Before we joined the Baptist Church, Mom sent us kids to a little white church in Columbia Falls. It was a Pentecostal Church of God. The pastor was Brother Arthur, his wife was Sister Mabel, and Mable’s sister, was Sister Rachel. These were fine reserved people, who put up with us kids for the sake of our souls. They lived near Fortine on a Christmas tree farm isolated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A main cabin and several small cabins for bunk houses served for their living quarters. I can close my eyes and see it plain as day; the hilly land around the cabins cleared of timber, small brush covered the ground, and muddy clay soil.
Brother Arthur invited us kids to stay for several weeks in the summertime. Us kids included Jeanie, Bernie, Norma and myself. We had great fun up there, way out in the boon docks. Creek fishing was the top priority. We caught many small Brookies and Sister Mable fried them for us.
Other wildlife abounded, like pine squirrels and fat gophers, whitetail deer, and blue birds. And snakes. The ones we spotted slithering near rocks or rushing in the weeds along the creek banks were only small garter snakes, but one in particular caused such a commotion you would not believe.
Norma, Bernie and Jeanie spied this snake down by a big mud puddle, warming itself on the hot clay. With nothing better to do they decided to see if they could kill it with mud clods, which were rock hard.
I innocently stood by and watched the three of them throw missiles until Bernie finally clunked it hard enough that it died. Dead. Didn’t move.
Norma poked it with a stick. “Yep it’s breathed its last on this here earth. Ya know, Sister Rachel is scared of snakes. Bet she’d be glad we killed one.”
“Bet she would,” agreed Bernie.
“Should we show her?” asked Jeanie. “Who’s going to pick it up?”
Norma shook her head, plump pigtails waving. “I’m not scared of them anymore, but I’m not touching its scaley skin.” She jiggled her shoulders as if freeing the thought.
“Oh you babies,” said Bernie. “I’ll do it.” He got a long stick and picked the snake up, dangling it in the middle. We all marched to the main cabin where Sister Rachel and Sister Mabel fixed food.
Bernie, Jeanie and Norma traipsed into the cabin, “Look what we got.” About that time the snake decided it was not dead and wiggled off the stick! I was standing back and could barely see what happened. Norma screamed at the top of her lungs, Jeanie ran toward the door, Sister Mabel stood on a chair, Sister Rachel was practically in a dead faint standing on the couch. On his hand and knees, Bernie tried to catch the snake, who slithered this way and that trying very hard to get away.
Screeching and screaming erupted, enough to bring the roof down! Bernie finally caught the poor thing and carried it outside.
Sister Rachel slumped down on the couch. Her long brown hair hung around her bent head. “I just can’t believe it,” she repeated several times to no one in particular. Her stress showed around her white pinched lips. She had a little trouble with forgiveness that day.
Brother Arthur and Sister Mable moved on, and we weren’t attending a church. Mom wanted us kids to hear the word of the Lord and by gum we were going to go. She convinced Dad that we should join the First Baptist Church and go as a family.
I remember the day Dad was baptized. He got dunked in Lake Blaine by Pastor Warner. It was a grand day for my parents. They were very happy.
Our family became churchie.
Yesterday morning, I opened my kitchen blinds these two bright, shinny, hot air balloons floating over my house.
Stepping out onto the back porch, I took a snapshot of this happy way to start a day.
The Northwestern Montana summer has really warmed up, so instead of fighting the heat on the golf course us golfing buddies cruised all the way along the shoreline of Whitefish Lake looking at wonderful homes built around it. The speed of the boat kept us cool and we had lots of laughs.
I try to take a thirty minute walk most days and I always wind myself through the the residential area near my house under shady maple trees. I usually pass a school about half way through my walk and have always sat for a minute to rest. Now I just look at it wondering who has sat there, and if they were healthy, or a carrier the Covid virus. I pause a little, but don’t sit down, just walk on by.
Someday soon, I hope to rest on it again.
Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2020
I just spent the first of my stimulus check. A spading fork for my back, vegetable seeds for my belly, 50 feet of the garden hose I like for easy pulling and bird seed for my feathered friends. Yep, I am spreading the funds around.
BookBub is running a promo for a free Kindle download on Harbored secrets today, 4/1/2020.
Grab one now if you want. it is just a one day giveaway. Harbored Secrets: Marie F Martin: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
I am giving away free kindle downloads on Harbored Secrets Today 3/31/2020 and tomorrow 4/1/2020. Harbored Secrets is a historical novel with a family mystery. It has 835 Amazon reviews with a 4.4 rating. Please download and enjoy Blinny Platt’s story.
On March 18th, 2020, I was invited to present my books and visit with a book club about my novels and how I came to be a writer. They provided a nice table with a linen cloth to put my books on display and was given a wonderful piece of raspberry pie. In the dining room, I sat at a lovely oak table in a lovely home facing the group of women. I only knew one and hadn’t seen her since my children were small. That’s a long time ago. As we chatted and ate the pie, I felt their need to hear about my writing. So it started. I explained how my great-great uncles had homesteaded in the valley and about raising my children here. I could feel them begin to relax and tease a little bit with fun questions. After pie they gathered in the living room and I had the pleasure of explaining each one of my five books to them. They wanted to know the source of my stories and if they were Montana stories. I explained how ordinary small little happenings were the beginnings of each book and expanded on that. And yes the setting for each is Montana. That’s what I know. They listened carefully, asked questions and seemed to have fun. They bought seven books and then informed me they needed to have their business meeting. I left feeling appreciated, pie in my tummy and money in my pocket. Book clubs are fodder for an elderly author.
Thank you, Fort Nightly Book Club for the chance to share my work with you.