Friday, January 29, 2010

Neglected and Forsaken Pt. 2 (Quiz Next Week)

Good Morning Favorite Friday Fiction Fans,:)
(How's that for a good alliteration?) It looks like winter has returned to Joplin. The ground is nearly covered with white. It looked like snow earlier when it was coming down, but it also sounded like there might have been ice mixed in with it. I'm not sure what it is yet as I haven't been out.:) We had enjoyed some really pretty spring type weather for a few days, but then the cold came back.

"Home Fires of the Great War" is now being sent out to test readers.:) If you are wondering when you will get your copy to read, drop me a line, and I might be able to tell you. I only printed 6 copies for all the readers so there are several of you who will have to share. I tried to spread them out so that you won't have to wait too long. And speaking of my book, make sure you come back next week as I will be having a quiz about the writing of "Home Fires of The Great War." The winner of the quiz will get to choose what they would like posted for two consecutive weeks.:) Does that interest anyone? So be sure you come back next week and take a go at the quiz.

And now for the rest of the story started last week. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Neglected and Forsaken
Part 2

At last the old man stood up stiffly and slowly began to make his way around the aged mine. He peered in at the empty windows, shook his head at the loose boards and sighed. Coming back to the rock, he resumed his seat where he sat motionless for some time. Finally he began to speak.
“You remember the blizzard don’t you, Frisco? That was the winter of 1884 . . .”

“I say, Joe, jest look at that snow come down, would ya?”
“I know. Ain’t it somethin’ to see! Ya know, Will, I don’t even want to try to make it back to my room at the hotel in this. It’s hard to see even the boardin’ house.”
Will took another look out the window. “Say! This ain’t jest a little snow storm. I’m thinking we’re in for a blizzard!”
The two men looked at each other. They both knew the danger of trying to go anywhere in a storm like this. The mine was closed for the winter, but Will always kept a stash of food supplies there “jest in case” he always said. Well, that “jest in case” had finally arrived.
“I reckon we might as well jest make ourselves at home an’ wait for the storm to blow over.”
Joe nodded in agreement. “It’s a good thing neither of us is married, Will.”
“How’s that?”
“Then we’d have ta try ta get home or the women folk would be all upset.” He grinned. “I know as that’s the way it is with my brother.”

The two men passed the rest of the day talking or just sitting and watching the swirling white clouds of snow out the windows. By bed time the storm showed no signs of abating, and the men rolled themselves up in blankets near the stove and slept. The next day and the next the storm raged. Drifts piled high against the sides of the mine covering up the lower windows. The men upstairs spent the time in telling stories and in game after game of checkers.

On the sixth day, the entire lower part of the mine was covered and to look out the upper windows gave the appearance of being on the lower level.
“My, this is one mean snow storm, I’m tellin’ you Joe!”
“Don’t tell me,” Joe growled, “I know. An’ I don’t mind tellin’ you that this here business of doin’ nothing but playin’ checkers, in which you always win I might add, has about drove me crazy. Can’t ya think of anything else ta do?”
Will looked thoughtful, his hand scratching his head as it did when he was thinking. Suddenly his eyes lit up. “How ‘bout we try digging a tunnel to the boardin’ house?”

The suggestion met with Joe’s instant agreement, and the two descended the stairs to the strangely dark and cold first level. After lighting one of the lanterns that was used in the mine, Will cautiously pulled open the door. A solid wall of snow stood before them. Will reached out and took a handful. With a grin he turned to Joe.
“This is the perfect kind of snow to make a tunnel in. See how well it packs?”
“Yah, but Will,” Joe put in, “What’re we goin’ to do with all the snow we dig out?”
“First we’ll fill a few pails to melt for our use. After that, well, I reckon at first we’ll have ta tote the buckets upstairs an’ dump them out the window. But that’ll only be ‘till we get a good start on it ‘cause then we can use it ta reinforce the tunnel as we go.”

It was hard, exhausting work digging that tunnel. Many times Joe paused to shake his head and mutter, “Sure glad I don’t work in the mine. Never could stand much of this type of thing.”
Will worked patiently but carefully, packing the snow firmly on all sides of the tunnel. When the two men grew too cold to work, they would retire to the upper level of the mine. And so for the next day and a half the storm raged above them as they worked on their tunnel. At last Will stopped short, cocked his head and listened.
“Say Joe, ya hear voices?”
Joe nodded, a grin spread across his face, and they both fell to work again with renewed vigor. Soon a wooded wall appeared. After an hour or two more, the door was uncovered, and they burst into the boarding house to the astonishment of the boarders. Before too long a second tunnel was started; this time heading to town. The storm was forgotten in the excitement of tunnel digging. And with more hands, this one progressed much faster. And so day followed day. The snow continued to fall and the wind continued to howl and blow, but under it all, the men and yes, even some of the brave women were digging tunnels to get about. Before the storm had stopped, nearly every building in town was connected.

The snow had reached the top of the second story windows in the mine. Will and Joe climbed up to the small window in the loft. Peering out they saw, not blowing snow, but sunshine!
“Well, I’ll be! If that ain’t the prettiest sight I’ve ever seen,” Will murmured. “What day did the storm start, Joe?”
Joe thought a moment and then gave a low whistle. “This is the twenty-third day, Will! That ought to be a record. Twenty-three days of blizzard! How much ya think got dumped this time?”
Will, who had been busy calculating as he noticed how high the snow came up on the mine, turned around. “I’d say twenty-five feet.”

The old man shook his head at the remembrance. “That sure ‘nough was quite a snow storm wasn’t it, old girl? An’ other years it was the avalanches that came down one side of those slopes,” here his gaze rose to the mountain peaks on his right, “an’ went right up that other side.” His gaze shifted to the farther side of the mountains. “They sure enough did a lot of damage to the town.”

The silence that followed was broken by the call of a bird in a nearby tree. “Well, Frisco, we’ve had many pleasant times together. This town jest never was the same after Silverton became the county seat. Them rich mine owners left Animas Forks for Silverton. An’ then, you know what happened. We watched it together. Folks just up an’ left. An’ now . . ..” The old timer’s voice trailed away. For some time he just sat there, his eyes on the old worn mine before him. At last he stood up. “I reckon I’ll be sayin’ good by now, Frisco. My nephew wants me ta go help him with his mine farther west, so I won’t be able ta come up here no more. But don’t fret, I’ll never be forgettin’ ya. So long, girl.”

It was with slow steps that the old man trudged dejectedly away towards the ramshackle log houses that used to be the town of Animas Forks. At the edge of the town, Old William Croften stopped and looked back at the timeworn Frisco Mine. He could hear faintly the creaking of her loose boards as the wind blew down on her. Slowly he turned and continued on his way. Soon he was lost to view down the obscure overgrown trail that led down the mountain.

The sun was beginning to set in a blaze of glowing colors. The twitter of birds was heard. A few small animals crept into their nests inside the old mine, and her boards creaked in the wind. Alone on the mountainside, the Frisco Mine stood like a sentry left at a forsaken post. Alone. She was forgotten by most who ever knew her. A weary, lonely sigh seemed to come from her as the darkness closed around. Would anyone ever come back to visit the old Frisco Mine? Or would she crumble into dust with no one to care?

Footnote: The story about the blizzard and tunnels is true.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Neglected and Forsaken

Here it is yet another Friday. I sure was glad I already had this story written because I didn't write another one this week. I was working on my book. Is anyone as anxious to read my book as I am to get it out to you? I got all the corrections put in and got my revisions added. Now the "background" is on Mom's desk again waiting for her to read it. Just after I had finished the revisions for the end of the book, Mom told me she had thought of an idea for the end. But she decided to wait until she had read my end before she told me. :) I'm still looking into publishing, well I guess they are really printing houses. We'll see what happens.

I'll just post the new story now. Tell me what you think of it as it is a totally new type of story. I've never tried this kind before. And by the way, though the characters are fictitious, the events that happened are real. And since this story is more than twice the length of a Western, I'm going to give it to you in two parts.

Characters: any number
Pages: 5+ (On NEO it was 6.3 pages)
Special Instructions: Sad ending but not because of a death.
Time Given to Complete Story: 4 weeks (maybe 2 weeks)

Neglected and Forsaken

A warm breath of air blew down the mountainside stirring the grasses and causing the branches of the pine and fir trees to quiver and sway. Summer was here again. The old weathered sides of the Frisco Mine creaked while a loose shingle slid down through a hole in the roof to the floor below.

An aged man, somewhat stooped, with grey hair and whiskers and leaning heavily on a stout stick, paused before the decaying building. His breath was short and panting as though he had just made an arduous climb up the side of a steep mountain. With a trembling hand he wiped the perspiration off his face with his worn handkerchief.

“The air’s thin up here,” he muttered to himself. “Always was an’ always will be I reckon.” He looked up at the old silent building before him. “We know what it’s like, don’t we?”
A creaking board was the only answer, but that seemed to satisfy the old timer, for with a tired smile he made his way over to a rock and sank wearily down on it.

The sun shone brightly down from a pale blue sky. A few lazy clouds seemed to cling still to the mountain tops nearby as though reluctant to leave them in spite of the wind’s promise of future mountain tops. All around was quiet and still. No human voices were heard. No wagons rumbled by, No trains whistled. Everything was peaceful and serene.

Slowly, with a sigh of contentment, the old man lifted his head and looked about. A faint smile crossed his face as he gazed at the mine before him. “We’ve seen a lot, you an’ I. Haven’t we, Old Girl?” His eyes took on a far away look, and it seemed as though he could see it all again, just as it was then.

A sharp pull at the string and the whistle blew announcing noon. Men seemed to appear out of no where into the open air. A steady stream headed for the nearby boarding house. In the town, voices floated back and forth as the people headed home or to the hotel or saloon, whichever suited their fancy for their mid day meal.

William Croften leaned against the side of the mine near the whistle string he had just pulled. “It’s hard ta believe, ain’t it Frisco,” here he looked around at the sturdy walls of the mine with its gleaming glass windows and dark roof. He went on. “Hard to believe that only three years ago there was only one log cabin here abouts. An’ now in ‘76, would ya jest look at that town. I counted thirty cabins now an’ that don’t count the hotel, saloon, general store nor the post office. I reckon this is an up an’ comin’ place. But ya know, Frisco, it’s odd when ya come to think of it, jest how much the folks around here depend on your whistle.” William gave a grin, glanced at his watch and then strode off for his own cabin not far away.

A small stone rolling down the mountain brought the old man back to the present with a start. Reaching down he picked up a handful of rocks and stared at them. “I reckon you recall, old girl, the day . . .”

“Hey, Will!”
“Did ya hear the news?”
“What news?” Will glanced up from his desk.
“We’ve got the highest court in the land.”
Will snorted. “Ah, you expect me to believe that, Joe? Go along with yer foolin’.”
Joe chuckled at something vastly pleasing as he dropped into an empty chair in the office of the Frisco Mine. “I ain’t foolin’ this time. That’s the sure ‘nough truth. It has ta be true, the judge jest said it.”
At his companion’s incredulous look, Joe chuckled again. “Ya should ‘ave been there at the trial, Will.”
“I know it, but the mine won’t run itself,” he glanced out the window and down towards the town. “So, what happened?”

Joe was all eager to tell. Since this was the county seat, there were many trials held there, and Joe liked nothing better than to attend them. “Some day,” he liked to tell his friend Will, “I’m going ta be a lawyer, then you be sure an’ come an’ listen to the verdict.” Since he wasn’t yet a lawyer, he had to be content with sitting in the court sessions.

“And so,” he wound up the story of the trial, “the judge fined him ten dollars and court costs. ‘Course Tom didn’t like it a bit and said he, ‘I’ll take this case to a higher court.’ He was right mad, but the judge jest looks him square in the eye an’ says cool as snow, ‘Man, there isn’t a higher court. You’ve jest been tried and found guilty in the highest court in all the United States.’ Now I call that something.” Joe paused out of breath.
Will scratched his head and frowned in puzzlement. “How’s that, Joe? I must be gettin’ slow from all this book work.”
Joe grinned. “Will, this town of Animas Forks is 11,300 feet or so above sea level. Now, do you know of any other court that is that high?”

The stooped shoulders shook with laughter, and the faded eyes grew bright with mirth. “Now that was a good one, wasn’t it, Frisco? Us, the highest court in the United States. It does beat all what folks’ll say. Of course at that time we did have, oh I reckon ‘bout four hundred-fifty people livin’ here. Speaking of the highest,” with stiff fingers the old man pulled out a yellowed paper from his jacket pocket. “You remember this here advertisement ‘bout Animas Forks, don’t ya?” After clearing his throat a few times he held the paper up and read:

“Animas Forks, the most populated town in the world.” The old man grinned and held the paper closer squinting to read the fine print under the headlines. “At this altitude.” The grin turned into a chuckle which in turn grew to a full and hearty laugh. The rocky mountain slopes tossed the laughter back and forth until it seemed that they too had joined in the joke. The old mine creaked more loudly as a stronger gust of wind swept down the mountainside.

For several minutes the old man, the mine and the mountains enjoyed their merriment.
“Well,” the man said at last, wiping his eyes, “I won’t read it all to ya as the rest of it ain’t that interesting. It’s just about the town an’ the mining of galena and that silver-bearing grey copper. But we know all about that, don’t we, old girl? Of course this is jest an advertisement for the town. I kind a wonder if anyone took any heed of it. Ya know what I mean, Frisco? Well, all I’s got to say is ‘The Animas Forks Pioneer’ was a heap more interesting to read.” Saying which he folded up the paper and stuffed it back in his pocket. “I’ve been hankerin’ for that old newspaper, but since the press closed down I’ve had to do with Silverton’s paper. But it jest isn’t the same, is it?”

The slamming of a loose board somewhere in the mine was the answer. And then followed a long silence.

Please come back next week and read the rest.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

New Total and "Meleah's Western" Part 11

Are you sure today is Friday? I think I am, but I thought yesterday was Friday. But then I was sure that Wednesday was Tuesday. I know, I'm rather mixed up. But, you would be too if you were me.:) I did realize something this week though, when we were counting books, I forgot to count the box of my books on China that were under my bed. There were 16 books in the box which brings our Grand Total up to 4,278. I don't know how many books I read last year as I haven't counted them yet. Oh, I was going to mention that while counting our books, I got to wondering about our audio books. Yes, I did count them. I only counted the unabridged books. The ones where someone is reading the entire book. We have 96 of them.:) Anyone want to listen to any?

I have been getting back into writing again and really loving it. I hadn't done any writing (except my journal) for several weeks. It was such fun to get into it. Speaking of writing, Mom finished checking "Home Fires of the Great War"! Now it is back in my court for corrections and revisions. If you want to read it soon, pray that I'll be able to get in done quickly. I am really getting excited about sending it out to all you test readers. :) If you aren't sure you are on my list to send it to, feel free to drop me a note asking for a copy. I will warn you, however, you will have to share the copy with others as I don't have the money to print a copy for each of you. After all the book is only 35 chapters long.:}

Okay, you are either reading through this part very quickly to get to the story, or you skipped it, or you came back and are reading this after you read the Western. I have wondered what most people do. I suppose I'll never find out. But, here is Part 11 of "Meleah's Western."

Part 11

The words died on the air, and all remained still in the cabin. Sally took half a step forward, cocking her head, listening.
“Sally?” The call came again somewhat hesitantly. This time there was no doubt in Sally’s mind, for with quick feet she crossed the cabin and reached the door.
“Mr. Harnnard, ya scared us. Do come in, quick.”

As the door shut behind the newcomer, Ty and Carson put up their weapons. There was no need for them now. Mr. Harnnard was a short man with grey hair and beard. His face was leathery from spending so much of his life out in the elements. He walked with a slight limp and began talking right away.
“The missus gave me no peace ‘till I said I’d ride out an’ see how you an’ yer pa was gettin’ along.” He paused at sight of the empty bed. Then turning, he noticed for the first time the two other men in the room. “Why if’n it ain’t Ty! When did ya get in boy?” Not giving anyone a chance to answer he kept right on. “Ya know ya can’t stay here. But I’m mighty glad ta see ya, an’ I’ll give ya some advice; leave jest as soon’s ya can.”
Ty interrupted, “An’ why should I be goin’ so soon? Is word ‘round that I’m back?”
Mr. Harnnard shook his head. “No, no, not for a certainty, but I heard some of them talkin’ last night at Sam’s saloon an’ they’re plannin’ ta come out here tonight jest ta see if yer back.”
“What would happen if he weren’t here?” Carson asked.
“They plan on watchin’ all the trails ‘til he does come. I tell ya, Ty,” Mr. Harnnard shook his head. “I don’t know what it is that has got them all so riled ‘bout you, an’ I don’t want ta know, but if I was you, I’d get out right quick. An’ I’d stay away. Least ways ‘till we get ourselves a sheriff.”
Ty and Carson exchanged glances.
“How much time have we got?”
“Oh, I reckon not more’n four or five hours. They won’t come ‘till it’s dark, for fear they’d be shot if’n ya was here. If’n ya ask me, I’d say it would be good riddance if they was. Ya can leave Sally with me an’ the missus till ya can send for her. I don’t reckon they’ll be a botherin’ us.”
Sally was about to protest strongly, but the pressure of her brother’s hand on her arm restrained her.
“Thank ya for the offer, but Sally goes with me. With Pa gone, I’m all the kinfolk she knows.”
Mr. Harnnard shrugged. “Suit yerself. I reckon I ought ta be movin’ on. When did yer Pa--?” he hesitated slightly.
Ty answered in a quiet voice, “Two nights ago.”
“I’m sorry ‘bout that. Now, ya’d best get a move on if ya aim ta be gone.” Mr. Harnnard stepped outside, mounted his horse and turned to leave. “Jest be careful what tracks ya leave, fer there’s no tellin’ but they’ll try trackin’ ya.” With this parting advice the old man rode off through the woods.

Silence fell among the inmates of the little cabin that lasted for several minutes. No one spoke as they looked at one another. At last Ty broke the stillness.
“Well, I reckon we’d best get ta packin’.”

All was business then as Sally and Ty worked to pack such things as wouldn’t bear leaving behind. With great care and tenderness Sally wrapped the old family Bible in a quilt she had made.
“Ty,” she questioned, “where are the locket and picture?”
“I have them safe,” he replied softly.
“The locket’s on my watchguard an’ the picture ‘s here in my pocket.” He noticed Sally’s face grow grave, and he rightly guessed why, for he said, “When we reach a place ta stay the rest of the winter, I’ll carve a locket for ya to carry the picture in.”
Sally didn’t reply in words, but her smile was all her brother needed.

For an hour the three worked steadily. At last all was ready. Carson brought the horses around, and he and Ty tied the packs on the extra horse.
“Let’s get a move on now,” Ty ordered preparing to help his sister mount.
“Jest a minute, Ty,” she paused and looked up at him. “I want a gun.”
Ty’s eyes opened and his jaw dropped though he said not a word.
“Give me Pa’s six shooter, Ty. I’m a dead shot with that. I don’t aim ta be ridin’ round the country with no way ta defend myself. ‘Sides that, it would be a might easier if’n I could jest hand ya a gun ‘stead of ya havin’ ta try ta find it.”
Carson’s dry chuckle sounded. “Give her the gun, Ty. I reckon she’s got jest as much right ta it as either of us. An’ if’n she can shoot as straight as yer pa used ta brag she could, it’d be a shame to lose her skill if’n it comes to a shoot-out.”

Sally smiled as she buckled on her father’s six-shooter and mounted her horse. She was a good shot, her father having taught her almost as soon as he had taught Ty. She hated killing anything though she had done it many times to provide food or to defend herself. Never once, however, had she even pointed a gun at another human being, and she wondered if she would have the courage to do so if the need arose.

“Let’s ride!” Carson and Ty nudged their horses and headed east with the pack horse following. Sally cast one last long look at the cabin where she had spent all the known years of her life; the cabin where she and Ty had grown up together, and the cabin where their father had drawn his last breath. Would she ever see it again?

Does anyone have any questions? I'm thinking I'm going to need some soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Grand Total and "Canoe Trip"

Thanks everyone for making a guess. It sure was fun to count the books and see who was the closest. Last year I think I only gave you the grand total, but this time I'm going to give you some category totals.
Our young children's books have nearly doubled with a grand total of 412 books!
For all you history lovers both US and World, our total was 633.
The Christian missionary/biographies came to 226,
but also keep in mind the 177 books that are checked out right now. I didn't stop to count them in their correct categories.:)
Sarah has 315 books,
I have 626 books
while Mom has in her room a grand total of 860! I bet you didn't know she had that many in there, did you?:) Okay, that moment you all have been waiting for . . . Drum roll please!
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
The grand total of all the books in the house is 4,262! And that is not counting the cook books, hymn/song books or the PaperBack Swap books! So, Angela, you are the closest being only 27 books away.

Okay, now here is a short story I wrote last year. If you come back next week you can read "Part 11 of Meleah's Western." But until then . . .

Characters: narrarated by a Grandma, up to five others
Word count: 750+ (I used 969)
Tense: 1stSpecial Instructions: Journal entry
Time Given to Complete Story: 1 1/2 weeks. (I did it in a week.)

Canoe Trip

Dear Diary,
I still can’t believe I agreed to this trip. Here I am nearly 75 years old, and I’m off with a group of girls for an overnight canoe trip. Right now I am sitting on a log on the beach waiting for the girls to stow the supplies in the canoes. There will be three canoes for our party. All three are a bright red and while two of them have white edges, mine is entirely red. The water of the lake is placid, reflecting the snow covered mountains and the lush green of the pine woods. We will see how the river is when we get into it later. The five girls consider this the greatest lark of their lives. I’m not sure but they are right. But dear me, imagine letting five young things go off into the wilderness with no one but me along.

It is night now, and finally the last laggard is in her sleeping bag and slumbering. We didn’t pack tents, so we are all out under the stars tonight. To my utmost surprise we arrived at our camping site with no accidents. I have a feeling in my bones though that this state of things will not last. We’ll see what tomorrow holds.

Dear Diary, I really didn’t forget you, but you see, my bones were right in saying that something was going to happen. Since it is all over now, and has been for nearly a week, I will tell you all about it.

I was awakened in the morning with a wild shrieking. I sat up quickly to find Cathy jumping up and down in the water. It turns out that two rocks were pinching her toe, and she was sure it was a crab about to eat her. How the other girls laughed. While we were eating breakfast, Sandra burned her hand with the bacon grease, and we discovered no one had packed a first-aid kit. Thankfully I’ve had experience with burns like that, so we managed to soothe it. All was quiet and calm during our Bible time, but packing up camp was a different story. I don’t know who started it, though I have a pretty good guess, but before I knew it, I had a free-for-all pinecone fight on my hands! They were all shouting and throwing pinecones. How thankful I was to have thought to bring along my husband’s ship captain’s whistle. One shrill blast on that brought a lull, and we finally managed to get the canoes loaded. The girls were in wild spirits, and for a while water was splashing everywhere and canoes were turning in circles. Linda and Jane managed to tip their canoe over. Thankfully nothing was lost as most of it was tied in. After a good quarter of an hour at least, the canoe was righted, and the girls were once more inside it.

After that, they all settled down, and we made good time. It was almost noon when the storm hit. Without warning it came over the mountain tops and was on us before we could prepare. Everyone paddled hard for the shore, but we were drenched long before we reached it. We pulled the canoes up as high as we could and huddled together under a tarp I had pulled from my canoe. Sherry said it wasn’t supposed to storm. Her brother is a weather man, and he had said it was supposed to be nice. Well Diary, it certainly wasn’t very pleasant there in the storm. Thankfully it left almost as quickly as it came. The sun came out, and we looked around us.
I think it was Cathy who noticed one of the canoes was gone. I didn’t think it would be hard to find it with its bright red paint, but I was wrong. There was no sign anywhere of the missing boat. The girls were all clamoring to know how we were going to fit six of us in two canoes along with all our stuff. If they had been larger canoes, it might have worked, but as it was I wasn’t going to risk it. I told the girls to start thinking. And think they did. I always knew that girls could use their heads for more than primping and giggling. Jane made the suggestion that we build a raft to tow behind the canoes and haul the supplies. Sherry improved the thought by saying that if we were to rig up something to stretch across from canoe to canoe, like a platform, we wouldn’t have to worry about it floating. Also, the person in the middle of each canoe could help keep things on. This plan met with great approval and everyone fell to work. It took some doing, but at last it was in place and the supplies securely tied on. I cautioned the girls that we would all have to work together or it wouldn’t work. It took quite a little practicing to get the hang of it, but when Linda started singing it was easier to keep together.
It was more difficult to travel attached as we were to each other and carrying more weight, so we moved slowly. I was thankful we were going down stream to the lake and that when we reached it, it was calm, and we could make fairly good time. However, it was after dark before we landed to be met by a search party with lanterns and flashlights about to start out to look for us.

And now, Dear Diary, I must end this and get some sleep. The girls are going on an overnight hiking trip tomorrow, and I said I would go along.
The End
Will you join me next week?

Friday, January 1, 2010

How many books?

All right. I'm back at home sweet home, and delighted to be here once again. This is just a quick note or question rather. How many books does the Morris Four own? Not counting cook books, hymn/song books or books that are on PaperBack Swap. Last January we had 4,011. Leave your guess in the comments and we'll see who is the closest.

Climbing Mountains

Another new year has come. The 2000's are over and done. Now we face the 2010's. I don't know what the new year holds, but I do know that my Savior will never leave me. There are many mountains before me, but with my Guide I can make it over them. In a devotional book I have, there is a lot about climbing mountains, and in the one I just finished, it was talking about how those who have climbed higher and farther should call back and encourage those below to keep on climbing. I know I'm not very high, but even if I'm just a step before, I want to encourage you all to keep on climbing. There IS a place of peace and rest. I KNOW, for I have been there. So, just to encourage you all, here is a poem I wrote a few weeks ago.

Climbing Mountains

You are climbing mountains,
And though you may not see,
The towering peaks before you,
Or the thirst refreshing stream,

You can know for a certainty
That as you onward press,
There is a place before you
Of blessed quiet rest.

Keep climbing toward the mountain,
And do not look below,
Fear not the rocks so jagged,
Nor steep paths or blowing snow.

Your Guide is ever with you,
And He'll hold your hand so tight,
That thought you stumble, slip or trip,
He'll keep you safe in life's dark night.

So climb your mountain steadily,
Keep your face turned toward the goal,
For by and by you'll reach it,
Then oh, what joy of your soul!

May God bless each one of you as you face a new year with HIM! I love you all!