Second Marriage in the 1970s
Second Marriage in the 1970s c2

Chapter 2

After lying in bed for three days, Dong Jiahui got out of bed today after feeling that she was less weak. When she went out, she could see the full view of the Dong family’s courtyard.

There were five mudbrick houses. The main hall was placed in the middle; facing the south, there were two rooms on either side of the main hall. The yard was clean. They also had a well, a pomegranate tree, a peach tree, thatch, and firewood piled up in the corner. On the other hand, there’s a small vegetable patch; cabbage, leeks, peppers, garlic, and other vegetables were planted on the ground. Next to the vegetable patch was a chicken pen; there were 3 chickens inside the pen.

The scenery in front of her really looked like a yard from the countryside. This kind of mudbrick house, even in the 21st century, this kind of house was still rare in the countryside. When Dong Jiahui was a child, she traveled with her parents to the revolutionary base and saw similar well-preserved historical sites.

After breakfast in the morning, the Dong family’s labor force went to the field. The older children went to school and the young ones were brought by the adults to the field, and Dong Jiahui was left alone in the house.

“That Lu family can be really unethical. The moment Jiahui came back, they immediately took in a new wife to come to their door. The new wife was powerful. Before she agreed, she must be presented with a marriage certificate first. “After the Lu family pulls out the certificate, it will be hard for them to decide if they want a divorce.”

“Hey, this marriage, how can you think of divorce? But if Jiahui was not too honest, her in-laws would rule her to death. How much did the new wife of the Lu family spend on the bride price?”

“Because of Jiahui’s matter, their family has a bad reputation. They all say that Mrs Lu is too fierce and the new wife has to bear hardships when entering the door. Mrs Lu gritted her teeth and gave 38 yuan as a bride price, 30 eggs and five kilograms of soybean oil. “

“Yo, that’s so generous! When Jiahui entered the door, her bride price was 20 yuan, right.”

“Hey, I pity Jiahui’s mother. I guess that Chen Guixiang also knew that the Lu family had taken a new wife into their home. For these two days, she was also busy looking for a husband for Juihui. It’s easy to find someone if the girl is pure, but those who have been married are always one layer away.”

“No, it’s not. It’s either a poor bachelor or a dead wife who is old. If he leaves for other reasons, it’s OK. It’s also because he can’t have children. Nowadays, men marry a wife just to have children. If they can’t have children, how can any man want it? Is Chen Guixiang willing to marry her daughter to a stupid one? “

“So it’s a pity, I watched the girl who grew up. Not to mention her appearance, her temper was really good.”

“A woman’s life is like this. If she has a good life, she can live a good life. If she has a bad life, she can only suffer all her life.”

“Okay, let’s just say a few small talks, you can’t say unpleasant words in front of the Dong family, especially Jiahui. She has a tender face and a heavy mind, so she can’t listen to this.

“I know, do you need to remind me of this? I don’t have a grudge against her, so why do I have to say something unpleasant in front of her?

Dong Jiahui was sitting in the courtyard sunbathing when she heard an earful of gossip about the original owner. The sound came from the other end of the courtyard wall of his neighbour’s house in the East.

Dong Jiahui didn’t fully inherit the memory of the original owner when she crossed. She could only remember some important people and things. Dong Jiahui could not remember those little bits of the owner’s memories.

Dong Jiahui was not the original owner. Naturally, she didn’t care about Lu Chengyuan’s looking for a new wife. She only cares about herself, dressed as Dong Jiahui, the identity of the abandoned woman. It is impossible to stay in her mother’s house for life without getting married. Really, her brother and sister-in-law can’t accommodate her.

But the reality is just like what the neighbor said. An abandoned woman is still unable to bear children. What kind of man can you find at this age?

She is not the original owner. It’s not a native that can be satisfied with a full stomach in this era. She comes from the twenty-first century, highly educated, idealistic and, in pursuit of her other half, she also has her own aesthetic. She really can’t imagine marrying an illiterate man, doesn’t love cleanliness, eats and stinks when he opens his mouth. In that way, she might as well jump into the river and die again.

Dong Jiahui was basking in the sun with worry. When he heard the bell in the main room strike ten times, Dong Jiahui got up and went into the kitchen to see if he could help make a meal.

When she was a child, her parents were busy. Every summer vacation and winter vacation would send her to her grandmother’s house in the countryside. She often helped her grandmother burn a fire, so she could use the old stove in the countryside.

Dong Jiahui looked around the kitchen and found the rice jar with the rice in it and the sweet potatoes stacked in the corner.

She came to see how the Dong family cooked in the past, and in these past few days, they have always added some sweet potatoes to the rice. These days, eating rice is only available during the New Year and ancestor worship.

Dong Jiahui had a rural homemade gourd scoop. She copied what they did, half a gourd of rice, and picked six sweet potatoes from the corner of the well to wash. The broken places were cut with a knife. Then she cut it into chunks of spare, panning the rice. She mixed the rice and sweet potatoes together in the pot, added the right amount of water, and covered the pot.

The preparation work was very smooth. That is, when the fire was lit. After all, it took some time to light the fire because, she was not used to the matches of this era.

After this, the bell rang again. Half an hour had already passed.

Dong Jiahui went to the vegetable field again after she was done cooking rice. She picked a cabbage from the field, pinched half a basket of leeks, selected the vegetables and washed them with the water in the well. She did not know how the Dong family usually cooks, so she was afraid that she could not hold it well, so she put the clean dishes in the kitchen and waited for Chen Guixiang to come back to cook.

At eleven o’clock, Chen Guixiang was the first one to come back from the field. The work from the production team was also time-regulated, from eight o’clock in the morning to 12 noon.

Chen Guixiang came back to see her daughter get up from bed and cook dinner for everyone. She was not only afraid of her daughter’s poor health but also happy how her daughter was affectionate and sensible.

“I was in a hurry to come back. Are you ready to cook?”

“I’m done with the rice, but I’m not done yet with the food. I washed the food and waited for mom to come back to do it together.”

Chen Guixiang lifted the lid of the pot and nodded with satisfaction when she saw the white rice mixed with sweet potatoes in the pot. She didn’t eat much or well.

“Very good. You’ve done it all. I can fry it quickly.”

She turned and took out a small bowl of river shrimp from the cabinet. It was cooked shrimp with oil. When she was ready to fry leeks, she put one in.

In addition to shrimp, she also took a small pottery pot with lard in it. She bought suet and boiled it back. It was full, and only half of the pot was left.

“The Chinese cabbage is fried with some lard. There is no oil residue at home. If there are bits of oil that can be stir-fried together, it would be mouth-watering.”

Dong Jiahui has seen the power of lard. When she was a child, grandma often made lard noodles for her. She was so small that she could eat a whole bowl every time. Grandma liked to watch her eat and said that every time she saw her eat, everything she ate became more delicious.

Chen Guixiang stir-fried it while Dong Jiahui was watching the fire, and secretly observing Chen Guixiang’s stir-frying techniques. She was ready to follow her and learn, so as not to show their own work in the future.

The old stove starts cooking very quickly. The pot is hot. The dishes were cooked three and two times faster. The fragrant smell spreads in the air. After cooking, Chen Guixiang takes two eggs from the cabinet, breaks them up, adds some scallion and salt, and directly steams the bowl in the rice pot.

For today’s meal, the dishes were grown in our own field, and the shrimp were fished from the river with our own net.

Dayu village gathers water in front and backs the mountain. It is a very suitable place for survival.

As the old saying goes, “the mountain dweller lives off the mountain, the shore dweller lives off the sea”[1] “the mountain dweller lives off the mountain, the shore dweller lives off the sea”. It’s an idiom. It means making the best use of local resources.. Although the rice is not enough to eat, they could still eat a sumptuous meal from time to time. They can eat river fish and shrimp, which are wild animals living in the mountains.

So the most valuable part of the meal was the two eggs. Eggs can be bartered these days. The supply and marketing agency has a special collection of eggs. An egg was five cents. It is the money that rural people can get on their own initiative, in addition to work points, so it is extremely valuable.

In the memory of the original owner, under the conditions of the Lu family, eating a bowl of white rice and a bowl of scrambled eggs is also an excellent life, which makes the villagers envious. Of course, even if the Lu family has white rice and scrambled eggs, the original owner was not treated well. The original owner couldn’t eat it. Otherwise, how could the original owner be skin and bones? In the 1970s, it was a year where everyone didn’t have much to eat, so they were skinny. But in this era, her body was considered skinny.

Tian Niu and Xiaoman were held by the third, wearing thick cotton-padded clothes. They had two lumps of plateau red on their faces. Xiaoman seemed to have caught a cold. Two lines of green snot hung under their noses and they kept sucking it in. It looked like two green vegetable insects.

“Jiahui is up, are you feeling better?”

The person who asked was Dong Jiahui’s sister-in-law Zhou Yindi, the wife of Dong Jiahui’s older brother Dong Aihua.

Zhou Yindi gave birth to her nephew Huzi and the Dong family’s only daughter, Tian Niu. Zhou Yindi has a square face and a very strong temper. She is Chen Guixiang’s most proud wife. She is also the leader outside the family and she is also very neat in handling affairs.

When the people are all together, they will eat. The men have a big appetite because of working hard. Each person has a large bowl of rice and sweet potatoes. Women’s bowls are smaller, and children’s bowls are even smaller.

Chen Guixiang took a spoon and dug a large spoonful of steamed eggs for Tanya and Xiaoman, and also dug a spoonful for Dong Jiahui.

Chen Guixiang handed the bowl to her husband, Dong Dagui, who shook his head. Naturally, her son and daughter-in-law were too embarrassed to grab the rest of the steamed eggs, so Chen Guixiang scraped the bowl clean and gave it to her youngest grandson, Xiaoman.

Liu Xiuyun, the second child, was a bit upset because her two sons, Chuízi and Junzi, were away at school, which meant that the eggs today were given only for the oldest and the third family.

Her own children did not eat the eggs, not to mention that her sister-in-law, Dong Jiahui, was so big that she had the face to eat them, which made Liu Xiuyun extremely irritated.

In fact, when Dong Jiahui came back to her mother’s house, Liu Xiuyun’s heart had some ideas, but she kept suppressing the careful thoughts in her heart.

At first, she also felt pity for the divorced woman who was driven out by her in-laws. She was sympathetic to her sister-in-law, but when Dong Jiahui jumped into the river and was carried back to die, Liu Xiuyun’s sympathy for her reached its peak.

But everything in this world follows the law of “what goes around comes around, and what comes around comes around”, and after this sympathy reaches its peak, it starts to go down a little.

Even if she pretends to be generous for a short time, Liu Xiu cares deeply in her heart. What she thinks is, why can’t she, who earns work points in the field all day, could not eat an egg? Dong Jiahui, her husband’s sister, has been married once. She not only lies in bed all day and doesn’t do anything, but she was also provided with delicious food and drink. Even if you ask all the 16 production brigades of Shengli Commune, there is no such a person.


1 “the mountain dweller lives off the mountain, the shore dweller lives off the sea”. It’s an idiom. It means making the best use of local resources.


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  1. chinesefanreader has spoken 3 years ago

    With a group of people even if they’re family, there has to be some selfish unpleasant ones🤨. Guess that sister in law is forgetting not just that Jiahui is recovering from illness but that she was so abused at her lousy husbands house that she’s even too skinny by their normal standards

    Thanks for the chapter 😉

    P.S. Some suggested corrections

    “eats and stinks when he opens her mouth” should be “his mouth” (I know Chinese doesn’t distinguish between his or her do you have to look at context for what makes sense)

    “two sons, Hammer and Jun” I think the name means Hammer and should be in pinyin?

    • notlucia has spoken 3 years ago

      Oh yeah, thank you for your corrections o(* ̄▽ ̄*)o. This helps a lot~


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