As they entered, passing through the new entry way, where Catherine's bed once was, they entered their new bed chamber, and as they looked to one another, they spoke of how cozy, so inviting and warm, the quilted coverlet, which embraced the king size bed looked. And to have their own fireplace was quite enchanting, with a little sitting area to warm themselves by.
Next was the kitchen table nook, where they might entertain, should someone be visiting.
Then as Catherine's attention turned elsewhere, Vincent watched her, as she spotted the kitchenette. Hesitantly, she approached the pastoral furnishings and appliances.
In disbelief, she turned toward Vincent to ask, "Is this our kitchen? Did you design this for me?"
Vincent happy to see the fineness of the workmanship, proudly answered, "Yes Catherine, this is for you."
Catherine hugged him and then tearfully replied, "I love our kitchen so much! I will be able to cook and care for you in the ways I have dreamt about."
As he held his Catherine lovingly to his heart, he guardedly told her of Jacob's stipulations for allowing the kitchenette within their chamber. "Father does request we continue to dine with the community. He does however understand, how much having your own space such as this, means to you."
Smiling up at Vincent, she told him she didn't wish to change any tunnel traditions Jacob has established, but...if per chance, in the late evening, her husband gets hungry, she would love nothing more, than to prepare a snack for him.
Catherine then looked to the artsy stained glass window, and told Vincent it was very beautiful! And then Catherine added, "I am assuming the different colored eyes represent someone we may know?"
In reply, Vincent playfully said, "How astute of you Catherine. And may I say, it pleases me you like it so."
And then of course Catherine's original sitting room alcove, remained in tact as part of their home chamber.
Meantime, outside their newly added bedchamber, much of the community congregated to hear how the couple liked what they had done for them in their absence. Jacob and Mary stepped in first, and others followed.
Excitedly, the soon-to-be-married couple expressed their gratitude to everyone who helped, and gave tours to the others who were there simply to see the renovations.
Catherine approached both Jacob and Mary to thank them for all they had done. She began by saying, "Father, what can I say. I love our kitchenette. It is all laid out so conveniently, and it is just lovely. And, I want you to know I will abide by the traditional gathering for our meals. I won't abuse this privilege you have allowed me."
Nodding Jacob replied, "I know you shall comply with our community mores Catherine, and as far as the layout of your kitchenette, well, we merely followed Vincent's blueprint."
With astonishment, Jacob continued, "His vision is extraordinary! I myself did not think we had the space for all we ultimately added, and argued as much! However, Vincent did! And now I am afraid I must eat a little crow."
Amused, Catherine looked toward Vincent before she teasingly told Jacob, "Well Father...I will be glad to cook it for you in my little kitchen."
Mary started to laugh, which prompted a very staunch Jacob to laughing as well, saying, "Indeed you could!"
Catherine then turned to Mary, and as she gave her a daughterly hug, she said, "Mary, the quilt on our bed, is beautiful. I would recognize your fine touch anywhere. Thank you so much."
Overcome with emotion, Mary's voice wavered as she replied, "I loved sewing that quilt for you and Vincent....ahhh, my joy is boundless for you children!"
To which Vincent expressed, "You have such a giving heart Mary, and it is because of you I have never felt void of a Mother...your loving care brings not only I, but so many of us comfort."
Warmly, Jacob added, "We would be lost without you Mary."
Feeling loved and so very much appreciated, Mary softly said, "Well I was lost until I found my family here..."
As emotional sniffles took over, Mary dabbed at her eyes, and feigned, "...I think I have something in my eye..."
To which Jacob said, "Perhaps we should head back now. Are you ready Mary?"
With a speechless nod, she said she was. And so after receiving good night hugs all around, Jacob escorted Mary back to the tunnel main.
As the rest of the community began to leave, and the crowd thinned out, soon only Catherine and Vincent were left with Ronald, who had just arrived.
Excitedly Ronald filled Catherine and Vincent in about his day at Jennifer's Family Reunion, saying how much he enjoyed meeting Mrs. Aronson, and of how they seemed to develop an easy report from the start. And the rest of the family too, were so very kind and open.
He then shared, "You know, all my life, I have had to deal with other peoples reactions to my Native American heritage. Some good, some painful...but Jenny's family, I just felt like one of the family, blending in right from the start. It was nice being treated like one of the bunch, no unnecessary niceties, or anything...just a lot of family talk, and a lot of medical issues were on the forefront."
To which Ronald added, "Oh I have tell Peter how he is spoken about with such reverence in Jenny's family. I guess he is the family doctor for most of them, and they just love that guy."
Catherine laughed, saying, "I know they do! He has treated them for years and years."
Catherine feeling so happy, all went well, then said, "Well, I am so glad you had a nice time."
In reply, Ronald said, "Well I sure did! And food? Oh my...you were right Catherine, Jenny's family is full of good cooks, and there was so much good food, and they love to see you eat! Oh Vincent the way you love pasta, you would have loved this one dish. I still feel stuffed!"
To which Vincent then filled in Ronald of their trip to see Narcissa, and said, Catherine did quite well on the excursion.
It was then Catherine let go of a yawn, causing Vincent to ask, "Tired Catherine?"
In reply, Catherine giggled, saying, "Excuse me for yawning like that...but you know, I am tired, must be from our hike today."
To which Ronald sadly said, "Tired, well that is a shame. I was hoping we could all go to the falls for a swim! I am thinking I need to work off some of that delicious feast I had today."
Detecting Vincent's eagerness to go before he disappointedly declined, Catherine told him, "You should go with Ronald. I think I would like to tinker around a bit and check out the stove."
With an agreeable nod, Vincent turned to Ronald, and said, "Well, let's go my friend."
To which Ronald shouted, "Excellent!"
With an embrace, Vincent promised Catherine, he would stop by to say goodnight upon his return.
Catherine smiled as she watched the two leave, thinking what a good friend Vincent had in Ronald, and then thought, how nice it will be for her best friend to be with Vincent's!