Elizabeth felt the urge to peek over the brow of the hill, but she shook her head and turned back to her work. She wrung out one of her husband’s shirts, letting the dirty water fall into the tub before she gave it one last twist and dropped it into a basket that rested beside her feet in the grass.
She was acting like a spoiled child at Christmas, trying to take a peek at her presents before it was time. She glanced at the top of the hill once more, the logic in her head outweighing the longing of her heart.
Her husband Eric had begged her to promise that she wouldn’t go near the top of the hill. She had grinned at his excitement and promised. She smiled softly and touched her cheek with one of her wet hands, remembering the kiss he had given her in exchange for her promise.
She picked up the basket of wet laundry, groaning with the weight and settled it against her hip. Eric had hung a clothesline, conveniently placed right outside of their tent so she didn’t have to walk for to do the laundry. A breeze ruffled the field grass and the plaintive moo reached her ear. The Lord had truly blessed them with this beautiful land. She couldn’t have wished for a more pleasant, convenient and gorgeous piece of land to build their house and raise a family. She let the basket drop beside the clothesline and raised her hands to her swollen midsection where she rubbed softly the rounded outline of their child beneath her apron.
She didn’t mind living in a tent while Eric built the house, but she was looking forward to having real walls and a pump in the kitchen, and maybe even indoor facilities. She sighed and closed her eyes, the idea of a bath in its own room sounded delightful. Just a few more weeks. Eric had said it would be ready in time for the baby, and if his cheery mood of late was any indication of the progress on the building, she would guess it was near completion.
When the light from the sun had turned a subtle pink and red, Eric’s figure crested the top of the hill and Elizabeth smiled and shook her head from her vantage point in a rocker that sat on the wood, platform their tent rested on. Crazy man! After a long day of work, he somehow still found the energy to run down the hill and roll to a stop in the grass like a young child. She laughed as he got back to his feet and shook himself as if he were a dog.
“Come! I have something to show you!” He grasped her hands and pulled her out of the chair towards the top of the hill.
“Eric! What?!” puffing from the steady climb with the extra weight of another life around her middle, she stopped at the top.
“Look!” Eric dipped his head towards the sunset and Elizabeth looked down.
She gasped, holding her breath. This couldn’t be real, could it? There, resting at the bottom of the hill was a beautiful red brick house.
“Oh Eric!” she breathed. “it’s brick!”
He beamed at the shock and adoration he must have been able to see written in her face.
“I didn’t know we could afford brick. . .
“ she continued to stare at the beautiful house. Their home.
“I wanted it to be a surprise. I know how you’ve always dreamed of one day having a brick house like rich people. I figured one day could come sooner than you expected. Do you like it?”
“Eric, it’s. . . It’s beautiful.”
He beamed even brighter if that were possible and wrapped an arm around her and placed the other on her bulging stomach. “I’m so glad. We finally have a home to call our own.”
This story was based on and inspired by a little red brick farm house I passed while driving. It was small, and stood out from the open fields and looked slightly out of place, but at home at the same time. The rest of the houses round about it along that street were all old farmhouses with white siding, the usual. But this little red beauty stood proud and strong amidst the vast expanses of corn and hay. My brain wondered why brick for a farmhouse, and this story popped into my head. It was begging to be written, so I did. The picture above is not actually the farmhouse that I saw, but it is about the same size. The only thing different, is that in the one I saw, there were no trees around it.
What did you think of this story? I would love to know what you thought in the comments!
By God’s Grace,