The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter 5 “To Cumberland”

That summer, Dad came home looking rather cheerful. He was carrying a live chicken!

“Charles!” Mother squealed. “Get that animal out of my house!” Mother worked very hard to keep her house spotless, and a dirty chicken was not going to ruin it. Marilyn ran over and looked more closely at the chicken. It was a brown chicken with bulging eyes. It looked scared.

“How did you get him, Dad?” Marilyn asked.

“Brother Richards gave it to me,” Dad replied. Because cash was scarce during the war, people often tithed of their fruits, vegetables, bread, meat, and even live animals. Dad took the chicken outside, put it in a crate, and came back in.

“Getting that chicken was not the only exciting thing that happened at the meeting today,” he said, still smiling.

“What happened, Dad?” Marilyn called.

“The church purchased the lot on the west side of town!” Dad said. “We’re going to move out of the storefront!” Marilyn jumped happily. She liked the storefront, but it got really crowded on Sunday nights.

“That’s fine news, Charles,” Mother said.

“If it’s fine with you, Mabel, I want to work at the property as many days as I can this summer. I’m asking all of the men to volunteer in order to cut down on building expenses,” Dad said.

“Oh, certainly, Charles,” Mother said. “As long as you take your shoes off before you come into the house!”

One day, Dad came home from working and sat down for supper. After he blessed the food, he said, “Guess what happened today.”

“What?” Marilyn asked.

“I was digging a ditch and some Catholics came walking by. They saw me,” Dad said, “and they asked, ‘Why are you digging? Our priest doesn’t dig ditches!'” But Marilyn knew her dad was eager to serve.

For the next three months, if Dad wasn’t preparing a sermon or visiting the sick, he was working on the church with the other men. He was not good with a hammer or a saw, but he did anything else that needed to be done. Marilyn was proud of her dad’s hard work.

When the new church was completed, they moved out of the storefront. Marilyn liked the new, bigger church. Dad invited an evangelist to do a week of revival services. Marilyn was excited about that. Mother suggested that they have a fellowship dinner on Saturday night so that the people could meet the evangelist before he began the week of services on Sunday. Everyone would bring food to the fellowship hall in the basement. Marilyn was excited. She loved food.

The fellowship dinner went well. Someone had brought spaghetti. Marilyn loved spaghetti; she requested it every year for her birthday. When she had eaten her fill of all the delicious food, she listened to the delightful sounds of chatter in the new fellowship hall. Everyone enjoyed getting to know the evangelist. They were all excited for the week of revival services to begin.

After the song service the next morning, Dad introduced the evangelist. The evangelist boomed, “Thank you all for coming. I enjoyed the fellowship dinner, but I must know who made those cream puffs. They were musty!” Marilyn turned to see Mother gasp and shrink in her seat. Marilyn was sure that Mother felt sorry for Sister Stauffer, the lady who had made the cream puffs. After all, it was Mother’s idea to have the fellowship dinner. Marilyn knew that the evangelist should not have made such a rude comment.

Silence was broken as someone called out, “Sister Stauffer made the cream puffs!”

The evangelist boldly responded, “Thank you, dear sister, for making such musty cream puffs. I must have some more!” Mother heaved a sigh of relief. He was not being rude; he was only joking! Some people laughed. Some people sighed. The revival services went well.

Months passed and cold weather settled in again. One November day Marilyn came cheerfully home from school and saw her parents sitting together at the kitchen table. “Hello!” she greeted.

“Hello, Marilyn,” Mother said in her matter-of-fact way.

“Marilyn, there is something you need to know,” Dad said with a serious look. “I got an offer for a pastoral position in Cumberland, Maryland. I have decided to accept the offer.”

“We are going to move?” Marilyn said, totally surprised.

“Yes, honey, we are,” Dad said. Marilyn started to cry.

“Don’t cry, dear,” Mother soothed, hugging the little girl. “You will like Cumberland.” But Marilyn continued to cry. It was tearing her heart to think of leaving Mum and Pa.

“I know, honey,” Dad said as Marilyn flopped into his arms. “I know it will be hard to leave your grandparents, but we need to. This church in Cumberland needs me. The Holy Spirit has prepared me for this task. I knew our time here in Greensburg was coming to an end. I am certain it is God’s will for us to move to Cumberland. Do not worry, Marilyn. You will get to visit Mum and Pa in the summer.” Marilyn’s sobs slowly subsided as her dad held her closely.

Weeks later, after Marilyn had finished the first half of kindergarten, they moved eighty miles away to Cumberland, Maryland, and settled in the parsonage on Elder Street, to the east of South Cumberland Assembly of God Church. Cecil and Ruth Cogill and their son Delbert  lived west of the church, on the corner of Elder Street and Virginia Avenue. To the east of the parsonage was the Settles, the Wetzels, and the Reckleys.

Ken and Elmira Reckley had four children. Rosetta was six years old. Alvin, who was called “Bud,” was five years old, just like Marilyn. Gladys was three years old, and Joe was one year old. Marilyn loved playing with the Reckleys. She went to school with them and played with them after school. They had lots of fun times together.

Past the Reckley’s house, on the far corner of Elder Street and Ella Avenue, was Joe Lewis’s Grocery store. On the block north of the grocery store, there was a soda fountain shop.  Three blocks south of the grocery store was the elementary school that Marilyn and her friends attended.

One day the Potomac District Assemblies of God called Dad and asked if they could nominate him for sectional presbyter. He allowed them to let his name run, and he was subsequently elected to the position. He helped many of the churches that were around the Cumberland area. One certain church in the city of Oakland kept firing pastors. Dad would travel over an hour to preach at their church services until a new pastor was hired.

People from the Assembly of God churches under Dad’s care came together one Monday a month at one of the churches. They would have an afternoon service, an evening meal which the host church provided, and an evening service. Mother’s aunt and uncle, Edwin and Cora Sailor, were scheduled to be in town one such Monday. They were considering a move to Maryland, as Uncle Edwin was a Baptist pastor and a position was available there. Aunt Cora was a professionally trained singer, and Dad asked her if she would sing at the afternoon meeting. Aunt Cora graciously accepted the offer, and Uncle Edwin attended the service as well. Marilyn sat properly beside Aunt Cora. When it was time, Aunt Cora rose and walked to the front. She sang “The Stranger of Galilee.” Marilyn was thrilled to hear her aunt sing. Then a man in the congregation spoke loudly in a different language. Marilyn had heard this happen before. The Holy Spirit often directed people to speak in languages they did not know. Then the Holy Spirit would give another individual the interpretation. It was Dad who was given the interpretation this particular time; he loudly proclaimed what the foreign words meant in English. But Uncle Edwin and Aunt Cora had never heard such a thing. Uncle Edwin went over to Dad after the service and said, “That man was speaking Greek. I know Greek. How did you know exactly what he was saying, Charles? You don’t know Greek!”

“The Holy Spirit revealed to me what he was saying,” Dad said.

“Well, I told William (Edwin’s brother-in-law, who was Marilyn’s Pa) that he should not get involved in this. It’s false doctrine. But he told me I was too late. He had already experienced it. And now I know for myself that this is certainly no cult. The Holy Spirit does reveal things to people.”

Uncle Edwin ended up taking a pastoral position at a Baptist church outside Baltimore. He and Aunt Cora never moved to Cumberland but Marilyn was glad that they had visited and learned more about the Holy Spirit.


Hello! I am here again! Today I am posting a poem my sister and I wrote just last night. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

By Faith and S. Rose Williams.

Thunder cracks
And lightning does streak
Across the night sky
Cold and bleak

It shines throughout the sky
It roars through the vast expanse
Over the rolling hills
And fields of growing plants

The storm rages
The winds do blow
The rain beats hard
Against the window

But by that window
A child sleeps
Gently smiling
Clothed in peace

So when life’s storms assail us
And life’s comforts cease
We can trust in Yeshua
And He will give us peace

Passover Stories

Hurray! It is that time of the year again. Spring has come, the weather has changed, flowers have bloomed, and Passover is here! For me and my siblings, all sorts of wonderful memories are associated with this fun biblical festival.

It says in the Bible that we are to recount the things Yehovah did in Egypt, and this year, we recounted the Exodus by doing creative writing assignments. I, of course, was very happy to write. Since I enjoy writing so much, I was commissioned to write two stories, one about what it would have been like to live during the plague of pestilence and one about what it would have been like to live through the final plague, the death of the first-born. I want to share them both with you.


The Plague of Pestilence

Early one day, I stepped out of my home, thinking of all of the plagues we in Egypt had endured. I shuddered as I remembered what I had heard this morning just before Father left. He told Mother that Mosheh had gone to visit Pharaoh. That could only mean one thing–another plague was headed our way. I pet one of our cows, who was laying sleepily on the ground, as I left, skipping cheerfully away to the Nile to play with the other girls my age.

When I came back later that afternoon, I looked at the cow I had pet earlier. He was dead. Then I looked around at our other animals. They were all dead. They had all died in one day. They stunk. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. I gave a shriek and ran into the house. “Mother!” I yelled. “The animals, they all died!”

“Yes,” Mother nodded solemnly. “It is another plague.”

“Why?” I asked. “Aren’t the gods supposed to protect the animals?” Mother looked at me blankly and answered not a word.


The Death of the First-born

One hot Egyptian day, Abba came into the house carrying a little lamb! Can you believe it? It was so small, soft, and cute. Yerachmiel, my brother, told me that the lamb was only one year old! Havah and Sarah, my sisters, and I all were cooing over the lamb.

“What is he doing in here, Abba?” Sarah asked.

“Mosheh said that every family should take a lamb and slaughter it in a few days. That way we will be safe from the next plague,” Abba answered. I wondered what the next plague would be, but I was too sad and surprised to ask.

“We’ll have to kill the lamb?” asked Havah, her brown eyes bulging from her thin face. Sarah and I stared wordlessly at Abba.

“Yes, we will have to,” Abba said, A sympathetic but stern look crossing his severely sunburnt face.

“But why, Abba?” Sarah asked.

“It is what Mosheh said to do,” Abba said. All of us girls glanced nervously at each other.

“Then I guess we had better do it!” Ima called. She was right. Yehovah punished everyone who did not obey Mosheh, because if you do not obey Mosheh, then you do not obey Yehovah because Mosheh says what Yehovah wants us to do.

For the next few days the lamb was in the house with us. He jumped on our table, he ate some of our food, he lay by the fire with us while Abba told us stories of Canaan, the Promised Land, and he was ready to play with us when we children had a spare moment. Somehow we found a lot of spare moments, even though we were extremely busy.

After the lamb had been with us for two days, Ima and Sarah went out to visit all of our Egyptian neighbors. “Mosheh says that we are to ask the Egyptians for objects of silver and gold,” Ima explained.

“I doubt that they will give us anything,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes.

“We will see,” Ima said in a very interesting tone.

Later that evening Ima and Sarah came back with baskets loaded with silver and gold. Sarah, Havah, and I danced around our house singing, “We are rich now!” It was a lot of fun!

The day after that, Abba came back from working for Pharoah. He was sweating and hot, so Ima got him a cup of water. Then he turned to Yerachmiel and said, “It is time.” A somber look crossed his face as he set down the empty cup and headed back out of the door, Yerachmiel following behind. A sudden, sinking feeling came upon me. I had never felt that before. I moved slowly toward the corner of our small home. Havah ran over to my side and tugged on my worn dress.

“Rina,” she said, a deep sadness filling her beautiful eyes.

“Yes, Havah?” I said, stroking her knotted brown hair.

“Is Abba going…” She whispered, her lips quivering, “to kill the lamb?”

“I’m afraid so,” I said, as tears filled our eyes. I hugged my little sister close as Sarah joined us. We three sisters sat down and cried together. Little Yitzchak, who was just learning to speak, turned to us and said, “What is wrong?” I looked at his face, so full of youthfulness and sincerity. “Oh, don’t worry about us, Yitzchak,” I said, tears falling.

The little lamb that had been walking about unnoticed came over to us girls. Just then Abba walked in to get the lamb, but I snatched it up in my arms.

“Hand him to me, Rina,” Abba said in a gentle voice.

“Why must you do this, Abba?” I cried.

“Because Mosheh said so. Did I not tell you?” he answered.

“But why did Mosheh say to kill the lamb?” Havah asked, a pout crossing her thin tear-streaked face.

“Because Yehovah told him this is how to escape the plague,” Abba said. Then he continued, “I am surprised you curious girls did not ask me what the plague is.”

“You know?” Sarah called in surprise.

“What is it?” Havah asked. I stayed silent.

“It is a very sad plague–the worst of them all,” Abba said.

“How could anything be worse than what we have already endured?” I muttered gloomily.

“You know how in the last plagues all of the plants, animals, and some people died?” Abba asked.

“Yes,” we answered in unison. We knew the horrors of the plagues all too well, even though we were Hebrews and had been spared from most of them. Abba had told us about the awful things he had seen. And once, during the previous plague, we had gone to the boundary of Goshen and seen the darkness. It was so freaky.

“Well, in this plague,” Abba explained, “all of the first-born males of animals and men will die–all of those who do not have the blood of a lamb on their doorposts.” We were frozen in shock. This truly was worse than the other plagues. Death. The very word made goosebumps rise on my arms.

“None of us will die, right, Abba?” Havah asked, her eyes fearful and teary. I wished she did not have to worry about such matters.

“No, no, dearest!” Abba said, picking Havah up. “None of us will die. Do not be scared. But, in order that Yerachmiel will not die, we must slay our lamb.”

We all looked at Yerachmiel as he entered our home. He looked at our tearful faces with a somber, manly expression. He was the first-born, strong and responsible. Abba’s voice broke the silence as he said, “So, girls, who would you rather have die–the lamb or Yerachmiel?”

Sarah and Havah ran to Yerachmiel as I gave the lamb to Abba and said while crying, “We choose for the lamb to die so our brother can live.”

“Good,” Abba said, as he held the lamb in his arms. Then he and Yerachmiel left with the lamb as we girls stood side by side solemnly watching.

Later, as the lamb roasted in the fireplace, my heart ached. Abba brushed the blood on the doorposts. I looked at Yerachmiel and reminded myself that I would rather have the lamb gone than have Yerachmiel gone. I busily helped Ima prepare our Passover meal. Ima explained the rules of the Passover meal: no leaven, no water on the meat, and we must eat bitter herbs. We should eat it quickly, and we should have our sandals on.

“Why must we eat quickly, Ima?” Sarah asked, as she mixed the bread dough.

“Because Mosheh says to do this. I am not certain why,” Ima replied. “But I am sure something amazing is about to happen.”

When the sun set, we ate our Passover meal hastily, just like Ima said we should. Nothing amazing or crazy happened as we ate our Passover lamb and bitter herbs.

“When will the death come, Abba?” Havah asked with scared eyes.

“No death will come to our house, Havah, because we have the blood on our doorposts,” Abba explained. “But to the people who have no blood on their doorposts, the death will come at midnight.”

After the Passover meal, we all sat around and did nothing for a few minutes since we were told by Mosheh not to work. It was so weird because we are usually working all of the time.

“We had better get some sleep,” Abba said, walking toward the fire. He burned the leftover meat in the fire. Abba explained that Mosheh told us not to leave any of our meat until morning. We all wrapped up in our blankets as Abba put out the fire. Then everything was dark. I soon drifted off into a world of dreams.

In the middle of the night I woke to a piercing scream. “Rina,” Havah called, as she gripped onto me. “Is it the death?”

“I-I-I think so,” I stuttered, still scared and sleepy.

“It is midnight,” I heard Abba say from the other side of the room “We are all okay, girls.”

“Praise Yehovah,” I heard Yerachmiel say.

“Thank Yehovah you are okay,” Ima said. Again and again we heard the wails of the Egyptian women all around us. It was so freaky and terrifying.

“Did all of the Egyptians first-born get killed, Abba?” Havah asked.

“No, not all,” Abba said. “Some Egyptians put blood on their doors.” We all sat there stunned. None of us could sleep. None of us even tried. Then, suddenly, someone was banging at our door. Abba opened the door and found one of our neighbors standing there.

“Hurry! Pharaoh said we can leave and we must leave quickly!” he called. We grabbed everything we owned: our bowls, our plates, our unleavened bread, our tools, the stuff from the Egyptians, and more. We charged out the door and joined the millions of people who were assembling for the departure. My sisters and I sang cheerfully of Yehovah’s goodness in delivering us from Egypt. Everyone was full of unmeasurable joy as we marched away from Ramses to freedom.


I hope you enjoyed those!

Happy Passover,


Pet Photo Shoot

Hello, everybody! I do not take pictures often at all, and rarely do I share any on this blog, but that is what I have decided to do on this blog today: share pictures of pets.


Pet Number 1: Georgia Cherokee

My calico cat, Georgia, is such a sweet, cute cat. Here are some pictures of her.

“Chin scratch, please!”

Georgia sleeping in a box in our garage. Oh, how cute!

Pet Number 2: Texas Cheyenne

We say that our second cat, Texas, always wakes up “bright eyed and bushy tailed” as some people like to say. Since she is only about nine months old, she is still just a kitten.

Isn’t she so adorable?

Texas in the snow for her first time last winter!

Another snow shot. “I am waiting for you to let me in!”

A picture-perfect cat!

Pet Number 3: Dixie

My brother and sister-in-law have a cute little dog that I managed to get some photos with. She is a little chihuahua puppy. Welcome, Dixie!

Dixie doing a close-up in my sister’s arms. I guess she wants you to see her face, and her huge eyes!

She was so excited to see me, she jumped on me!

“What are you up to?” “Oh, just taking pictures of you, Dixie!”


Well, that is all! I hope you enjoyed my photographic efforts!



We had tornadoes here in my hometown! My little town that no one knows about made national news! The tornado formed over my road around 9:00 Monday night. We were huddled in the safest room in our basement with pillows over our heads. (It was pretty funny to have pillows over our heads, even though it was such a dangerous situation!) It was dark because we had lost all power and, of course, it was nighttime. We stayed in the basement until 9:35, when the tornado warning was ended. All of us, and my darling kitties, made it through not the least bit hurt. Yehovah (God) protected us.

The next morning we woke up and looked at all of the wreckage around us. Numerous trees had fallen, many fences were crushed, shingles had been blown away, and two of our neighbors had trees through their roofs, but our house was unscathed. Not a single shingle was missing. Once again we marveled as we saw how good Yehovah was to us all in our town. There was a crazy amount of damage, but not one person was killed by the tornadoes. Yehovah is so good!


This has taught me that even when a situation looks hopeless, Yahovah can protect you. He can do anything! It also taught me that every day, every breath, is a treasure–a gift from Yehovah. How are you using your treasure?


The Sabbath

The Sabbath is coming
The Sabbath is near–
The sun has gone down
The Sabbath is here!

The Sabbath is holy
It gives the weary rest
The Sabbath is special
The Sabbath is a test

The Sabbath is a break
From all our busy lives.
The Sabbath gives us time,
Time to recognize–

Who blessings come from
Who made earth and heaven
Who worked for six days
And rests on the seventh

On Sabbath there’s peace
In the midst of a storm
On Sabbath there’s joy
Wherever you call home

On Sabbath God calls
Saying, “Come be with Me.
The Sabbath is a sign
Between you and Me!”


Two weeks ago I found a hymnal lying near the piano. It was an old hymnal from my great-grandfather, Charles Elliott. (You may have read about him in “The Reverend’s Daughter,” which is on this blog.) I knew we had the hymnal, but I had never really paused to looked at it.

I opened it, sat down at the piano, and played one of my favorite hymns, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. My voice soon followed the voice of the piano as we sang.

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changeth not, thine compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever will be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided–
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided–
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

As I finished the song, I continued to another one of my favorite hymns: “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” Once again, my voice joined in singing the song below.

I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live form day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies my turn to gray.

I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

I suddenly realized just how meaningful and truthful the words of these hymns, and many more hymns, are. The next few days I spent hours at the piano singing and playing hymns from the old hymnal. I could not believe how many good songs I found in that book, including “Marching to Zion,” “Bringing in the Sheaves,” “Glory to His Name,” “Amazing Grace,” “More Abundantly,” and “Glory to God, Hallelujah.” (You should definitely look up the hymns I just listed!) When I began to feel sick that week, the hymns cheered me up.

One night as I tried to sleep, I asked my sister to sing a hymn for me. I was certain a hymn would do for me what it had done before–cheer me up. She gladly agreed and began to sing the below hymn.

Under His wings I am safely abiding;
Tho’ the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me;
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from his love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly tuns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blest.

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from his love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

It was indeed comforting to know I am under His wings, like the hymn said, and I happily went to sleep.

Hymns are wonderful worship songs about God. They remind us of God’s promises, faithfulness, goodness, and more. I was surprised how many hymns are based on Bible verses. They are all so wonderful to hear and they minister to your soul. What is your favorite hymn? Do you often play or listen to hymns? Comment below and let me know!


P.S. You can find two more of my favorite hymns, “Victory in Jesus” and “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” in this chapter of my story The Reverend’s Daughter Chapter 2, “One Sunday Night”

A Play!

Hello everyone! Today  I am here to share about the play I directed last week! It was fabulous. We all had so much fun! Here is more about the play:

– The play was titled “Broken Window”.
– We did it in a pavilion at a nearby park.
– The cast included me, two of my sisters, my brother, and a friend.
– I played the part of a mean girl who yells at people. It is so fun to pretend you are a mean girl!
– I was the director, but I got a lot of needed help from my cast.

Oh, and one last thing about the play. While we were doing a quick practice right before the show began, my sister Joy got engaged! My sister and her fiancé are planning on getting married soon, and I get to be a bridesmaid! I am so excited!

Well, that is all! I hope to have more stories out soon, but we’ll see. Please remember to comment below. I love to hear from you!


Temporal vs. Eternal

Let us not focus on the temporal,
That which swiftly passes away.
Let us focus on the eternal,
That which forever does stay.

Let us not focus on little cares,
Though they might seem large.
No matter how anything fares,
Remember that God is in charge.

Some things that are important today,
Some things that cause sorrow,
Some things that we think shall always stay,
Shall swiftly vanish tomorrow.

The eternal things
Shall never fade;
The eternal things
Are things God made.

What about you? What about me?
Our souls are eternal too.
Where will you spend eternity?
The choice is up to you!

The Reverend’s Daughter ~ Chapter 4 “At Mum and Pa’s House”

One day Marilyn was happily playing in the apartment when the phone rang. As usual, Mother was working in the kitchen. She came into the living room to answer the phone. Mother’s thin face clouded with worry as she whispered to Marilyn, “Go get your dad.” Then Mother continued talking on the phone. Marilyn hurried into her parents’ bedroom where Dad was.

“Dad,” she said. “Mother wants you.”

“Okay,” he said, smiling at her and leaving the room. Marilyn went back to her toys. Then Dad came over and said, “Come on, Marilyn, we need to go to Mum and Pa’s house.”

“Right now?” she asked. She liked going to her grandparents’ house, but they usually only went on Saturdays, and today was not a Saturday.

“Yes,” Dad replied.

“Why?” asked Marilyn, seeing worry on her Dad’s face as well.

“Come here, honey,” he said, taking her on his knee. “Marilyn, your Uncle Crawford went to be with Jesus.”

“He died?” she said, sadness crossing her face as well. He had been very sick the last few weeks, but since he was only thirty, Marilyn had not thought he would die. Her last memories of him flashed through her head.

“Yes, but he is with Jesus so we do not have to be very sad, okay?” Dad explained.

“He is with Jesus,” Marilyn muttered. “Then I will not see him again?”

“You will see him in heaven one day,” Dad said, hugging her tightly. “His spirit is with Jesus now.”

“I am glad he is with Jesus,” Marilyn said.

“We all are,” Dad sighed as he recalled Crawford’s recent decision to accept Jesus. Crawford had thought he did not deserve salvation because of the way he had lived. His family had finally convinced him that Jesus would have died just for him. It was not a matter of deserving it, it was a matter of accepting it.

Soon they were all in the car heading to Mum and Pa’s house. Arrangements were made, and they all returned the next day as well.

As Marilyn entered her grandparent’s living room, she saw that everyone was wearing black, even pretty Irene Miller, the lady Uncle Crawford had planned to marry in September. Everyone was crying and there were flowers everywhere. Marilyn did not like seeing Uncle Crawford’s dead body lying in a casket in the dining room. She felt troubled. Her grandparents came over and said hello. Marilyn knew that they were very sad, but they seemed to find joy in her, their little granddaughter, being there. Everyone hugged Mum and Pa, but Mum seemed inconsolable. It was a sad day.

A week later, Mum finally allowed her son to be buried. Marilyn went with her parents to the cemetery. Marilyn gently laid flowers on Uncle Crawford’s grave. She and her parents stood together looking at the fresh dirt.

“Mabel,” Dad said. “We can’t let Mum be alone at night.” Marilyn looked over suddenly. What did Dad mean?

“I agree, Charles,” Mother said. “Pa works night shift. Nighttime has been so hard for her. We need to go be with her.”

After talking it over with Mum and Pa, it was settled. Dad and Mother explained to Marilyn that they were going to go live with her grandparents. Marilyn was excited, for she loved her grandparents so much. Soon they packed up and moved into Mum and Pa’s house.

Marilyn went with her grandparents three or four times a week to visit her uncle’s grave. They would take a scrub brush and some Bon Ami cleanser and clean the bronze plaque until it shone. One day,  however, they drove past the cemetery and out of town.

“Where are we going?” Marilyn asked.

“We are going to the farmer’s market,” Mum explained as they drove out of town.

It was not long before Marilyn was standing before a crate of watermelons. “Oh, please, Mum, can we have a watermelon?” she pleaded.

“Sure,” said Mum, looking for just the right one. When she thought she had found it, Pa asked the clerk if they could try it. The clerk quickly pulled out his pocket knife and cut a small triangle out of the watermelon. Mum tasted it, Pa too. They offered a bite to Marilyn. It was incredibly juicy and delicious. “We’ll take this one,” Mum said to the clerk as she plugged it with the triangular piece. Pa paid for the watermelon and the other produce, then placed the watermelon in the middle of the back seat. Mum put the bag of produce beside it, and Marilyn sat on the other side. Then they drove off.

Marilyn, wanting more of that delicious watermelon, took the plug out and stuck her hand into it. She pulled out handfuls and ate bite after bite. The watermelon was so good; Marilyn could not resist it. The car stopped and Marilyn realized they were home. Mum opened the car door and looked down at Marilyn. “Marilyn Elaine Elliott, you ruined your dress!” she yelled, seeing the juice soaking Marilyn’s dress and dripping down her arm onto the back seat. Mum hurried her into the house where Marilyn met her mother’s stern look.

“Marilyn, your dress is ruined!” Mother moaned, as she pulled her into the bathroom and put a clean dress on her. Then they went into the kitchen and saw Pa setting the watermelon on a cutting board. Mum took a sharp knife and cut the watermelon open, revealing that most of it had already been eaten! Everyone gasped. “Marilyn,” Mother chided. Then Dad stepped in, took one look at the watermelon, and laughed.

That September Marilyn started kindergarten. She did well in school and made some friends, including the twins at the end of the street, Patty and David Langley.  One day Marilyn went to visit them. She liked going to their house because David had a dog. The only problem was that Marilyn was allergic to dogs. She had always wanted a puppy, but every time she got one, her asthma would act up and they would have to sell it.

Thus, Marilyn was sneezing and coughing on the way home from her friend’s house. She was almost home when she noticed some construction workers by the sidewalk. She did not know what they were doing and walked past them carelessly. Then she started sinking into the sidewalk. She suddenly realized that she had stepped in wet concrete. She pulled out her feet, which were covered in clumps of cement, and ran home crying. One of the construction men started yelling at her for messing up their work.

“Mother!” she cried. “Look what happened!”

“Oh, my!” said Mother. “Outside immediately!” Marilyn ran back outside, still crying, and Mother took her shoes off.

“Don’t worry, dear,” Mother said “We will get you new shoes. Just don’t go running in wet cement again!” Marilyn definitely learned her lesson.

Two weeks later, Marilyn was playing dolls in her room when she heard Mum call, “Marilyn, your friend has come to see you!” Marilyn ran to the front door.

“Hello, Patty!” she said. “I am glad you have come!”

“I am glad, too.” Patty said. “Mother said I could visit for a little bit.”

“Well, be good, girls!” Mum said and went to her room.

“Let’s go play in the basement,” Marilyn said. “I like to play kitchen down there.”

The stairs were made of slat wood and they had no rail. The girls ran their hands along the cinder block walls as they crept down. They could not see well in the darkness, but they could feel the dampness in the air. Marilyn pulled a string and the light bulb came on, revealing Mother’s many things she had stashed down there. Marilyn grabbed a pan from one of the wooden crates and said, “Come on! Let’s make some soup.” Patty pulled a wooden spoon and some bowls from the same crate. Marilyn went upstairs and filled the pot halfway with water. When she came back she saw Mother’s metal spice containers on a shelf. Soon both girls were dumping spice after spice into the water. Before long, nearly all of Mother’s spices were in the pot. Marilyn was having a grand time until she heard the basement door creak open.

Mother came down the stairs and asked, “Marilyn, what are you doing?”

“Making soup, Mother,” she said. Then Mother noticed the spice cans all over the floor.

“You ruined my spices! Marilyn, go upstairs right now!” she yelled. Marilyn knew not to argue with Mother.

“I have to leave,” Patty said, feeling very awkward. Marilyn headed up the stairs. Patty followed her and then slipped out the front door. Mother came up and gave Marilyn a spanking with her hand. It did not hurt too much, but Marilyn knew Mother was angry at her. She told herself that she must do better next time.

Soon Mum was well enough that Marilyn and her family could move into an apartment. Her grandparents sold their house and moved into an apartment as well. Marilyn missed living with her grandparents. She would never forget the many memories she had made at their old house.