A Season of Love (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #5)by Amy Clipston
Three young friends enter the most important season of their lives. But relationships have changed, and only time will tell if Lindsay, Katie, and Lizzie Anne have made the right choices.See more details below
Three young friends enter the most important season of their lives. But relationships have changed, and only time will tell if Lindsay, Katie, and Lizzie Anne have made the right choices.
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A Season of Love
By Amy Clipston
ZondervanCopyright © 2012 Amy Clipston
All right reserved.
Chapter OneKatie Kauffman carried a tray filled with breakfast foods down the hallway toward her aunt Rebecca's bedroom. Balancing the tray on her hip, she tapped on the closed door. "Breakfast time, Aenti Rebecca!" she called.
"Oh," Rebecca said through the door. "Come in."
Katie pushed the door open and smiled at her aunt, who rested propped up in bed. Katie had spent most of the summer helping her pregnant aunt in place of her best friend Lindsay Bedford, who had come to live with their aunt Rebecca four years earlier after her parents died in a car accident.
Lindsay had left their community of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, to visit her parents' dear friends Trisha and Frank McCabe in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and help Trisha heal from an accident in which she had broken her leg. After Lindsay had left, Rebecca's pregnancy complications had worsened, and Katie had moved in to help care for her aunt Rebecca and uncle Daniel's young children.
"How are you feeling today?" Katie asked, as she placed the tray on the nightstand beside her aunt. "You don't look quite as pale as you did yesterday."
"I'm doing better, danki." Rebecca smiled. "How are the kinner?"
"They're doing well," Katie said, pulling up a chair and sitting beside the bed. She handed her aunt a glass of orange juice. "They're eating breakfast with Onkel Daniel, but I have a few minutes before his ride arrives to take him to work."
Rebecca sipped her juice. "How are you today, Katie?"
"I'm doing well." Katie lifted the plate filled with scrambled eggs, hash browns, and sausage and handed it to her aunt. She then gave her the utensils. "I made your favorites."
"Danki." Rebecca bowed her head in silent prayer and then scooped a pile of eggs into her mouth. "Katie, this is delicious, as usual. Not only are your breakfasts always wunderbaar, you're a fantastic baker."
"Danki." Katie smiled. "It's my goal to be the best baker at the Kauffman Amish Bakery. I'm working with Mammi to learn all of her recipes and even invent some of my own."
"Maybe someday you'll run the bakery for your mammi when she's ready to retire," Rebecca said.
"I would love that," Katie said, smoothing her apron over her lap. "That would be a dream come true for me. Hopefully Amanda and Ruthie will continue to work there with me. I would love to keep working with my family, you know?"
Rebecca nodded. "I bet you can't wait to go back to the bakery, ya?"
Katie hesitated, not wanting to hurt her aunt's feelings. "I love being here, but I do miss the bakery."
"You're allowed to miss the bakery." Rebecca smiled. "I bet you miss your friends too."
Katie nodded. "I do. I'm looking forward to when Lindsay gets back, and we can all be together. It's been a long time since Lindsay, Lizzie Anne, and I have all been together. I miss mei best freinden."
"I'm certain you do." Rebecca swallowed some hash browns and then sipped more juice.
"I really miss Lindsay since it seems like Lizzie Anne is spending more and more time with mei bruder, Samuel," Katie said, hoping she didn't sound selfish.
"Have you heard from Lindsay?" Rebecca asked.
"I need to go check the messages." Katie glanced toward the window and wondered if Lindsay had received the letter she'd written a few days ago. Against her aunt's wishes, she'd written to her friend to tell her Rebecca had taken a turn for the worse and was restricted to full bed rest. Though she knew she was disobeying her elders, she felt Lindsay needed to know the news as soon as possible. "I'll check the messages today and see if Lindsay has called."
"Danki," Rebecca said. "I hope she's doing well." She smiled. "I'm certain you and your friends will be back together soon, and you'll be back at the bakery making your wunderbaar desserts."
"Ya, you're right, Aenti Rebecca," Katie said. "Things will be back to normal soon." Smiling at her aunt, Katie hoped she was right.
* * *
Lindsay Bedford held her breath as the bus pulled into the station in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She touched her prayer covering and then smoothed the skirt of her black bib apron, which covered her purple frock, making sure both were presentable before grabbing her tote bag from the floor. It seemed as if it took a lifetime for the line of passengers in front of her to file off the bus. When she finally stepped onto the sidewalk, her heart swelled.
"Heemet," she whispered, her lips curling up into a smile.
"Lindsay!" a familiar voice called.
Turning, she spotted Matthew Glick waving from a few yards away. He was dressed in a dark blue shirt, black trousers, and suspenders. His dark brown curls peeked out from under his straw hat, and his golden-brown eyes shone as he made his way through the crowd toward her. A smile split his handsome face, and her heart thudded in her chest.
"Matthew!" she called as he approached. "Wie geht's?"
"Doing great now." Matthew reached for her bag. "May I carry that for you?"
"Danki." She smiled, but held the bag closer to her body. "How about you carry my luggage instead? My duffle bag is pretty heavy."
"I'd be happy to," he said, gesturing toward the bus station. "Let's go inside and get it. I'm certain you're in a hurry to get heemet. Mei schweschder rode along with me. She'll be happy to see you too."
"Oh, that's nice. I can't wait to see Betsy," Lindsay said. "It's so gut to be heemet."
After retrieving her duffle bag, they both climbed into the back seat of the waiting van.
Betsy waved from the front passenger seat, where she sat next to the driver. "Lindsay, willkumm heemet."
"Danki, Betsy. I appreciate your coming to get me," Lindsay said, as she settled into her seat and buckled her belt. "You both kept my arrival a secret, ya?"
"I kept my promise." Matthew lifted his hat and smoothed his curls. "Betsy and I haven't told anyone."
"I'm certain Daniel, Rebecca, and the kinner will be froh to see you again," Betsy said.
"How is mei aenti doing?" She held her breath, hoping her aunt Rebecca hadn't taken a turn for the worse.
"I haven't heard that anything has changed," Matthew said. "Don't worry about her right now. We'll get you heemet as soon as we can." He smiled. "Tell me about your trip. Did you have a gut time?"
"I did." Lindsay angled her body toward him and also glanced at Betsy as she spoke. "My aunt Trisha and uncle Frank live right on the beach, and I walked out there every day. It was so nice to feel the warm sand between my toes. I even swam a bit. I love the ocean. I spent some time with friends from school, and I attended the church where I grew up. I volunteered at a nursing heemet too, which was nice. I told you in my letter I helped Mrs. Fisher, the patient who spoke only Dietsch."
"Oh, how nice that you helped out in a nursing heemet," Betsy said. "I'm certain the patients enjoyed seeing you."
"Ya," Matthew said with a nod. "That was really wunderbaar gut how you helped Mrs. Fisher communicate with the nurses when she fell and hurt herself."
Lindsay's smiled faded. "She passed away Friday night."
Shaking his head, he frowned. "I'm sorry. I know she was very special to you."
"I'm so sorry too, Lindsay," Betsy said. "How very sad."
Lindsay cleared her throat in the hopes of not getting emotional in front of them. "But I'm glad I was able to help her some. She dictated a letter to me, and I sent it to her estranged dochder. It was a way for her to make peace between them before she passed away."
"That's very nice of you," Betsy said. "What else did you do while you were in Virginia Beach?"
"Let's see," Lindsay said, touching her chin. "Aunt Trisha, Uncle Frank, and I went to some of my favorite places to eat, and we ordered pizza from my favorite pizza parlor."
"Oh, I love pizza," Betsy said with a grin. "I bet it was wunderbaar gut!"
"Ya." Matthew grinned. "I bet that was a nice treat."
"It was. I would love to take a group of mei freinden to visit Virginia Beach sometime. I know it's Katie's dream to see the beach."
"Maybe someday we can take a trip down there," Matthew said.
"Ya. Aunt Trisha has a third level in the house with plenty of space for guests."
"You should do that," Betsy said. "You're only young once."
"It sounds like you stayed pretty busy while you were there. Did you have time to do anything else?" Matthew asked.
Glancing out the window at the morning traffic, Lindsay thought of her GED and hesitated, wondering how he'd feel if he knew she'd worked to achieve it. However, she didn't want to keep any secrets from him, since he was her good friend.
After a moment Lindsay faced him and took a deep breath. "I also did something that was more work than fun," she began.
"Oh?" He raised his eyebrows with curiosity. "What was that?"
"I hope you won't be upset with me." Lindsay glanced at Betsy. "And I hope you won't think badly of me."
Betsy smiled. "Lindsay, I'm certain you couldn't do anything to make me think badly of you."
"Why would I be upset?" Matthew's expression became one of concern.
"I wanted to prove to myself that I am smarter than Jessica thinks I am." Lindsay bit her lower lip.
"You don't have to tell me," Matthew said. "I respect your privacy, Lindsay."
"I studied really hard, and I got my GED." Lindsay braced herself, waiting to see if he would be upset.
Matthew paused. "Ach."
Lindsay studied his eyes, finding disappointment mixed with concern there. "You're upset." Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Betsy turn toward the front of the van as if she didn't want to interfere in the conversation.
"No." He shook his head. "I'm just wondering why you wanted a GED if you're planning to stay in the Amish community."
"I just wanted to try," Lindsay said with a shrug. "I had to see if I could do it. I was so tired of Jessica beating me down with snide comments about not finishing high school. I had to do this for myself."
He nodded slowly. "Does that mean you want to use your GED to get a job in the English world or go to college?"
"No," Lindsay said quickly. "I don't want to get a job in the English world, and I also don't want to go back to school. While I was in Virginia Beach, I figured out what I want to do with my life."
"And what do you want to do with your life?" His words were hesitant.
"Join the Amish church." Lindsay sat up straight in the seat as confidence in her decision filled her. "I know for certain this is where I want to be."
His warm smile was back. "Gut."
"Betsy," Lindsay said, "do you think it's okay I got my GED?"
Betsy smiled at Lindsay. "I think it's fine you wanted to get your GED. But I also think it's wunderbaar you want to join the church."
"Danki," Lindsay said.
Lindsay asked Matthew about the furniture store, and he talked about his latest projects as the van bumped up the road toward her aunt Rebecca's home in Bird-in-Hand. She also asked Betsy about her family, and Betsy talked about her children and the weather. Although she listened to Matthew and Betsy, Lindsay's thoughts returned to Rebecca. She prayed her aunt was going to be all right and the complications with her pregnancy hadn't worsened in the past few days.
Lindsay's trip to Virginia Beach was cut short when she received the letter from Katie that told her Rebecca was restricted to complete bed rest after her blood pressure spiked. Since Trisha was no longer immobile, Lindsay rushed out on the first bus available in order to return home to help her aunt. Lindsay informed only Matthew she was returning since she planned to surprise the family.
The van turned into her aunt's rock driveway, and Lindsay's heart fluttered. She couldn't wait to see her family after nearly three months. She'd missed them terribly.
The van came to a stop near the barn, and Lindsay fished her wallet out from her tote bag. "How much was the ride?"
Matthew shook his head. "Don't be gegisch. I'll pay the driver after he takes Betsy heemet and me to work." He gestured toward the door. "You go inside. I'll get your bag."
"Danki." Lindsay said good-bye to Betsy, hopped out of the van, and rushed up the porch steps. She glanced through the glass of the back door and saw Katie washing dishes at the kitchen sink. Lindsay pushed the door open, and Katie looked up, her blue eyes rounding as they met Lindsay's.
"Lindsay!" Katie yelled. "You're heemet!"
"Hi," Lindsay said, dropping her tote bag on the floor with a clunk.
Katie rushed over, embracing Lindsay in a tight hug. "I'm so glad you came back."
"I booked my ticket as soon as I got your letter." Lindsay studied her eyes. "How is Aenti Rebecca?"
"She's doing okay," Katie said. "She's been very gut about staying in bed, which is what the doctor instructed her to do. She goes back to see him next week."
"Danki for taking care of her," Lindsay said. "I'll be sure she follows his orders."
A thud sounded behind her, and Lindsay turned to see Matthew standing by the door, her duffle bag beside him on the floor.
"Danki," Lindsay said, walking over and lifting the bag. "I appreciate the ride from the bus station."
"Gern gschehne," Matthew said. "I'm glad you called me." His eyes were intense. "I hope to see you soon."
"Ya," she said. "You will."
"Have a gut day. I need to get to work." He nodded toward them both and then slipped out the door to the van.
"Lindsay!" Daniel Junior called, running from the family room to the kitchen. "Willkumm heemet!"
Dropping to her knees on the floor, Lindsay pulled her little cousin into a hug. "It's so gut to be heemet."
With a squeal, Emma toddled over to join them, and Lindsay tugged her into a group hug with Daniel Junior.
"I have something for you both," Lindsay said with a grin. She pulled her tote bag over and handed Daniel Junior a toy car and Emma a doll. She had picked up the toys for them before leaving Virginia Beach.
The children thanked her for the gifts and then hurried back into the family room to play.
"Is Aenti Rebecca awake?" Lindsay asked as she stood. "I'd love to let her know I'm heemet."
"She's resting," Katie said. "But I think she's awake."
"I'm going to go see her," Lindsay said, hoisting her bag up onto her shoulder. She looked at the clock above the sink. "Is it time for the kinner to nap?"
"Ya," Katie said. "I can bring your duffel bag for you if you want to carry Emma. We can go up together."
Lindsay smiled. "That sounds like a gut plan." She carried Emma up the stairs, kissing and nuzzling her while the little girl giggled. After tucking her into her crib, Lindsay kissed Emma's head and then moved to Daniel Junior's room where she kissed him as well. She found Katie standing in the doorway to Lindsay's room.
"They're very froh you're heemet," Katie said, with a smile. "I am too." She gestured toward Rebecca's room at the end of the hallway. "I'll let you go see Aenti Rebecca alone. I've been sleeping in your room, so I'll pack up my things. I'll see about getting a ride heemet in a little bit."
"No, don't leave. Why don't you stay today so we can spend some time together?" Lindsay dropped her tote bag near the doorway. "I'll be right back. I don't want to take away from her rest time."
Moving down the hallway, Lindsay stood at Rebecca's door and peered in, finding her aunt lying on her side, facing the opposite wall. Her eyes filled with tears as she thought of how much her aunt must have missed her when she began to feel ill. A sob gripped her and she sucked in a breath to prevent it from escaping.
Rebecca rolled over and gasped as she began to sit up. "Lindsay? You're heemet?"
"Ya," Lindsay said, wiping her eyes as she moved into the room. "How are you?"
"Ach, Lindsay." Rebecca opened her arms. "Kumm. It's so gut to see you."
Lindsay leaned over into her aunt's arms as hot tears streamed down her cheeks. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here when you got grank."
"Don't be gegisch," Rebecca whispered, her voice sounding thick. "It's not your fault, and Trisha needed you." She looked up at Lindsay. "How is Trisha?"
"She's doing well." Lindsay sat on the edge of the bed. "She's walking around now with a soft cast."
"What brought you back so soon?" Rebecca asked while holding Lindsay's hand. "I wasn't expecting you for a few more weeks."
Lindsay hesitated. She couldn't bear to tell her aunt a fib, but she also didn't want to cause any trouble for Katie who had only done what she believed was right.
"Did Katie call you?" Rebecca asked, raising her eyebrows with suspicion.
"She wrote me," Lindsay said. "But please don't be upset with her. She's very worried about you, and she knew I would want to know what was going on. She felt she had to tell me."
Rebecca smiled and touched Lindsay's cheek. "I'm not angry."
"Gut," Lindsay said, relief flooding her.
"I just didn't want you to feel obligated to come back heemet since Trisha and Frank needed you," Rebecca continued. "I wanted Trisha to be well before you came heemet. You'd made a promise to her first."
"But I want to help you," Lindsay said. "You're my family too."
Excerpted from A Season of Love by Amy Clipston Copyright © 2012 by Amy Clipston . Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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