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 The New Year's Resolution

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PostSubject: The New Year's Resolution   Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:29 pm

This is a short story I wanted to share. It's complete in two chapters. This is actually something that I wanted to include in The Christmas Deer. Have a happy New Year everyone.

The New Year’s Resolution

Everything was quiet at the Johnson ranch. The kids were asleep upstairs with the Wilder’s, the Johnson’s and Mort and Eliza Jane sitting in the study talking quietly waiting for the mantle clock to strike midnight.

“So Mort,” Laura said, “Eliza tells me that you’re back doing those seminars now. I thought that Mr. Woestehoff was doing them.”

Mort and Eliza Jane stared at each other and tried to suppress giggles.

“Well,” Mort said, “I wasn’t the only one who punched him that day, Laura.”

Laura frowned. “What on earth are you talking about?”

“Seems Mrs. Woestehoff showed up unexpectedly along with ‘Miss Powers’ husband,” Eliza Jane smiled. “You had already left when that happened.” She looked at Laura. “Did you know that he was seeing married women and that he was married himself?”

Laura didn’t answer, but she did catch Almanzo looking at her. She hadn’t told him about what happened that summer in Arizona, at least not everything, anyway.

Mortimer smiled. “Well, it seems his wife was tailing him and was using ‘Miss Powers’ as bait. He was arrested and fired from his position all in the same day. So they hired me again.”

Laura smiled, but Manly was still looking at her, curiously.

“Don’t worry, Almanzo,” Mort said, “Nothing happened between your wife and William Woestehoff, believe me.”

“He’s right, Mannie,” Eliza said, smiling at her brother. “The four of us went out together all the time.”

“Four of you?” Almanzo said, staring at his wife, a shy smile forming on his lips. “You mean that…”

“Manly,” Laura said, staring back at him. “Eliza Jane was the one who…”

“I liked him, Mannie and I thought he liked me. Turned out I was wrong.”

“Well, anyway,” Mort continued, trying to change the subject.

“What the heck happened out there?” Almanzo said, leaning forward.

“For heaven’s sake, Manly,” Laura said, frowning, watching his smile get wider. “I told you what happened and you know it.”

Almanzo smiled and threw a protective arm around her.

“Mort, did you know that my wife was pregnant with little Rosey during that summer class?”

Mortimer looked from Almanzo to Laura. “She never told me about that and neither did you, Eliza.”

“Well, I wasn’t really sure,” Eliza Jane said, looking back at Mort.

Amy Johnson stood up and started gathering up the cups and saucers. “More coffee or tea anyone?”

“How far into the pregnancy were you, Laura?” Eliza Jane asked, turning to her sister in law.

“Eliza Jane!” Laura exclaimed loudly, trying to control her temper. She stood up, knocking Almanzo’s arm off her shoulder.

“Beth,” Manly frowned.

“I’ll have more tea,” Eliza Jane said, sweetly. “I find it hard to sleep sometimes after I have coffee so late.”

Mort smiled at his sister. “I’ll have the same thing.” He turned back to Laura. “Well, anyway, as I was saying…”

“I think I’ll help you, Amy,” Laura said, grabbing some of the dishes.

“Doesn’t anyone want to hear the rest of the story?” Mort asked as the two women disappeared into the kitchen.

Almanzo looked over at Mort. “Go on, I’m listening.”

“Well, anyway, it seems that our dear William was…”

He watched as Almanzo stood up and followed Laura into the kitchen. Mort sighed. “Well I guess that’s that.” He stood up. “Be right back. Have to see a man about a horse.”

Almanzo walked through the swinging kitchen door to find Amy alone making a pot of coffee.

“She outside, Almanzo,” Amy smiled, as she turned her head. “She’ll be back, I just told her to cool off a bit.”

Almanzo thanked her and smiled, then walked through the back door that led to the outside porch. He wasn’t sure where she had gone, usually when she lost her temper, she’d just be standing on their back porch waiting for him with a hug and kiss, but they hadn’t fought like this in a long time. Eliza always seemed to bring out the worst in Laura and it wouldn’t be the first time. The two had never really gotten along with each other, even though Eliza was trying to…

He heard voices and turned in the direction of them and watched as Laura put her arms around Mort and kiss him on his cheek. She was laughing as she let him go and the two of them started for the back door.

It was Chad Brewster all over again, all those years ago in Currie, right before he made the Slayton delivery for Charles. He walked in and found Chad’s arms around Laura’s waist and punched him for touching her. Now here the same opportunity presented itself, but he wasn’t going to be so hasty. He would talk to Laura first and control himself. Mort was being a nice young man, that’s what Laura always told him and besides, he loved his sister.

“Manly,” she called out, when she saw Almanzo standing on the front porch and, with a little whisper in Mort’s ear, ran over to him and hugged him, as if she hadn’t seen him in months.

“Beth,” he whispered in her ear as he pulled her close, all those thoughts gone from his mind as he released her, then brought his lips down to meet hers.

Last edited by susansmoose on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:44 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The New Year's Resolution   Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:32 pm

Chapter 2
“Everything alright?” he asked, releasing her.

“Everything’s fine,” Laura smiled as Mort walked up the porch steps. “Mort always a way of calming me down.” She turned to Mort who was standing between Laura and Almanzo. “Your sister has that same effect on me. The two of you are so much alike.”

Mort smiled. “Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he said, putting his arms on her shoulders. “You alright now?”

Laura nodded and looked up at her husband. “I’m fine, really.” She turned to Mort and kissed him on the cheek again. “Thanks for being a great friend.”

“Well, I promised your sister I’d help her get everything ready.”

And she disappeared inside the house.

Almanzo watched her. He sighed and turned to follow her when Mort’s words stopped him.

“Almanzo, you are one lucky man and I’m one, too.”

He smiled and turned to find Mort staring at him. “I know that, Mort. I discovered that a long time ago." He hesitated, then frowned. "Do you mean my sister?” he added.

Mort smiled. “That’s who I’m talking about. I’ll make her happy, just wait and see. We’re good for each other and I love her a lot. Oh, and Laura’s a great friend too.”

Mort smiled and opened the back door and stepped in, holding it open for a smiling Almanzo. He was glad that he waited, but he wanted to speak to Beth later.


“Popcorn,” Amy said, as she placed a large bowl in the center of the coffee table.

“So how did you two meet?” Laura asked, after relating the story of how she met Almanzo.

“Well,” Amy said, looking at Asa, “we actually met in Boston, but…”

“I fell and dislocated my thumb,” Asa said, “I was training at Boston University.”

“We were both there,” Amy said, “but we never saw each other, not until the accident.”

“What happened?” Almanzo asked, placing his arm around Laura.

“Well, my classmates and I were at the Frog Pond in Boston Common,” Amy continued. “We were ice skating when we heard a cry for help.”

“And my classmates were just fooling around on the ice,” Asa said, “without skates. I stepped on before anyone else. Amy, always the quick thinker, managed to pop it back in before we found one of the doctors on campus, who managed to splint it.” He held up his thumb. I still can’t touch my palm with it.”

“We got married at my parent’s house in Mansfield in 1877, not too far from your farm, Almanzo. Revolutionary War veterans were granted land tracts in New York after 1784. My great, great grandfather sold his and with the money moved out here to build.”

“I think we’re going to head up to bed,” Asa said, standing. He looked at Mort. “I don’t know how you and Eliza Jane do it, but I’m just tired.”

Almanzo stood. “I think we’ll follow you upstairs, Asa.”

He looked at his sister and Mort. “See you two in the morning.”


“Certainly was an interesting night,” Almanzo said, slipping under the bedcovers, cuddling next to his wife.
Laura nodded. “Funny how Asa and Amy met. First in Boston, then here. I had no idea that she was studying to become a nurse or that they went to the same school.”

Almanzo nodded. “I didn’t realize that you and Mort were so close,” he frowned, looking at Laura.

She smiled and shook her head. “This is the first time we’ve seen each other since 1886.”

“You two have written each other for years,” Almanzo said, moving closer.

She stared back at him. “You’re the one who always reads those letters first, then tells me about them.” She frowned. “What are you getting at, Almanzo Wilder, jealous?”

Almanzo smiled. “For a little while, yes,” he admitted. “Especially when you two were outside earlier tonight. And that seminar teacher?”

Laura smiled. “Mr. Woestehoff? Don’t waste your time, Manly. I told you all about him. He got what was coming to him. Besides, if it wasn’t for your sister, none of it would have ever happened.”

“What about Mort?”

“What about him? I sat next to him on the train, that’s all. He was interested in Eliza Jane the entire time we were out there.”

“And what about you, in Walnut Grove all by yourself? Did Brenda Sue Longworth come by? Or Christy Norton? Or….”

Almanzo smiled. “No, but Mrs. Oleson did, looking for you. She had more material for you. I told her you’d gone to Arizona and she just stared at me. When I walked into the mercantile later, Mr. Oleson wanted to know if you really did leave me to go out west. So I told him the truth. Had a good laugh about that one.”

“I guess we’re even,” he said.

“Guess so,” Laura answered

They both smiled at each other as the mantle clock downstairs struck twelve.

“Well,” Almanzo said, putting his arms around his wife. “I guess it’s officially 1894. First time we’ve ever been up this late.”

Laura nodded. “So why don’t we start the new year off right, Manly. Let’s just forget that we’ve ever had this discussion?”

Manly nodded. “I agree,” he said, kissing her lightly. He pulled her close. “Happy New Year, Beth,” he whispered in her ear.

“Happy New Year, Manly,” she answered before his lips covered hers.

Last edited by susansmoose on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The New Year's Resolution   Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:26 am

Very nice Susan, you do a great job on your stories. I like the fact that Mort is still chasing Eliza. Very nice....


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PostSubject: Re: The New Year's Resolution   Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:52 pm

thanks lorrie...
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PostSubject: Re: The New Year's Resolution   Today at 10:26 pm

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The New Year's Resolution
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