[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, Ewan McGregor as David Warren, Noah Lomax as the 5 yrs old Daniel Wakeforest, Soleil Moon Frye as the 5 yrs old Ellie Wakeforest, 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: With Olivia Wakeforest going into labor early and delivering her and Sam’s twins—Eleanor Marie Wakeforest and Daniel Delaney Wakeforest—at their Hidden Lake cottage, with baby shower guests gifts of blankets and such coming in very handy. Their lives as parents had just begun.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 46: Growing Pains
Five years later in 1961, much has happened in the Wakeforest families. The now fifty year old Sam Wakeforest’s and the forty year old Olivia Wakeforest’s young children are playing in the backyard of their Wakeforest Family home just outside of the Town of Wakeforest on a Saturday in October. It is the Autumn season with the leaves reflecting a profusion of color, turning from green to orange and red [(2) right] , but it has not become too chilly.
Yet, the ever diligent Olivia insisted that her children put on their sweaters just in case. Most deadly childhood diseases have been tamed by 1961—when children have access to decent medical care like the Wakeforest children do–but a parent can never be too careful in Olivia’s opinion, in Sam’s opinion, too. Widespread vaccinations/immunications will not be available to all children until the 1962 Vaccination Assistance Act [(3)].
The older Wakeforest children’s mother Olivia stands watchfully at the kitchen bay window inside their home, cradling their one year old daughter Suzie who has the sniffles. So her Mommy won’t allow Suzie to go outside to play with her brothers and sister today. Though at Suzie’s age, play mostly consists of her raising her arms up and down and making indeterminant noises—or crawling faster than a jack rabbit. Olivia vividly remembers taking her eyes off of Suzie for but a moment last month, and Suzie followed their spaniel doggie Bart out through the doggie door—with Olivia catching Suzie by the heels and pulling her back inside the house. Crisis averted.
So the calm and confident Olivia is mindful of their children needing supervision—especially their children, who seem to have scraped knees and fits of temper almost every day as they grow older. The children are simply testing their limits—and the limits of their parents’ patience. But as Olivia always tells her beloved husband Sam, the children are just experiencing growing pains.
Yet motherhood has transformed Olivia as the young children she guides through life are now her own—rather than her former school students whom she taught at the Wakeforest County Orphanage Elementary School. Though she still tutors students now and again, Olivia hopes to get back to teaching full time when their youngest child Suzie is old enough to be in school.
Olivia is beauty and grace and love and wisdom and charity personified [(4) right] —and she has not had any anxiety induced breathing attacks in over five years. Oh life is stressful at times raising four kids, with her husband, but she has learned to handle it. And Olivia’s constant companion, love of her life, and partner in parenting, her husband Sam is her rock—as she is his calm center.
And this Saturday in October 1961, Olivia’s husband and their children ‘s father Sam works outside in their backyard, nearby his children as he rakes the fallen leaves from the many trees on their property, into a large pile. Mr. Ventura as their grounds keeper used to do this chore, but since he was getting on in years, Sam has relieved him of the more strenuous tasks. Sam would say that leaf raking is a skill that he has honed over many years of execution. One must not only gather the thousands of leaves together in a large pile, but Sam feels that the leaf pile sizes and shapes lend themselves to different purposes.
For example, a raked pile of leaves that is as high as it is round, often keeps its shape longer and is prized by Sam’s little ones for leaf pile jumping fun. Whereas flatter leaf piles tend to disperse more with the wind—and are thus better suited to placing along property lines when one is upwind, thus blowing the leaf problem elsewhere. Of course, Sam would not endear himself to his neighbors were he to do that. And happily, their property is rather vast at 10 acres—such that Sam’s mischief making leaf wind blowing is not prevalent.
However, Sam’s cucumber cool demeanor [(5) right] belies the mischievous man boy beneath. But maybe his penchant for leather jackets might give him away as having an edgy and youthful side to him.
Similarly, the aging Mrs. Ventura is now just the cook-housekeeper for the Wakeforests—and she oversees a girl who comes in three days a week to do the heavy cleaning of floors and bathrooms for the Wakeforest family. And Sam and Olivia also guide their children to lend a hand in taking pride in their home by keeping their bedrooms tidy from toys clutter, making their own beds, and helping out with chores around the house such as laundry folding and dusting.
The eldest of Sam’s and Olivia’s twins, five year old Ellie gracefully swings on the swing set—pushing her legs out and the pulling them back together as she swings–while interestedly watching primly while her five year old twin Daniel is trying to teach their three year old brother Joshua how to build a castle in their sand box. It is not going well.
Daniel: “Come on, Joshua.” Daniel whines. “You have to fill the small bucket with wet sand, packing it in tight like this, and then turn it over like this to make the castle tower. See?” Daniel shows his brother for the umpteenth time—frustration beginning to build within Daniel.
Clapping his hands together gleefully, three year old Joshua then reaches out to squeeze the sand castle tower, only to see it fall apart.
Joshua: “Tower fall down!” Joshua points with pride.
Daniel: “No, no no! Joshua, we’re building a tower, not destroying it!” Though five year old Daniel can be a charmer when he wants to be–with his curly hair and winning smile [(6) right]–his frustration is building. And it will not be helped by his sister.
Ellie: “You’ll never get him to do it right.” Ellie shakes her head smugly with her brown, side ponytails with loose curls bouncing up and down. “He’s too little.”
Daniel: “I didn’t ask you for your help, Ellie.” Daniel brushes his bangs out of his eyes, and succeeds in getting sand on his forehead.
Ellie: “But you need my help, Daniel.”
Daniel: “Do not!” Daniel stands up and balls his little hands into fists at his side. His parents have admonished him to keep his anger in check, but his sister’s know-it-all attitude frustrates him.
Ellie: “Do, too!” Ellie pushes off of the swing and strides over to the wooden sand box—her graceful hands at perched on her hips. Ellie may look like a delicate flower of a little girl—that is when she is not wearing a multi layers of sweat shirts and a canvas jacket with zippers on it as she is now. But she is no shrinking violet as her smiling countenance refutes [(7) right]—and woe betide anyone who mistakes Ellie for one.
Olivia hands baby Suzie to her Housekeeper Mrs. Ventura, sensing that she needs to intercede with her children and step outside. But before Olivia reaches the back door from the kitchen, her husband Sam calls over firmly but not loudly to their children as he walks toward them.
Sam: “Daniel! Ellie! Now what did your Mama say about fighting?” Sam looks down at his children from his very tall height, his hands on his hips in a familiar stance that they know well—it is his stern Papa stance.
Joshua: “Don’t do it!” Joshua chirps. Both of his elder siblings jerk their heads in their little brother’s direction and glower at him.
Sam: Lifting his youngest son Joshua out of the sandbox, Sam smiles. “That’s right, Joshua! Such a smart boy.” Sam pats his youngest son’s back and kisses his cheek, and then he sets Joshua on the ground. Olivia has come outside and she motions to Sam to send Joshua to her. “Go to your mother, you little scamp.”
Sam gently pats Joshua’s backside and then Joshua runs pell mell toward his mother with a gleeful demeanor—his arms flailing and his head flopping animatedly from side to side—with Joshua not realizing the mess that he has left in his three year old wake.
Sam then turns his attention back to his older two children and he sits down on the edge of the sandbox seat that he built for them—so as not to seem to tower over them.
Daniel: Bursting with righteous indignation, five year old Daniel explodes. “It was his fault!” Daniel points to his brother skittering away.
Sam: “Is that so? And what did Joshua do, Daniel?” Sam quietly asks his eldest son.
Daniel: “He won’t listen! I was trying to show him how to build a sand castle tower and Joshua kept pushing it down before we could put another level on it.” Daniel shakes his head in frustration.
Ellie: “Hmm!” Ellie shakes her head and rolls her eyes.
Daniel: “Don’t act Miss Smartypants to me, Ellie! You couldn’t have gotten Joshua to build the tower any better than I did.”
Ellie: “Yes I could!” She sneers annoyingly.
Daniel: “Could not!”
Ellie: “Could, too! I’m older!” Ellie crosses her little arms and raises her cute button nose in the air.
Daniel: “Not by much!” Being the twenty minutes younger twin has always caused Daniel to bristle.
Having watched his children only escalate their disagreement, Sam steps into the fray by gently taking each of their hands and speaking in a firm but loving voice.
Sam: “Children, cease! Daniel, Ellie, children who can’t behave will be sent to their rooms to think about it—rather than getting to jump and play in the leaf pile. Which is it to be?” Then he stares them down. Sam learned this child rearing technique from his wife Olivia—letting the children choose their punishments or rewards. Almost always, the children choose rewards for good behavior—and then they actually have to behave. Yet Sam can tell that his children are wavering—each not wanting to give an inch for their position.
Ellie: “Papa? Since I wasn’t the one angry at Joshua, may I go play in the leaf pile now, please?”
Ellie bats her eyelashes at her father. This is Ellie’s way, letting her brother Daniel get all worked up, then he receives a punishment while she gets a reward. It doesn’t work every time—just most of the time. It’s not that Ellie is devious—well, maybe a little bit. It is just that Daniel has a quick temper–that he needs to learn to control, as his sister has done.
As Ellie turns to dash toward the leaf pile—her taking her Papa’s silence as agreement—Sam stays his daughter by touching her shoulder.
Sam: “Whoa! Not so fast, Missy! Ellie, you’re not wholly innocent in this matter. You goaded your brother, Daniel, into getting more upset than he should have.”
Ellie: “But I didn’t!” She looks at her Papa innocently. Now Daniel rolls his eyes.
Daniel: “Did, too!” Stubbornness runs in his family.
Ellie: “Did not!” Ellie quickly retorts, fire in her eyes.
Sam: “Silence!” Sam raises his hand pleading for his children to cease their bickering. Sam rubs his temples with both hands—partly to stave off his growing headache, and partly to buy time to think of a strategy to resolve the current crisis. The children obey their father’s wish for silence, that he gratefully acknowledges. “Thank you! Now, you two are our oldest children, you should know by now that you have the ability to do things that the younger ones can’t do yet.”
Ellie: “See? Papa agrees with me.”
Sam: “Ellie, please be quiet a moment. You’re not helping.”
Daniel: “See? You’re not helping.” Daniel parrots his Papa’s words.
Sam narrows his eyes, feeling his headache pounding. Being a parent tries one’s patience at times—and with their children, that is very often. Oh Sam and Olivia love their children to bits, they just can’t wait until their eldest children mellow out a little.
Sam: “And neither are you, Daniel.” Daniel pouts. “Now look, you two. Just because Joshua doesn’t understand how to build a castle tower with sand, that is no reason not to try to teach him. So Daniel, I’m proud of your trying to teach him. You will be successful with him some day.”
Daniel: “Thank you, Papa.” Daniel smiles preeningly. Then Ellie sticks her tongue out at him and Daniel replies in kind.
Sam: “I saw that. Sticking out your tongues is not appropriate behavior. Now Ellie, what can you contribute positively to the notion of helping Joshua learn how to build a castle tower in the sand box?”
Ellie: Thinking for a few moments with her finger tapping her chin, her eyes suddenly brighten. “I would leave out the sand part.”
Daniel: “Then it wouldn’t be a sand castle tower.” Daniel shakes his head and rolls his eyes—as only a five year old can, with his shoulders carried by the momentum of his head shake.
Sam: “No, no, Daniel. Ellie has an idea. Just because we don’t understand yet what she means by it, doesn’t meant that we should dismiss it out of hand. Ellie, please explain.” He gestures to her.
Ellie: Ellie smiles, glad to have her Papa’s praise. “Well, Papa. Joshua is so little. He doesn’t know what a tower is. We need to show him a tower by stacking the empty sand bucket shapes on top of each other first. Then later, he might understand the sand part.” Ellie delicately shrugs her five going on twenty five year old shoulders.
Sam tries to stifle a smile so as not to seem to favor his daughter Ellie over his son Daniel. But their daughter Ellie—his and Olivia’s—definitely has her mother’s smarts, with regard to understanding how to help her brother Joshua learn how to build a tower.
Daniel: “That sounds STUpid!” Daniel emphasizes the first syllable loudly. In general, speaking or yelling loudly is currently Daniel’s main five year old arguing tactic. However, in the long run, merely being loud will not get Daniel far—so he will have to acquire some reasoning skills along the way.
Ellie: “No it doesn’t! It will work. Papa?” She looks up at her father pleadingly. And he does not fail her.
Sam: “Well, let’s try it out, shall we? And Daniel, please don’t call your sister’s ideas stupid. They aren’t and you might learn something now and again. Ellie? Daniel? You should both work together, rather than be at odds with each other.” The children nod poutingly and Sam motions for Olivia to bring Joshua back to them.
Daniel: Yet still feeling put out, Daniel resists one more time. “But Papa?” Daniel pouts.
Then Sam puts his arms around both of his elder children.
Sam: “Daniel, other people can have good ideas. Ellie’s idea has merit. And Ellie, you don’t have to boast about your good ideas. No one likes a braggart.”
Having watched her husband patiently talking to their older children—patience not being his strong suit before they were married—Olivia asks curiously as she and Joshua reach them.
Olivia: “Is everything settled?”
Sam: “Almost.” Sam smiles in exhaustion. Being a parent is emotionally draining—on good days. “Joshua, your sister Ellie is going to try to teach you how to make a tower.”
Joshua: Clapping his hands again, Joshua grins. “I like towers!”
Daniel: “You could have fooled me!” Daniel mutters.
Olivia: “Daniel?” Olivia says softly but with a raised eyebrow and her eldest son nods. Olivia has perfected the minimalist parenting disciplinary approach.
And though there were a few fits and starts, about the fourth try Joshua got the notion into his head that stacking the empty box shapes on top of each other made a tower—which he promptly and gleefully knocks down. After Sam and Olivia promise Daniel that next time, he can try teaching Joshua to make a tower with sand, all children are appeased and happy—or at least mollified, in Daniel’s case.
Crisis averted, Sam motions Daniel, Ellie, and Joshua toward the leaf pile as he puts his arm around his beloved wife Olivia’s shoulders and they walk over to watch their children having fun as they jump into the leaves and splash them around.
Olivia: “Well done, Sam! You’re going to earn Papa of the Year if you keep this up.”
Sam: “If I live that long.” He groans sarcastically and she smiles in amusement. “I fear that I don’t have your skill, nor your patience for it. You are a natural.”
Olivia: “And so are you. And just like Daniel, you need to value your strengths and continue to improve upon them.”
Sam: Leaning back and looking at his wife with an inquisitive eye, Sam asks. “Are you saying that Daniel is like me and Ellie is like you?” Light bulbs start flashing in Sam’s brain. Olivia smiles. “Poor kid.” He bemusedly references their son, Daniel.
Olivia: “Now, now. Just as you have learned to curb your stubbornness, so must Daniel. And Ellie is like you as well—her pride in her abilities can be a bit grating to Daniel at times.”
Sam: “Yet, you have never been prideful.” Sam blinks in surprise, him having fallen for his wife’s reasoning. “You mean that Ellie is like me in that way, too?”
Olivia: “Yes.” Olivia smiles bemusedly. “Our children are like each of us in different ways. And I suppose it is natural—since you were initially the more forceful personality—that our children would have that dominant streak in them.”
Sam: “Whoa there, Olivia! I think that you’re just as dominant as I am—but in a slyly stealthy way.” Sam winks saucily at his wife.
Olivia: Smiling, she leans into her husband. “Thank you, Sam! I’m glad that you noticed! Life isn’t always about winning, it’s about staying the course, persevering when the odds are against you, and learning to trust.”
Sam: “Well, I trust—or hope anyway—that as the children grow older, they will mellow out.” Sam squeezes his wife’s shoulders and kisses her forehead.
Olivia smiles knowingly—her being a teacher and understanding child and adolescent development better than her wonderful husband Sam.
In eight years time, Sam’s and Olivia’s five year old twins Ellie and Daniel will be young newly minted teenagers—and Olivia thinks that Sam must have forgotten his feisty teen aged years, if he thinks that their children will mellow when they hit their teen years.
Though some teens do mature—as the young Wakeforest children’s older cousins 19 year old Alice Delaney and Andrew “Drew” Wakeforest, Sam’s sister’s daughter and his brother Kevin’s eldest son, respectively, have matured upon entering their young adulthood.
Yet the turbulent 1960’s for the extended Wakeforest and Delaney families will bring times of change and times of personal challenge.
To be continued with Chapter 47
References for Ch. 46 by Gratiana Lovelace, July 30, 2016 (Post #945)
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 Wakeforest family home’s backyard trees in Autumn was found at http://owtdoor.com/garden/en/garden-design-38173/
3) 1961 children’s diseases info was found at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6004a9.htm ; Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Immunizations, and MMWR — 1961—2011, Supplements, October 7, 2011 / 60(04);49-57
“… In 1961, children in the United States received vaccines to prevent five diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, and smallpox. …
Before 1962, no formal nationwide immunization program existed. Vaccines were administered in private practices and local health departments and paid for out of pocket or provided by using state or local government funds with some support from federal Maternal and Child Health Block Grant funds. In 1962, the Vaccination Assistance Act (Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act) was passed to “achieve as quickly as possible the protection of the population, especially of all preschool children…through intensive immunization activity over a limited period of time…“ “
4) Olivia Delaney Wakeforest smiling image is Emily Deschanel found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/43/1b/64/431b64bf394ac604c69aea631c3375a0.jpg
5) Sam Wakeforest image is Richard Armitage portrait from 2013 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2013Promo/album/slides/TraceyNearmy-06.html
6) 5 year old Daniel Wakeforest image is of actor Noah Lomax and was found at http://s3.amazonaws.com/kidzworld_photo/images/20121112/e472f778-37c1-45ce-b538-94c37b7df02a/gallery_NOAH%20LOMAX-GALLERY1.jpg
7) 5 year old Ellie Wakeforest image is of former child actor Soleil Moon Frye and was found at http://cdn.playbuzz.com/cdn/e28ab2a0-a3b0-4356-904b-ef203b57e91c/a827071f-ab3a-483d-a871-7912ec7f74c9.jpg; edited to the autumn background found in image citation 2)
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