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Friday, July 20, 2018

Missing: One Junior Ranger - Part 5

Good morning, Friday Fiction Fans,
I don't know about where you live, but here it's hot. And humid. Yesterday it reached 107º. Ugh. Thankfully storm clouds blew in late afternoon and the temperature dropped to the 80s for a while. We didn't get any rain, though there were a few rumbles of thunder.

This has been a good writing week. I decided I wanted to spend one day doing more writing than normal. So, since I usually only write later afternoon and evening, I started in the morning and got over 1k written. In the afternoon I wrote more, and in the evening I wrote again. My total word count for the day was 4,284 words. That bumped me up on my Camp NaNo goal quite a bit. I also wrote on Monday, Wednesday, and yesterday. I think I'll be able to reach my 20k goal and even surpass it.

I've been doing a lot of planning and trying to figure out what I need to work on of all my many different projects. Sometimes I feel rather overwhelmed, but when I break each project into smaller ones, then it's easier. The sad note this week is that I've hardly read anything! I read two shorter stories on Sunday, and a shorter one last night, and that is it. No wonder I want to read!

Anyway, that's that. I don't know if many of you are even reading this since it's summer and most likely you are all busy. Oh, well. I did contemplate just leaving you hanging on this story, but I decided to be nice.

Missing: One Junior Ranger
Part 5

    “She doesn’t know much about the radio. But let’s get out to the fort and check on her. She’s probably waiting for us to return.” Don’s words sent the others hurrying toward the door.
    “Don.”
    Turning back, Don paused behind the others at the door and looked back at his brother’s serious face. “Let me know as soon as you find out if she’s there.”
    With a quick nod and a “Sure thing, Sam,” Don was out the door and running after the Junior Rangers.

    Puffing up to the gate of the fort, the six Junior Rangers paused a moment to catch their breath. The large wooden gate was shut just as they had left it, but that wasn’t unusual. Don was the first to reach the gate, unlatch and swing it wide open. “Sharon?” he shouted.
    There was no answer.
    “All right, everyone split up,” Don ordered. “Look for any sign that she might have been here.” As the others scattered across the yard, Don raced for the stairs that led to their club room in one of the block houses. Pushing the door open he looked around quickly. There was no sign of anyone having been there. “Hey, guys!” he turned to shout. “Sharon’s pack is still here.” Not waiting to see what the others would do, Don hurried to the radio set and turned it on.
    “XNV-451 to XNR-457. Come in. XNV-451 to XNR-457.”
    “XNR-457 to XNV-451. What’s the story Don?”
    “She hasn’t been here, Sam. Her pack’s still in the club house, and there’s no sign of her.”
    Sam didn’t hesitate. “You kids head back over the trail to her house. I’ll get Mike, and we’ll take the truck over the road. If you find any sign of her on the trail, radio us.”
    “Okay, Sam. Over and out.” Flipping off the switch, Don turned around to find the other Junior Rangers crowding around behind him. “You all heard Sam?” They nodded. “Then let’s go find Sharon.”

    The trial was quiet. Each person was intent on looking for signs. Finally, after they had covered quite a bit of ground, Bob spoke. “The way I figure it, if she’d left the trail on this side over here,” and he motioned with his hand, “then she would have found the road.”
    “But she might have gone off on the other side of the trail,” Tessie said.
    “Look!” Don pointed. “Footprints.”
    “Oh, Don, they lead off the trail into the woods.” And Angie crouched down to get a better look.
    For a moment the children stood. “We can follow the trail as far as we can, but we might need Mike.” Don paused. “I wonder if he and Sam are still in the truck.”
    “Want me to radio and find out?” Grant asked, patting the portable set he had been carrying.
    “Yeah. Sam said to let them know.”
    This was done, and Sam promised that he and Mike would be there soon. “Start following the trail, but be careful,” Sam instructed before ending the call.
    Eagerly the Junior Rangers started off into the woods. Since Don was the most experienced tracker, he led the way, and the others followed in silence. Minutes ticked by slowly. Where was Sharon, and why had she left the trail?
    “Don,” Tessie asked at last,” why do you suppose Sharon didn’t stay on the path?”
    “I don’t know. If Mike were here, he could probably tell us.”
    “Here he comes,” Bob said, glancing over his shoulder. Everyone stopped and waited as the Indian and the chief forest ranger reached the group. Mike stepped ahead of Don and crouched down to look at the faint tracks in the ground.
    At last he stood up. “I think she was following something.” Mike started off. Soon he halted. “She has returned but lost the trail and goes off slightly.”
    “She returned from where, Mike?”
    Mike shook his dark head. “That I don’t know. But these tracks are newer.”
    Angie leaned down to look. “How do you know?”
    “They are on top of the other ones.”
    Sam spoke up for the first time. “How new are they?”
    “Some time yesterday, I think.”

Have you ever had to find someone?
How long do you think it'll take them to find Sharon?
Has your summer been really hot?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Missing: One Junior Ranger - Part 4

Good morning, Me!
Oh, hi! Nice to see you. How's your week been?
Rather crazy! And it's not over yet! Here's quick look.

Saturday – Morning I went out door knocking/lit dropping with some friends for my brother's campaign. It was a beautiful morning! It did get warm though. Afternoon I built a water rocket. Later afternoon/evening we picked up all 7 of my nieces and nephews and headed to the home of a family from church who were hosting a large 4th of July party. (Only it was on the 7th.) It was so much fun! They live out in the country and have a great big, flat yard where you can see everyone. There was a play set for the little kids, volley ball net, plenty of room to run, and a baseball diamond. The night ended with a wonderful display of fireworks. (I didn't get to bed until almost midnight.)
Sunday – Normal things except that my sis and I had to stay and practice music a little afterwards. I spend most of the afternoon reading after I took a nap.
Monday – Everything I did seemed to be in slow motion because I was so tired. Got writing in.
Tuesday – I had a student come in the morning for class. Got other things done including writing.
Wednesday – My nieces and nephews came over later morning so we could practice "Hurray for Newsy Jones." (They wanted to do it as a play again for my grandma's 90th birthday.) That was fun but kind of crazy. I don't know how the play will go. :) I was able to get 1k written late afternoon which was good because I worked nursery that night at church.
Thursday – Spend the day trying to get as much done as I could. I had emails to send, things to put away, chapters to check, and more. Then three nephews came over around 4:30 and stayed until almost 9.
Friday – That's today. I'm going to see what else I can get done because this evening another set of kids is coming over. Busters is going to be here again, and the girls this time. Not sure if any of the boys will come or not. 
Saturday – Is the big day! My grandparents are coming down with my aunt, we're eating lunch all together with my brother and his family, doing the play, and hanging out together. Oh, yes. And eating ice cream cake. It'll be a crazy busy day. I hope I can get some writing in.

Wow! Sounds busy. I don't know how you manage to get any writing done!
Me either, actually. But I've talked enough. I have other things I need to do. Thanks for letting me chatter since I think my usual readers are on vacation or busy with Camp NaNo.
No problem.

Missing: One Junior Ranger
Part 4

    The fire crackled brightly as it danced along the wood Don and Timmy had heaped up. Sitting around the blaze, the Junior Rangers talked and sang, laughed at jokes, and planned a fishing trip for next week. Into a lull in the chatter Tessie said, “I wish Sharon had been able to come. She said she’d never been camping before.”
    “We’ll just have to do it again when she can come,” Don said in his easy manner, breaking a small stick and tossing it into the flames.
    Silence fell over the small group of campers sitting around the fire. Above them the stars sparkled, and a large moon rose above the trees. Angie shifted and wrapped her arms around her knees. “I have a funny feeling,” she began.
    “Should we laugh?” Timmy joked from across the circle.
    But Angie didn’t smile. “I keep think about Sharon. Maybe we should have tried to find out if she was coming.”
    “How?” Tessie asked while the boys all looked at Angie. “We don’t have a phone at the fort.”
    “I know. I guess we could have asked Sam on the radio to call the Donaldsons.” Turning to Don, she asked, “Could we do that now?”
    Quickly Don glanced down at his watch in the glow of the firelight. “It’s too late. Most likely she forgot about the trip–”
    “Not Sharon!” Tessie and Angie exclaimed at once.
    “She did sound excited about it,” Timmy put in while Bob and Grant nodded their agreement.
    “Well, maybe something came up at the last minute and she had to go somewhere with her aunt.” Don gave a half shrug. “There’s nothing we can do now. Let’s get some sleep. We’ll find out in the morning where she is. We could even stop by the Donaldson place on the way back to Little Falls.”
    There really was nothing else to do, and the group settled down around the fire in their sleeping bags under the stars.

*

    Crack. Rustle. Crack.
    The sound roused Sharon from a light slumber, and she gripped the branch she had been leaning on and held her breath. What was that sound? As she strained her ears in the stillness, she couldn’t hear anything but the pounding of her own heart and the distant sound of water,. Everything was dark. The leafy branches overhead blocked out the friendly stars, and even the moon was only a faint glow.
    Another twig snapped somewhere in the forest, and Sharon gasped. Her body grew rigid. Something was out there.
    A tree rustled its leaves softly, and Sharon began to tremble. Drawing up her feet which had been hanging over the branch, she was thankful for the two branches that formed a sort of chair. With one arm wrapped around the higher branch, she hugged her knees close to her with the other and waited.
    Silence.
    At last her breathing grew steadier and her racing heart slowed.
    “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not.” It seemed as though Sharon could hear her uncle’s voice as he had read the verse. Had it really been that morning? To her weary and taut nerves, it felt like days ago.
    “Be strong, fear not,” she whispered to herself, trying to relax. “What was that verse about the lion and the ravenous beast not being there?” She couldn’t remember. “Please, dear Jesus,” she prayed, “don’t let anything come and hurt me. And please let someone find me in the morning. Help me not to be afraid.”
    Some leaves rustled, then a twig almost under Sharon’s tree, snapped.
    She screamed.

*

    The late morning was just as beautiful as it had been the day before. In the Ranger Station, Sam rose from his desk and stepped over to pour himself another cup of coffee. It was nearly eleven, but Sam wouldn’t take a lunch break until his assistant arrived.
    When the front door opened, the chief ranger looked over his shoulder and grinned as his younger brother and some of the Junior Rangers came in. “Hi,” he greeted them. “How was the campout?”
    “It was great,” Don said. “We’re planning a fishing trip next week.”
    “Fine. Oh, Angie,” Ranger Sam said, looking past his brother to the girl, “Sharon is supposed to go home with you for a few days while her aunt is visiting a sick sister and her uncle is out of town.”
    “All right. Is she waiting at their house?”
    A puzzled frown crossed Sam’s face. “No, her aunt said she was camping with all of you.”
    The Junior Rangers exchanged worried looks.
    “What’s wrong, Don?” Sam asked.
    “Sharon never joined us at the fort yesterday, Sam. We thought she just couldn’t make it and left a note for her.”
    “Hey,” Grant exclaimed excitedly, “I’ll bet she just stayed at the fort. She probably came after we had gone, didn’t know how to find us, and decided to spend the night there.”
    “Then why didn’t she radio you?” Sam looked from one face to another.

Do you ever get funny feelings about something?
How was your week?
Do you want the next part of this story?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Missing: One Junior Ranger - Part 3

Good morning FFFs,

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! Mine was rather hot in the morning since I went out with my dad, and sis, to walk in a parade with my brother. There were 45-50 people wearing t-shirts with his name on them, holding signs, flags, and passing out candy. It was a lot of fun even if it was hot. 

The rest of the day I spent pretty much inside reading, and watching some patriotic songs on youtube. One though, left me shaking my head. It was "supposedly" the "true" story behind the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Ha! This guy must not know his history! He called us "the colonies" as though we were fighting the Revolution instead of the War of 1812! Then he only mentioned Frances Scott Key going aboard the British ship to talk about a prisoner exchange. He neglected to mention that there was at least one other man with Key. He said the British were going to release the prisoners anyway the next day because the war would be over since Fort McHenry would fall and they'd release the prisoners. Huh? Next he said the entire British navy of hundreds of war ships all came to be a part of bombing Fort McHenry. My sister wanted to know how they all managed to fit. Anyway, it went on like that and I shook my head. I think that man needed to do a little more reading.

Anyway, . . . This has been a good writing week. Since Camp NaNo started I have managed to get 4,400+ words written. I'm aiming for over 5k this week. Tomorrow I won't be writing as a family from church is hosting a 4th of July get together at their place.

But I know you all must be busy, so I won't keep you.

Missing: One Junior Ranger
Part 3

    The little fawn turned his head and looked at her a moment before giving a few hesitant steps forward. Then, with a sudden bound, he trotted off to disappear into the forest.
    Carefully Sharon gathered the fishing line and tucked it carefully into her pocket. “I don’t want something else to get caught.” After she was sure she hadn’t left a single piece, she stood up, suddenly realizing that it was growing later. “I hope I’m not too late! I’ll run.” With that thought she set off the way she had come, jumping over large sticks, ducking under low branches, and dodging around rocks and tree trunks until she was out of breath. Stopping, she rested her hands on her knees, her breath heavy.
    Feeling her air returning, she straightened and looked about. “Now, where is that path?” she muttered. “I didn’t go that far into the woods, did I?” For a long minute she stood still looking about her. “Perhaps I shouldn’t run.” Once again she set off, this time at a slower pace.
    The path refused to be found. Instead, a small clearing popped up.
    “Now where did you come from?” Sharon demanded, planting her hands on her hips and glaring at the clearing where the prints of a small deer and a child were clearly to be seen. “I must have gone in a circle. Now I’ll really be late. I wonder if they’re waiting for me.” With a sigh, Sharon unscrewed the lid on her canteen and took a drink. “Well, if I’m careful, I should be able to find my way back to the path.”
    Though she hadn’t lived in the forest for long, Sharon had spent hours with the other Junior Rangers and Mike Big Eagle, an Indian who worked as a guide around Little Falls when he wasn’t teaching the Junior Rangers something or off on his own. Now, trying to remember everything Mike had said, Sharon started off again, taking care to look for footprints.
    This was easy at first, for the ground was soft. But later the footprints disappeared, and Sharon was left bewildered. “There has to be a way to find the path again,” she said. “What else did Mike say about tracking?” Frowning in thought, she stood still and looked around her. Suddenly her face brightened. “Branches. I probably broke some small branches because I was so busy watching the deer.”
    With renewed energy, she set forth once again. It was slow going, and several times she spent several minutes searching for some broken twig or a footprint. “I know I’m going to miss the camp out,” she thought, “but when I find the trail I can go to the fort anyway and get my things. Maybe I’ll sleep there.” That thought didn’t sound too appealing. “Maybe I will just go into Little Falls and see if Sam can tell me how to get to the Prestler’s.” With these happy thoughts, Sharon began to look for signs again, but while she had been thinking, she had been walking. There were no signs to be found.

*

    The sun began to set. The light in the forest faded into gray as the sun sank lower and lower. Sharon shivered. If only she could make a fire to keep herself warm and to keep away any strange animals. “I’d better find a place to spend the night,” she thought dismally. She looked around. Not too far from where she stood was a large tree. Several sturdy branches grew not too far from the ground and seemed to offer a place to sit and rest. Quickly Sharon hurried over and looked up.
    A sigh escaped her lips, for the branches stretched several feet above her head. “I don’t think even Mike could reach those, or Sam either,” she said, thinking of the tall Indian and the forest ranger. “Perhaps I can find a branch or fallen tree that I can use as a ladder.”
    It took some searching before a suitable branch was found. Then Sharon had the difficulty of dragging it over to the tree and getting it situated against the large trunk. But at last it was up. Breathing heavily, Sharon surveyed her work. She wasn’t sure she liked the idea of spending the night in a tree, but it was better than on the ground without a fire.
    Carefully she climbed up her shaky ladder, testing each step before trusting her full weight to it. The ladder didn’t quite reach the large branch, but it was close enough so Sharon could grab it and pull herself up. As she did so, however, her foot kicked her ladder and it slid along the trunk.
    “It didn’t fall though,” Sharon reassured herself once she was safely in the tree. “It’s too dark to try and do anything now. I’ll worry about it in the morning.” She had no hope of rescue that night, for her aunt would think she was with the other Junior Rangers, and the kids would probably think she hadn’t been able to make it. “Unless they radioed the Ranger Station and Sam called Aunt Penny to ask where I was.”

Have you ever been lost in the woods?
How was your 4th of July?
Are you doing Camp NaNo this month?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Missing: One Junior Ranger - Part 2

Morning FFFs,
It's Hot! Last evening it was still in the 90s and it was 9:00 at night. But what makes it worse is the humidity! Ugh! We are under an Extreme Heat Advisory through tomorrow. Just the kind of day you want to go do door knocking. Right? :P Ha. But that's what's on the schedule for tomorrow morning. At least the heat index is supposed to be only around 100º instead of 115º like it was another time we were out knocking doors during a campaign.

This week has been busy! Starting with last Friday evening when 5 of the 7 kids were over. (Doodle Bug and Buddy went with Brother and Sis-in-Law.) They didn't go home until around 9:30 as my brother, Dad, and Sis-in-Law got to talking about food for my brother's big fund raiser event for his campaign.
Saturday Sis and I helped all morning with a large fund raiser garage sale.
Sunday after Church we helped pack up things from the garage sale.
Monday I had a long list of things to work on.
Tuesday I had one student in the morning, and Funny Boy, Buddy, and Ti-K all day. That evening was my brother's fund raiser. It was fun. :) There were over a hundred people who came. We didn't get home until about 10:00
Wednesday I tried to get things done and take a nap. ;)
Thursday my "to-do" list as about as long as it was on Monday.
Today is my best friends' birthday(s). One lives in Canada so I won't be able to do anything with her. The other lives just down the street though and we want to do something together.

And that, my readers, is what I've been up to. What have you been doing?

Missing: One Junior Ranger
Part 2


    A sudden movement to in the woods startled her and her heart thudded against her ribs. What was that? Her courage faltered, but the fear dissolved a moment later when a fawn limped into a clearing between a few trees.
    “Oh,” Sharon breathed, “he’s hurt.” Slowly, carefully so as not to startle the little deer, Sharon crept toward it. One thing she had learned with the Junior Rangers was how cruel it was to let an injured animal suffer. “It’s all right, little thing,” she whispered. “I only want to help.” It was then that she saw something tied or twisted around one of the fawn’s back legs.
    The deer took a few steps away and again paused.
    “Don’t run away, I won’t hurt you.”
    Still leery of the strange creature, though not old enough to associate Sharon with danger, the young animal limped farther into the trees, pausing every few steps to look back.

*

    “Does everyone have their packs ready?” Don asked, looking around the fort at the other Junior Rangers. As the oldest of the kids in Little Falls, and the younger brother of the local chief ranger, Don had been elected the leader of the Junior Rangers.
    “Don, Sharon hasn’t come yet,” Tessie said.
    “Well, is she coming for sure?”
    “I thought she was.” Tessie looked over at Angie. “Didn’t she say she was coming?”
    “She said she thought she could come. She didn’t think her aunt and uncle would object.” Angie shrugged.
    “Can’t we wait a little longer, Don?”
    Don looked at his watch. It was the time they had agreed upon to leave the fort. “Okay, we’ll wait a little longer,” he agreed with an easy smile. “A few minutes won’t matter.”
    Ten minutes passed and there was no sign of Sharon. The others were beginning to grow impatient.
    “Let’s give her five more minutes,” Don suggested. “Then, if she’s not here, we’ll leave her a note and head out. Who knows, we might meet her on the way. We’re heading in that direction.”
    When five minutes was up the Junior Rangers shouldered their packs and set off, leaving a note tacked to the fort gate telling Sharon when they’d be back. As they started out, Don turned on his portable radio and called the ranger station. “XNV-451 calling XNR-457. Come in XNR.”
    “XNR-457 to XNV-451, go ahead.”
    “Hi Sam, just wanted to say we’re heading off now. Over.”
    “You taking the trail by the river? Over.”
    “Yeah. We’re camping at Mr. and Mrs. Prestler’s. Over.”
    “All right. Have fun. Over.”
    “Will do. See you tomorrow. Over and out.”
    “Over and out.”

*

    Sam Oleson whistled softly to himself as he pulled out some files and sat down at his desk in the ranger station in Little Falls. As much as he would have enjoyed being out in the forest on such a lovely day, he had paperwork to do. Breaking off his whistling, he began to read.
    The opening of the door interrupted him some time later, and he looked up.
    “Good afternoon, Ranger Oleson.”
    “Afternoon, Mrs. Donaldson.” And the ranger stood up with a smile. “Is there something I can help you with?”
    “It’s not much really,” Penny Donaldson began, holding her purse in both hands. “It’s just that I got a message that my sister is sick, and I have to leave right away. My husband has gone to work, and you know he won’t be back for three days.” When she paused for breath the ranger nodded. “Sharon has gone camping with the other Junior Rangers and I can’t reach her. And I wouldn’t want to take her with me anyway. I talked to Angie’s mom, and she’s supposed to stay with them until I get back. Or until Ken gets back. But I can’t tell Sharon that.” She paused once again for breath.
    “I’m sure the kids will come by here when they return,” Ranger Oleson said. “I can let Sharon know she’s to go home with Angie, if that would help.”
    “Oh, it would be a tremendous help if you would, Ranger Oleson,” And Penny Donaldson sighed with relief. “Thank you. I must be on my way now.”
    “Have a safe trip, and I hope your sister is better soon.”
    With another “Thank you!” the door closed behind the visitor and Ranger Oleson returned to his paperwork. “If the kids don’t stop by, Don will radio from the fort and I’ll pass the message on. No use interrupting their trip now.”

*

    In a small clearing, the young fawn stopped. He didn’t move as Sharon slowly crept up and stooped. Gently but quickly, her nimble fingers worked on the tangled piece of fishing line that was twisted about the small leg.
    “You poor thing,” she murmured, pulling out the small jack knife her uncle had given her and cutting the line. “I’m sure it must hurt. Who would leave fishing line in a place where something could get caught in it? There you are, little one,” she crooned, freeing the last bit of line and pulling it away. “You can go find your mama now.”

Have you ever strayed from a path in the woods?
Do you like camping?
What did you do this week?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Missing: One Junior Ranger - Part 1

Hello FFFs,
Yes, I have a fiction story for you. Well, part of one anyway. I can't give you the entire thing all at once, you know.

How has your week been? Mine is busy, like usual. I've gotten some writing in, some reading in, and whole lot of other things done. I've been trying to work on blog posts for Read Another Page since I was pretty much doing them right before they needed to post instead of getting them scheduled ahead of time. I have done some test writing for someone who wants me to "ghost write" something for him. He made a DVD, got the transcript, and now wants the transcript turned into a book. No, it's not fiction. That would be fun. ;)

Last evening my nieces and nephews were all over and it was crazy. They were all a bit on the wound-up side except Busters. He was just tired. All the kids except 2 are going to be here again this evening. Political events.

This month has not been a very good writing month so far. I'm really hoping next month will be better. Oh, did you know Kate and I have started planning for our annual Five Fall Favorites blog party? Well, we did! And if you aren't on Goodreads, I'll have a link on my Read Another Page blog, on Tuesday, that you can sign up to be considered for a host in the party if you are interested. It isn't committing you to be a part, and it doesn't promise you a place either. It is just to see who might be interested in doing the party with us. So, if you have a blog, and want to be a part, don't forget to sign up.

And now, here's the first part of this story. Enjoy!


Missing: One Junior Ranger
Part 1

    Sharon wiggled her toes inside her shoes and tried to sit still. It was difficult, for the sun was shining brightly, the birds were all twittering and singing, and June’s warm weather had the flowers blooming in every direction across the meadow. Sharon knew that the shady forests would be cool and pleasant, and she could hardly wait until she was allowed to go.
    “Say to them that are or a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come . . . He will come and save you.” Uncle Ken continued reading, his glasses on the edge of his nose as he peered through them to see the fine print of his Bible. “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there.”
    Why did Uncle Ken have to read something so solemn this morning? Sharon wondered, swinging her legs a little. The book of Isaiah always seemed dull to her. She much preferred Esther, Ruth, or Samuel. Who wanted to think about being afraid today? What was there to be afraid of? Oh, she knew in a general sort of way that there were wild animals in the national forest, but she’d never seen any in the two weeks since she had come out to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle.
    Already she felt at home among the inhabitants of the small town of Little Falls where the population was sixty-three. The children had welcomed Sharon warmly, and in a matter of days she had become a member of the Junior Rangers. Smiling slightly, she glanced down at the image of Smoky Bear on the front of her teeshirt.
    “Sharon,” Aunt Penny’s soft voice brought Sharon back from her dreams with a guilty start.
    Glancing quickly from her aunt to her uncle, Sharon folded her hands and bowed her head as her uncle prayed. He thanked the Lord for the day and asked a blessing on each member of the family, adding, “And Lord, please keep the Junior Rangers safe on their camping trip, and may they walk with You. In Jesus Name, amen.”
    “Amen,” Sharon echoed. She was free! Her eyes sparkled with eagerness. “Can I go to the fort now?”
    The children of Little Falls had converted the old stockade into their special clubhouse. In it they held meetings, planned outings, kept their camping gear and canoes, and even stabled the horses there during the summer months when they used them the most. The adults of Little Falls and of the few houses surrounding the town smiled and treated the Junior Rangers and their fort with respect, for they all worked hard, followed the rules, and had a radio if they needed to call for help.
    “Can I go now?” Sharon asked again.
    Aunt Penny laughed. “Not yet, dear, it’s still early. You all aren’t supposed to leave until after lunch, are you?”
    “No, but we have to get ready. Tessie, Angie, and I are going to share a tent, and I don’t want to be late.”
    Uncle Ken rose from his chair. “What about your chores, Sharon?”
    “I already made my bed and picked up my clothes.”
    “Right after lunch you may leave,” Aunt Penny said. “I’ll even drive you over to the fort if you want.”
    Sharon shook her head. “No, thanks. I can walk.”
    “Listen, Sharon,” Aunt Penny laid a hand on her niece’s shoulder, “I’ll tell you what. If you’ll water the flowers in the flowerbeds for me, I’ll fix you an early lunch and then you can be on your way.”
    A smile brightened Sharon’s face. “All right.” At least she was going to be outside. And she really didn’t mind watering the flowers.

    At last lunch was over, and Sharon was free to go. Her things for the overnight trip were already at the fort, and all Sharon had to take was her canteen full of water. With a goodbye hug to her aunt, Sharon hurried out of the door.
    “Are you sure you know the way to the fort from here, Sharon? You’ve never gone alone before.”
    “I’m sure, Aunt Penny. I just have to follow the road, then take the trail where the large rocks are and follow it to the other side of the forest. Then it’s an easy walk over the hill, back to the road, and then to the fort. See, I know.”
    “All right, but be careful. And have fun, Sharon!”
    “I will! See you tomorrow!” With a wave, Sharon started off down the rutted path which marked the road, leaving her aunt behind on the stoop. Uncle Ken had left while Sharon was watering the flowers. “If Mom and Dad could see me now,” Sharon thought, turning off the road to the forest trail, “they probably wouldn’t recognize me. I don’t feel shy here like I do back in the city. Maybe that’s because there aren’t as many people out here.” She gave a little skip of pleasure.
    The leaves of the towering trees provided a pleasant shade from the summer sun, and Sharon stopped now and then to look around or to stroke the needles of the pines and smell their enchanting aroma. It was the first time Sharon had ever been completely alone in the forest before, and it gave her a queer feeling of daring and bravery.

Have you ever gone to stay with relatives for the summer?
Have you ever been alone in the woods or forest?
Are you excited about the Five Fall Favorites party?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Just My Life

Hello Readers,

Sorry, I don't have a new fiction story for you this week. I'm still working on an old, temporary computer. Mine is not going to be getting fixed as it costs around $400. just to get the part for it. The computer guy told me he thought it would be better to put that money into another computer. So . . . Back to computer shopping I go. :P I'm not particularly fond of getting a new computer and trying to settle into it.

I've gotten some written this week. Not a lot, but some. I was working on, and am almost finished writing, a story for the blog. I started it with the idea that it would be a month story, but I don't think it will. I think I'll just post it on here and then decide what I want to do with it. But I need to get to the end of the story first, and get it edited. Perhaps you'll get part one next week, but it's not a guaranty.

Yesterday my aunt came down for the day, and in the late afternoon my brother and sis-in-law dropped off all 7 kids and went out on a date. The kids loved having Aunt M. here. They played games with her, and the birthday boy (Doodle Bug) chose to sit at her table during supper. Aunt M. had also brought cookies and rice crispy treats for everyone. They loved them. :) Even Busters (10 months old) didn't holler as soon as he was done eating like he has been doing. Maybe that was because he got to eat french fries like the big kids. :)
The kids had wanted to do "Hurray for Newsy Jones" for Aunt M., but we didn't have a lot of time. So, since she and my grandparents are coming down next month to celebrate Grandma's 90th birthday, I told the kids we would practice the play before then so we all knew what we were doing, and then they could do it for Great Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt M. That sounded good to them. :)

Let's see, what else have I been doing? Oh, I did get the July story up for pre-orders. Now I don't have to mess with it later.
Can you believe there are only 2 weeks and 1 day left of the Read Another Page Reading Challenge? These 6 months went by fast! So far we've had 7 people complete the Challenge already. Some are really close, and others are determined to reach the 12 books mark. Anyway, I've really enjoyed seeing all the books everyone has read, and adding them to the list. If you haven't looked at the list of books read, go check it out. It's rather fun. :)

And now I'm going to go. I have other things I need to do before we clean the house. Thanks for coming by and letting me chat.

Have you read the June story yet?
Have you been doing any writing lately?
Are you doing the reading challenge?

Friday, June 8, 2018

David Ben-Gurion - Part 4

Good morning FFFs!
How was your week? Mine was good. I'm still using an old computer, but I was able to get my computer to our "computer guy" at church. I haven't heard anything about it, so I'm still hoping he can fix it.

I got my June story published. It's called "His Mighty Acts" and takes place during WWII. I've written a little bit on my other new story that takes place on a horse ranch. I'm still waiting to hear back from the ranch with answers to my questions. Pray that I'll hear back soon.

With this old computer I feel like I'm not getting much done, but I know I am. I mean I got 1980s book of family letters finished and ready to order the proof copy. Now I can start work on compiling the 1940s. Those will be fun as they're letters from my grandparents to each other before they were married. I can't wait to read them all. :)

I know this part is short, but I have other things to do, and I really don't have a whole lot to say this time. This is the final part of David Ben-Gurion. I hope you've enjoyed it, and that you've learned a little something.


Fighting for Survival
The explosions of dropping bombs filled the air in Tel Aviv, Israel, with their sound. Ben Gurion paused a moment in his talk over the radio to U. S. citizens. “The noise you are hearing now,” his voice was calm as he spoke, “is the noise of bombs being dropped by enemy aircraft on this city.”
The war for Israel’s survival had begun. As Minister of Defense and Prime Minister, Ben Gurion was immersed with work, disbanding the many resistance groups and forming the Israel Defense Forces, directing the war, and raising support from abroad. The war was grim and the fighting fierce. The Arabs attacked city after city only to be driven back and repulsed by the small groups of Jews that were defending their homes. The fighting was furious as Jews throughout Israel strove to defend the land they loved. In Jerusalem, the Arabs had cut off the supply roads, and only through Ben Gurion’s quick decision to use a small rocky goat trail to bring supplies in, were the inhabitants saved from starvation and slaughter. As Ben Gurion said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” And it was so. The Arabs thought they would quickly and easily achieve the victory because, after all, they had more men, more supplies and were better trained. They did not realize, however, that the Jews were fighting not only for their nation, but for their lives and homes, their families and land, their religious and cultural heritage. And, as the Lord was with the Israelites when they drove the Cananites out of that very land so many years ago, so He was with the people of Israel in their struggle for a homeland.

After four strenuous weeks of heavy fighting, a truce was called to try to come to terms of peace, but to no avail. At the end of the truce the Arab nations tried once again with all their might to annihilate Israel out of existence. Ten more bloody days of war passed, but in the end Israel was still there and even stronger than it was before. For Ben Gurion had not been idle during the four weeks of the truce. More arms had been gathered, more supplies brought in, the Haganah reorganized, and encouragement given. Finally, in early 1949, peace agreements were signed with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Israel, with Ben Gurion as Prime Minister, was a recognized nation. Though but a tiny strip of land surrounded by enemies, it was yet a haven and fortress for the beleagured Jewish people of the world.

The End Years
It was late evening in November 1953 as Ben Gurion and his wife sat cosily together in their home in Tel Aviv. “Do you know?” Ben Gurion said, “I believe I want to resign from being Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.”
Paula smiled. “I don’t see why you shouldn't. After all, you have been a leader in one way or another for over 52 years.”
Ben Gurion looked confused. “But Paula, we’ve only been a nation for not quite six years.”
“Ah, but you forget,” she smiled. “You were a leader before we even became a nation. You were a leader here in Palestine when the Ottoman Empire ruled, and before that, you were a leader in your own home town in Russia.”
“You are right, dear. And I’ll do it! Let’s move out to a frontier town.”
“Which one?” Paula asked with another smile. She knew it would be difficult for her hard working husband to relax and take things easy, even if he was in his 60’s. Therefore, a move to a frontier town didn’t surprise her.
After thinking a minute, he replied, “Perhaps down south in Sedeh Boker in the Negev.”
“All right,” Paula agreed readily. “How soon shall we go?”
Sedeh Boker was indeed on the frontier. Not many would have called it even a town. A small cluster of wooden shacks with a wire fence around them sat in the middle of an empty landscape. Dry barren wilderness surrounded it on all sides. The earth was hard and cracked by the sun’s fierce rays and eroded by the hot winds that swept over the desert, leaving only sparse vegetation on which to feed sheep. It was certainly not a place where most people would think of moving when they retired.

As Paula could have predicted, Ben Gurion’s retirement lasted only two years. When he was asked to help in the government as Defense Minister under Prime Minister Moshe Sharret, he couldn’t refuse. Once in office again, it wasn’t long before he was re-elected Prime Minister. And for eight more years, he continued to serve as Israel’s leader. Then once again he retired from political office, although he continued to be active in politics and leadership from his home in Sedeh Boker. And from that now flourishing town, where lush vineyards grew and orchards of apple, peach, plum and almond trees thrived, Ben Gurion began promoting a college to be located on a nearby plateau.
In 1968, Paula, Ben Gurion’s beloved wife and helpmeet of 53 years died. Two years later Ben Gurion really did retire. Much of his time was spent reading from his personal library of 20,000 books, and working on a third volume of his collected letters. Then, on December 1, 1973, in the midst of the Yom Kippur War, at the age of 87 years, he died and was buried by the side of his wife. Upon his death, not only the nation of Israel mourned its fallen leader, but others around the world grieved as well. America’s President Richard Nixon said, “It was with the deepest sorrow that I learned of the death of David Ben-Gurion. . . The people of America join with the people of Israel in mourning the passing of a gallant man. As we shared his ideals and hopes, not only for Israel but for all mankind, so we share in their loss.” Ben Gurion was a leader, beloved of his countrymen, hated by his foes, and honored by millions who came after him.

Epilogue
Today the land of Israel is no longer an uninhabitable land of dry, arid deserts and swampy, malaria infested grounds with Jews longing to someday dwell in the land of their fathers, but being denied the right to live there. Now thousands of Jews from all parts of the world have reclaimed the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They have drained swamps and established thriving cities, causing the desert to bloom and bear abundant fruit as Isaiah, the prophet of old had foretold. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice , and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly. . . They shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. . . For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” Everywhere, Jews have purchased land in Israel and with hard work have made a place fit for habitation. The college that Ben Gurion started in the Negev is prospering, and after his death was renamed Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in honor of Israel's great leader, who sought to pass on to the younger generations opportunities for learning and knowledge.
The land of Israel is not a land only of Jews. Arabs live peacefully with them, sharing in the labor and also in the government of the people. But, despite the early peace agreements signed with their neighbors, and almost 60 years of prosperous existence, the Israelis still face a constant struggle for survival. Yet they will survive, for the prophet Isaiah has also declared, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail . . . they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.” Ben Gurion’s life of vision, courage, and determination still challenges us today to be leaders who never give up.

How was your week?
Have you read the June story yet?
What do you want to read next week?