Friday, October 9, 2015

Chapter 3, Episode 5: Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1999

This series of posts on each Friday, henceforth, moving forward during 2015 will continue the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Earlier, we have seen the community move from January 1997 through December 1998. We now move into January of 1999, in novel format…

Chapter 3 - Jennifer; Episode 5

As she walked into the horse barn, Diane saw that both Jennifer and Heather were standing by the birthing stall. When they had expanded this horse barn, they had built in two birthing stalls for use this time of year. Over the next few months, a number of mares would be giving birth as part of the ongoing breeding programs at the Stables. Birthing stalls were double-wide to allow the mare, while in later stages of pregnancy, to have more maneuvering room, and after the birth of the foal, to have room for each of them for a time. When not in use for birthing, a temporary wall could be inserted to make it two stalls.

Heather’s first Palomino mare, Sunshine, appeared to be within days of giving birth. This would be her third consecutive pregnancy. Sunshine had been the first bred, last year, as part of Heather’s FFA Project for her senior year of high school and now that part of the program was coming to fruition. 

Diane asked Heather if she knew that her mother, Beverly, was in town. Heather replied that she did not know, but that she was not surprised. She was confident her mother wouldn’t be able to stay away very long with baby Faith so young and growing so fast. When Diane mentioned that Beverly had said she planned to stay, permanently, Heather was surprised.

“She certainly had not mentioned that. Where did you hear this?”

“Well,” Diane continued, “Karen called Bart, while we were on break in the house. Lori’s friend, Jaxine, out at the Motel, had called her saying that Beverly was very specific in stating that, as she was checking in, she was here to live in Oak Springs, permanently. Jaxine is very good at ‘spreading the word,’ as you know.” While Jaxine had developed a bit of a reputation as a ‘gossip,’ she was also well known to be nearly one hundred percent accurate, because of where she worked and the people in the community with whom she was close. In fact, some folks had been known to intentionally tell her something interesting to see how fast the word spread. Is it ‘gossip’ when it is true?

“It would certainly be wonderful for us kids if she were to be close by. It has been nice  that she has come for some occasions, but being available, all the time, would be even nicer.” Heather smiled as she thought about upcoming graduation activities of her own.

Jennifer pitched in, “I’m very happy for you, Heather. I know you’d like to talk to your Mom more often. I certainly hope it works out.” Turning to Diane, she continued, “How do you and Dad feel about it, Mom?

“Well, Beverly’s recent visits have been mostly without drama, so we are hopeful. I agree with Heather. I think the arrival of the grand baby has a lot to do with her apparent decision, as well as Winnie’s passing. All her real family is here now. Bart is more skeptical, but he certainly wants it to work out well, for all concerned.” Looking across the barn, she added, “I need to get back to my own tasks. Talk to you later.”

“Me, too,” added Jennifer, “Keep a close eye on Sunshine here, Heather. She’ll be a new mama herself, any day now. I’ve got work waiting for me in the office.”

Jennifer turned and walked out the door, to return to her nearby office.

[To be continued - next Friday]

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. It's enjoyable watching you take all these threads and weave them into a cohesive really are a master at the historical saga, Bill.

    1. You are very kind. I just live 'among 'em' and tell their stories... ;-) They are each very real people, in a very real place, to me... don't want to leave anyone out... ;-)