I had gone out to the grave stones everyday, looking at the small one for the woman so much that I had made a path through the grass to the site. The man's was lonely and ignored. For some reason I wouldn't bother with him, but she called to me everyday and I would go out and talk to her, ignoring him completely. It finally came to head one day when I knelt beside her stone and felt the pain of her anxiety over the fact that I was ignoring him.
"Well, I don't think I like him. Is he bothering you because I am ignoring him?" I asked her out loud.
"No," she whispered back. "But I don't like you ignoring him. He needs a little love."
I thought about it. "He needs love?" I asked. "What about you. I hear he didn't give you any."
"I always knew he loved me, dear. You found my jewels. Where do you think I got them?" she replied.
I was already on my knees and I burst into prayer. "Lord, here I am praising You for a beautiful day and a gorgeous setting, if you will consider a grave site a gorgeous setting. I've planted several little plants around it and I love the look of it. However; there is a grave site right there - on the other side of the tree root, separated from this gravesite, but apparently not from her. She tells me he needs love. I don't have love for him. I think he was an evil man and I can't love him for beating people. I can't love him for having slaves and giving them nothing.
"Should I listen to her and love him, too? I guess you'll let me know. Amen."
I couldn't even include the name of Jesus in my prayer because I did not like the man under the ground. What will I do if God tells me to honor his site?
I'd have to listen, wait, and then think about it.
The plantation was alive every day at noon. Caleb came and fired up the kitchen, as he called it, and started prepping for dinner. I would help where or if he needed, which was seldom, but I would mostly dust and make sure everything was in tip top order for guests.
We had been open for several months already and were getting some regulars and the place was pretty full every day. Caleb's cooking was loved and the word was getting out.
I had hired a sign maker to make a couple of "posters" for me and they were ornately framed on the wall near the cash register out in the foyer where a very old-elaborately built stand was installed. One of the frames was made so I could easily remove the poster and replace it with the other poster. I had one for every day and changed them every morning. So it was like the special of the day, but instead of a menu, it was of the events that I was doing. I could do weddings, receptions, reunions, birthday parties, and anniversaries and things were coming in. My pricing was good and people like the atmosphere I had created at Bridgett's Plantation.
I had hired servers that were dressed in black long dresses with white aprons and small white mob caps to give it a southern look. The servers wore their hair up so the mob caps looked great. When I got my new host - he was going to wear a butler's tuxedo.
I was currently playing hostess and I would wear a vintage black evening gown. I would make sure the candles were lit inside the glass holders at each table. We had an antique chandelier that was actually too long for the place it was in but I fixed the problem by placing a circle settee under it with a huge fern that filled the space between bottom prism of the chandelier and the top of the center of the circle settee. Not many sat on it, but it was beautiful and fixed the issue of the chandelier being too long for people to walk under it.
One morning the grounds keeper came in to talk to me. They were having difficulty way out at the cabins. One was buried under vines so thick a rat had a difficult time getting to it and he was afraid of what they would find and wanted to make sure that I was okay with them continuing the hunt for the cabins. I had gone to the county and obtained the original map of the area and the plantation had gone on for hundreds of acres right down to a river. Someone had sold off bits and pieces over the years to what it was today, but so much of it was buried under brush that I didn't even know what I had actually purchased.
It was a hot day and he looked nearly dried out so I told him to take his crew home for the rest of the week to rest up and then we would attack it the following week. He smiled - glad for some time away from the jungle but he warned me not to attempt to go there alone. " There's animals, bugs, spiders, snacks, and God only knows what's back in there and you don't need to be back there alone. Got plenty of stuff to do here without risking your life for it. Besides, let it be a surprise when we get it unburied. Promise me that, Ma'am." I promised and knew I had to keep it. So I made a mental note not to go down to the cabins for any reason.