Susan Logsden was happy at Thanksgiving dinner. Grandpa Ben Hardesty, Grandma Gloria, Pam, Cory Joe briefly back from
Susan suspected that she was also grateful not to be at her daughter Betty’s, this year since things were still a bit strained between Aunt Betty and them – Velma’s kids. Grandma and Grandpa weren’t at Aunt Betty’s because Aunt Betty and Uncle Monroe Wilson had gone to
Most of the people here were Gerrie’s family. Her daughter Paige was married to Derek Modi. She was here, with the kids. Derek had gone to Lübeck. Paige said she was thankful that he had arrived safely.
Gerrie’s daughter Marlo worked at Cora’s as a cashier. She had married a Scot, a guy named Malcolm Finlay, back in February. She was going to have a baby. Marlo said that she was thankful for the baby.
Cora Ennis might be Grantville’s worst gossip, but Marlo was catching up to her fast. Before dinner, she and Paige had been talking about the fact that Chandra Prickett’s husband hadn’t even stopped by in Grantville on his way from
And Paige didn’t think it was likely that he would be seeing anyone in
Mr. Bennezet and Sergeant Finlay had been talking about Huguenots, spies, and other topics of common interest. Pam and Cory Joe had been listening to that, since their mother Velma had married a Huguenot. Then Cory Joe asked whether Bennezet had experienced much in the way of anti-immigrant sentiment among the up-timers. Bennezet said that it varied. He did quite a lot of specialized work for Grantville-Saalfeld Foundries and Metalworks. Some of the people there were very friendly. The boss was not, but although two of the men had married down-time women, he had not fired them. But Bennezet understood from conversation that several of the friendliest up-timers working there would not be averse to finding other employment if an opportunity arose. The main obstacle was that none of them wished to uproot their families by leaving Grantville.
She was mostly glad that her mother was somewhere in the
The Jones family always had Thanksgiving dinner late, because Simon and Mary Ellen were busy with the services at the Methodist church in the morning. For the same reason, they had it at his brother’s house, since David’s wife was a teacher and always had the day off, so she could do the cooking. And she had the next day off, for that matter, so she could clean up. Nobody ever asked Susan what she thought of this arrangement. The rest of them took it as a given.
David Jones, the assistant principal of Grantville’s elementary school, looked around the table. At the other end, his wife. All three of their children were home.
He wasn’t so happy with Caroline’s pick, Trent Dorrman. Less education, fifteen years older than she, divorced, a grown son, what had to be a dead end job at Grantville-Saalfeld Metalworks and Foundries, Baptist rather than Methodist. Not what he had hoped for his older daughter.
When he’d brought it up before the marriage, she had answered a little bitterly, "Are you fishing? Pushing? What do you want me to say? That I left it too long, up-time? That the pickings are slim these days for a woman my age?" Since then, he had kept his mouth shut.
Dorrman was a quiet type. The two of them had been married a little over a year. Caroline was pregnant now; she planned to keep on working at the accounting firm after the baby was born. She and Trent seemed to be getting along with one another well enough. The less said the better, probably.
Next to Ceci, his sister Sandra Prickett and her husband. Their son Nathan was in
His brother and wife, the Reverends Simon and Mary Ellen Jones, with children. Though, of course, Vanessa’s husband, Jake Ebeling, was down in the
Then Mary Ellen’s whole crew of Sebastian relatives. Well, except that Allan Sebastian’s two girls by his first marriage had both gone up to
Finally, his sister Laura Ann had been left up-time, but her son Bill and family and Bill’s Furbee grandparents were here. Bill’s brother Johnny was out of town, gone back to his station with the army over in
It was odd, in a way. Of all the families in Grantville, theirs had about the least marrying back and forth with down-timers. Only Johnny, of all of them, and that while he was stationed away for so long.
Even Jarvis Beasley had remarried to a German girl; he met her while he was in the army. That had sort of given his father Ken and the others who haunted the 250 Club a black eye. Jarvis wasn’t welcome there any more.
First Methodist had done a lot of charity work among the refugees, of course. But it hadn’t done much in the way of outreach, so far. Not much evangelism. A couple of down-time wives, like Farley Utt’s Maggie, had joined the church, but most of them hadn’t.
Maybe he ought to talk to Simon and Mary Ellen about evangelism. Being ecumenical had been all well and good in the twentieth century. If they relied entirely on growing their own in the seventeenth century, though, Methodism would be doomed to remain a minority sect. A tiny minority sect, if you looked at
Minnie Hugelmair had received her promotion from sixth grade to seventh the day before Thanksgiving break started. She was determined to have that eighth grade diploma by next spring. She didn’t see any reason why she couldn’t finish the other two grades of middle school in six months. School stuff wasn’t exactly hard. All she had to do was read the books, fill out the assignments, and turn them in.
Then she went up to the storage lot. Denise’s dad had faith in her and she owed him for it, too. Denise had gone off somewhere, flying in a plane with those losers Lannie Yost and Keenan Murphy, chasing after defectors. Which had to be hard on Buster and Christin, not having their daughter here on a big, important, up-timer holiday.
Count Ludwig Guenther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, aged fifty-three, looked proudly on the son he had never, during his long bachelorhood, expected to have.
Countess Emelie, aged twenty, smiled up at him, beatifically exalted in the realization of a job well done, a duty superbly performed, and having made her kindly husband possibly, at this moment, the happiest man in the USE. In addition to which, of course, she had a baby. The most wonderful baby ever born.
Anna Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst smiled. She was the widow of the late Count Karl Guenther. "And, of course, naming him for your father will also provide a suitable opportunity to reach out to the Crown Loyalists by inviting Duke Albrecht of Saxe-Weimar to lift him from the font. An excellent choice of godfather, by the way."
He smiled again. "Not this time, I think. God willing, there will be other sons to bear those names." He leaned over and placed the baby back in her arms. "But, I think, it is an opportune moment for a little ‘cultural borrowing,’ as they call it. I shall proclaim that this day of the year will henceforth be a Dankfest in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, too."