Goodsong Manor

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Digger:
My Beloved Kinfolks,

It has been awhile since I took up my pen and wrote you about life at the Goodsong Manor.  As you may know by now, Ms. Lilly Penworth and I were at last married in late June.  Since then much has happened to my world.  It is simply amazing to me that one woman can make such a grand and exciting difference in the daily life of a simple hobbit.  Ms. Lilly and I filed the paperwork with Tuckborough to build a new Manor House in early June.  The forms and signatures were a challenge to me and even got old Tarlwyn in a twither at times.  Nonetheless, with determination and much repetition, we finally sent them off - only to find a delay of one week due to a shortage in builders.  Apparently, some of the Contractors Guild is a bit disgruntled of late with demands from several farmsteads for repairs, and they have slowed down in protest.  This is all the result of those brigands and goblins that now plague our daily lives in the Shire, a once peaceful world now disrupted by war.  Plus, in my opinion, the Contractors Guild wanted a good excuse to sit in the tavern all day and swap tales.  But I digress and beg your pardon for it.  The new Goodsong Manor began construction only two days after our marriage - barely enough time to recover from the endless parties.  But that's another story.

Since that moment, our lives have been a total disaster.  First, the call of duty forces me, Tarlwyn and Jeorl to return to the frontlines and continue our responsibilities in those battles.  Then there is the whole business of moving things from the barns and huts we have now to the new Manor House.  We are relocating the Library of Olorin which delights Ravenshire, our ghost librarian, to no end.  He is nearly substantial at times with excitement, but he insists that catalogs are updated, research materials properly boxed, and everything done exactly to the minute detail with the most infuriating precision.  Steward Tarakh is completely dyspeptic about the costs of it all, and every morning I have to review our financial reports and budgets with him.  Osun, Ithril, Darsi, Veshea and the whole lot of the workers that maintain and manage our warehouses and stores are fussing over their parts as though it were the world's end.  Konur just stays at his forges and refuses to budge on anything except his sword-making and ores.  And the two hobbits, Paddie and Teddie, who keep our food stores and artifacts are full of mischief, taking special delight in annoying the elves and dwarves whenever they find the chance.  And dear, dear Sparroh, who is now Ms. Lilly's Lady in Waiting, insists that rules are rules about housekeeping.  Everyone must attend to the dirt, dust, and trash that seems to overflow in the house, and Lady Sparroh is setting new horizons to strong speech and upbraiding which she shares generously with everyone.  In short, as we prepare for the move here, the old home is a hornet's nest of confusion, short tempers, and loud voices.  Home sweet home in the Shire.

Second is the actual building site which is so disturbingly confusing that I am in a wonder anything gets done.  Piles of stone, lumber, and earth are everywhere.  With recent rains, the whole site is a mud hole, and the contractors seem to delight in it.  Every small step forward requires more paperwork, more records, and more signatures.  I must be there all the time in attendance while I am also all the time sorting out the arguments back home where the moving is in full steam.  It is really a relief to return occasionally to Moria and Mirkwood where simple fighting is all that is required.  I wanted so much to have the elves build our gardens and the capstones on the new Manor House,  However, the Guild refused to allow any non-hobbits to work on the site.  We were at a complete impasse only a couple weeks ago when thankfully, a dwarven team showed up to do the stonework.  I  must say the eloquence of an enraged dwarf surpasses even the best hobbit's ability to protest.  Now the building is moving ahead with all the races working together, even the folk from Bree are engaged in helping with the painting and milling.  I never have seen so much done in such a buzzing hive of mud stomping, shouting, hammering, chiseliing, plowing, sawing, and constant drinking and cursing.  Of course, the contracts require that I must feed them all, so that puts an added burden on our home kitchens where Lady Sparroh and Jeorl are ruling without any peeps from even me or Ms. Lilly.  Worry not though, for they are well fed and well imbibed.  The work continues through rain, mud and sunshine - nonstop day and night.  Our little Manor House now has walls and the roof goes on today.  I am told that it will be ready to occupy in one week.  Honestly, if we attended to the war in similar haste and disorder, perhaps we would now be enjoying the end of that and having our much longed for picnic at Mordor's Gates.  I will be amazed and exhausted if it is done in only one more week.

Then the big move begins.  Ms. Lilly has traveled far and wide to find furniture and fittings.  She has sent word as far as Thorin's Halls and Rivendell for specialty items that she insists every good home must have.  When I read the bills, I find compassion for Steward Tarakh's worries and frets.  It will take a mountain of gold to pay for it all.  But say no more.  She is the Lady of the Manor and her will is our command.  In truth, I look forward to sitting evenings with her in our new parlor and having all the staff and hands setup elsewhere in good stead.  Now we are quite cramped.  Afterall, there are at present seventeen of us lodging together full time in two little hobbit holes.  A large Manor House will be a perfect solution.  I love my Lady for thinking of, for insisting on, and for seeing through our new home with a song on her lips most days.  Nothing seems to dampen Ms. Lilly's spirits nor disturb her delight in every step towards this dream fullfilled.  I do love this woman.  She changes everything and makes it better - including me.

Cheers,
Digger
a simple hobbit

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