I’m Kate Isaacs, Addie Bledsoe’s best friend—we became best friends the moment we met in elementary school. Addie’s the main character in this novel, but I’m sharing this conversation we had about a year before this story begins.
Why? Because Addie is so embroiled in her own home front challenges with her husband, she can’t be objective about her situation. Still, because she’s so honest and shares from her heart, you won’t have any trouble detecting her viewpoint.
So, here’s how our little talk went.
“Oh, Kate, you know I love Harold and try to please him, but . . . something I say always gets him riled up and I end up . . . Like the other day, we were on the way home from church and Harold brought up draft board, since one of the members is also on the church council.”
“Really? That must be hard for Harold,”
“You can say that again—it’s enough to threaten his Sunday smile. Nobody wants to go to war more than he does. He was so disappointed he didn’t get to go when Joe did. ”
“Yes . . . they were always so close.”
“He got a postcard the other day. Sounds like the Navy’s sending Joe to someplace in the Pacific. I sure hope we can stay out of the war.”
“Me, too. What a nice guy Joe is. And you . . . you have so much more patience than I do. You know about my run-ins with Harold in the past.”
“But don’t you believe we should do everything in our power to make our husbands happy?”
“Sure. It’s just that I think our husbands should make at least the same effort we do. Anyway, I know you give it your best effort.”
Addie bit her lip and grew quiet.
“You’ve always given more than one-hundred per-cent in everything.”
“I want to help Harold in the worst way. He’s so miserable! But no matter how I try, he says I don’t comprehend his meaning.”
“Nobody can say you don’t try—that must count for something.”
“You’d think so, but sometimes I wonder.”
“Yet you never even think of quitting—you’re true to your vows.”
“Of course, just like you. I promised to love, honor and cherish Harold. That means listening to him, keeping the house clean and caring for the chickens and garden—helping out however I can.”
“Must be frustrating to feel you never please him.”
“That’s for sure.” Addie’s sigh came from a deep place. “He’s got a heavy load, all the responsibility of this farm, and his dad is so sick.”
“That would be rough, especially when our President places such stress on farming for the war effort. But you help with that, too—your victory garden . . .”
“Yes . . . it’s growing like crazy. And my chickens. See that old coffee can up on the shelf? That’s the money the egg man pays me once a week.”
“You’re making a difference, Mrs. M always said you would—remember she used to say you’d go far?”
“Maybe . . . But . . .” A faraway look fills Abby’s eyes as I wait for her to go on.
“I just wish I could be the kind of wife Harold deserves.”
The earnestness of her dark eyes, framed by her beautiful chestnut curls, tells me she’s worthy of the best life can offer. I don’t know how I’d ever have made it through our school years if she hadn’t moved to town.
I know these things take time, but Addie’s always so hard on herself. I’m glad that even though we’re so far apart, we can still write letters. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
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Our Story Re-releases: February 20, 2020
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The Author of My Story: Gail Kittleson
An Iowa farm girl (baby boomer), Gail Kittleson appeared with her thick glasses at the local library counter every Saturday of her childhood and hauled home a new pile of books. Later, she earned her MA in TESOL and taught English as a Second Language and college expository writing.
Over a ten-year period during her husband Lance’s deployments to the Middle East, Gail’s memoir developed, and another is presently with a publisher.
Since the World War II bug bit, she’s never been quite the same. Her Women of the Heartland fiction brings to life this challenging era’s make-do women, whom she loves to introduce to new readers.
Gail delights in historical research, grandchildren, gardening in Northern Iowa, and Arizona’s Mogollon Rim in winter. Facilitating workshops fulfills her teaching craving, and she also cheers other writers on through free-lance editing.
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