Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past...or will they shape her future forever?
Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus--tending and nurturing the herd on her family's dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family's debt-ridden farm.
After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed's failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron's parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.
Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture-- a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.
From her perch on the milking stool, Sylvia patted the cow's side and cooed to her, enjoying the warm softness of the cow's hide. "You're feeling better now, ya?" Puffs of white vapor left her mouth when she spoke, and her fingers ached from the cold.
The cow mooed gently as if answering her.
Sylvia removed the claw milker from the cow's udder and sprayed Udder Care to prevent chaffing and to ward off mastitis. She set the stool and bucket out of the way, moved to the far end of the stalls, and pulled the lever that opened the tie rails, releasing the last round of cows from their milking stalls.
Daed lifted two buckets of milk and headed for the milk house. "What are you humming this morning?"
"Oh. Uh..." She hadn't realized she was humming, so she had to pause for a moment and think. "Moon River."
"Sure does sound nice. This place don't seem the same when you're off. No one else I know hums while working a herd." He disappeared into the milk house to dump the fresh liquid into the milk tank.
Unlike a lot of Daeds, Sylvia's hadn't minded when she bought an iPod during the early years of her rumschpringe. The Englischer who picked up their milk three times a week had always recharged it for her. But then, five years ago, it fell under a cow during a milking and was trampled to death. Since she still hadn't joined the faith, she could've bought another iPod, but Lilly was seven by then and hanging around the barn more. It would have hurt Lilly to realize that her older sister didn't always keep the Old Ways, so she never replaced it. But she missed some of her favorite songs, like "Moon River." The lyrics about the dream maker always made her think of Elam.
Her pulse quickened as she envisioned Elam next to her in the barn. His good looks seemed more suited to modeling in Englischer ads than managing a dairy herd, and she found his physical presence frustratingly compelling. He frequently mentioned marriage lately, and she could imagine their future together, always being close to him, waking alongside him in the mornings. But she had reservations too. Didn't she want more from true love than heart pounding attraction? Maybe she just needed to spend more time talking with him about their "rainbow's end," and all her reservations would melt into nothingness.
She patted a few cows on the rump, gently moving them along. The herd desperately wanted in the barn at milking time, each cow hurrying to a stall in the milking parlor, but they weren't eager to leave the building afterward. Their contented lowing and the ease with which they lumbered outdoors toward the bunk feeder and water trough made her smile. The large creatures were the same today as they'd always been--peaceful and productive.
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August 09, 2011
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