Recently, I joined my family in tubing down the Tuscarawas River.
Everyone had a wonderful time, except for my great-nephew, a four-year-old. The six-hour adventure was too much for him. My peaceful day of sunshine, cool water, and a slight breeze also included Joey’s repeated interruptions and adamant cries, “Get me out of here!” The cutie even told me a few days later, “Aunt T, I hate tubing!”
At once point along the rolling river, I got stuck by the shallow bank among logs, rocks, and overhanging trees.
A helpful friend told me to lift my bottom and kick my legs.
It was good advice, and I was soon on my way.
In my Appalachian historical novel, The Melody of the Mulberries, the Spanish Flu makes an ugly appearance. The flu pandemic originally occurred between 1918 and 1920 and affected the lives of over 500 million people. My story is set during the late 1920s when there was a small resurgence of influenza. In this excerpt, the granny witch is dying. She has been a nemesis in teacher Ernest’s side, but he comes along to help her.
A mystery apprentice acts as a witness.
He patted her hand and tried to soothe her, “Granny, I’m knowing you think that I don’t like you, but, in truth, I admire you,” Ernest began.The Melody of the Mulberries
The weary woman opened her glassy eyes and immediately closed them again. The weight of her chin rested on her upper chest.“You’ve been strong in tough times. You’ve lived in the wilds and did your best to be helping others. Now, I am wanting to help you. I know you believe in God, but it’s important to believe that God sent His Son Jesus to save us. Your time on earth might be coming to an end. I’m gonna pray, and I’m wanting you to pray with me.”
Ernest motioned for Minerva to join them. They made a hand circle. He closed his eyes and prayed a simple prayer. When he opened his eyes and looked at Granny, she had released Minerva’s hand. The wrinkled worn weathered hand was raised in the air like Granny was reaching for someone.
We are living in unusual times.
If we are not careful, we can easily become entangled along the bank, get stuck, and become immobile. Granny lifted her hand reaching for God. We can also lift our hands reaching out for hope and the love of a Savior.
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