You wouldn't think a house with eight people living in it could be empty...

Midway through Gene Stratton Porter's book Laddie, two of the daughters have recently married and the family is reduced to having only the youngest four at home. (Candace is the cook and Miss Amelia is the school mistress who boards with the family.) 
There were eight of us left, counting Candace and Miss Amelia, and you wouldn't think a house with eight people living in it would be empty, but ours was. Everything seemed to wilt. The roses on the window blinds didn't look so bright as they had; mother said the only way she could get along was to keep right on working. She helped Candace all she could, but she couldn't be on her feet very much, so she sat all day long and peeled peaches to dry, showed Candace how to jelly, preserve, and spice them, and peeled apples for butter and to dry, quantities more than we could use, but she said she always could sell such things, and with the bunch of us to educate yet, we'd need the money.

- From Chapter VIII of Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter

We, too, are down to eight people in our house again now that Kristen has returned to Purdue for her junior year. Just like in Laddie, it doesn't seem reasonable, but somehow having eight around the table seems empty. Some of the spark has left our home. We miss Kristen's lively personality and her beautiful smile.

Unlike Mrs. Stanton, I'm not keeping busy drying peaches, but Kristen's summer legacy to us is a pantry full of canned peaches. Between peaches that were being discarded at B-foods and a few batches we bought from her favorite Amish farmer, she and I canned about eight gallons this summer.

Thank you, dear daughter! We miss you already, but are praying for God's blessing on you as you continue your nursing studies. May He use you this year to bring light and life to those you study and work with!
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