My skies, but I’d never before seen such a bootiful sight! When Bernard an’ Susan were talking of moving towns, why, I thought we’d be heading tah thuh town over, Bigsburg. But no! They plum packed us all up, kids an’ all, an’ we drove all thuh way across this country from Pleasantville tah Sunset Valley. An’, my, if it weren’t a pretty place. All snug an’ tucked up against those green, green mountains an’ thuh big blue ocean on thuh othuhrside! That first day, I fell in love with thuh place. I wanted thuh rest of my children to be born an’ raised right thuhre. I wanted my gran’kids to be born an’ raised thuhre! I wanted a big ol’ place with lotsa’ room an’ I wanted a big family to match.
For lan’s’ sakes, Ellie, you’re getting ahead a’ yourself!
I’m Ellie Mayfield, an’ here’s my little family. That han’some devil is my husban’, Bernard Mayfield, an’ behind him is my sister, Susan Thompson. Thuh little blonde bundle off to thuh side is my daughter, Chloe Mayfield. Bernard’s not her daddy, but you couldn’t tell with thuh way he treats her. An’ thuh cute little guy in thuh flowers is my nephew, Thomas Thompson. I begged Suzy not to name him that, but that was our Daddy’s name, rest in peace. She never did mention who Thomas’s daddy was. Anywho, here we all are!
It all started a year back, right before Momma died. I was young an’ a single mothuhr. I’d quit school to have Chloe. Her daddy was a good-fer’-nuthin’ though. Chloe was just a coupla’ weeks old when Momma died. Daddy, though he hadn’t liked Momma (‘cept fer a few months back when they were still hot-blooded), he came to her funeral. Afterwards he packed me an’ Chloe up an’ took us to Pleasantville. I thought is was so big an’ chic! I met my big sister Suzy. Her momma was Daddy’s wife, but she died years back when Suzy was jus’a kid. Anywho, Daddy got me an’ Chloe moved in with him, an’ it wasn’t long afterwords that Suzy got her fancy degree from college. That summer I’ll never forget. Suzy had her baby boy (she’d been busy with school at thuh time, so I took care’a him). An’ in mid-June, I met my one-an’-only.
I’ll remember that day always. I was out wid’da kids in thuh front yard, watching ‘em toddle through Daddy’s flower beds, when this blue-eyed hunk walked up an’ knocked on our front door. He noticed me after a coupla’ seconds, an’ he went all red an’ stuttery. He was a cutey. Still is. I said hi, an’ he ran away. But thuh next day he was back with a bundle o’ roses an’ sweets for thuh kids. I didn’t waste no time. I pulled every trick Momma ever taught me. By thuh end of thuh summer I was Mrs. Bernard Mayfield an’ Chloe was Chloe Mayfield. Sweet guy, my Bernard, he wanted Chloe to be his, no ifs, an’s, nor buts.
Turns out, Suzy an’ Bernard had been best friends since Daddy an’ Suzy had moved to Pleasantville. An’ thuhy’d been making plans. Not marriage, no! I’d nevah steal a man from mah own sister! But thuhy’d been wanting to leave Pleasantville since high school. Go somewhere more “happening”. Me, I was so caught up in thuh wedding an’ heaven’s happiness that I wen’ along with whateveah thuhy wanted.
An’ that’s how I found mahself in Sunset Valley. Mah sister, mah husban’ an’ thuh two kids on thuh lawn, all staring at our new home.
It weren’t much, but I jus’ knew we could make it work!