There was little rest for laborers, traders, or builders in the years that followed. A new trading port was built and we began stocking it with goods we knew were in short supply in Smallville. We sent word via the boatmen asking what they needed most. We traded for wheat seeds, apple seeds, and zsoap to improve our health, wool to improve our comfort, and sugar for cookies and jam.
The new jam shop opened right next door to our house. I will be preservist until Naniela, our oldest daughter, gets out of school. She will work in the shop and I will return to my garden. Drakeem was standing in temporarily for one of the teachers who became cleric in the new chapel across the road. He was eager to return to his fishing. With the new market, the jam shop, and the chapel we were now in a high foot traffic area. I was not happy to have so many towns people seeing my pantalets hanging out on the wash lines, Naniela was mortified. Alber, our youngest, teased her continually with a silly little rhyme about seeing London and France and underpants. We are considering moving across the river.
A small bridge was build over the stream in the northwest for the laborers and a longer bridge over the main river to retrieve stone and iron. A deer herd grazes there but there is plenty of room for a big garden and some chickens. Eggs are in short supply since the mill produces wheat flour and I shared my omeletten recipe. The thin pancake is especially good spread with plum jam and rolled up. A new orchard of plum trees was planted down by the mill. A new storage barn and church were built there too. Like the other side of the river, there is room for the town to grow down there by the farm but there is a lot of heavy stone and iron to be moved. I remember back in Smallville there was a lot of talk about a railroad, big carts on wheels that could move a lot of heavy resources from one place to another along a wooden track, but that's a whole nother story.
So weary traveler, there is a lot of hard work to be done here but there are plenty of tools, warm clothes, good food, and herbs. Our population is 222, 128 adults, 42 students, and 52 children but there's room in our schools and churches. We only have 2 lodges but there is plenty of wood and room to build houses. So, the decision is yours, you can stay in Pumpkin Hollow or you can go. I must go and get that wash in off the line.