I used to be Scoutmaster to eighteen boys. I’m not sure what happened in our community, but there were two sets of twins, and almost every child that was born at that time was a boy. They were great, though they weren’t above trying to challenge me to see if they could all take me. And I often found myself carrying two or even three packs up the mountain, and I never came down until I knew they were all safe.
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My children and I had been busy picking raspberries, enduring the heat of the sun. We finally felt we had enough to fill all of the orders so, sweaty and thirsty, we retreated to the cool of the house. We happily sat down for a well-deserved break. That was when the phone rang.
Our neighbors’ dog, Rosie, didn’t like cats. In fact, she wasn’t too fond of many things. She had killed more than one batch of our kittens and at least a dozen of our chickens. She came snarling at us when we walked by, and I wasn’t sure she wouldn’t attack us if she had a chance.
The doctor took a deep breath before sharing the unwelcome news. “I’m afraid that if you want to save her vision in the one eye, she will have to have surgery.” I looked at my sweet little daughter, Trissa, sitting so bravely on the big white bed, and my heart ached. We had tried everything to avoid this, but to no avail.
My mother is now ninety-one years old, and her life of long days of work is still ingrained into her. I grew up on a dairy farm, and at its peak we were milking one hundred and twenty cows. We had to be up by around five o'clock to get the cows milked and fed. My mother was up before we were to make breakfast.
This last week we were talking about Independence Day in my classes when the conversation took a direction I didn’t expect. Most of the class was chattering about fireworks, parades, cookouts, and a day off from class. But Tony sat quietly, saying nothing.