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In the year since he lost his wife in a tragic accident, Lester Lehman has found healing and purpose—helping construct Dale Kraybill’s new bulk store, enjoying the Kuhn sisters’ hearty meals, and settling in a tiny, built-for-one lakeside house. Falling in love again is surely not on Lester’s mind. Yet despite his firm “no,” two available ladies have set their kapps on the handsome widower—in a boisterous rivalry that weaves mayhem among Gloria’s wedding festivities.
A welcome escape comes from a fresh-faced newcomer. Marlene Fisher disarms Lester with her witty quips on his romantic predicament, while her sparkling eyes inspire surprising thoughts of a shared future. But the heartbreak that brought Marlene to Promise Lodge runs deep, and the pretty maidel believes she’s not meant to marry. In a season of vows to love and honor, scripture holds the key to building their happiness together: love is kind, and above all patient.
Read an Excerpt
Out-of-town families would start arriving today to attend his niece Gloria’s wedding on Wednesday as well as Laura Hershberger’s wedding on Thursday when they married the Helmuth brothers, Cyrus and Jonathan—but for now, Lester could revel in the hush of a solitary sunny afternoon. Living alone in his tidy house all winter had taught him a sense of self-reliance that had cleared his soul—had given him an unencumbered sense of freedom he’d never expected. His bobbing dock rocked him like a cradle. He felt far, far removed from the grief and despair that had followed the loss of his wife, his son, and his brother last spring, and as Lester eased into a state of semi-sleep, he knew the true meaning of inner peace.
At long last, all was well with his life. With the help of his family and friends here at Promise Lodge, he was moving forward . . . floating on the fluffy clouds of a nap . . .
“Yoo-hoo! Lester, honey! Thanks to Delores, I’ve found you!”
Lester jerked awake. Whose voice was that? and why had she implied that his dear, deceased wife had led her here?
When he opened one eye, he saw a pudgy little woman starting across the expanse of grass that surrounded Rainbow Lake. Her brown cape dress fluttered around her thick legs as she hurried toward him. Clutching her kapp with one hand to keep it from flying off her head, Lester’s uninvited guest appeared so excited—and in such a state of overexertion—that he feared she might be bringing on a heart attack. He remained absolutely still, hoping she’d believe he was asleep.
“My stars, here you are at long last!” she blurted out, huffing between phrases. “I’ve ridden all the way from Sugarcreek—for Gloria’s wedding—because with my Harvey gone—Delores has been telling me—for quite some time now—that she wants me to take care of you, Lester! So here I am! Because I know better than to—to ignore heavenly guidance.”
Lester sighed. Agnes Plank, his wife’s best friend, had never known the meaning of silence. She barely drew a breath at the end of one sentence before she shot headlong into her next burst of words. There would be no ignoring her now that she’d almost reached his dock, so Lester reluctantly raised the back of his chaise. All hope for a nap was gone. He felt a headache prickling around his temples.
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Narrated by: Susan Boyce