I know, I know! I was supposed to finish up Elizabeth and Rosemary’s friendship…and I didn’t…again. And I have ANOTHER very good reason. I didn’t know this until yesterday, but it seems that tomorrow is PTSD Awareness Day. That being the case, I’m postponing the Friendship post ONE MORE WEEK. That’s it! I promise! But it just so happens that I wrote a story about Jack coming home with PTSD; Sarah and I wrote it two years ago right before Jack came home on the show. And I thought it would be very appropriate to share it again, in honor of the occasion. And to all you out there battling this mental anxiety, I wish you well, and may you be blessed with someone who has love like Elizabeth, (in some form or fashion. If not a spouse, then a friend, sibling, parent, child, etc.,) who will aid you on your journey. Just remember to let them in.

 



                                                                              A Shadowed Heart

Jack collapsed into the chair behind his desk, his head fell into his hands. His arms were shaking, and were only steadied by his quivering knees. It was happening again!

No, no, NO! Jack begged himself as he pushed a fist against his closed eyelids. Not now! Elizabeth was due at the jail any moment, and thus far, he had kept this from her. But nothing could stay the horrible plague now: the horrible plague of war. Jack’s mind was overtaken: the smells of the gunpowder and rotting flesh, the feel of every cannon shot that shook the earth beneath him, the sounds of pistols fired and men screaming in pain, the metallic taste of blood in his mouth when he was thrown from Sergeant…

Jack’s eyes flew open, and he put his fingers to his lips to ensure there was no red residue. He looked toward the door in time to see the ashen, ghostly face of one of his fallen soldiers. Jack’s skin went cold, his eyes widened, and he couldn’t catch his breath as his comrade reached toward him.

“You didn’t save me,” the soldier wheezed. “Why, Jack? Why?

“I tried,” Jack gasped out in short breaths, trembling with panic. “I really tried.”

The soldier limped closer, his bloody hand coming ever closer to Jack’s shoulder. “Jack! Jack!” Jack bolted from his seat, and grabbed the wrist; then he was looking into the terrified face of Elizabeth, and the phantom face melted away. His eyes darted downward. Instead of a soldier’s bloody paw, there was only Elizabeth’s dainty fingers, with his ring adorning one of them. With a groan of both fear and frustration, he released her gruffly, and started to pace.

Elizabeth forced her breathing to slow as she watched Jack circle the room like a caged animal. She was worried. In the weeks that had followed his homecoming, she had seen the haunted look on his countenance more and more often. Elizabeth knew Jack thought he was keeping it from her, but she’d have to be blind not to see the look of death itself in his eyes. She just didn’t understand it, and she wanted to change that.

Jack had finally stopped pacing, and wearily sank into his chair, squeezing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. Elizabeth approached him as she would a skittish child on their first day of school. She tentatively touched his arm. “Jack?” Jack reluctantly raised his gaze, looking for all the world like he’d rather be anywhere but here. “Jack, please tell me what’s wrong. You know you can talk to me about anything.” No answer. “Jack, please? I know something has been tearing you apart inside, and I want to help.”

Jack looked sharply at her, trying not to be angry. He thought he was concealing it; of course he couldn’t, not from her. “That’s just it, Elizabeth!” he responded defensively. “I can’t tell you! I can’t expose you to that kind of horror. I spend my time trying to forget all of that!”

“But you won’t,” Elizabeth shot back. “You won’t forget about it, so let me help you through it.”

Jack paused a moment, considering Elizabeth’s words. No, he wouldn’t forget these terrifying images, not any time soon. Maybe he should talk to her about it. She was going to be his wife, after all. Jack immediately shook his head, as if to physically shake off the idea. Out of the question! Part of his duty as her husband was to protect her. He wasn’t going to let her experience even a fraction of the nightmares he was seeing in his head. No, he would handle this himself! His face took on a look of stern resolve, and he turned determined eyes back to his fiancée. “There’s nothing you can do,” he replied, cold as ice. The look of shock on Elizabeth’s beautiful face nearly made him flinch, but he held his ground. “Please, go. I need to be alone.” He turned away, unable to look at her anymore.

Elizabeth knew with that look and that tone, there was no talking sense to him now. “All right, Jack. I’ll go.” She barely made it through the door and got it closed before she had to lean against it to let the tears spill.

Jack didn’t budge when he heard the door open, but when he heard it shut, he thought he’d made a mistake. He charged at the door, ready to take Elizabeth in his arms, and pour out his whole soul to her. But the door was like a blockade stopping Jack in his tracks. He leaned his head on the door in defeat, then turned to lean against it with a sigh of frustration. How was he going to get through this?

Elizabeth tried to calm her emotions, but to no avail. She just stood there, leaning back on the door, silently spilling her sorrow, and trying not to care that people were starting to stare. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! Everything was supposed to be perfect when Jack got back! Elizabeth felt lost; she didn’t know what to do. Abigail. The name alone had a calming effect. Abigail will know what to do. Elizabeth cleared her throat, wiped her tears, stood straight, then crossed Main Street to the café. She opened the door to find the place devoid of customers. She must have missed the lunch rush. That was a relief! Abigail looked up at the sound, and smiled brightly to see Elizabeth come in. The smile faded when she saw the shine of fresh tears on Elizabeth’s cheeks. Abigail rushed to her friend, and enfolded her in a soothing embrace, no questions asked. “Everything will be all right,” she whispered.

                                                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elizabeth did feel better after having a cup of tea and a scone…and talking things through. She still felt troubled though. “Why does it have to be this way, Abigail? My greatest wish to have him home and uninjured has come true, but nothing is right!”

“But Elizabeth,” Abigail reasoned, “what if he isn’t uninjured?”

“What do you mean?”

“His mind and heart have been scarred, Elizabeth. Think about all he’s been through, all the terrible things he’s seen. That became daily life for him: always worrying about his men, and watching so many of them die, always suspecting danger around the next corner, always thinking that bullet passing his ear could have ended his life. Now he’s suddenly taken out of all that. He’s trying to get used to a life where he doesn’t have to constantly look over his shoulder; trying to put away all those awful sights and sounds. I even dare say he has something I’ve heard of called shell shock. The brain gets rattled from all the explosions, and causes him to panic. How do you think he’s feeling?”

Elizabeth was stunned into silence. Of course! How could she not realize? The pieces began coming together as she spoke her thoughts aloud. “You’re right. All that time Jack was away, I only prayed for him to come home alive, that I would see him again. Then he came home with no serious injury, and I counted myself extra blessed. I knew he would need time to adjust and mourn his lost friends, but I never considered that it could go so deep. I just assumed that after a few months, he’d be fine. Oh, I feel so guilty now! He’s not fine, Abigail. He’s…different. We’re different. It feels like we’re on completely different paths.”

“No,” Abigail wisely countered. “It’s true your path has changed. It’s rockier to be sure, and probably a bit longer than you planned. But your destination is still the same. You just need to find a way to walk that path together.”

Elizabeth considered this, but there was still something else. “How do I do it? He won’t let me in; he won’t even really talk to me.

“Then you have to show him you love him despite this rock in your path.”

“More like a boulder,” Elizabeth muttered ruefully. Then she sighed. “But how do I do that?”

Abigail took her hand. “I can’t answer that one for you. Listen to your heart. You’ll think of something.” She could tell Elizabeth needed some time to mull things over. She patted Elizabeth’s hand, then stood to collect and wash the dishes. Elizabeth just sat, staring at nothing in particular, thinking about her past with Jack. Her mind wandered over their first meeting, the spider incident in the row boat, their first kiss on the hill, the first time he told her he loved her after he’d lifted her as though she were weightless, the relief of him being alive after being ill with pneumonia, his proposal with all the beautiful candles and rose petals…Elizabeth’s eyes suddenly brightened, and a mischievous smile crept its way to her mouth. She had an idea.

The next evening, Jack was still distressed. He hadn’t had any more visions, but he hadn’t seen Elizabeth since she’d flown out like her skirt was on fire. Now that things had settled down a bit, Jack knew he’d overreacted. He just didn’t know how to fix things. He’d just bowed his head to pray for help when a gentle knock sounded at the door, and there she was, coming in the doorway. Jack felt his heart race with nervousness. He so wanted to patch things up between them, he just didn’t know the course. Well, no time like the present to figure it out. “Elizabeth,” he started. “Elizabeth, I…” Jack sighed, and ran a hand through his hair. “I really don’t know what to say,” he admitted.

Elizabeth smiled sympathetically, and took his hand. “Then let me help you. Jack, I know you saw some terrible things up north. Why won’t you share them with me?”

Jack sighed again. “I told you, Elizabeth. I can’t share them with you. Up there…it was worse than anything you could possibly imagine. I would never forgive myself if I subjected you to any of that. And now, I don’t know if I can even…”

“Jack,” Elizabeth interrupted gently. Jack stopped. He’d expected her to get upset again, so her soft tone took him off guard.

“What?”

“Take a walk with me.”

Jack’s eyes widened. Of all the things she could have said, that was the last he’d expected. “Elizabeth,” Jack said in a business-like tone, “I don’t think this is the time to…”

“Jack,” Elizabeth implored, holding her hand out to him the way he often used to, “take a walk with me?”

Jack felt his heart soften. The glow of her eyes and the love in her voice told him he probably should go along. He smiled for the first time in days, took her hand, and replied, “Is there a reason for this walk?”

“There is,” Elizabeth stated with conviction, “and it might be a little long,” she added as she grabbed a lantern. Jack wondered how far they could be walking, but he followed his bride-to-be out of the jail and down Main Street.

As they walked, Jack realized they were headed toward the land he’d bought. Maybe she had a new idea for the house or the garden she wanted to show him. They’d have to be quick, he observed, as they were quickly losing daylight. When they weren’t far from the property, Jack saw several lights in the distance. He looked inquisitively at Elizabeth, but she only smiled, and kept walking. As they arrived, Jack felt his heart melt completely. What looked like a good half-acre was covered in candles, very similar to what he’d done at the church when he’d proposed to her. “What’s all this?” he asked, emotion filling his voice.

Elizabeth set the lantern down, faced her fiancé, and took both his hands. “Jack, I love you. More than that, I am in love with you, and I can’t wait for us to spend our lives together. That means for better and for worse. So whatever it is you’re struggling with, I’m not going anywhere; I’m staying right here by your side. I just hope you’ll let me into your heart again, and let me share this burden with you; because your pain is my pain.”

Jack couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. He hadn’t cried like this since he lost Doug; he was overcome. Oh how he loved her! Then show her, a voice said to him inside his head. “Oh, Elizabeth!” he cried hoarsely, then pulled her close, and pressed his mouth over hers. He kissed her like she was water, and he was a man who had crossed a desert. Why had he denied himself this beautiful connection when it replenished his soul so completely? He kissed her on and on, and when he released her lips, he spread tender kisses all over her face and throughout her hair. Then he took her face into his hands to just gaze at her, and marvel at her beauty, inside and out. His next thought couldn’t go unsaid: “How did I ever live without you?!” He kissed her once more, then put his arms around her to just hold her close. Without letting go, he positioned their arms into a waltz and began to dance with her, their faces close together. 


Do it now, the same voice inside Jack’s head told him after a bit. Tell her! Jack gently stopped the dancing, took the lantern in one hand and Elizabeth’s hand in the other, and led her to the log to sit. He put his elbows on his knees, and took a deep breath. “It started about a week after I got home. At first, it wasn’t too bad: I’d close my eyes and see a blast every once in a while, or look behind me when things got too quiet, sure that someone was following me. But the last few weeks, it’s gotten worse. I can see everything like it happened yesterday. I can smell all that gunpowder, and taste blood in my mouth. But then a few days ago, something truly terrifying happened: I saw him.” He paused, trying to gather the courage to go on.

“Saw who?” Elizabeth prodded.

Jack blew out a breath. “I saw one of my men who got killed. I watched him die, Elizabeth. One of those gang members,” he almost spat the words, “took aim and fired right at his heart without a second thought. I tried to run to push him out of the way, but I wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t fast enough!” he repeated harshly. He finally faced her. “I saw him again in my office right before you came in yesterday. I saw him as plainly as I see you now. It was so real! I’m haunted, Elizabeth,” he acknowledged. “I’m haunted. And if this keeps happening, I can’t protect you. I can’t take care of you.” Jack took a cleansing breath, feeling a little better already. “That’s what’s been happening to me; that’s why I’ve pushed you away. I’m afraid I won’t be able to take care of you.”

“Oh Jack. I’m so sorry!” Elizabeth could only hug him, hoping she could take some of the fear away. Please, God, Elizabeth prayed silently as she squeezed her eyes shut. Please give me the words to say. Almost instantly, words flooded into her mind, and her eyes popped open. She eased back to look into Jack’s lamp-lit hazel eyes. “Jack, let me make one thing very clear: I don’t need a husband to take care of me; I need an equal partner so we can take care of each other.”

Jack’s emotional sigh was filled with relief and love, and more tears. He returned his hands to her face. “I love you! I love you so much!” Jack slowly looked around at all the candles, then an idea appeared in his mind. His hands dropped to her hands, and one knee hit the earth beneath them. “Elizabeth Thatcher, will you still marry me?”

Now Elizabeth cried a few tears of relief. She touched his face, and replied, “I can think of no greater honor, Jack Thornton.” She joined him kneeling on the ground, and kissed him deeply, finally feeling their spirits connect once again.




Until next week, my dears. Stay well, stay safe, stay calm, stay friendly, stay happy. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom.

Who knows that old song? “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” Google it, it’s a catchy little tune. It’s also the inspiration for today’s #WonderWednesday post. That, and @heartiehallmark on Twitter; this was her request. Now that you’ve looked it up, sing MY version with me: “Who’s afraid of the big black hole, the big black hole, the big black hole?” Ah, the Big Black Hole of Hope Valley. Many a noble character hath stood in its shadow, only to be swallowed whole by its jaws. I remember when I first started watching WCTH, Seasons 1 and 2 were on Netflix, so I binged a show for the first time. I even said out loud, “Wow! I’m so impressed! They kept so many of the same kids!” Two episodes later, most of them were gone, and lots of their parents had already disappeared, even Cat Montgomery.

There are so many vanished Coal/Hope Valley citizens that I have loved dearly, and have often wondered what they’d be doing if they had stayed on the show. If I absolutely HAD to pick a favorite, the people I miss the most, it would have to be The Dunbar-Graves Family. That might have something to do with the fact that Laura Bertram, who plays Mary, was the very first Skype interview I ever had her on Hooked Heartie. Here’s the link to that interview if you’re interested, and you missed it:

 

https://hookedheartie.com/wonderwednesday/wonderwednesday-hooked-heartie-hall-of-fame-food-connector/


But even if she hadn’t been, I just love these characters. My interest was piqued by DeWitt from the moment he entered the saloon; he was the only miner who was polite to Elizabeth without hitting on her. Then he helped Mary pick up the toppled groceries, AND saved her from an embarrassing situation by paying for her purchases. He even saved her pride with that cover story of her cooking him supper; or was that just a REALLY clever rouse to get her on a date, because it worked! That’s when my heart started melting around the edges for these two. It wasn’t long before it was in full meltdown mode, just at the sight of them. Mary reminds me a lot of myself, in a way. I don’t suffer from a shy personality the way Mary did. But I’m short like she is; and before I had four children, I had a pretty slight frame. 😉 So, call me old-fashioned, but I love feeling cared for, but even more so, protected. My husband is a whole foot taller than I am. His arms are, in the words of Christopher Reeves in “Somewhere in Time”: “nine feet long”. His arms fully envelop me when he hugs me. That’s what I feel Mary’s relationship was like with her husband. They talk about what a big, strong man he was, and how he adored Mary. All of a sudden, not only is the love of her life gone, but her protector, her safety and security, has vanished with him. She’s left incredibly vulnerable; she’s trying to move on the best she can by just putting one foot in front of the other. Enter a man who isn’t quite as big in body, but his heart must be, because he’s instantly smitten! They were so cute: her shyness, his patience.

 

Mary Dunbar (Laura Bertram) & Dewitt Graves (Derek Hamilton ... Photo credit: pinterest.com

And speaking of patience, can we talk about what Caleb put poor Mr. Graves through?! Caleb, with his typical protective kid instincts/bratty and selfish distancing techniques, however you want to look at it. I can see both sides. I lost my father too, but I was a grown adult, with a husband, and a child. I can’t imagine losing a parent in my formative years. And it’s obvious the man was the boy’s hero. Caleb worshipped his pa, and no one was taking his place! He did his best to get rid of DeWitt, but DeWitt wouldn’t give up. Back then, it was perfectly acceptable to rule with an iron fist, to declare, “My word is law!” But DeWitt doesn’t operate at all that way. He gently persisted, and eventually wins Caleb over with his kindness, sweet gestures, and teaching moments. It was a story begging to be continued!

That’s why I was ecstatic to see all three of them back in Season 2, and even more ecstatic that we got to see their wedding. No two people looked more in love…Jack and Elizabeth were on unsteady ground at the time, and Lee and Rosemary weren’t serious yet. And the icing on the cake: Caleb was excited to have a father again.

When Calls The Heart (Screen Captures, Promos and More) – Laura ... Photo credit: laura-bertram.com

So, where are they now? Hmm…good question. I bet they moved just one town over because DeWitt felt more comfortable sticking to mining when timber took over, but they come back for visits often. They can afford it because DeWitt has become second in command at the mine. Mary has had two more little ones, a boy and a girl, named DeWitt Jr., and Hannah. Of course, Caleb is grown; my guess is he’d be 17 or 18. Like most young men his age, he’s fighting in World War I. He left a beautiful girl named Lydia behind, and is determined to marry her when he comes home from France. And he DOES make it home!

So how does that sound? What do you think happened to the Dunbar-Graves family? Who would you like me to speculate about next? Let me know in the Facebook comments. You’ve got time until next Wednesday. But I’ll see you before then – on Friday to be exact. Take care everyone. I hope you’re okay. I hope you’re safe, and being able to find some happiness in these tumultuous times. Just remember something for me? You are beautiful, you are smart, you are worth it, you are enough. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy Friday, all! To quote Shane McInerny from Signed Sealed Delivered, “It’s a red-letter day!” I am without kids for 24+ hours “for the first time in forever”, to quote another movie. 😉 Even though it might result in me falling asleep at 8:00 pm, it’s still thrilling. My dear in-laws took my children for the night, so it’s my first free night in a long time. I’m excited!

Before I get to the topic of today’s Flashback Friday, I have a small favor to ask of you, my dear readers. You’ve been so supportive of my little blog, and of so many of my endeavors. Well, I have another endeavor I’m trying to get off the ground, and I’m calling on the Heartie army. Some of you may remember that fun parody music video I posted a while back. If you haven’t already heard, I entered that video in Jen Lilley’s talent contest Voices That Give, (at the prodding of friends). I made it past the first two rounds, but now I’m in danger of elimination. There are two days left in the round. I’m in 6th place in my group, and I have to move to 1st to advance. Can you help me? Please? The first vote is completely free, then you can purchase votes for $1 per vote, if you choose to. Then if you can share it with all your friends and family, and encourage them to use their free vote, I would greatly appreciate it! I went into this half-heartedly, but now I’m a little emotionally invested, I admit. Here’s the link. Thanks in advance!


https://orbiiit.com/entry/4860

NOW! Moving into tonight’s theme. If you remember Wednesday’s post, I told you there was going to be a change today. I know several of you were expecting the final installment of Rosie and Elizabeth’s friendship today, but there is a reason. It’s all summed up in a line Clara tearfully mutters to Jesse right before this shot is taken:

 

Eva Bourne on Twitter: "#Hearties ❤️what did you think of the ... Photo credit: Eva’s Twitter


“It’s my anniversary.” Yep! Tomorrow will make 12 years since these two crazy kids tied the knot.



So, since I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, I thought it would be nice to take a closer look at the #TeamClasse wedding.

Pin on When Calls the Heart Photo credit: pinterest.com

First of all, I will admit, I thought at first that Clara was not being very smart about “taking a break” with Jesse, even though I wasn’t exactly crazy about Mr. Flynn at the time, not with THAT hair. 😉 I thought, “Get over it! Don’t throw this away!” But I stopped myself, and I thought back to when Clara was helping Elizabeth through her grief, and declared that she felt cheated because she lost her husband only days after being married. I think how nostalgic I get every year, and I wonder how heartbreaking memory lane would be if my husband wasn’t here; not to mention if our lives together had barely started.

 

So then, I totally grasped Clara hesitance right before her wedding. Grief hits you in the oddest moments, then there’s the fear that history will repeat itself, and the thought of losing ANOTHER spouse is unbearable; unbearable enough to make a bride-to-be retreat into a shell. That’s what made Clara’s moment at the start of the aisle all the more powerful! All that history, all that emotion, all that doubt, all that hope comes bursting forward in with the declaration of one word: “Absolutely!” Clara has put all that sadness behind her, and is looking toward a glorious future with the second love of her life. If nothing else the look of love and awe upon seeing her in her dress for the first time is enough to drive any woman down the aisle and into his arms. I can’t wait to see Mr. and Mrs. Flynn celebrate THEIR anniversary.

 

Pin on • When Calls the Heart •    Pin on • When Calls the Heart • Photo credit: pinterest.com

And this is where I leave you. I hope you have a marvelous weekend, filled with that same kind of hope that fills Hope Valley. Take care of yourselves. Love to you all! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

Welcome to Wonder Wednesday, wonderful women! Wow! Say THAT three times fast! 😊 Well, we have arrived at mid-week again. How were the last seven days for you? Have matters of all categories and concerns settled down in your area yet? I hope so, or I hope they do soon. Well, regardless of your current circumstances, take a break with me, and revisit some favorite moments with me.

Speaking of which, that brings me to my topic of today; the second audience pick of Wednesday. This one is brought to you by Caroline Richardson. Not only did she participate in my Twitter question, but she’s also a friend of mine, and my co-host for When Calls the Heart recaps on the Hallmarkies Podcast. So, she knows what the audience wants, and she knows how my WCTH brain works. 😉 Thank you, Caroline!

Oh, right! The actual topic! That might be something important to reveal about now, huh? 😀 Well, Caroline’s pick, (one of them at least,) was to divulge my favorite episode from each season. I admit, this was pretty easy for most of the seasons, but the last two…(wince) those were trickier. It was actually pretty difficult. So, come along with me on a journey through time, through many different situations, and with several different characters. Now the question is, can you guess my picks before I disclose them, and do you agree with me? I’m warning you now: because of who I am, this post is most likely to be filled with romance and romantic scenes. So, if that’s not why you watch WCTH, (cough, cough!) you should probably quit reading now before your eyes roll all the way to the back of your head. (But seriously, do any of you NOT like the show for the romance? I didn’t think so.)

SEASON 1:
First up! There were SO many good episodes in this season! The triumphs, the heartache, the snark! 😉 But alas, there can only be one top pick. I will say that I almost picked the finale; the first kiss is a moment to be celebrated with gusto! And Elizabeth’s emotion at the children’s love for her, and the love she has developed for them, all of it is truly moving. I went with another choice…although you might find it just as typical. Episode 9: Change of Heart. This is…(trumpet fanfare) the big date! Stereotypical? Maybe, but it took my breath away! Everything was planned down to the tiniest detail, and the lighting was perfect to boot! He even danced with her! Be still, my beating heart! When Jack said, “I feel that my efforts tonight may pale in comparison,” I guffawed at the absurdity! Who could top everything he so thoughtfully carried out??? And let’s not forget how all our hearts skipped several beats when Jack declared, “Please consider this an act of courtship,” and KISSED HER HAND! Drop the Mountie hat!

SEASON 2:
Full disclosure: this one IS stereotypical! Season 2 was not my favorite. I was very glad I could binge watch it, because I found it pretty tough to get through. I call this season “a necessary evil”. I understand the necessity for it, I really do. But I cringe a lot while watching. So, my favorite episode for this season is Episode 10: With All My Heart. Can you think of anything more heart-pounding than that Indiana Jones rescue, rolling her away? Maybe him lifting her like she weighed “no more than a dried leaf” (Sense and Sensibility). Sigh! Then, after that show of bravery, Jack can barely gather the courage to examine Elizabeth’s knee without his hands shaking. 😉 “It’s the other knee” has become a very common phrase in my home. But of course, the best part is the declaration of “I love you, Elizabeth Thatcher,” followed by that beautifully passionate kiss. This is why Season 2 was needed. That pronouncement would not have meant nearly as much without the experiences the two of them had to go through to get to that point.

SEASON 3:
This season is truly one of my favorites, at least when Jack is in the picture. I liked seeing our favorite couple in a settled, loving relationship without jealousy or misunderstanding barring the way. I was just upset that they didn’t say “I love you” more, especially when Jack rode off to a dangerous rescue mission. All that being said, you can understand my difficulty in choosing one episode. I like so many parts of all the episodes: watching Lee and Rosemary fall in love, meeting Edith and witnessing her reunion with Roy, seeing Jack’s mother for the first time, feeling Rosemary’s inner turmoil as she gives up her dream wedding…the list goes on and on. But I’m going to have to go with Episode 3: A Time to Speak. I just LOVE the campout! We meet several kids who become regulars, and it’s nice to see Elizabeth and Jack having a little casual fun after so many intense and serious exchanges. Put aside what we know about how the show turns out for a minute, and who doesn’t love hearing Jack talk about their future together, and seeing the first kiss of the season in such a romantic setting??? Moving away from romance, I really like Frank being redeemed. It’s what Hope Valley’s all about.

SEASON 4:
Do you even need to ask? I screamed so loud and jumped so high when Jack dropped to one knee that I woke my newborn son, and momentarily hurt my recovering body. Don’t worry, I recovered. But I don’t know how that proposal could have been better! Obviously, a LOT of thought and planning went into it, it was a surprise, Jack used nostalgic inside references in their relationship, it happened in front of the school he built for her, and there were CANDLES AND ROSE PETALS!!! What woman alive wouldn’t want the man she loves to propose to her in such a loving way?! The other thing I love, and this is just a personal opinion, is the way they say “I love you.” First of all, it had been FOREVER since they’d said it outright, and it was about time. The other thing is neither one said, “I love you, too.” I’ve always felt that sounds like an afterthought, a copycat sentiment. I know it’s not meant that way in most programs and movies, it’s just how I hear it. So, I really like that they just declared their love for each other, no afterthought present. By the way, that’s Episode 7: My Heart Will Go On, in case you’re wondering.

SEASON 5:
Once again, need you ask? Episode 6: My Heart is Yours. The wedding ALL the way! ‘Nuff said.

SEASON 6:
Okay, here’s the other part when it gets hard! Because now we’re contending with two men where Elizabeth is concerned, and because it became more of an ensemble show, all the characters become a bit more well-rounded. Therefore, IT’S HARD TO PICK!!! For now, at least, my favorite episode in this season is Episode 9: A Call From the Past. This episode had a ton of suspense in it, more than we’d seen for a while. We also get a chance to see Nathan really be a Mountie, and Lucas pounce like a tiger when Elizabeth is threatened. And I’m not going to lie, that hand brush in the library with Nathan and Elizabeth was a little steamy. But something I REALLY like is Nathan and Lucas have a very long and meaningful conversation, and develop a kind of mutual respect for each other, since their feelings for Elizabeth haven’t fully developed yet.

SEASON 7:
Episode 6: An Unexpected Gift. This might change tomorrow, but for now, I’ll stick with it. This episode is just bonkers…in a good way. I was pretty certain that neither man gave her the original bouquet, but it was hysterical seeing them compete with no need. On top of that, who can resist protective Bill trying to play investigator again, and figure out who’s paying Elizabeth so much attention. And that scene with the two of them in the café…laughed my head off at their sad attempt to talk in code. But the best parts were: 1) the fact that Rosemary gave her dear friend a bouquet of flowers because she was having a down day. So sweet! 2) It made me giggle (and I was tickled!) that both men stepped up to the plate, and took the initiative to give her flowers themselves.

Well, that’s it for now. Now you’ll have to tell me what YOU’RE favorite episodes are. I’ll see you on Friday. WARNING! I got a little inspired, so we’re taking a break from the Friendship series. See you then! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!



Happy Friday, all! I hope your week is turning out the way you want it. This was the last week of school for some of you, I know, so maybe that will help. It’s funny. When Kristoffer Polaha was kind enough to bring me on as a guest on his weekly Instagram LIVE video, Polaha Chatauqua, he asked me if having the kids done with school would make things easier or harder. I said, “That’s a really good question.” I didn’t have an answer at the time, but now I think I do. It’s a different kind of harder. My girls did have something to do with school work, it’s true, but I had to stay right beside them to read assignments to the kindergartener, and make sure the 3rd grader actually DID the work. So, even though I have to be a little more creative, we don’t have deadlines, and I don’t have to keep the boys away from the girls as long. 😉 But, involving all 4 children more often makes for more arguing, so I guess you give a little, take a little.

So moving on to this week’s #FlashbackFriday, the third part of the incredibly odd, but incredibly strong friendship between Elizabeth and Rosemary. We started at Bumpy Beginnings, passed through Reluctant Respect, and now we’ve arrived at:

Part 3: Feisty Friends
Admittedly, this is a tiny step up from Reluctant Respect. There’s still teeth-gritting, and “dealing” with Rosemary’s antics, but this time, there are genuine feelings of care behind those forced smiles. Take the Mountie Christmas Ball, for example. Elizabeth is less than enthusiastic to borrow a gown from Rosemary, but she’s still comfortable enough to accept. (The fact that Elizabeth is BORROWING a dress instead of buying or ordering one shows what a Hope Valley woman she’s become.) Rosemary is more than happy to play fairy godmother, but she shares a little too much information dealing with alterations, remember? Then Rosemary tries to push herself onto the Christmas festivities, but Elizabeth “handles her” by assigning her menial tasks like stringing popcorn. Elizabeth knows she can challenge Rosemary because Rosemary doesn’t want to be outdone. They push each other’s buttons, but they wouldn’t hurt each other for the world. And despite the slightly rough journey, it sure has a beautiful ending result!

Another instance when Rosemary’s overbearance is done completely out of love, when you want to shake her and hug her at the same time…it’s Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding. Oh, Rosemary! We love you for being so passionate about wanting to make this long-awaited celebration sensational, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to listen to the bride and groom? But, I will say, that passion and drive came in very handy when tragedy struck, and Hope Valley pulled together to create another wedding, almost from scratch. Who was in the middle of the group giving orders, albeit gently, and even took apart her own wedding dress to save Elizabeth’s gown? Maybe Rosemary is “a little much”, but in this case, it’s a good thing. It got the job done.

Okay, last one. This is where I really gleaned the “feisty” from. If you recall, a certain, VERY determined woman who couldn’t wait for proper lessons in…transportation nearly caused a very damaging mishap. And when said woman refuses to take responsibility for her actions, she flies into a fury, announces she’s staying with Elizabeth, then proceeds to beat up her hostess’s pillows. Then Elizabeth takes the kids gloves off and for only the 2nd time up to that point that I remember, she tells it like it is. Elizabeth finally gets it off her chest that Rosemary “can be a giant pain in the…side.” I bet that felt good. The way Elizabeth rolled her eyes as it came out, you know she’s been holding it in for a long, LONG time. But Rosemary needed to hear how good she’s got it; she needs the reminder of what a wonderful husband Lee is to her. And Elizabeth is glad to oblige! I really think this is a turning point in their relationship. Elizabeth boldly states what Rosemary needs to hear, and Rosemary actually listens. Now, THAT’S friendship!

Well, everyone, it’s been real! In the spirit of friendship, especially after reading this, let’s all remember what true friendship looks like, and how we should be treating one another. Take care, everyone! Love to you all! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

When Calls the Heart': The Show's Costume Designer Dishes on How ... Photo credit: Showbiz Cheatsheet