Authors: Jerry S. Eicher
HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS
All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to events or locales, is entirely coincidental.
Cover by Garborg Design Works, Savage, Minnesota
Cover photos Â© Chris Garborg
WHERE LOVE GROWS
Copyright Â© 2012 by Jerry S. Eicher
Published by Harvest House Publishers
Eugene, Oregon 97402
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Eicher, Jerry S.
Where love grows / Jerry S. Eicher.
p. cm.â(Fields of home ; bk. 3)
ISBN 978-0-7369-3945-4 (pbk.)
ISBN 978-0-7369-4288-1 (eBook)
1. AmishâFiction. 2. WeddingsâFiction. I Title.
All rights reserved
. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, digital, photocopy, recording, or any otherâexcept for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
usan Hostetler made her way to the barn to hitch the horse for the drive to the small farmstead where James and Teresa would live after their wedding next week. Susan smiled as she thought of Deacon Ray's struggle to get used to the idea that his son James was marrying an
, it had not been easy for him. Of course, Teresa was Amish now. In the months since she had arrived with Susan, Teresa had turned into a model of submission and humility. Deacon Ray shouldn't complain even if Teresa's baby, Samuel, had been born out of wedlock before she came to the community.
, in an unwed state, but wasn't changing one's life for the better a commendable thing to do? Of course it was.
And Teresa was now properly baptized. She knew how to cook, wash clothes, and sew with the best of the women. She even had her own quilt completed and stashed in the cedar chest upstairs awaiting the day she and James would marry. She would spread the quilt on their bed and be able to say with complete honesty that she had done much of the work. There had been help from
, five of Susan's eight sisters who lived nearby, and Susan herself. Between the work on the quilt, helping Teresa adapt to her new life, and now the plans for the upcoming wedding, the months had sped by.
Summer was waning, and it wouldn't be long until snow would be covering the Amish farms spread among these rolling hills of southern Indiana. But now was not the time to think of snow. The rest of summer lay ahead, followed by fall, and perhaps a glorious display of Indian summer. How appropriate that would be for all of them. And Teresa deserved a wonderful stretch of
weather, both before and following her wedding day. It would be fitting after the hard road she'd traveled after arriving in the Amish community.
hadn't seemed worried back then by the attempt to match Yost Byler and Teresa. But Susan had been ready to panic before Yost finally decided, with Susan's
's help, that marrying Teresa wasn't a
idea. Such a marriage would have been a disaster for Teresa and probably also for Yost.
, he needed a wife who had been born Amish to cook and clean for him. The
news floating around the community was that Yost may have finally found an older widow as a potential
Only a few days remained until Teresa's wedding to James. It would take place here on the Hostetler home place, just like
had provided for all Susan's sisters. How could things be more awesome than that?
Perhaps the icing on the cake was the love that was now beginning to stir afresh in Susan's heart for her old flame, Thomas Stoll. Who could have imagined such a thing?
, she had loved Thomas since their school days, but that love came to a halt the day she caught Thomas kissing Eunice outside a hymn singing one Sunday night. Thomas had claimed he'd just had a “weak moment.”
After escaping into the
world for a time, Susan was back now. And despite all the fuss, she and Thomas were getting together again. Of course, it hadn't hurt that Teresa had encouraged her to restore the relationship after Thomas's repeated apologies and continued attention.
also gave their encouragement at every opportunity. But it was Teresa's opinion that had carried the real weight. How strange that an
girl should have such sway in her life. But that was how things had turned out. Teresa was now the friend closest to Susan's heart.
Since Susan had returned from her flirtation with the
world in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Thomas was the picture of repentance. Had he wanted to, he could be married to Eunice by nowâor to just about any other young woman in the community. But Thomas hadn't pursued anyone but Susan in the months since her return. The result was that Susan felt some trust returning in her heart for him. Perhaps someday soon her heart would be fully restored.
In the meantime, there was no need to rush into setting a wedding date, even with Thomas's pleadings that they do.
, he loved Susan and wanted to marry her, but he also wanted to begin the work of taking over the farm from Susan's
. In fact, he wanted it very badly. Thomas had no background in farming since his
was a cabinetmaker, but he was anxious to learn.
were older now and tired. They both yearned for the comfort of the
, which would be built as soon as the matter between Thomas and Susan was settled by marriage. Until then,
had hired young Steve Mast to help with the farm. He'd started in the spring and was a hard workerâno doubt due to his being raised on an Amish farm over in Daviess County. During the days he worked
's farm, Steve took his supper and lodging at Susan's sister's place. Ada and her husband, Reuben, lived just down the road a piece.
Steve was a rare find,
said. A real answer to their prayers. Not many Amish men were available for hiring out once they became of age at twenty-one. Either they were married, were planning to get married, or had work on their own family places.
Steve didn't have work on his
's place, neither did he have a girlfriend or a prospect that anyone knew of. He was the second boy in a family of tenâsix of them being boys. He wasn't that handsome or forward about himself, a good quality for an Amish man.
Susan stopped just short of the barn and looked up at the swaying branches of the old oak where she'd once had a swing and had climbed to its highest limbs. She sighed to think she was too old for that now. But at least she was here. She was home, hopefully to stay.
It was here she had played in the front yard with her cousins and older sisters during many a summer. Here she had watched
harness the horses in the first light of dawn. Here she had watched him take the teams to the fields, where his tall form moved in and out of view all day. Here her heart had taken deep enough root that she was pulled back after her time in Asbury Park. Susan sighed again. Was this why she was giving in to Thomas? Was this why she was allowing him to bring her home on Sunday nights again? Was she accepting his attentions although still feeling a little uncertain about their future?