In a series of letters sent home to her mother in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our heroine Amanda Fitzpatrick shares her life in the small town of Cherry Hill Saskatchewan in 1947.
When last we left Amanda, Cherry Hill's town matriarch, Mrs. Wilson, made some rather disturbing inferences in regard to Amanda's husband, town doctor Paul Fitzpatrick, and the close working relationship he shares with his nurse.
June 14, 1947
Though I'm trying not to be alarmed, Paul has not yet arrived home from his trip to Toronto. His train was set to come in at 10 am and it is now well past dinner. Worse yet, when I called the station, they had no record of him or Valerie - coming or going.
The children continue to ask about their father, wondering when he's coming home, and I've created a bit of a fib about a problem with one of the trains in order to keep their questions at bay.
And so I sit, hour by hour, waiting, and wondering - hoping he is either going to walk through the door or that I will get a telegram explaining the mix up.
It's times like these I wish I had paid better attention when you were teaching me how to knit because right now, some busy work for my hands would be helpful. Perhaps I will go into the kitchen and make one of those chocolate orange coffee cakes Paul is so fond of.
I'll brew some coffee and by the time it all gets finished he should be home.
Mother, the last few months have been filled with so many ups and downs, but in my heart I long for the promise of the early days when we first came to Cherry Hill. Paul was so sweet then, and dedicated to bringing the latest medical information and practice to the prairies.
And we had fun too; remember the New Year's Eve before Sally was born when he took me midnight skating? It was so cold we could barley be out more than ten minutes, skating under the starlit sky, our breath heating the air in bursts of fog against the cold.
That evening was the first time I ever had a croissant. Paul ordered them from a French bakery in Saskatoon and we had them warmed in the oven and served with cold butter, jam, and steaming mugs of hot chocolate. It was just about the perfect finish to a lovely evening and a memory I will treasure forever.
Times like those have been so scarce over the last few years that sometimes, on days like these, it feels like memories are all I have left to fall back on.
But wait, I must go.
Someone is coming to the front door.
It looks like that nice police officer, Constable Fraser...
Stay tuned next week....
In the meantime, please enjoy the step by step video for Amanda's coffee cake.
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