Yet Another Fallen Star

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As more men rushed forward to halt the wagon’s descent, Emily looked in horror. Their precious belongings were sliding from the wagon and tumbling down into the yawning canyon. Carl was safe, she thanked the Lord for that, but they were losing almost everything they owned.

With Esther following close behind, Emily moved to the edge of the cliff just in time to see their large green trunk go banging downward. As the trunk traveled deafeningly out of sight, its lid was thrown open and its content scattered. Tears gathered in Emily’s eyes when she spotted the sweet pink dress. Her mother had worn that dress on her wedding day and had left it to her. She hadn’t even grown into it yet. Now it was draped over the edge of a large, shiny, wet slab of rock, far beyond any prospect of rescue. Perhaps it will serve as nesting material for the buzzards, Emily thought. As she gazed upon its lovely pearl buttons, glistening with the moisture of rain drops, her breath caught in her throat. The trunk had also held her beautiful gold locket, the only piece of jewelry she had ever owned. The locket meant everything to Emily, for it too had belonged to Sara, and it held the sole picture she had of her mother. Tears rolled down her rain-wet face as Esther held her hand tightly and pulled her back from the perilous ledge. As Emily watched, a large crate Carl had constructed to carry their cookware slid from the wagon and began a noisy journey down the precipice. It soon shed its slat lid, and the contents clanked their way down. Utensils and pans were finding permanent resting places along the ledges.

Emily wiped her eyes and turned to Esther. “She’s gone now. That was all I ever had of her. She’s gone for good, and I saw smoke risin’ down there, too.”

Esther hugged her tightly, feeling some of the pain the younger was experiencing, but not understanding what Emily was implying. “Come now, Emily. It’s time we leave. The men have the wagon righted on the trail, and we best get to travelin’ before darkness falls. With the clouds so low in the sky, it’s going to be dark early this evening.” She pulled Emily to safety.


I’m Just the Keyboard Guy

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“I’m going to practice now, Mom,” Reg said as he made his way through the kitchen, grabbing one of Ruthie’s brownies and stuffing it in his mouth before washing his hands at the kitchen sink.

“Would you mind if I come in and listen, Reg?”

“No, Mom, not at all. I might jar your eardrums on one of the pieces, though.”

“I’ll grab my coffee and be right in, and you won’t even know I’m there.”

Not that it mattered to Reg. He always loved having an audience. It seemed to enliven his performance. “He is one of the few piano students,” his teacher said, “that actually loves performing in recitals. Most of them try to escape.”

“Got any favorites, Mom?”

“All of them, son. You know how I love your music. I’m so thankful you’re playing the classics. I do miss them. I’ll miss this time with you and our music together when you go away to school.”

“How do you stand living out here, so far away from things, Mom? It’s sure not the sort of life you had growing up.”

“No, that’s for sure. It’s entirely different all right, but I love your father and you children, and I think this part of Montana has its own beauty. When the wheat’s growing and the breezes catch it, it’s like waves in the sea, and I hear music. Speaking of music…”

“Okay, sure, Mom.”

And the music floated through the home and across the fields. Neighbors commented that at certain times, they heard piano music clear over at their ranch.