I remember when everything was so simple. Before everything became so complicated, life was easy to live.
I lived on a farm with my parents, Ada and Bernard DeClaire, and my eight brothers and sisters. Our life wasn't anything exciting but it was regular, and there is something to be said for knowing everything that's going to happen in a day. I would wake up in the morning around 5:30, put on my dress and apron, then help tie my sister's aprons and make sure that they had their hair braided. Then I would walk out the door, across the kitchen, and then outside where the sun hadn't yet warmed up the fields or awakened the birds. Then I would tread up the grassy hill to reach our barn, which I could find only because I had plodded the path so many times. Inside I would always be greeted by the soft mooing of our cow Marie. I always stroked her before I got my milking stool. I milk our cow Marie until the frothy snow white milk would fill up my worn wooden barrel. In the next stall were my chickens which I lovingly called 'my girls'. I would collect their white eggs as quickly as possible to avoid getting pecked. After taking care of them, I would walk back to our house to help my mother with breakfast; which was usually eggs.
The days that were especially special usually always began the same as any other day. After chores and breakfast, on a special day my true love Fernan would come to visit me. I had known Fernan ever since we were both knee high to a rabbit. He was smart, funny, and handsome with his wavy blond hair and brown eyes. He always called me 'Bee' and treated me as if I were the queen of France. We had memories that we would always remember, one of which I'll never forget.
He had accompanied me while I was looking for some wild flowers. The day had started out warm and beautiful, but the longer I looked for wildflowers, the faster the dark clouds came. We were in the middle of a field far away from our homes, when we saw a bolt of lightning flash not even a mile away which made me so terrified that I dropped into a faint
I was told later that Fernan carried me across the field in search for shelter and it began to rain. Long fat rain drops that made it impossible to see anything poured down on Fernan and me. Fernan took off his own coat and laid it over me, then ran, still holding me, in search of a shelter.
I'll never forget how grateful my parents were of Fernan for taking such good care of me, and how disappointed they and I were when we found out that he couldn't afford a bride price. On that day I must have cried for hours. I had always imagined that he and I would be together, and this was a terrible blow.