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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 1


“There in the night sky was Orion the Hunter constellation who seemed to stay in place but in actuality is  ever changing.”  “Only Starwalker, Wat sah moie could step the distance from one star to another.”  “Star walker, my grandfather,  was a hunter too.”

Curled up on a blanket the children were absorbed in their grandmother Dee's story telling. If there was a little sadness in the grandmother's heart as she remembered her own father telling them, her brothers and sister,  these stories she never let the children know.

The next day the rain swept over their area with a real drenching. The rattle of the very large drops on the back porch tin roof was okay. Should the sound become over whelming simply shutting the glass doors kept the roar down to a more pleasant muted rhythm.

As if in agreement with the rhythm the keys of her typewriter rattled just as merrily along.   She tried  always to  remember the discipline taught to her as a young woman while studying with many different
teachers of art.  This  is how she treated her writing too.

“Set aside some time every day to work at your contribution,”  her teachers told her.   “Maybe an illusive muse or passion with the need to set at a work is not there every day.”  “Still there is every part of an  art or a craft to be done.”  “Do something every day.”  The habit learned early never left her and this is what she was practicing, as usual, this dark morning.

Suddenly a crash of lighting split the air.  The flash of it told how close it was.  The whole house was now dark.

“Oh bother.”  “Now where are those candles?”  Before she could find them, she saw a car racing up the drive. “Now who is this?”  “At this time of morning?”

With his head down and both hands full of grocery sacks she saw her husband, Sam, preparing to make a run for the cover of the patio.

“I thought you went to work!”  Dee held the door open for him.

“Rain dumped on me before the river bridge and I knew there would be no work today.”  “I ran to the grocery store for some milk and eggs.”

He was, as usual, more adept at quickly working through any emergency. In a few minutes he had the Kerosene lamps going. Their soft glow over the dark room was so pleasant, not at all garish and definite as the bright electric lights. She had herself  finally found the large candles and had one lit  also.

Lila, their granddaughter, who had spent the night with them was quietly observing the activity while she waited for a lighted house.  With the lights on she now began to visit with them.  “Grampa!”  “That lightning was so loud and so bright it lit up my whole room.”  “Grampa, it was very close.”

“Just seems to be close.”  “Actually, it was quite a distance, you know.”

“Grampa!”  “It was close.”

“How about some biscuits for breakfast?”  Sam was changing the subject.

Lila was distracted.  “Yum, and with blackberry jelly?”

“You got it, sweetheart.”

“Grampa, can we light the wood stove?”  Lila was interested in the parts of their life tied up with old things such as  wood fires, candles, kerosene lamps or anything different from the run of the mill everyday events.

“It isn't cold enough for that.”  “We would be burning down with the heat of it.”  “After all this is May.”  Sam was enjoying this brief respite with his little granddaughter.

It wasn't  but a brief   time later when the power was back.  “Sure seems to be repaired quickly.”  Dee was interested in how that could be.

“Oh well.”  “Probably, wasn't that much involvement.”  Sam had a way of answering her.  He knew she was totally ignorant about anything going to this but he always gave her the dignity of a  reply.

In a little while Dee was back at her particular project rattling along on the keyboard, lost in the world of her writing. It was a lovely way to start her day and gave her the feeling she was doing something for others rather than just the common chores associated with her family.  A favorite melody swirled around her from her left side where the CD player stood. Whatever mood she wished to set in agreement with her own feelings was there. Whether it was classic or country did not matter. This the muse controlled too while she ran her finger down the stack of music, putting on whatever she had selected at random.

Through the large front windows  not much was missed as to comings and goings. At this time a car was driving up as quickly as her own husband had arrived earlier. He was racing the rain, but what was the urgency in this car's approach?

The woman and her young daughter were now on the front steps tapping on the window of the front door.

With one step only Dee stood up and reached for the front door, opening it carefully  because of the small space they had to stand in front of it.

“Yes!”  “How may I help you?”

“Have you seen my two small children?”  The woman was obviously agitated and worried.

“Oh no!”  Dee told her.  “Are they lost?”

“I don't know where they are?”  “Do you think they are playing with Lila?”

“No.”  “She has been here all morning by herself with us.”  “This is frightening.”

“Oh yes it is.”  With this statement the woman was off the steps back into her car and gone.

A sudden chill was on the morning. Memories of always having to be alert as to her own children's safety washed over her as cold and heavy as the passing  rain.


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