Andi woke up to the sun shining on her face. Then she remembered, Justin was coming home from a trial which had convicted Trey Still to prison for shooting the school master Ms. Amelia. She had wanted to go with her brother Chad to the train station to pick him up but Mother, when she overheard, said that she wanted her to go over to the Miller's and bring them some food since Mrs. Roselyn Miller's husband had just died a few weeks ago.
Andi sighed deeply with annoyance when moments after she had slid her dress on a voice said, “Andi? Are you ready to take the food to the Millers? I have made up my mind. If you can hurry and take this food over to the Miller's before Chad leaves you may go with him.”
The person knocked on the door and said, “Andi dear, may I come in?”
“Yes, Mother,” Andi replied.
The door opened and Andi's mother walked in with a basket of food. “Did you hear what I said?”
“Yes, Mother,” Andi said.
“Well, if you want to go with Chad you better get going. Ask Melinda to give you some cornbread with molasses to go. Alright?”
“Yes, Mother, thank you,” Andi said as she raced down the stairs.
A voice in the parlor said, “Goodness golly gracious. Andrea Carter, is that you making that ruckus?”
Andi looked into the parlor and saw their strict neighbor talking to Mitch about going on a trip to fetch some supplies for her husband, who had broken his back by falling off his ladder.
Andi said, “Good morning Ms. Henderson. Morning Mitch.”
Mrs. Henderson said, “Hello Andrea, I was just asking if Mitch would want to---”
“Andi.” Melinda yelled from the kitchen.
Andi shook Ms. Henderson's hand and left for the kitchen but not fast enough since Mitch said, “Andi, say a proper hello to Ms. Henderson.”
Andi said, “Good morning Ms. Henderson. How do you do?”
Mrs. Henderson replied, “Fine, thank you. How are you doing?”
“Great, Mrs. Henderson. I really must be going now though. I am going with Chad to pick up Justin since he convicted Trey Still about shooting Miss Amelia,” Andi said.
Mrs. Henderson laughed and said, “You may go, my dear. Just saying hello. Right Mitch?”
Mitch said with a warning look at Andi, “Yes, of course Mrs. Henderson. Bye Andi.”
Andi left the room and grabbed the basket of food and ran to the front door but Melinda stopped her by saying, “Forgetting a little something?”
Melinda grinned and handed her a piece of cornbread with molasses on top.
“Thanks sis,” Andi's quick reply came.
She ran out the door as she was eating. Finally she got to the Millers. After she knocked on the front door, Mrs. Miller came out and gratefully took the basket of food.
Andi said, “Mrs. Miller, I am soooooo sorry about your loss.”
Ms. Miller held back tears as she said, “May the Lord bless you, my dear, for taking pity on an old woman like me. Thank you.”
Mrs. Miller went back inside with the basket of food.
When Andi got back home, Chad was saddling his horse Sky and talking to a ranch hand at the same time.
When Chad noticed Andi he said, “Well Andi, ready to go pick up Justin?”
Andi said, “Yes, just let me go tell mother I'm back and then we can leave. Okay?”
“Okay little sis,” Chad said.
Andi ran inside and yelled, “Mother, I'm back. I'm going with Chad.”
Elizabeth said, “Sounds fine. Go have fun.”
“I sure will,” Andi said with a grin.
Andi raced back outside. She fed and got Taffy out of her stall. Chad looked at Taffy then at his horse Sky and said, “I was going to ask if you wanted a ride on Sky.”
Andi shook her head and said, “What? Over good ole trusty Taffy? Think again, big bro.”
Chad shrugged and said sarcastically, “Sounds like a grand idea.”
And they both climbed onto their horses and rode off down the dust dirt path towards the train station.
When they got to the train station, Andi was the first one to spot Justin so she yelled, “Hey Justin! Over here!”
Justin looked in their direction, waved and then was sucked up into the crowd again.
She looked around when she heard somebody say, “Hey little sis, right here.”
Andi whirled around and yelled, “Justin!”
Justin was standing behind her grinning. Chad rode up and looked at Andi with a sharp look.
“Hey Justin,” he said.
Justin said, “Hey Chad, how's the house?”
“Great.” Then Chad turned to Andi and said, “Don't you ever ride off like that. I almost lost you.”
Justin said, “Aw, shucks, leave her alone, Chad.”
Chad glared at Justin but kept silent. Andi said, “Hey Justin, guess what?”
“What?” Justin asked.
“Mitch might go on a trip for---,” Andi said.
“Andi, don't you think Mitch would like to tell the news if he accepts it?” Chad asked.
“Do you have to spoil everything, Chad?” Andi asked, but stayed silent about the trip Mitch might go on.
Chad glanced at her with a warning look then asked Justin, “Who ya wanna ride with? Sky and I, or Taffy and Andi?”
Justin said, “Chad, why don't I ride with you and Sky?”
Andi looked disappointed so Justin said, “Know what, I'll ride with Andi and Taffy for a change. Sound good, Andi?”
Andi's face lit up and she said, “Sure! Yeah!” Justin climbed onto the back of Taffy and let Andi take the reins.
A few hours later when they got home, Justin whistled and said, “Home sweet home.”
Melinda ran out of the house and met up with Justin as he walked toward the house. “Hey Justin,” she said with a grin.
She handed all three of them a sandwich and explained that everyone else had already eaten. After they ate their food Melinda grinned at them.
Andi and Chad went to put up their horses while Justin went inside with Melinda.
When Andi and Chad got inside, Elizabeth was greeting Justin with a smile.
Elizabeth turned when she saw the door open and said with a chuckle, “Hey Andi, Chad! Thanks for getting Justin, would've tired him out if he walked home from the station.”
Andi gave her mother a smile then asked Mitch, who had come out to greet Justin, if Mrs. Henderson was still at the house.
Justin said, “Easy, I just got home. Don't let all the attention go to you.” Justin winked at her so she would know that he was teasing.
Mitch said, “Yeah sis, anyways no, she left a few minutes ago...before you came back, I mean...returned...kinda....but...whatever . .. forget about it.”
Andi gave him a strange look then said, “Justin, are you going to see Lucinda Hawkins to tell her that you came back?”
Justin said, “I wasn't planning on it, but since you said so I guess I will. Thanks sis.”
Andi groaned in annoyance. Everybody knew he was going to ask for Lucinda's hand in marriage even though he hadn't come out and said it out loud. But better yet, Justin said that even if he got married he would live in the Carter's house until they had children or if they didn't have children they would just keep living at the Carter's house.
Mitch said, “Andi, did you have to ask?”
Justin said, “I'll bring her over here. Melinda and Andi, make a nice supper for Lucinda since I'll invite her over for supper.”
And with that he walked outside, saddled his horse and galloped away.
A few hours later Melinda and Andi had a nice meal of potato soup, macaroni and cheese, fresh baked bread and homemade ice cream with homemade whipped cream for dessert. Justin came into the house with Lucinda at his heels.
Lucinda said in her soft, smooth voice, “Hello Andrea, Melinda.”
Andi said, “Hello Lucinda.”
Lucinda said, “Why Melinda Jane Carter, you are getting big. Did you make this meal by yourself? Bless your little heart.”
Melinda gave her a small smile and said modestly, “Yes, in fact I did make this meal but Andi helped me. Right Andi?”
Andi said with surprise, “No! I mean...yes! Yes, I did help. I mean, sure I helped, why wouldn't I have?”
Lucinda gave a small smile and said, “Well then, bless you little heart as well. Thank you.”
Melinda gave Andi a hard look then said, “You’re most welcome Miss Hawkins.”
Lucinda laughed and said, “Melinda, your sister can call me Lucinda so you can too.”
Melinda rolled her eyes then said, “Okay, Lucinda.”
Justin said, “Sis, dinner ready?”
Andi said, “Yes Justin, dinner is ready, why don't you gather everybody and get everybody settled and when they come in, say the prayer.”
Justin shrugged and said, “Fine with me.”
And left the room to get the others for dinner.
After dinner Lucinda left and everybody in the Carter house went to bed early since the next day they had to go to the church for a small meeting.
In the morning, Justin woke up early and went over to Lucinda's house so he and Lucinda could get to church extra early.
Lucinda said, “Hey Justin.”
Justin said, “Lucinda, let's go.”
After the rest of the Carter's woke up and ate their breakfast they went over to the church and Andi waited impatiently for the boring meeting to be over. Finally the pastor said the words Andi had been waiting to hear, “The meeting is now over. Thank you for coming.”
Andi grinned and muttered under her breath, “Praise God for that.”
A month went by and finally Justin had asked for Lucinda's hand in marriage. Lucinda had joyfully said yes and the wedding would be in a few days now. Andi and Melinda got to be bridesmaids. Chad and Mitch got to be the best men. Elizabeth would stand next to the preacher whose name was Mr. Smith.
Finally the day of the wedding was there! Everyone was jumpy. Andi and Melinda got into their bridesmaid's dresses which were white and were very light and beautiful. Chad and Mitch got into their new uncomfortable suits. Elizabeth wore a fancy pale light blue dress with a strand of pearls. Lucinda wore a long white dress with a flowy veil upon her head. Justin wore a suit and tie.
After they said their vows and were legally married, (Andi had thought the kissing part was gross.) they went into the church to have the wedding reception. Some caterers had made chicken, pork, fruit salad and mini finger food sandwiches with ham, cheese and watercress.
After the reception everyone went home. Andi still couldn't believe there had been two hundred guests at the party with so much food leftover.
At home Lucinda and Justin were waiting since they went home early. Andi ran up to Justin and Lucinda and said, “Congratulations Lucinda Carter and Justin Carter. Lucinda, you’re a Carter now.”
Night soon fell and everybody fell asleep with sweet dreams. Especially Andi.