The day had arrived, the boys and their families were very excited, but also very apprehensive. They had heard of more attacks by Jewish factions on the new Jesus people as well as the Romans attacking Jews and in some isolated cases the new Jesus people too.
They had prayed continuously and because of the indomitable faith were certain it would be a grand event. Time will tell!
Saturday morning arrived with a beautiful bright sunrise and a light breeze. About sixty people arrived at Ezra’s farm just after day break and the set up began. Some of the work had been done in the days before. Abraham and friends had dug a pit, brought in dried wood and Simon had built a large spit to hold the calf over the fire. The wine had been delivered and tables had been set up under some shade trees. Water, hay and some oats were stored in the shed near the field where the horses would be kept.
As arranged Joshua and Zilpah picked up Ruth and Nahum telling them they were going to spend the day with Ezra and Elizabeth.
They arrived about 10:00 am to be welcomed by over 300 guests. Ruth and Nahum were numb with the shock at seeing so many of their friends and family there and could not speak for a few minutes. Elizabeth and Hannah then took the couple to two large comfortable chairs under a sycamore tree, brought them some food and wine and set them up to receive their friends over the next eight hours.
Once they were settled Ezekiel gave a very short welcome and an even shorter blessing of the day being sure to include some Jewish blessings in his speech. The throng then settled in for a wonderful day of celebration.
This gathering was rather unique in that there were New Christians, Jews, and some non-believers who were friends and/or customers. Maybe because of the high-quality wine, or more likely because of the relationship with Nahum and family everybody seemed to each other’s company. The great food helped too!
When the children were fed, occupied and tended to by the teachers, the adults started feasting and chatting with Ruth and Nahum. Zeke and his band started playing rather robust music. Many people old and young joined in and some even danced. Ruth and Nahum were busy chatting “one by one” of all their guests and they were already smiling more than they had for months.
The children were rounded up and brought back to their parents and Market Man’s huge fruit offering was placed strategically for everyone to partake, they were asked to take it to a comfortable spot in front of a makeshift stage.
Hannah and Elizabeth then introduced their friend Demetra and her brother. Some people had even heard of the young songstress, since some of the guests travelled to other countries for business or to visit family and friends.
The next two hours seemed to fly by, the crowd was entranced by the magical music the young couple provided. The crowd was very expressive too, as they clapped and applauded after each number. Three times Demetra said this is our final song, three times the crowd cheered them back for one more!!!
When they finally finished Samuel came on to the stage and asked everybody to please sit still for a few more minutes and to look to the field to the west.
As if on cue a team of small horses could be seen approaching, as it drew closer it was obvious that they were pulling a small carriage. The crowd was silent for a few moments as the horses and carriage approached NO ONE knew what was going on, except for the Shop Boys.
As it drew close to Ruth and Nahum, one could see the driver was Simon and then Nathan and Bart jumped out of the two doors and they walked towards Ruth and Nahum and said Happy Anniversary from your shop team.
Nahum was so overcome he had to be helped from his chair to the men. He eyes were leaking like an overflowing dam. Both he and Ruth hugged the boys and, of course since it was a surprise to them too, Ezra and Zeke came over and said now I see what you had covered up all the time in the back of the shop. They shared a big laugh.
The carriage was a work of art. It was complete with bright red leather seats, glass windows, ertra handles and steps to make entry and exit easy. Ezra, was bothered by one thing, where did you get the horses. Samuel said, oh your friends looked after that for us, no problem. Ezra just smiled some more and shook his head.
This was the model the boys copied, but they added several features to it and made it more ornate.
This was the culmination of perhaps the most enjoyable day in the lives of Ruth and Nahum.
The only sad thing was the fact they were both so overcome with love, appreciation and emotion that they had trouble enjoying so much attention. They were shocked!
As the sun was starting its decent in the western sky, horses and wagons were brought from their resting places for the guest, it was like a Valet Service! The ladies were busy cleaning up and the men started to take down the stage, chairs and tables etc. Meanwhile Nahum and Samuel took his new carriage for a ride around the field and once again Nahum was smiling.
They returned and Samuel said I will park your carriage and let the horses out in the field we will collect them in the morning for you. Go and rest now!.
Ruth and Nahum were so tired they could hardly stand, but the excitement and pleasure they got from The Event kept them going as they helped put Paul and Mirame to bed, each of them giving a bed time story to the happy kids.
Finally, Ruth, Nahum, Ezra, Elizbeth, Ezekiel, Hannah, the Shop Men, and some other close relatives came together in Elizabeth’s home and reminisced about the surprise day they enjoyed. There was much happiness and joy at that gathering and Ezra prayed it would help in his father’s recovery.
Ezra was jokingly kidding his men for their ability to hide the carriage from him for the past two months. They enjoyed some laughs and said there were several times when he came to the shop when they were working at night that they thought he might see it, but we were able to combine it with other carriages we were working on and you never noticed. He again wanted to know more about the team of horses too, how could his buddies hide that from him.
They explained that when his horse trainers were busy with young horses and/or with customers horses, one of his friends had purchased two colts and put them into the mix and you never noticed. They received great training and are a very dependable and reliable little team. Ezra just shook his head, I guess I better start paying more attention! They all laughed.
It was a wonderful day, it turned out even better than the boys and their wives thought it would. And, with NO problems from any outsiders.
Later that evening Ezekiel led them all in a very emotional prayer of thankfulness.
They all went to bed very happy, and Nahum had trouble falling asleep as he thought of all the blessings that had been bestowed upon him during his lifetime.
One of the happiest days in the lives of Nahum the Carpenter.
The photo shows, “A Jewish Festival” by Alfred Dehodencq, painted in 1865.