The Donnelly family has always lived in the middle of nowhere. Actually Craig and his wife Monica have been surprised at the number of houses popping up in town lately. The two of them met at school and both enjoy living on the Donnelly Farm. At the beginning of farming season Craig decided it was time for their eldest daughter Lillian to help out with the planting.
“No Dad, I don’t want to. I’ve started writing this book about…” Lillian was always talking about writing lately.
“Great, we’re glad to have your help,” Craig said, right over the rest of Lillian’s sentence. Then he looked at Monica. “I’ve heard there’s going to be a big baseball game at the high school.”
“Only if it doesn’t rain,” Sally said, wondering if they would be going to the game. She might be able to make some friends with high school kids, other than her sister.
“This family is so unfair!” Lillian fell silent and ate in a sulk. When the rest of the family got up she stayed at the table to have seconds.
“You know your father is only thinking of your future,” her mother said softly once everyone was gone.
“So am I.” Lillian was glad when her mom went back to doing dishes and cleaning up.
The next morning Lillian found herself stuck tending the plants with her parents. As a direct rebellion, she went out in her dress and heels.
After the initial planning Lillian was never around to help out. It left Monica in an awkward position since she wanted everyone to be happy and get along.
“Just give her some time,” she told Craig one afternoon as they tended the field.
“I’m giving her time.” Craig took out his aggravation on a patch of weeds. He wanted his daughter to be happy and secure. Farming made him happy and secure. It was difficult for him to imagine finding happiness anywhere else.
Monica just sighed. Somehow they would be okay and life on Donnelly farm would get back to it’s normal pattern. She had to believe that.
Craig is a big fan of good food, friends, family and being outside. He can’t think of anything better than a long day out in the fields followed by a great home cooked meal with his large family. The fact that anyone would want anything else is just plain crazy.
Monica tries not to think about her life before marrying Craig. Her father had always been critical of her clumsiness and her mom kept picking on her because of her weight. Craig was the first person to not only accept her as she was but to love her that way. She wants to have a big, happy family because that means none of her children are going through what she went through.
Lillian is a large source of guilt for her. A part of her wants to encourage Lillian to write, but she sees Craig unhappy and she wants to fix it. With her outlook, though, she often thinks all of it will work out. After all, Craig is a teddy bear compared to her father.
Lillian got her love of food from her parents and her creativity from who knows where. Sometimes she thinks she isn’t even really their child because she feels so different from her parents. All she knows is that writing is important! Farming is boring. She knows her dad has it in his mind she’ll take over the farm one day, but she won’t. There’s absolutely no way.
Wendy loves everything about the farm. She’s still young, but she thinks Lillian should go off somewhere and be a writer because she’s sure she’d do better at running the farm anyhow. All she has to do is figure out a way to show that to her Dad.
Sally hasn’t ever met someone she didn’t want to talk to more. People interest her, the things that make them different, the things that make them the same. As for the farm, she thinks more about how everyone feels than anything else.