Laura had been lost in her thoughts too long and knew she must get back home to her parents, who had provided her with so much love and support since Gerald’s death. She felt she had been thinking too much about the past and had to think of the future. Laura was, however, reluctant to surrender a past that held fond memories of a husband who had been so dear to her.
Jenny chased after yellow butterflies that filled the forest as Laura slowly followed her. Together they rounded the bend in the path that led back to their antebellum home. Oak Grove was a stately house painted white, with black shutters framing windows that looked out onto a majestic lawn. A large veranda swept around the first and second floors, softening the square lines of the home. Six massive white pillars at the front and five matching pillars along each side gave Oak Grove an air of grandeur. On the second floor, two small doors opened onto a large balcony. This was Laura’s favorite spot. From here she could see the Mississippi gently flow south toward New Orleans and the rest of the world. She’d often stood on this very spot, watching for signs of Gerald’s horse galloping up the path that led to her home. She may not have him now, but at least she had Jenny and her memories. Laura was so thankful her home had been spared by the war.
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