Christmas Cheer, Day 20, scene two from Janet Barton's A Place Called Home
“I’m glad I’ve had good weather,” Jeb said. “Christmas will be here before we know it.”
“It sure will be. And it will be time to decorate that tree at school. How about we string some popcorn and cranberries?”
“Sounds good to me.” Jeb chuckled. “How about you, Lucas? You ready to learn how to thread a needle?”
Cassie ran to get Beth’s sewing basket while Jeb and Lucas popped the corn. Then Beth brought out the cranberries she’d found at Jaffa-Prager, and they began making garland.
It took only a moment to teach Lucas what to do, and for the next few hours, they took turns stringing and eating the popped corn. By the time the popcorn was gone, they found that the cranberry garland was longer by at least half, but they had two beautiful contributions to the decorating of the school tree.
“Next time, I’ll have to pop more,” Beth commented as she began to clean up. “I think it’s time for bed, children. You have school tomorrow.”
Jeb got to his feet. “Guess I’d better get back to the ranch.”
Cassie and Lucas gave him a hug, and Beth walked him to the door.
“Did you ever get a chance to talk to Liddy about Christmas?” Jeb whispered.
Beth nodded and pulled a piece of paper from her pocket. “I telephoned her. These are some things she suggested.”
“Thank you. I haven’t had a chance to get by their place. I guess I ought to see about getting one of those telephones installed. Can I get one out there?”
Beth nodded. “Yes, you’re close to town, and there are lines out that way now. Cal and Liddy live farther out than you and they have one. Would you like me to place your order tomorrow?”
“Would you, please? I’ve never had a use for one, but I suppose it would be good to have, once I move Cassie and Lucas out there.”
“Well, naturally, I’m a big believer in having a telephone. Liddy and I can keep in touch much easier, instead of waiting to see each other on a Sunday or running into each other when she comes into town. Plus, if one of the children gets sick and you need a doctor to come out, it will make it easier and faster to get hold of him.”
“I hadn’t thought of all those things. Please, do put my order in tomorrow.”
Jeb stood looking at her for a moment. “You know. . .Christmas is almost here. The house is going to be finished soon.”
Beth held her breath.
He reached out and touched a wayward curl of hair on her forehead. “You haven’t forgotten your challenge to me, have you?”
She could only shake her head.
“Well, then. . .it appears you have some thinking to do. Because I haven’t forgotten, either.”