In honor of having met the husband 13 years ago this week, I have tried my hand at a little Jane Austen. I am unworthy.
A young woman in her twenty-fourth year and un-betrothed is subject to the pity and scrutiny that others are wont to cast upon her. For such an aged young woman is without hope of finding a suitable match and as such might be cast to the side an old maid.
Providence generally shines on one in such a state but once in her life. And not wanting this particular young lady to miss her opportunity, Providence was readying itself for a brilliant shining.
The young woman of whom we speak attended to her studies at a University in the central valley of Utah proper, and made her residence at a quaint but tidy cottage christened the Dew Drop Inn. Nothing bold or daring ever came from this University. Nothing to draw attention from its aim at matriculating young men and women. And those who looked well to their studies often found themselves enjoying a bit of the companionship of others who held similar persuasions.
On the day that Providence was preparing its brilliant endowment our young lady arrived at her first class on the first day of the start of a new term and ten minutes prior to the arrival of the professor. Something that was uncommon for such a young woman, she found a suitable place to situate her person and busied herself in the study of her fellows as they entered the classroom.
This young woman was handsome, yet respectable- conducting herself with propriety- and was in the habit of dressing herself in the custom of the day, fashionable yet understated. She wore her hair long with tender curls and voluminous enough to meet the standards of the day. Most days she was a vision to behold with an attractive frame and lovely legs that carried her slender body gracefully wherever she went.
As she awaited the professor's arrival she took note of the queue of students already fifteen deep hoping to add this course to their schedules. And she recalled the conversation involving herself and her mother just the evening prior. She had telephoned her mother to address feelings of a personal nature. Such a personal nature that for this to be an enthralling tale, they must be shared openly and blatantly with whomever may chance to read. As is the case with women.
The young woman expressed fatigue at the closing of the semester and hopes of returning to Joaquin Court, the family estate, to spend her holiday. It is possible she may have expressed displeasure at not having shared a spring romance with a desirable gentleman. But one cannot be certain.
"Please, dear, remain for the new term and see if you can't make something of this semester's studies," her mother entreated.
"But I have not yet registered for any classes, nor do I find any that intrigue me, and classes commence tomorrow. If it were not for the deplorable condition of my vehicle, I should return at once to Joaquin Court and help you and father for the holiday- even if only for a fortnight," countered the young lady.
"Yes, but as it is, your vehicle is in no state for travel and you may as well take advantage of the graces of the University and continue your studies. Register at once for something and attend classes in the morning. Phone me tomorrow evening and we shall discuss your plans at that time. If you should decide to return to Joaquin Court we will then make the necessary arrangements," instructed the wise mother.
Obediently, the young woman searched the listing of courses offered and decided upon one suitable to her studies. She concluded registration at a late hour and retired for the evening.
As she was engaged in her reverie a soaring figure passed to her right in such a manner as to draw her out of her thoughts. A quick glance told the young woman that this was one gentleman she would be hard-pressed to attempt any thought at removing him-let alone his delicious buns- from her memory. At once this young woman was intrigued. And so she continued her delicate gaze as the handsome man took his seat just one in front and to the side of her own.
The professor made his entrance not long after and the lecture began. He tended to the task of turning away those who came hoping to add this course to their schedules, and the young woman counted herself fortunate in having obtained a seat for this session. He then made haste in distributing sage-colored copies of questionnaires aimed at gathering information from the students assembled.
As the young woman provided the solicited information, she kept a trained eye on the paper of the gentleman, hoping to ascertain his name and particulars- especially his estate and age. All information was provided and the young woman learned that he was two years her junior, having just returned from clergy-service in a parsonage quite removed from where they now sat not two seats apart. Not knowing if this would be a handsome match due to their age discrepancy, the young woman's spirits were a tad deflated yet she remained optimistic at her chances and looked forward to her next encounter with the gentleman.
On her journey home from classes the young woman felt light and giddy. Upon arriving at her cottage, she immediately phoned her mother and informed her that she had determined to remain at the University for the time being and see what she could make of the semester that stretched before her.
It being no secret that she had relished her first encounter with Providence.
to be continued...