Monday, February 22, 2016

Ginna & Lauren's Story

Want to hear more of Ginna and Lauren's story?  It's in "Mountaintops and Valleys", Book 3 of  "The Peaks at the Edge of the World" by M.F. Erler

Ginna sighed as she hung up the phone.  So Mom was having an affair—that seemed pretty clear.  Not that she hadn’t suspected--after all, she wasn’t born yesterday.
            ‘I just don’t want Mom to get hurt again,’ she thought.
            She understood how Mom still felt the pain of the divorce.  But why couldn’t she find someone closer to her own age—someone who wasn’t already married? 
            Well, Deer Path was a small town, she knew, and there weren’t a lot of eligible guys around.  She had a boyfriend now at school, Ryan.  He was fun to be with, but she couldn’t see spending the rest of her life with him.  It was just nice to have a date to Prom, and someone to hang out with on weekends.  
Danny was in junior high now, and seemed to be getting established with a circle of friends.  In fact, tonight he was studying at Devon’s, and would stay the night.  Sure, it was a school night, but their mother was lenient about such things.
            Thinking of Ryan made her wonder what kinds of feelings her mother had for John Cameron.  ‘I guess I really don’t know how it feels to be in love—yet.
She wondered how it had felt for her mother when she had first fallen in love with Tim.  They’d met in high school, too.  But now Mom had been warning Ginna not to marry too young—like she and Tim had.  Still, they had been happy once—they must have. 
            ‘I guess I can understand Mom feeling like she needs to get even with Dad,’ she thought.  ‘But is this the way to do it?  I shouldn’t be in this position, having to lecture my own mother on morality.  It should be the other way around.  But maybe it’s better to say what I think and get criticized for it.  The other way—if I don’t say what I think—I may wish later that I did.’
 So, with a sigh, she decided to tell Mom how she really felt about this, and got out her new cell phone to send her a text.
            After she’d sent the text, she found she could not get her mind off the divorce—that was really frustrating!  The big split hadn’t come until Ginna was almost twelve.  She could still hear the angry words in her mind:
            “I’ve found someone else, Lauren.  I’m sorry--”
            “You bastard!  Why?  Wasn’t I good enough for you?  Wasn’t it enough that I gave up my career for yours?  That I gave you two beautiful children!  How can you do this to us?”
            “You always talk about what you gave up!  Don’t you see that makes me feel guilty?”
            “Why should you feel guilty?  I love you, and I’d do anything for you, Tim!”
            “The only thing you can do for me now is to let me go free!”
            “Alright then—go free!  Get out of here, and never come back!  I don’t want to ever see your lying face again!”
            Of course, Ginna knew they did have to see each other again—in divorce court.  Each had to hire a lawyer, to help sort out who got what—Dad got the house, because by that time Mom had found this job in Colorado.  Mom had custody of her and Danny, and Dad had some visitation rights.  But for some reason that Ginna didn’t understand, he’d never used them.  She and Danny had not seen him for the five years since the divorce.
            Now Ginna found tears sliding down her cheeks.  She should be over all this by now!  Why did she have to even think about it?  Angry with herself, she stomped onto the rickety back porch and looked westward toward the Rocky Mountains, that loomed far away on the horizon.   
Once—nearly five years ago now—she and Danny had stood looking at a sunset similar to this one.  And the two strangers had come—Jon and Jael.  They were time-travelers from the future, a Parallel Universe, they said.   Their story had been one of finding hope in spite of trials and problems, and it had seemed to help Danny somehow.  She was not sure whether anything would help her with the swirling turmoil of emotions she kept locked inside. 
The second time they had come, Martina—Jael’s sister-- had come, too.  Having another girl to talk to had helped some. For a while she had been ‘inside’ Martina, too—sharing all her emotions and thoughts—both the good and the bad. 
“I could sure use a visit now,” she sighed aloud.  “I really miss Martina.  But I know they don’t come when I want them—only when I really need them.”
            Still, she kept her gaze on the horizon, wishing she could see figures walking toward her—as they did before.  Soon, however, the sun dipped behind the Front Range (as Colorado people called it) and the shadows of evening stretched across the open field behind their house.
            This little old house on the edge of town was supposed to have been temporary—“until we can find something better”—Mom had said.  But she didn’t even bother with saying that anymore.  Every time Dad’s child support was late—or didn’t come at all—she would just shrug and say, “Guess we’ll just keep on renting for awhile.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


February 2 - we know it as Groundhog Day.  Where did this get started, anyway?  I remember hearing about it for the very first time in third grade.  Our teacher was reading us a book called "The Long Winter."  It was a sequel to a popular children's book of the time called "Rabbit Hill."  I guess Groundhog Day wasn't talked about in my home, or something, since I'd lived eight years of my life and never heard of it.  As the title implies, the animal characters in the book were anxious for this long winter to end.  (I often feel that way!)  So they were doing all they could to get the groundhog to not look at the ground (where his shadow was) and to go back into his burrow as quickly as possible.  But to no avail, and so there was six more weeks on winter.

But there are actually six more weeks of winter after Groundhog Day anyway, since it's the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Most likely this day was some kind of pagan celebration in our  distant ancestors' time.  A time to remind themselves that winter would end eventually.  And so I'm doing the same.  Like many other 'pagan' observances, the Roman Church adopted this one, too, and it became Candlemas, the time  for blessing the candles used in the church for the next year.  So the idea of 'light' has carried through.

As for Punksitawny (sp?) Phil, I never heard of him until I was an adult and we moved into Eastern Time in Michigan.  I haven't heard what he saw today.  But if a groundhog here in the Flathead Valley poked his head out today, he likely saw his shadow.  We've had what our weather forecaster calls "patchy sun."  I admit it is a better description of our typical weather than "partly cloudy."  But has anyone else wondered why the groundhog is not supposed to see his shadow for winter to end early?  Seems to me, it should be the other way around--a cloudy day now means winter is still in full swing, not the opposite.  Guess the reason is hidden somewhere in the recesses of time, in some pagan ceremony.

Still, we can look forward to each day continuing to get a bit longer.