[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins, the late Polly Holliday as the Waitress Madge, Donald Sutherland as Aldus Warren, Teri Polo as Lillian Warren, and Ewan McGregor as David Warren, and others as noted.]
Author’s Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Author’s Recap from the Previous Chapter: Monday May 30th, 1956 started with some concerns regarding whether Roger and Tessa Delaney would be allowed to adopt both Bobby Trent and his now fifteen year old sister Alice Trent—when their Aunt Mary by marriage to their late uncle Harry Dow, their mothers brother, turned up at the courthouse for the proceedings. However, once Mrs. Dow heard from the Delaney’s and Alice, herself, about their loving home, she agreed for the adoption to proceed. And Mrs. Dow had even thoughtfully brought Dow and Trent family mementos and pictures for Alice and Bobby to keep—especially her own engagement ring that she gave to Alice, because it had been Alice’s grandmother’s engagement ring. And Tessa and Roger’s family and their extended Delaney and Wakeforest families can now move forward with their lives.
Because in just four months’ time, Sam and Olivia will welcome their first born child—which they are reminded of as they leave the courthouse for a family picnic at the Wakeforest County Cemetery park for Decoration Day celebrations to honor the war dead, when Sam’s and Olivia’s baby kicks in her tummy, for the very first time—with Olivia quickly bringing Sam’s hand to her tummy to feel it, too, as the baby gives another kick. Then Sam and Olivia smiled lovingly at each other and they shared a tender kiss
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 35 (PG-13, H, D): Hidden Lake
With family adoption celebrations and birthday bashes now past, Sam and Olivia find that they have free Saturday to indulge themselves as they wish. So this Saturday, June 4th, 1956, Sam delights in giving his beloved wife Olivia a little surprise. However, Sam is not a poker player, and his grinning face gives away that he is up to something—something very very good.
Looking at Sam over the breakfast table in their bright and airy kitchen alcove [(2) right] in their Wakeforest family home, Olivia sips her coffee. The views from the three windows surround their bumped out alcove breakfast nook are stunning. Of course, they can see their immediate garden areas—who most prominent feature at the moment is the gazebo replica that Sam had built for Olivia. But the Summer will soon see some family friendly garden changes as well with areas for shaded seating and such
And Olivia quirks up her eyebrow as Sam butters his toast then adds apple jelly to it while beginning to hum some nondescript tune. But humming is not a behavior usually associated with her formerly taciturn husband and she becomes suspicious.
Olivia: “You seem … cheerful.” For lack of a better word.
Gleeful? No, Sam’s 45 year old mountain man demeanor is rarely gleeful. For Olivia, gleeful conjures up images of spritely leprechauns in green curled up toe shoes, with red curly hair, and green top hats. And the only hat—top or otherwise—that Olivia has ever seen on her husband Sam’s head is a rather worn red ball cap [(3) right] that Sam has had since his high school days.
Sam: “Hmm?” Sam replies non conversationally as he bites down on his buttered and jellied toast—nearly taking one quarter of it into his mouth whole. The man’s food appetites—and table manners—are hefty, befitting his larger statured self. It takes a lot of calories to keep the tall and muscular outdoorsman in peak physical condition. Hearing the silence, Sam looks up at his wife Olivia and smiles sheepishly at her. “What?”
Leaning forward with her head resting in her hand with her elbow on the table, Olivia gazes bemusedly [(4) right] at her husband Sam. Her shoulder length hair falls in gentle waves about her shoulders, as a lovely mother to be.
Olivia: “You’re … humming. Or at least I think that there is a tune in there somewhere. I can’t tell.” Olivia swishes her bacon strip at him before chomping down on it. She can never make out what tune Sam thinks he is humming or whistling because the man is slightly tone deaf. Olivia eats a bite of her eggs then swishes it down with some orange juice.
Sam: Pouting about her insult to his musical abilities, Sam responds by placing his hand on his heart in mock offence. “I’m wounded at your insult regarding my humming. The song is America the Beautiful” [(5)]. Then he actually begins singing the words to the first verse in his booming baritone—surprisingly on key now:
“O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!”
Sam finishes the patriotic song with a flourish—with his arms outstretched–then he brings one in to his heart and leans forward in a deep bow. Then the clapping begins—from his wife Olivia, and from their petite cook-housekeeper, Mrs. Ventura. The middle aged Mrs. Ventura and her Wakeforest family home gardener husband live in an apartment with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and family room over the detached garage in what used to be called the carriage house—when people got around via horse and buggy. The Ventura children are grown and with families of their own, but visit them from time to time.
The Venturas came to work for Mr. Sam and Mrs. Olivia when they are married five months ago. The Ventura’s had retired from their family gardening business in Valley View—with their children now running it. But they wanted a little independence from their children—and to keep their hand in on gardening and housekeeping. So their becoming Sam and Olivia Wakeforest’s estate employees in the town of Wakeforest fit their needs–with Ventura family grandchildren babysitting on their terms. They don’t need to work, they just like to. And both Sam and Olivia appreciate the Venturas’ helpful presence.
Mrs. Ventura: “You’re a natural Mr. Sam. My husband Alberto will be jealous of your lovely baritone voice. Ha ha ha!”
Sam: “Thank you, Mrs. Ventura. But, Mr. Ventura’s tenor is a great asset to our local Barbershop Choir.” Sam had been asked to join the Barbershop Choir [(6)], too—for his velvety baritone. But the striped red and white vests and ever present red bow ties with straw hats Barbershop Choir costume was a non starter for Sam.
Olivia: “Oh yes! The Wakeforest Summer Family and Flower Festival should be in great fun this year!” Olivia rubs her five months pregnant and plump tummy. The festival has dozens of family and kid friendly activities—such as egg balancing, face painting, apple bobbing, even a husband calling contest–in addition to the flower shows. So this year, a married and pregnant Olivia has a lot to look forward to.
Mrs. Ventura: “Alberto says that his Olivia peonies should be ready to bloom soon—just in time for the flower show competition.”
Olivia blushingly smiles to have Mr. Ventura’s peony flowers [(7) right] named after her. She has never had anything named after her before—let alone her receiving flowers from a gentleman, until her husband Sam.
Sam: “Well, with my Olivia’s name gracing it, the flower is sure to win as best peony of the show!” He states with bravado—for not many people enter peonies into the flower show. Roses are everyone’s favorites.
Mrs. Ventura looks over at Sam and Olivia Wakeforest—them just starting out with creating their family with their little one on the way—and she smiles. She remembers the early years of her own long and happy marriage. The joy and excitement of expecting their first child is a rare and special time in any couple’s life. And Mrs. Ventura enjoys getting to share in this happy time with Sam and Olivia.
Sam wipes his mouth with his linen napkin—something else Olivia instituted when she became the lady of the manor. Sam finds that he likes it, the soft feel of the linen. Seeing that Olivia has also finished her breakfast, he eyes her impishly.
Sam: “Are you ready, Mrs. Wakeforest?” Sam smiles minxishly.
Olivia: “Ready?” Olivia smiles and looks up quizzically at her husband Sam.
Sam: “For your surprise.” Sam grins broadly for having carried off this special surprise for his beloved wife Olivia. “Come with me.”
Sam helps Olivia stand. Then Mrs. Ventura hands him a picnic basket of food for their lunch and then dinner later.
As Sam drives his snazzy red and white Chevy Bel Air away from their home and town, Olivia can’t contain her curiosity.
Olivia: “Sam. What is this surprise?” Then he maddeningly responds.
Sam: “You’ll see.”
Olivia looks out the windshield and sees the mountain, Wakeforest Mountain, their mountain, looming before them. And she recoils back into her passenger seat.
Olivia: Suddenly afraid, Olivia asks anxiously as her panicked breathing comes in short and shallow puffs. “Hh! Hh! Where are we going? Hh! Not to the cabin. Hh! Please tell me … Hh! … that we’re not going to the cabin. Hh!” Olivia has not been back up the mountain since the avalanche on January 1st that caused her injury when in hit their cabin—and when it pushed one of the Carter brothers’ riding a snowmobile near a cliff ,to his death.
Sam: “Hey there. It’s alright, Olivia. We’re not going to the cabin—nor anywhere near it. We’re just driving around the base of the mountain to a secluded spot for a nature walk and picnic.” Sam soothes. He had hoped that she would not still have such an intensive reaction to the Mountain—nor that she would have a panic attack. But Olivia is having both.
Olivia: “Promise? Hh! Sam? Hh!”
Sam: “I promise. We’re going to Hidden Lake.”
Olivia: “What? Hh! I never heard of it before. Hh!”
Sam: “That’s because it’s hidden.” Sam raises his eye brows up and down in a comically grinning fashion to try to help dispel Olivia’s anxiety. “It’s an old fishing lake created by a diverted stream that my brothers and I used to like fishing at.”
Sam turns up a different road into Wakeforest Mountain than Olivia has ever used before.
Olivia: “Used to?” Olivia looks around at the forest looming before her. The tree growth is thick and overhanging the road. But there is an asphalt road that they are driving on, so Olivia thinks that this lake can’t be too uncivilized. She is not really an outdoors girl. She likes her creature comforts liking plumbing and electricity.
Sam: “Well, with the lumber mill being so busy, we haven’t had a chance to go up there lately to fish.” And as if reading her mind, he reassures her. “And yes, we have a fishing cabin on the lake—with an indoor latrine.” He jokes. Olivia glares.
Olivia: Calming down, but still feeling quite uncertain, she asks. “And this is your surprise?”
Sam: “Yes, Maam!” Sam winks at Olivia, then he takes a turn and drives fifty more feet that opens up to a clearing with a lake view and a rustic two story cabin set back from the lake. The lake with slightly lapping water waves due to a small wind, looks to be about two miles across—with a few other cabins around its edges. Near their edge of the lake is a boat dock and a small shed where fishing tackle and such are kept. And in the distance several miles away, Wakeforest Mountain rises majestically to the crystal clear blue sky. “Here we are! Hidden Lake Cabin.” Sam smiles.
Olivia: “Oh!” Olivia sighs, glad to have reached this lake cabin so quickly—and seeing the Mountain in the far distance—which means that they are not on the mountain itself, a fine but important distinction for Olivia. Though technically they are on a lower plateau of Wakeforest Mountain. But Sam isn’t going to split hairs about that at this moment—not now that she has calmed down.
Sam helps Olivia out of their car and carries the picnic basket as they walk toward the lake cabin. To Olivia, the cabin looks like any rustic wooden cabin—functional, but not particularly comfortable. But that is where she will find out that she is wrong. As they step up the two steps onto the roofed front porch running the width of the cabin’s front [(8) right] —of about 30 feet–Olivia sees matching sets of new side by side Adirondack rocking chairs separated by new small occasional tables on each side of the cabin’s front door.
Sam: Seeing Olivia’s appreciative smile at the cabin, he boasts. “I have made a few upgrades to the place to get it ready for our visit. But you can add anything you wish to it.” Sam is giddy like a school boy [(9) right] to show his wife Olivia everything that he has done to improve the cabin, for her—from adding electricity and plumbing, to a septic tank for waste, and the new boat dock, etc.
Olivia: “The rocking chairs do look comfortable. But cushions might help.” She bites her lower lip. As a pregnant lady, she has trouble getting comfortable when seated—or lying down, for that matter. So cushions placed strategically help her get comfortable.
Sam: “Try the rocker.” Sam urges as he places their picnic basket on the porch floor boards and sits in one of the rocking chairs. “Come. They’re really comfortable.” Sam starts rocking.
Feeling curious, Olivia takes the rocking chair seat next to him. She finds that the smoothly sanded rocking chair seat boards are curved in such a way as to accept a person’s backside in perfect symmetry to the back support given by the vertical chair slats along the back. Olivia closes her eyes and starts to rock.
Olivia: “Oh, Sam! This feels heavenly! We have to get one for the baby’s nursery at our house.” She continues rocking as Sam clasps her hand in his.
Sam: “Your wish is my command.” Sam smiles as he looks upon the contented face of his beloved wife Olivia. He will move heaven and Earth for her—or at least the part of his Mountain that he commands as his domain. “Would you like to continue rocking out here while I put our food in the fridge to stay cold?” He asks solicitously of her.
Olivia: “We have a fridge? And electricity?” She perks up and opens her eyes to look at him. Then she notices the hurricane type lanterns on either side of the front door—with light bulbs in them.
Sam: Smiling like a Cheshire cat, Sam suggests. “Would you like to see our new vacation getaway home?”
Olivia: “Ours? Won’t the boys want it, too? For fishing?”
Sam: “Nah! They’ve all built their own fishing cabins around the perimeter of the lake.” Sam motions to the lake in a circular fashion. This lake cabin is just ours.” Sam squeezes her hand. “Come with me.”
Sam and Olivia stand and he picks up the picnic basket before he takes his key and unlocks the front door. The front door having a locking key—let alone with a proper sturdy door and outer screen door to keep out the insects when they have the windows and door open for cooling air flow in the Summers—are all courtesy of Sam’s lake cabin renovation project.
Sam opens the cabin door wide and Olivia walks into a large open great room that has some couch and chair seating on one end with a fireplace, and a dining table with a kitchen on the far wall.
Olivia: “Wow! This is nicer than I thought it would be.” Then she back peddles on her unintended insult. “I mean, guys’ fishing cabins aren’t necessarily known for creature comforts.” She looks admiringly about the room and notes that the kitchen does, indeed, have a fridge and double sided deep sink with a tall spout faucet—no doubt for big pot washing, and perhaps, little ones’ baths.
Sam: “Quite true. But I have recently had our lake cabin here renovated with four bedrooms and two baths on the main floor for my lady and our future little ones to enjoy.”
Olivia: “Little ones, plural?” She smiles teasingly.
Sam moves around behind Olivia and embraces her, kissing her cheek.
Sam: “Definitely plural. So how does My Olivia like her new lake cabin?”
Olivia: “Very much!” They kiss over her shoulder. “I noticed outside that there was a second story. What’s upstairs?”
Sam: “Ah well, nothing at the moment.” Sam smiles sheepishly. “The upstairs is an unfinished addition—it’s just roughed out, no walls yet even—for more bedrooms and bathrooms.”
Olivia: Olivia pulls back to look into Sam’s eyes to ascertain what he intends. “Just how many children are you planning on me having, Sir?” Her eyes widen comically—though she is really wondering.
Sam: “A houseful! As many as you want.”
Olivia: “We’re stopping after three children at the most, Mister.” Olivia pouts. “It’s hard enough being pregnant this time. If I have to do this even two more times, I’ll be done.” She states emphatically.
Sam: “Of course, Olivia. Whatever you want. And if this baby is all we have, that is fine, too.”
Olivia: “No no. Babies should have siblings to grow up with, and to play with, and to lean on.” Olivia nods. Then she asks cajolingly. “But you said that I might … redecorate a bit? There isn’t much color or patterns to make the place look lived in and homey yet.”
Sam: “I left the decorating part undone purposely, because I knew that you would have certain wishes in that regard.”
Olivia: “Thank you, Sam!” She sighs. Then her mouth twitches. “And might there be more than an indoor latrine for the bathrooms?” She asks hopefully.
Sam: “You’ll have to judge that for yourself, Olivia Darling.” He teases as he walks her over to one side of the cabin where two bedrooms share a full bathroom in between. There is a mirrored set of two more bedrooms and a bath on the other side of the cabin.
Inside the bathroom, Olivia rejoices in finding a regular tub shower combination bath, with a regular toilet, and pedestal sink. Again, the bathroom is just tiled in plain white tiles and paint and such. Olivia will have to give the bathroom some verve with drapes and shower curtains, towels, and a colorful bathroom rug.
Olivia: “Thank, god!” Olivia squeal. “I don’t do latrines.”
Sam: “I suspected as much, My Darling.” Sam smiles impishly. Sam loves camping and the great outdoors, but his dear wife Olivia is more of an indoor girl. And that is perfectly alright with Sam.
Olivia: “Will you excuse me for a moment, Sam Dear?” Olivia blushes with embarrassment as she looks pointedly at the toilet.
Sam: “Take all the time you need. I’ll put our food away in the fridge.”
Sam walks back out to the great room and then to the kitchen and puts their food away for later. After he hears the toilet flush, Sam returns to the master bedroom to show Olivia around the rest of the cabin. Again, Olivia will have free reign on decorating their bed room to give it some character and more comfort. Then they return to the great room again.
Olivia: “So what do we do now?” Olivia asks coyly as she lovingly places her arms about her husband Sam’s neck and gazes up into his eyes smouldering with desire. “It’s too soon for lunch.”
Sam: Sam wets his lips. “Well …”
Sam’s voice trails off as he leans down and kisses his beloved wife Olivia [(10) right]. They will spend the morning in happy communion with each other—claiming their lake cabin as their own. And then later after lunch, Sam takes Olivia on a tour of the lake in a small metal fishing boat with outboard motor that he also had refurbished. Finally later in the day–after watching the sunset from their front porch rockers–Sam and Olivia return inside to spend their first night together in their lake cabin.
Though not spoken about directly, this renovated lake cabin on Hidden Lake is Sam’s way of finding a compromise for Olivia to be able to enjoy Wakeforest Mountain’s natural beauty with him, without her having the terrifying reminders about the devastating avalanche last Winter that injured her and killed another man—thoughts that come with their other cabin. And the fate of their other cabin in the heart of the Mountain is still up in the air. But for now, all that matters is that Olivia is happy and that she feels safe from nature’s wrath at their lake cabin on Wakeforest Mountain’s Hidden Lake. Sam is confident that no devastating Wakeforest Mountain avalanches could ever reach this far.
Yet as Sam and Olivia look forward to next weekend’s Wakeforest Summer Family and Flower Festival, they will be reminded once again that Wakeforest Mountain has been under Wakeforest Family conservator/ownership for a mere 100 years, since the 1850’s—when the Wakeforests settled this untamed Northern region of the United States and were granted ownership of Wakeforest Mountain and developed their lumber mill business.
Wakeforest Mountain belonged to itself and the creatures that inhabited it long before the Wakeforest Family claimed it and became its owners and conservators. And yet, the Wakeforests—especially Sam Wakeforest—feel almost wedded to the Mountain. The Mountain belongs to them and they belong to the Mountain. Sam feels that he belongs to the Mountain. But what if the Mountain no longer belonged to the Wakeforest Family? Or to Sam?
To be continued with Chapter 36
References for Ch. 35 by Gratiana Lovelace, May 08, 2016 (Post #908)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
- a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) The image representing Sam and Olivia’s stunning Wakeforest home kitchen breakfast nook alcove was found at http://cdn.decoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/white-kitchen-design-with-fancy-breakfast-nook.jpg ; for more design ideas, please visit http://www.decoist.com/2012-05-16/breakfast-nook-furniture-design-ideas/
3) Sam Wakeforest image is that of Richard Armitage in red cap in a tweeted image by cyn @dainty Jul1415
4) Olivia Delaney Wakeforest in scoop necked dress is Emily Deschanel at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards found at http://www.bragmybag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/emily-deschanel-wearing-HM-outfit-1.png
5) For information about the 1883 poem that became the America the Beautiful song, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful
6) The image of a Disney World Barbershop Quartet and more about Barbershop Choirs was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbershop_music ;
By Tammy Green from Chicago, Illinois, USA – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1321733
7) The flowering peony bush image (by Tania Midgley/Corbis ) is from Kids.Brittanica.com found at http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/34/82534-004-D8BE7B75.jpg; for more on Peony flowers, please visit http://kids.britannica.com/elementary/art-87589/Peony-flowers-range-in-color-from-white-to-pink-to and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peony
8) The image for Sam and Olivia Wakeforest’s Hidden Lake Cabin is from the film “On Golden Pond” and was found at http://hookedonhouses.net/2014/03/10/the-cabin-from-on-golden-pond/
9) Sam is Richard Armitage smiling, is likely a 2014 The Crucible Stage Door appearance May2515chiara tweet
10) Image representing Sam and Olivia Wakeforest kissing are Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South-epi4-pix340-Jan0114ranet-Grati-sized-brt-crop2brt
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