February 17, 1965
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky three days after Valentine’s Day. It’s been snowing and snowing. That’s given me lots of time to think about all the different kinds of love and back to some of the things that happened in those Heart of Hollyhill books I’m in.
You know it’s funny that last Hollyhill book is named Summer of Joy because most of it happened in the winter time. We had a bunch of snow then too. And during one of those snows, Robert showed up out of nowhere. I didn’t like him much. You know how I love Wes. I mean, Wes is my best friend and my grandfather all wrapped up in one. But he’s not really my grandfather, not in any kind of real family kin. He’s from Jupiter. I know. He’s not really from Jupiter. I’ve known that forever, but that’s what he’s always told me. Then Robert shows up – his real grandson in the family kin way. That sort of worried me. I was afraid Wes wouldn’t love me the same if he had Robert to love. Here’s the scene out of the book where I go out to walk in the snow to think that through, and Robert hunts me down to talk about Wes.
We walked along without talking for a little ways. I was thinking about claiming I was cold and saying we needed to go back to the house when Robert said, “Your father told me you and my grandfather are real close.”
I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to say to that, so I just nodded a little and kept walking. We were almost to the end of the apple orchard, but Mr. Crutcher doesn’t mind me walking in his pasture fields next door. Dad walks there all the time when he’s praying through something for a sermon or whatever.
I thought maybe I should be praying through something. I just wasn’t sure what. I wasn’t sure why I had that spider crawly feeling inside and tears in my eyes that weren’t there just because of the cold wind blowing in my face. Just because proof that Wes wasn’t from Jupiter was walking along beside me didn’t mean Wes had to stop telling me Jupiter stories. And even if he did, so what? I was too old for Jupiter stories anyway.
“Tell me about him,” Robert said.
“What about him?”
“I don’t know. Tell me why you love him.”
“Why do you want to know that?”
“So I can love him the way you do. Like a real grandson would.”
It seemed only fair, so I told him about the spaceship from Jupiter. And about the motorcycle and how Wes talked to the press to keep it running. I told him about the tornado and the tree falling on Wes. I didn’t tell him why we were out in the tornado. I figured that would just confuse things. Last I told him about Wes being baptized in the river even though it almost made his ears freeze and fall off. We both laughed about that.
By the time we walked back to the house, I’d passed some of my love for Wes over to Robert, but the funny thing was I didn’t have a bit less inside me. Maybe love really is like a candle flame that keeps burning just as brightly no matter how many other candles are lit from the flame.
Is that how you think love is?
By the way, I’ve heard there are some giveaways going on. You can check it out here. And there’s a Goodreads giveaway too. Leave a comment here and be in a special drawing for a copy of one of the Heart of Hollyhill books. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?