Friday, May 22, 2009

"Meleah's Western" Part 4

Hey everyone! It is Friday morning and I am posting! Wow! I can hardly believe it! I have to go get to work in the yard in a few minutes, so I won't ramble on and on. For those of you who are enjoying "Meleah's Western" otherwise known as "Meleah's Story" you will be happy to know that for two weeks in a row you get to read the next parts. Perhaps by the time I finish writing this story, someone will have thought up a good title.:) Okay, I'll stop and let you read the next part or you'll just skip this completely.

Part 4

“Where da ya think ya’ll be headin’ for, Jake?” The sun was shining from a clear blue sky. All around the signs of summer were to be seen, from the glowing flowers along the road where bees buzzed busily, to the full leafy branches of the trees arching high overhead.
“Ya aim ta go far?”
Jake shrugged his shoulders. His face looked worn and haggard. His eyes rested not on the beauties around him but on the low mound of earth near the now empty cabin and the little cross which marked the last resting place of his beloved Ellen. “I got ta get away, Bob,” his voice was dull. “Me an’ the young’uns jest got ta get away,” he repeated. “Too many memories of . . . her.” Jake’s voice grew husky.
“Well, I reckon ya ought ta.” Bob nodded in agreement. “Jest send me word when ya’s settled down, an’ I’ll be seein’ ya.” Bob held out his hand. After a wrenching grasp, Jake turned from the friend of his boyhood toward the wagon and spoke to the horses. With a lurch the wagon began to move off down the trail. The trees waved their green branches as though in farewell while unseen birds sang their goodbyes and a squirrel chattered from a fence post.
Bob stood silently beside his horse in front of the cabin and watched. Two young faces looked out the back of the wagon. Bob lifted his hand in farewell. The children returned the wave until they could no longer see the man who had been as an uncle to them. Bob saw the older one place a protective arm around the smaller form beside him. He swallowed the lump that rose suddenly in his throat. It was always hard to say good bye.
“May the good Lord go with ya, Jake, an’ help ya to bear it.” Bob’s murmured words were the prayer of his heart as he mounted and turned his horse’s head homeward, leaving behind the lonely log cabin with its forsaken, but never to be forgotten, grave.

In the fireplace, a log broke, sending a shower of sparks up the chimney. Carson rolled stiffly over. The storm had spent itself, and all was quiet save for the heavy breathing of the sick man in the corner bed. Sally slept on, spent from many sleepless nights of watching, her head leaning against the wall and an old shawl around her shoulders. Ty, still at his post by the bed, never looked less like sleep, Carson thought looking at the young man as he watched with those keen eyes of his, the deep slumber of the man who was his father. For a long while Carson lay there in silence.
The old family Bible lay still on the bed where Sally had placed it. Reverently, carefully Ty picked it up. It was too dim in the corner to read, but he opened it just the same. Would there be any clue in this old Book as to whom he had promised to find? Or was his father, as Sally thought, not right in his mind? Turning quietly so as to have what dim light the fire could cast on the Book, Ty opened its pages. There was an inscription on the first page, but the writing was so faint that in the dim light it was unreadable. Ty knew the Bible had belonged to his mother. For several moments Ty sat unmoving, his thoughts on the mother who had gone away from them all so many years ago. His father had scarcely ever spoken of her. What had she been like? Why wouldn’t his father talk of her? What had happened to her? It was all so perplexing. Ty realized that he didn’t know for sure if his mother had died or not. He had for years assumed that it was so, but after careful thought, he began to wonder. Every time he or Sally had asked, the father would change the subject and look so old and tired that it was a long time before either child asked again.
Ty turned from these disturbing thoughts to the business at hand. Softly he turned the leaves of the old Book, noticing a pressed flower here and there, an underlined verse now and again, but nothing he could call a clue. Glancing from time to time at the face on ther pillow, he kept up his search.
Carson rose after a while to put a new log on the fire and then lay down again. Ty glanced up at the movement and noticed the wind had died and all was still. Sally slept on undisturbed. What had she had to endure, with him gone and the father so sick? In the morning Ty would have a talk with her. Right now he would continue his vigil and his search for something, anything, that might lead to this missing person. At last his patience was rewarded by a small, delicate piece of folded paper. With hands that trembled slightly, the paper was opened revealing a tiny photograph. The face that looked back at him was that of a young woman. The hat and clothes were enough for Ty to know that the woman was from a city, but which city and who it was, he couldn’t say for sure. Ty bent over it, trying in the dim light to study the face.
So absorbed had he become that he didn’t notice Carson raise himself up suddenly on one elbow and listen.
Ty jerked his head up, and his hand went instinctively to his holstered gun. Carson had quietly picked up his rifle and held it cocked and ready in his hand.
Silence every where. Ty strained his ears as he placed the family Bible hastily but with caution, making no noise, back on the bed then rose from his seat. A slight rustle outside and the silence was shattered by a sudden sharp crack as of a rifle.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meleah's Western Part 3

Okay, just pretend it is Friday morning. I know I will be busy mowing the yard and cleaning house in the morning, so I thought I'd just pretend it is Friday now.:) Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get back into the habit of doing something once you stop for even a short time? I can't seem to get back into posting on Friday mornings.:} Oh, well. At least this is close to Friday morning.:) I hope you enjoy the third part of "Meleah's Western." Sorry, Meleah, I haven't been able to come up with a better title. If you don't like it, give me another one. Enjoy!

“Find her! Find her!”
The words echoed over and over in Carson’s mind making him stir restlessly. Wearily he opened his eyes making them focus on the walls, the fire, Ty over by the bed, anything. It was no use. The words kept repeating themselves. They would not be silenced. At last Carson gave up and closing his eyes once more, let his thoughts drift back to a time long since past.

“Jake, that you?”
“Yep,” was the response as Jake drew up rein before a small cabin and sprang from the saddle.
“Why boy it’s been ages since I laid eyes on you. How you been?” The speaker was a middle aged woman with locks beginning to show grey yet with rosy cheeks and bright eyes.
“Been right fine, Mrs. Lacks. Yep, been a while, but I ain’t had callin’ time now days. Say, Bob round here by any chance?”
“Not at present, but I reckon if you care to wait a spell, he’ll be comin’ back right soon. Supposin’ you just sit under that shade tree an’ I’ll bring you some buttermilk.”
Jake nodded and strode over to the tree. He wasn’t much given to talking when he could get by without it.
Mrs. Lacks soon returned with the buttermilk, remarking how warm it was for this time of year. Jake drained the cup without a word. Indeed it would have been difficult to get a word in, for Mrs. Lacks took advantage of her rare visitor and talked on and on. At last, just as Jake, who had noticeably been growing restless, was about to mount and ride off, the sound of a horse was heard, and in another minute Bob rode up.
“Howdy, Jake.”
“I’ll be leavin’ you boys now as I’ve got a heap of things to do,” Mrs. Lacks informed her visitor and Bob, noticing the silence between them, and realizing in her own good heart that she was not wanted then, she retired to the cabin.
Bob spoke first, “What news?”
“She’ll come out.”
“Soon’s I can get ta her.”
“When’ll that be?”
“Leavin’ first light.”
“That soon?”
“That all ya come ta tell me?” Bob was used to cross questioning his level-headed but rather closed-mouth friend. It was the only way to get the whole story from him.
“How ‘bout ya comin’ too?”
“Me?” Bob didn’t sound too surprised. “I’d jest be in the way.”
Jake grinned. “Ya might fine yerself that wife yer aunt’s always tellin’ ya ‘bout.”
“Then I reckon I oughter go. Aunt Kate’s been after me ta find that there wife this very mornin’.”
“Meet me at the Big Rock Trail, first light.”
Bob nodded. “Will do.”
And Jake mounted and rode off, disappearing around the bend in the trail.
The birds sang in the trees and high up an eagle soared in the blue sky. A warm summer breeze blew up from the valley, and everywhere flowers turned bright heads up toward the sun. Bob was silent as he unsaddled and took care of his horse. He paid no attention to the small commonplace things around him. His thoughts were mixed.
“I reckon it’ll be a good thing fer Jake ta be gettin’ hitched, but I jest can’t quite believe I’ll ever be doin’ it. Course I’ll go along, but I ain’t expectin’ much pleasure outter the ride back. Then ‘gain, I reckon Jake’ll be that turned in his head, he’d ride straight into an ambush an’ not know. It jest might be a right good thing ta go ‘long. Aunt Kate though, ‘ll have her hopes set right smart on me gettin’ hitched, an’ it’ll be powerful disappointin’ to her when I don’t. Can’t say’s I blame her over much. What with not havin’ women folk as neighbors an’ no girl in the house. Must get mighty lonesome. I jest ain’t ready ta settle down ta house an’ family. Maybe never will. But I aim ta go with Jake an’ bring his girl home.”

It was almost a month later that Jake and his bride Ellen were established in a small log cabin in a clearing made by Jake’s strong young arms. They were a happy couple. Ellen never complained despite the hardships of living in the West. When Jake and Bob were off on hunting and trapping trips together, Ellen found the time weighing heavily on her hands. It was Mrs. Lacks who became her companion. Together they would sew or knit in the colder winter months. During the spring and summer, Mrs. Lacks taught the young bride all about gardening. Ellen was a delightful pupil, always eager to learn and improve herself and her surrounding to show the deep love she felt for Jake. Ellen felt at times that she would do anything for him. He was her pride. Always on his returns, no matter how short a time he had been gone, his wife would come running out to meet him, full of joy to have him at home once more.
Thus it was that his trips became shorter and less frequent. When God blessed their home with children, they ceased all together. Those were some of the happiest years of Jake’s life. What mattered that the cabin was small and rough and they didn’t have fancy clothes nor china dishes?? What mattered that their closest neighbors were a good twenty minute walk away and no schools were nearby to send their children to? What mattered it that the only books they owned was the Bible and the alminac? The Bible was the book from which Jake had learned to read, and Ellen had been a school teacher.
“Who knows,” Jake would say to his fair Ellen, “Perhaps this land’ll be more settled in a few years an’ there’ll be a school.” Whereupon Ellen would laugh gaily and say it didn’t matter.
When tragedy hit, it was like a bolt of lightning out of the clear blue sky.

I'll write more when I get more questions.:) Does anyone have questions?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The reason why...

As you probably noticed if you read this blog on Fridays, I didn't post anything. I thought I ought to tell you why.
First there was a UFO landing in our back yard and these little red (they must not have been from Mars) somethings, came out . . . Oh, wait, that isn't what happened.
It was the huge flood that wiped out almost our entire herd of cattle, and stranded us on a little hill just above the raging waters . . . Wrong story.
The snow storm raged for nine days leaving us with no way to get the mail through . . . Wait, its not winter.
It must have been the Marshmallow Thief who kidnapped me until he could make his escape . . . Oh just forget that.

You want the real story? Okay, here it is.
Friday morning, as I was sitting at the computer a little before 7:00, I started noticing that it was growing darker instead of lighter as it is supposed to do in the mornings. I was going to check the usual blogs, post Part 3 of "Meleah's Western" and then hopefully send a few emails. But as it grew darker, the wind began to blow harder. I left the desk to look at the fast approaching storm and suddenly the storm broke. The rain came down in torrents, the lightning flashed, thunder rumbled and the wind blew! The lights flickered and then went out.
"Sarah," I said, "maybe we should go downstairs and see whats happening."
Down we headed in the dark. Mom and Dad were up, and we turned on the weather radio. But it wasn't working.
"Maybe the battery is dead."
I opened the battery drawer and looked, but couldn't find the right kind. We finally took one from the smoke detector.
We were supposedly under a tornado warning, but the sirens were not going off. Our favorite radio station during storms was only producing static. Meanwhile, the storm continued to rage, though the rain let up and the lightning and thunder moved on, the winds continued to blow. We moved from one window to another watching the treetops lash back and forth, tree limbs crack and fall, trash cans blow into the middle of the streets. We finally got a radio station to come through and found that the storm with tornadoes on the ground was now near Cg., than heading to Sgf.. Jpn was supposedly out of the storm now, but whoever said that, was obviously not in Jpn! If what we were seeing was the little end of the storm, I didn't want to see the rest of it! Finally 13.10 came through the radio! We were having 80 - 90 mile an hour winds here! We found out that most of Jpn was without power and there were trees and power lines down all over! Some schools were canceled, while others were not. We continued to listen to the damage reports on the radio as we ate breakfast. The winds died down and though it was still cloudy, it wasn't raining or storming at all.
Hardly had the storm stopped than Dad began to get phone calls.
"Can you come look at my roof?"
"I need a roofer."
"I have roof damage."
And on and on it went.
Since we had no power, Mom, Sarah and I took a walk around the neighborhood to see the damage and then spent the rest of the morning working in the yard. Thankfully, though we didn't have power, we still had water. We had gotten a generator in the winter just in case we had another ice storm. Dad hooked that up to our fridge and freezer.
The power didn't come back on Friday.
Saturday, was spent, doing a little shopping, more yard work, wishing the power would come one, reading, and not much else. We were glad we have a gas grill so we could cook suppers. Saturday evening I spent down at the Cov.s. They got power that night.
Sunday morning, and still no power. We all managed to get ready for Church and arrive in time to set things up. Home that afternoon with no power. It was also cloudy, so it was harder to do things in the dim light. We took a walk and ended up at the Cov.s, watching them get a tree that had been uprooted in the storm, down. We managed to eat our usual Sunday night meal and do our usual things.
On Monday we did some laundry. We hooked up the washer to the generator and washed a load of clothes. Then we dried some at J & M's and the rest at the Cov.'s. We were rather restless with not much we could do. We took another walk.
This morning, about 7:45, Mom calls upstairs to say that the electric company is down the alley! About 8:00 the power came back on! Hurray!

And that my friends, is the real reason for me not posting on Friday. I hope to get back on track this Friday.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Gift of Cards

I know it isn't Friday yet, and I just posted something yesterday. But today is the 2nd of May and I just feel like posting a poem I wrote this morning. It is dedicated to all of my friends: old friends, new friends and friends I have yet to meet. Thank you for blessing me today. I love you all! And please, if you are a reader of this blog and you have sisters or friends who are not, but who are my friends as well, please let them read it also.

The Gift of Cards

Memories stirred while light spring rain
Falls gently on my window pane.
Cards I read again and see
The blessings God has given me.
Notes of birthday love and cheer,
And some o’er which I shed a tear.
Precious friends, your words still ring
With sweetest blessings that make me sing.
Cards of thanks for some kind deed
Returns to meet my own small need.
Remembering the things now past
Found in little notes that last
Long since the writer has forgot
And dreams no more that written thought.
How very dear these notes now seem
As I fondly read and stop to dream
Of days gone by and years now past
And know God’s love will always last.
Although my friends may go or stay,
They’ve left me sunshine to brighten the day.
And as the rain falls gently down,
Fresh and clean on thirsty ground,
I gather strength to onward press
Reading again these cards that bless.
Thank you Lord for each dear friend,
Who cheered this day with word and pen.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Poem

I feel as though I have been writing almost everyday for the past month or so. I really haven't, but at times it sure feels like it. This week I wrote the next "letter" for my book, wrote my "marshmallow thief update" for the Pickwick, wrote a little more on a "just for fun" story, and I still have two CPA reports to write, plus my CPA essay, the next part of "Meleah's Western" (don't you like my title?), another "letter", and get ready for my first class that I am teaching writing to on Monday! I knew I was busy.:) But what do I post today? Let me go see what I can find in my files. . . . I found a poem for you. I wrote this two years ago. Sorry there's no picture. I hope to have a story of some kind next week. What do you want? Another "calendar story," a part of my book, another part to "Meleah's Western," or something else. If something else, please say what.:) I won't promise, but I'll try.:)

Now enjoy the poem.

The Old Porch Swing

Fondly I gaze
As I swing to and fro,
At the beauty before me
On the flowers that grow.

The warm summer breezes
How gently they blow,
And they sway the old porch swing
As if they did know,

That the memories they bring,
And that over me flow
Are the sweet days of childhood
I spent swinging to and fro.

So I sit here and dream
Of the times long ago
On the dear old porch swing
As I sway to and fro.