Where the Lilies Bloom

Where the Lilies Bloom

by Vera Cleaver, Bill Cleaver


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Mary Call has promised her dying father to keep her brother and sisters together forever on the mountain, and never to take any help from strangers. She is determined to keep her word. No matter what. At first she is sure she can manage. Romey, Ima Dean, and Devola help gather herbs to sell in town; the riches of the mountains will surely keep the family clothed and fed. But then winter comes, fast and furious, and Mary Call has to learn that the land where the lilies bloom is also a cruel and unforgiving place, and it may take more than a promise to keep her family together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871295460
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing Company
Publication date: 01/28/1977
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

While Vera and Bill Cleaver were best known and loved for Where the Lilies Bloom, they enjoyed a prolific writing career. Their other titles include: Delpha Green & Company, Dust of the Earth, I Would Rather Be a Turnip, The Kissimmee Kid, The Mimosa Tree, Trial Valley, and The Whys and Wherefores of Littabelle Lee.

While Vera and Bill Cleaver were best known and loved for Where the Lilies Bloom, they enjoyed a prolific writing career. Their other titles include: Delpha Green & Company, Dust of the Earth, I Would Rather Be a Turnip, The Kissimmee Kid, The Mimosa Tree, Trial Valley, and The Whys and Wherefores of Littabelle Lee.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Once in some near-forgotten time a traveler, making his way across these mountains on foot, wandered into our valley which is known as Trial. Warm and dusty and overwearied, he came to our door and eased his heavy pack and asked for refreshment and Devola brought him a pail of water from our spring, pure and so, cold it made him clench his teeth.

"Where have you been?" we asked.

He raised a khaki arm and pointed first to Sugar Boy that rises to our east and then to Old Joshua that lifts darkly to our west. "Up there. "

"What for?"

"For the memory."

Devola thought this a funny answer. She laughed and ran down into the yard and hid herself behind a flowering rhododendron and peered out at us through its white, lacy veil.

I said, "Don't pay her any mind. She's cloudy-headed. Why did you say you had been to Sugar Boy and Old Joshua for the memory? That wasn't a real answer, was it?"

"Yes," replied the traveler. "That was a real answer.

"They're pretty now, " I said, "becauseeverything is in bloom. Trillium and shadbushand the violets and all the other spring beautiesbut we've just come through a terrible winter.There was snow six feet deep in this valleywith drifts up to ten. Everything was frozen;we thought it would never thaw. Romey andI couldn't even get to school."

"Who is Romey?" inquired the traveler.

"He's my little brother. In the winter when everything's frozen I hate the mountains. Then they're ugly."

The traveler said, "Today at noon I leaned my back against a cloud and ate my lunch. And afterward, coming down the slopes, I saw a lake of blue flowers and then a long, widescarf of deep maroon ones. This is fair land; the fairest I have ever seen."

I never saw the traveler again. An hour later he disappeared into the mists that sometimes cover this valley in the spring. But I have never forgotten what he said-that this land was fair land, the fairest of them all. This is where the lilies bloom.

Like I say, Devola is cloudy-headed and this is one thing I cannot understand because none of the rest of us Luthers is that way but Devola is for sure, so each day I have to explain the whole of our existence to her. Her confidence in my ability to do this is supreme though there are four whole years' difference between her age of eighteen and mine of fourteen.

Devola cannot remember twice around a gimlet. When we go, of a morning, to the lower slopes of Old Joshua or Sugar Boy to gather witch hazel leaves she always acts like she's never seen any of it before.

"Look!" she exclaims. "Look at how pretty it all is. Don't you think it's pretty, Mary Call?"

"Yes, it's pretty but we haven't got the time to stand around and gawk now, Devola. Oh, here we are. Here's where we left off yesterday.

Aren't these leaves nice and thick? Shall we fill your bag first or mine?"

Devola shook her bag open and looked down into its emptiness. "It don't differ. Either way it's just plain work." She moved around to the north side of the witch hazel bush and began snatching the smooth, wavy-toothed leaves from its limbs. "How many pounds did we get yesterday?"

"Three. Don't put in twigs, Devola. just leaves. "

Devola fished two twigs out and discarded them. "How much is that?"

"Oh, forty-five cents, maybe."

"If that man at the drug company or Mr. Connell from the General Store had to come out here and do this for just one morning I'll bet it'd be a sight more than that. People are stingy with money, aren't they, Mary Call?"

"Some are."

A lance of clear sunlight wavering through the overhanging boughs touched Devola's face and hair. She stepped back away from it and turned and looked across the valley. In the distance Kiser Pease, high on his tractor, was creating clouds of furious, black dust. Between him and us the lonesome fields were a bright shimmering yellow.

Devola said, "Kiser wants to marry me again but still Roy Luther says no. I told him it didn't differ to me one way or the other but that's all he says. No."

"You don't know anything about marriage, Devola. Aren't you going to help me pick any more?"

Devola came back to the bush., "Kiser's got a nice house. I just love his kitchen. Everything in it's yellow. Of course, he doesn't keep it good but I would. I'd wash everything every day.

"You would, huh?"


I referred to one of Kiser's superstitions, a keyhole opening he had made near the top of his chimney as an exit for witches. I asked, "Would you wash his witch's keyhole, too? Or would you plug it up so no more witches could get in or out?"

Devola smoothed her long cascade of glowing hair. "I wouldn't bother his keyhole. His witches wouldn't bother me. I just love his house. just think; all of us could live in it if I married Kiser.

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Where the Lilies Bloom 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book when I was a pre-teen. It's a wonderful story about the strength of family ties and the enduring spirit of children. I picked this book because it reminded me a little of 'Christy' and 'Julie', which are perfect for pre-teen girls. This story also depicts life in Appalachia and is filled with wholesome values.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¡°Where The Lilies Bloom¡± is told from the perspective of fourteen-year-old Mary Call Luther. As the reader reads the story and experiences it in his mind, he can see the trials and hardships that befall her family with both pride and compassion. This story follows the struggles of Mary Call Luther and her siblings, as they struggled through the harsh Appalachian winter after the death of their father, Roy Luther. Mary Call was a tough, proud, sensible and stubborn person, and unlike her sisters, she did not dwell on beauty or sweetness, but on the practical necessities of life. Mary Call lived in a rundown sharecropper house in the Great Smokey Mountains in the Trial Valley of North Carolina together with eighteen-year-old sister ¡°cloudy-headed¡± Devola Luther, her five-year-old sister Ima Dean and her ten-year-old brother Romey Luther. The Great Smoky Mountains is where people are free, proud, and achingly poor. She was a determined and resourceful girl who struggled to preserve the dignity and independence of her family against frightening obstacles. She and her brother buried their father to avoid the cost of a preacher and an undertaker. She concealed his death to prevent the neighbors from sending the four Luther children to a charity home. One day, Mary Call found a book on wildcrafting left by her late mother and so, the family took up wildcrafting to make a living and learned the value of resourcefulness in the face of extreme poverty. The clash of quixotic mountain civilization and the reality of the world, in which young children are orphaned provides plenty of depth in a story that might at first appear set: orphans suffer, fear discovery, and find help from a kind-hearted affluent person who had appeared to be an enemy at first. The conflict in this story is not just with the rudiments and the outside world alone. Mary Call must overcome not just nature and apparent enemies but also her own blind loyalty to her misguided and proud dad, whose pride almost condemns his children in a life of misery and suffering.
Alexis.Goodro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a family the Luthers who lives on what once was there land but was taken by a man named Kiser Peace. He alows the Luthers to say on his land. Sadly the father Roy Luther was getting very sick so the family had to take care of him, there is Mary Call, she is 14. Devola is 18, Rommey is 10, and Ima Den is 5. The whole family decs that when Roy Luther passes away they will not tell anyone. And also not to let kiser Peace marry devola, there were in love but Roy Luther would not allow it. So now the Luthers must keep there fathers death a secert, and the Luthers start to become wildcrafters. When people start asking for him they have to go to plan B. mary Call asks Kiser Peace to mary her but he says no. Then by mistake she tells Kiser every things and Devola and Kiser get married. I iked this book because of the strangth Mary Call has and how she did have pride in her name, Luther. I also like the big words she put in there. And how she named all the plants for Wildcraphting. She had lots of decripsh in the book and emotion. It was like I was there. This book was one of my favorites.
Jarod.jleo6413 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The main character and narrator of this book is Mary Call, and she is the second oldest of her family. The other people in her family are Roy Luther, Cosby Luther, Devola, Romey, and Ima Dean. Kiser Pease is another character and he is the Luther's neighbor, and he bought the land that the Luthers are now share cropping on now. Cosby Luther is her mom and she died, but her father, Roy Luther, is taking care of her and her siblings. Roy Luther is sick and he wants to keep his family together even after he dies. Mary Call then promises to Roy Luther that she will keep the family together and not let Devola marry Kiser Pease. Later in the book Roy Luther then dies and he doesn't want anyone to know about his death so he also makes Mary Call promise not to tell anyone. This book is about how Mary Call tries to keep those promises to her dad, Roy Luther. I liked reading this book. I liked reading this book because the author was good at telling what was happening. I also liked reading this book because the way the author told the story. I liked the story because the author had a narrator that told her feelings and told how she felt about certain things that had happened. I gave this book a four star rating. I gave it this because the author was good at telling what was happening. I think that the author could have been more descriptive and told more about what was happening.
Dawson.dbes1541 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where the Lilies BloomWhere the lilies Bloom is about a Luther Family. Thiers Roy Luther, Cosby Luther, Mary Call Luther, and Devola Luther. Sadly Cosby died but is treasured and missed. It all started with one day... ....Roy Luther and all the kids went to go hunt. Roy Luther had a mild cold. They got back home and had a big dinner but similar to what they usually had. A week later Roy Luther was sicker than he was the week before. A guy named Kiser Pease came over and asked to speak with Roy Luther. Mary Call Politely let him in and let him speak to Roy Luther. He said that he wanted to marry Devola. He over excited Roy Luther and was forced to leave. Sadly Roy Luther died they buried him up on old Joshua. He lays there forever. Kaiser got sick and they rescued him by putting onions on him and washing him. They were rewarded by Kaiser giving their land back that he took. Mary Call promised Roy Luther that she would never let Kiser Pease marry Devola. She had to keep Roy Luther's death a secret or Kaiser would send them to an orphanage and he would marry Devola. Devola was in to Kaiser as well. Well Kaiser gives them a car because of they told a lie that Roy Luther wanted to sit in it. Mary Call found an old book that Cosby had and on the cover it said Wild Crafting. Mary Call made a great wild crafter just like her mother. Kaiser went to go and take Devola to get her license. While they were out Kaiser was hit by a truck and was sent to a hospital. When Kaiser was in the hospital his mean sister Goldie Pease Came by. She said that the contract Kaiser signed was worthless. Mary Call went to the hospital and asked Kaiser to marry her so that she could pretty much use him. He said NO!!! The secret accidently came out and she ran home crying. She came home and Kaiser and Devola were sitting at the table and told Mary Call they were going to get married. Devola surprisingly became smarter from begging to end. And that's Where the Lilies Bloom.
Melissa.mhan3754 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where The Lilies Bloom is a book about the Luther family who have to deal with many problems. Roy Luther is almost dead when gives Mary Call some promises to keep. She struggles hard to keep the family working to save money. They need to keep them warm for the winter and keep the death of Roy Luther a secret. At the end though, Kiser Pease finds out that Roy Luther is dead and marries Devola. Then he helps them and gives them things that they many need. This is not my favorite type of book, but it was ok. I wonder what it would be like if Mary Call, Romey, Devola and Ima Dean actually lived in a cave. They would probably be really cold in the winter. I also wonder what would happen if one of them said that Roy Luther was dead to someone besides Kiser. They would probably take them apart and put them in county homes. Mary Call certainly didn't want that. This book was very interesting.
joshua.jrei2733 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where the Lilies Bloom is a book on the Luther family and what happened to them. First tragedy is Crosby Luther dies. Second Roy Luther can¿t pay taxes, so Kisser Pease pays the taxes and gets Roy Luther¿s land. But Kisser Pease lets the Luther family share crop and let them keep their house. Unfortunately Roy Luther gets sick and Marry Call, Devola, Rommey and Ima Dean have to take care of him. Still Roy Luther dies (NOOOOOO). Marry Call has to take the place of Roy Luther, has to take care of the hole family. I almost forgot to tell you that Marry Call is only fourteen. Also they have to keep that Roy Luther is died because they would be separated in orphanages. In the end everyone knows that Roy Luther is died but Kisser Pease gave them the land, officially, and became their guardian but let them be, as they wanted to be. Kisser Pease married Devola as they both wanted.I recommend this book. You should read it because it gets you interested to see what will happen next.
Stephen.Cooper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Luther family were wild crafters in the mountains of North Carolina, but when Mary Call¿s father, Roy Luther past away, Mary Call had to make two promises. One of them was to keep the family together and the other was to not let Kiser Pease marry Devola. Mary Call is a 14 year old girl who is trying to keep the death of Roy Luther a secret. Everyday Mary Call and the rest of the Luther family went to the fields to pick rare plants such as golden seal, fox glove, and ginseng. Most of Roy Luther¿s land was owned by Kiser, but when Kiser got pneumonia Mary Call saved him with a remedy for onions. For exchange, Kiser gave back their land. Later in the book Mary Call had to face her hardest challenge yet, an early winter. I didn¿t like this book because it was a bit dull. It didn¿t have a lot of humor in it. The only funny part in the book was the bear inside Roy Luther¿s room. I couldn¿t really tell if it was a fiction or a mystery book. The book could use more mystery and adventure. It¿s not a bad book, but could use more detail. If they ever make a series they should put more effort into the book.
Jecia.Woodard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where The Lilies Bloom is about a 14 year old girl named Mary Call Luther and life during fall and winter. Mary Call has so much difficulties with her family when she is the on taking care of them as winter comes. Mary Call has two sisters. Ima Dean who is 5 and Devola who is 18. She also has one brother named Romey, who is 10. Roy Luther is Mary Call's father who gets a stroke and gets really sick. The reason Devola isn't' taking care of the family is because Mary Call says she is "cloudy headed". As winter comes, so many harsh things happen to them, but in the end, Its a happy day for everyone.I didn't really have an interest in a book called "Where the lilies Bloom" but once I started reading it, it got really interesting. So many things happened in the book that i couldn't even predict. It was really good and I was really happy to read it.
Brandon.Bsto6922 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a Girl named Mary Call luther she is apart of the luther family. everything is going peachy untill roy luther there father becomes very sick. when this is happening she has to take on all the thing roy luther has to do. then a man named Kiser peace comes to the home that the luther ocupy that kiser gave or ... Take for them when they could not
LiLLY.afou5564 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is mainly about 4 siblings (Devola:18, Mary Call:14, Romey:10, Ima Dean:5) that have to live together on their own and encountering some problems. Their mom (Cosby Luther) had died 4 years ago and their dad (Roy Luther) got sick, and sicker, then he got better, but then he died. Mary Call had to make Roy Luther lots of promises before he past away. The kids couldn't tell anyone that Roy Luther had died. So, they had to come up with lies to tell people who asked how Roy Luther was doing. Meanwhile they also had to work in the fields to sell the crops and get money for food and etc. In the end alll is well because Mary Call & Romey go to school, Ima Dean can read, Devola gets married, and they get a farm with a cow, pig, and roster.
isaac.dorado on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where the lilies bloom is a book about the Luther family, and what struggles they have. The family share crops with a mannamed Kiser Pease In this book, it begins with only the father and the children. The mother has died, and the father is sick so they have to take care of him. Once Roy luther, their father, dies Mary call has to take care of the family. She is only 14, and Devola is 18. The reason Mary call takes care of the family is because she made promises to Roy Luther and Devola is cloudy headed.
wearylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although only 14, Mary Cal Luther has the soul of someone much older. She is left to care for her siblings when her father dies, leaving the family to carry on as if he were still alive.The book takes me back to my families Blue Ridge Mountain home and, although the characters are living hard times, it makes me long for my Aunt Bonnie's cabin at the foot of Arthur¿s Hill and my Uncle Frank's home overlooking Frog Mountain where my Aunt Elaine would dig ginseng. For someone with no fond memories of the mountains, this book may be boring, but for me it is like a return to childhood and the wonderful memories of visits down home.
liz.wong98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where the Lilies Bloom is a book about a family's hardships in North Carolina. The main character and narrator is Mary Call Luther, a fourteen-year old girl who has three kids to raise when her father dies. Mary Call is constantly hampered by their landlord, Kiser Pease, who wants to marry Mary Call's older, cloudy headed sister, Devola. When Kiser gets sick, the Luthers save his life and in return, Kiser signs a paper that gives the Luther's a lot of land. Mary Call tries to keep their Father's death a secret, but she lets it slip while asking Kiser to marry her. When Mary Call gets home one day, she finds Kiser and Devola in the house. Devola is no longer cloudy headed and Kiser marry's her with Mary Call's consent. I like this book because I have never really read anything like it. I usually read more fast paced books, but I like this one too. It really intrigued me that a fourteen-year old girl could do so much for her family. It had me thinking about how I would have handled the situations in this book. I think that Mary Call is an awesome hero and that this book is pretty good too.
matt.rocha0505 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
THis book is about a fourteen year old girl who has to take care of her family after her father dies. She must hid her secret from their land owner of her fathers passing because she is worried that her cloudy headed sister would mary him. Later in the story her land owner gets in a bad accident and she accidentally gives her secret to him. THis is a good book to read in the middle school. It will take your mind on a adventure. It will blow your mind when you find out how the family kept their secret. this is a really good book to read in all.
samri.wonnacott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is about how Marry Call promised her dying father and keeps the Luther¿s together. When her mom died, Devola had to be the mom. Now when there father dies, Marry Call has to be the dad. Mary Call has to do all of the work to keep the family together and to provide for them. She does this by wild crafting, working at the cafeteria and a lot of other things.
Brennan.Pankratz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Roy Luther (The father) dies, Mary Call Luther finds herself having to raise her siblings Romy, Devola, And Ima Dean. She also has to watch out for their land lord Kiser Pease.
Savion.Ormond1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where the Lilies Bloom is book about a poor famliy with no mom named the Luthers. There dad dies and Mary Call has to take care of Delvola,Ima Dean, and Romey and keep Kiser Pease from marrying Devola.
ChrisNelsonsmartkid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Where the Lillies Bloom" is a touching story of a families survival after a their father's death. After Roy Luther died, Mary Call, Romey, Devola, and Ima Dean struggle to keep the secret of their father's death. Doing everything to survive, from wildcrafting to farming the fields, they try their best to survive the harsh winter. Unfortunately, during the winter, part of their roof collapsed under the weight of the snow and broke Cosby Luther's rocking chair. Then afer the winter and the "false spring" they started to do their wildcrafting again and started to make money, unfourtunately, Goldie Pease, Kiser's sister, told the Luther's that the land was her's and that they had two weeks to vacate and get out. After that Mary Call went to the hospital to see Kiser, she was planning to get him to marry her, unfortunately, Kiser said that she hated him, and she didn't take "no" very well and got angry and slipped out that Roy Luther was dead. So in the next chapter Mary Call came down the mountian from wildcrafting, she found out that Kiser was marring Devola, and she didn't take kindly to that news, then she fainted. So then Kiser and Devola got married and Kiser helpped the remaining Luthers build a barn for the animals and with he hole in the roof and all their problems were solved. That is the reveiw for "Where the Lillies Bloom".
TylerF. on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a novel about a family with the last name Luther, and their struggle to survive living in a somewhat poverty. Mary Call Luther is the narrator of this book. She is the leader of the house and has to care for her cloudy headed sister, brother, and young sister. Their struggle gets worse when their beloved father dies. I really liked this book. The reason I liked it was because there were always problems the Luthers had to face, but they always found a way to fix it. The only thing about the book I didn't like was how the Luthers kept thinking that Kiser Peas was a bad man, when he really wasn't.
tyscottrocks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the book where the lilies bloom, the luthers are the main characters. the antaganst in the book is goldie, and kiser peice.in the book roy luther couldn't make his pay, and one day the pecies came along and payied the land off, but didn't kick the luthers off the land. goldie moved away from the landand kiser stayed. Theluthers ended up becoming share cropers and had to share cropping. They had to harvest and plant all of the land so they could eat, but they only got a little bit of the land, and kiser got a lot of it. kiser got most of the harvest and they got little even though they would harvest all of the land. one day roy luther dies and mary call takes over she has to hide his death from every one and keep her promises to roy luther. she has one promises inproticular not to let kiser peace marrie devola. kiser keeps trying and trying to marrie devola, and mary call keeps saying no.one day kiser got sick and mary call said she would help if he gives them the dead to his land, and he agrees so they help and own the land.One day goldie peace came and said kiser owes her the land. then the deed to the land was not legal. in the ened mary call lets devolal marrie kiser.I liked this book becuse, I think it had some surprises. This book was happy, sad,and surprising. I didn't like when roy luther dyied and when it tured out that the deed wasn't legal. i think they should of gotten a doctor for roy luter becuse, he would of had a better change of living and, mary call broke a promase anyways.I think that kiser was a good and bad land lord. H was a good land lord becuse he didn't kick them off the land. I think he was a bad land lord becuse, He got mor food than he needed and, he got more land then he needed. I thinck he should of split the food and land in half.If you ask me if you like books with twist and trns this could be th book for you.
jamesgeiselhofer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Where the Lillie's Bloom by Vera and Bill Cleaver, Mary Call is a fourteen year old girl whose father is dying. Her father dies and leaves Mary Call in charge of the whole family including romey her 10 year old brother, ima dean her 5 year old sister, and devola who is eighteen and cloudy headed. during the year Mary Call must keep the promises she made her father. However, Kiser pease ends up marrying devola. in the end the Luther learn to like kisser and continue living their life. i liked this book a lot. i give it 5 out of 5. the story was great and the book taught me about a whole other kind of life. one word. Brilliant.
John.Kaleb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where the Lillies Bloom is about a family who struggles living in poverty. Mary Call is the main character of the book. She has three brothers and sisters who she cares for after her father's death. She also made a promise to keep the family together and not let Kiser Pease (their landlord) marry her sister Devola. In order to earn money, she turns to wildcrafting plants, flowers, roots, and herbs that are found in the Appalacian Mountains (Sugar Boy and Old Joshua). I recommend this book for people who like realistic fiction.
AaronKAwsome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Where the Lilies Bloom" is a novel about four kids trying to survive without there father or mother. The the family lives in western North Carolina in Trial Valley. There father is very sick and there mother is already dead. Then one morning there father dies and Mary Call has to take over the family. The job could of gone to her older sister, Devola, who is 18, but she is cloudy headed. She made a promise to not let Devola marry Kiser Pease whick is the land lord. She has to not let anybody know that there father is dead. They have to make through the winter. I think this book is very good for all ages for 4th grade and up. The book is very good at exlpaining the struggle for survival. It shows you how hard it is for people to live in poverty. The book is good at explaining how hard it is to keep a secert. I think this book is very good.
Bobby3457 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about how Mary Call must keep the Luther family together when her father dies. She must keep it a secret that Roy Luther has died. She tries to keep all the promises that she made to Roy Luther before he died, but in the end its too hard and she can't keep one. Its too stressful for on 14 year old to take care of three siblings and herself. I thought the book was alright, at first i thought it was going to be boring and have no point. It was actually a pretty good book. It was shorter than the other books that I've read. It was easy to read even though they talked very differently in the book than I am used to reading. It didn't have very challenging words, but that made it that much easier.