “But no more kissing under that mistletoe at the mercantile until one of us is around,” he added with mock fierceness.
“Whenever I’m in town, one of you is always around,” Meggie retorted, blushing.
“That’s what brothers and uncles are for,” said Jack. “We know what we wanted to do at that age, and we won’t let anyone try it with you.”
“Poppa said when I was sixteen I could go to dances,” said Meggie quietly to whoever might be listening.
Beth nodded encouragingly. “If you’re going to the dance at the hotel next week, you’d better hem your new dress.”
Meggie squealed and kissed Beth’s cheek. James squealed even louder when Trace held him up to see his first Christmas tree.
Miss Lily held out her hands to James. “Come to Gram, lovey.” The boy, showing off his top two teeth in a bright grin, reached for her. Trace made sure she had a good grip on the active boy before releasing him.
“Ross and Amelia went upstairs,” said Nevin to Sophie. “That won’t stop us eating, will it?”
“We’re here to celebrate,” she replied. “There’s tarts in my basket—”
Nevin and Jack whooped and raced out of the kitchen. Baskets of food waited, tucked up in straw to keep from freezing. The wedding party would continue, no matter what the bride and groom were doing upstairs.
Watch for Part 2, appearing July 11th