On a brisk October morning when the hills were a canvas of vivid reds and yellows, Mary bustled about in her parents’ kitchen, busily pickling cucumbers. Hearing a horse and buggy pull up to the house, she looked out the window to see who had stopped by. There in the buggy sat John Willard, in his best Sunday suit. And it was only Saturday. She and John had met at the First Baptist Church where they sat next to each other and attended many a church picnic together. She parted the curtains and watched him climb down, hitch his horse to the post, and walk toward the shed where her father was engrossed in a repair job. She could see them talking with their heads down, occasionally looking toward the house. Then she saw her father, Thomas, nod his head, they shook hands, and John walked quickly toward the front door, a big smile on his face.
Mary threw off her apron, grabbed a shawl and her pretty bonnet with blue pansies and stepped out onto the porch to greet John.
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