Friday, March 23, 2018

A Long/Short Story

April 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

The long fingered rays of the warm evening sun brushed her cheeks with the softness of a dewy kiss in the quietness of the country evening. She strode along the edge of the woods, seeking calmness. The fragrance of the crushed ripe summer grass filled her nostrils along with the scent of wild day lilies as they closed their faces with the coming of evening. The rapturous beauty of this competing nature was filling her joyfully with the essence of sweet yearning for the coming night.

It would be a quick trip to Louisville, but the long year had ended, and the new life was about to start. At two o’clock in the morning, her soldier boy would arrive, via taxi at her Grandparent’s house; his tour of duty in Europe was over, and she was going to collect him and together they would shortly arrive at their home. They had been married less than a year when he got his call to serve and now was time to put their lives back together, welding the temporary broken cord back into wholeness, so that the seam would so effortlessly blend, no scar of separation would ever show.

It was time to make promises of caution to her Mother, put gas in the Plymouth, lock the doors, and head north-east. The sun was now releasing its hold on the day, casting a pleading glow over her shoulder and soon the headlamps would be needed. Purple shadows mingled in mysteriousness with the dark green of the cedars and puddled in the dips and crevasses of the rolling hills. A strange peace filled with loneliness, and expectation filled her heart.  At times her fingers would tremble with excitement on the steering wheel.

The music on the only clear AM radio station was of the sentimental country genre. She turned it low and let her thoughts soar and take her on a side trip through the future as she drove the familiar back county roads to the big highway that would take her to the flow that endlessly poured into the looming city. “What would their future hold? Where would they be in the far distant time, say five years? Would family grow, would love last, would they still be the perfect fit as they grew to be an even stronger “one”?”

The music soothed and lulled from station WHAS, the songs in her head changed often in tempo, rhythm and emotion, the miles passed. Finally, she was there, it was deep in the night in the little upstairs room on Magnolia Street, She was sitting on the window ledge, and the taxi blew its horn…

They were the same, they had not changed. God blessed mightily!

Life happened so suddenly, it was breath taking. I all but spin and have to sit down when I think of the speeding time, the blur of memories, the milestones that can only flash by. Love was multiplied over, over, and again, children, grandchildren, exploding change, sameness, new experiences, old memories relived, all happened in two or three heartbeats. We had thoughts of “strong health, vibrant life, and continued love going on forever” till we were surprised by weakened bodies and changes so subtle that often we ask “What has happened! Who are we?”

Yes, even the love has changed, the blush of fresh love and the sharing of the same breath and thoughts of an earthy heaven has deepened and become a thing that has a life of its own, it depends on each of us for its being, and we depend on it for our being. It is composed of endless compassion, of two minds and desires that think and act as one. It is a remarkable blessing from God, when we find after a life time of laughing, crying, spatting, growing, and startling changes, yet we are “one” and are so more each day.

It had been 58 years since the night time trip to Louisville, when my eyes were fastened to the dark roadway lit by yellow lights, while the eyes of my heart were fastened on the end of the road that held my future. I could not have had a better trip, any way I look at it.



rheaRHEA B. RIDDLE is wife, mother and grandmother and a lifelong Christian storyteller, who in recent years began writing poetry, stories and incidents that have occurred in her life experiences. She was born in Kentucky seventy-three years ago in a small city on the Ohio River during the epic flood of that mighty waterway. With a rich heritage in memories from which to draw, she hopes to entertain and intrigue you, the reader, and draw you into another realm of “time re-wound” living. Praying it would be a God honoring experience for you. 

You can reach Rhea at:   


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