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Ruby and Wild Bill - a Short Story



Ruby was a free spirit, but under her husband's covering she was kept from getting into folly and foolishness and for that she was thankful. She could get into much trouble if left to her own devices. Not intentionally, of course, but Ruby didn't always think things through.

Her husband, Bill, loved her deeply in spite of her shortcomings. And Ruby loved Bill with his wild cowboy ways. He certainly kept her tap dancing to keep up with him. Life was never dull for Ruby and Bill. They lived on a wing and a prayer. Each day was a miracle in that they always had just enough to see them through. The good Lord would not forsake them, and He always kept His Word.

Ruby stands at the window looking out upon her little homestead and gray overcast skies. She is thinking about Autumn being just around the corner and Winter will be quickly on its heels. Ruby, always seeking to provide the best for her family, worked all through the summer to make sure her family had warm clothes when the snow began to fly.

After dinner each night, she sat in her rocking chair by the fire and knitted socks, mittens, scarves for her family to wear and blankets to add to their beds. Her days were filled with cooking and baking from scratch to keep her family well-fed. There was the garden to tend, which was the family's mainstay. If the garden didn't produce, they didn't eat.

Ruby prayed over her vegetable and herb gardens, and she had the largest vegetables around. She was going to enter one of her pumpkins at the county fair this year. She was sure she could win the blue ribbon prize and $25 to boot! That money would go a long way in stocking up on baking supplies for winter and "cowboy coffee" for Wild Bill. Ruby hoped to have enough to buy more yarn, embroidery thread, sewing thread, fabric in order to make more clothes for herself and her family, and perhaps some penny candy to go in the children's Christmas stockings .


Wild Bill

Bill was also busy with his work around the homestead. There were farm animals to tend to: Bessie the milk cow, chickens, a few pigs and horses. On Saturdays he helped out Mr. Brady at the General Store delivering groceries to earn a little extra money. And occasionally he stopped by Widow Miller's to check on her and do odds and ends. She was well off and paid him a fair wage for any work he did for her.

This extra money would go for new shoes for the children before the weather turned cold and a silver cross necklace for Ruby for Christmas. Bill had seen her look with longing at it in the Spring when they had gone to the General Store to buy supplies and knew right then and there that it would be the perfect Christmas gift for her. She would never ask for anything so fancy. She didn't want to burden Bill, but he knew her heart. Nothing was too good for his Ruby!

In the evenings, Bill worked out in the barn. From leftover wood he whittled animals, made a Jumping Jack man, a spinning top, small cradles for the girls' dolls, and various other toys for the children. Ruby made doll clothes for the older girls cloth dollies. Suzy the youngest wanted a dolly of her own, so Ruby would make her one this year. She also crocheted doilies, made needle cases out of felt or flannel to keep sewing needles from rusting, made hot pads and such as gifts to give away to others.

Ruby was always seemingly running to keep up with her busy household, but she always made time to read her Bible and prayed continually. Her life was filled to the brim, but Ruby wouldn't have it any other way!

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