We live in a world that can not live without negatives it seems, the news is unappetizing, the weather tries hard to equal it and people in general elbow each other for the best best spots to watch what used to be an exciting ice-sport but has degraded into slug fests, I'm thinking about hockey.
And here is me trying to finish a decent story by connecting several parts needing to be connected – and I had it, but lost it, due to interventions by forces stronger than me, or just by me me pushing a wrong button.
I am not giving up easy, we started from scratch with this story except the one given – a happy blond haired young girl hopscotching through a small town, bewitching even the local dominee, the one whom we have neglected for too long – Helen.
Helen, the child-woman despised by an entire village because she bore a baby out of wedlock while the father of that baby, Lolke, took off to Canada, leaving her to the cruel people of her birthplace where every one seems to be judge and jury.
Well, how did Helen fare with that farmer with a baby she met through a newspaper ad.
So far we know that the man lost his wife through a divorce, his wife's complaint was that he was unable to father children. We do know that her accusation was not true as he wanting to know the truth about himself, found himself in bed the maid, contradicting the accusation of his unfaithful wife when he successful fathered a child with the maid.
What was wrong with him was of an entirely different thing but every bit as troublesome – he was diagnosed with cancer and was given a maximum of five years to live, which he himself altered to ten.
I think we should give the man a name first which so far was neglected by the writer. It is also highly unfair to our heroin as she has a right to carry a name that binds her to the man of her choice even though he is as old as her father.
What d' you think of Douwe Hijma. Alright Douwe (pronounced Thou – wu) Hijma it is, and from this time forward Helen is going to be Helen Hijma, after she is married of course, but the name of her daughter Johanna Harkema stays as it is.
If the foregoing is OK with everyone we can continue with the rest of the story.
The rest of the story
Helen and Douwe liked each other so well that they soon skipped the agreed-to trial period of one year abstinence and after their 'sin' became the norm, and strange rumors were going around in the village anyways, they decided to get married, but only in the town hall and not in the church as had been for generations the custom in the village.
Their decision hurt the bride's father, but he he was prepared to carry this part of, what he considered another humiliation, because he loved his daughter.
Douwe had so far not talked with Helen about what he had in mind when he mentioned something about the conditions he had in mind when they first met and Helen did not ask as she figured that it possibly had something to do with little Douwe and in that she was right on.
“Helen, I didn't think I was going to find a woman like you on only one ad,” was his preamble, “I am pleased of the way you take care of my son little Douwe and I make you a proposal before we take any further steps. I am going to marry you regardless, but something lies heavy on my heart and I want a true answer from you
“are you going to be a real mother for little Doede?” It did not take Helen long to answer -
“Doede, let's go to bed.”
He got a satisfactory answer there
Though Helen had ample proof of Douwe's satisfactory sex performance he let on that he, according to the doctor in all likelihood would not be able to produce any offspring of his union with Helen on account of his cancer, which started a talk between them about their own future as that of his son and her daughter.
Doede - “I have some money, Helen, which is no secret in this neighborhood and when my time is up it will be yours.”
Helen - “Isn't that a great gamble, Douwe.”
“I am a good judge of people, safe the one time, my first wife.”
“What do you want for little Douwe?”
“You as his mother. When ready let him study in America, hopefully agriculture, but let him decide.”
“What about little Douwe's mother?”
“I have looked after her, she does not need to be a maid anymore. She will not bother you or little Douwe but allow her to see him if she wants to. She is a good woman.”
“Why didn't you marry her?”
“She was my maid,”
“And I a farmer's daughter?”
“Anything else Douwe Hijma ?” she saw a faint smile fall over his face
“Yah, lets go to bed.”
The chattering tongues of the villagers were quieted by the wedding feast Douwe threw in his empty hay barn, complete with the story teller and MC, old man Teake, who kept the guests laughing till it hurt, as well as the local copper band Crescendo giving a round of hoompapa every time the newly weds kissed, urged on by the guests noisily twirling spoons in the coffee cups .
It was a great village feast where the liquor freely flowed and the barn was blue of tobacco smoke, however when the dancing started Helen's parents took off, which annoyed the bride as she had called off the garter belt removal, to safe her father embarrassment about that sort of spectacle.
We are up to date on Helen for now, as they enjoy their married life together, so next time about Lolke who has lost his love and is alone in a brand new house not far from the great Pacific.