CHAPTER 7 Fleeting Hope

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith. All rights reserved.

I woke up to the ground shifting underneath my feet. It was too early. The sun had just started to rise over the distant mountains to the east. I lay in my bed trying to be okay. But I didn't feel okay.

Everything looked the same as it had the night before. I was still surrounded by my things and the memories they brought me. My eyes ventured up to my bookshelf and saw the coke bottle I had paper mached. It appeared to be the same masterpiece from the same brilliant second grader I used to be.

But nothing felt the same. The energy of everything around me had become unstable. It had changed in a millisecond of thought when the brain re-registered my current reality. I was left in the aftermath again trying to pick up pieces. Powerless to it all.

My stomach was apparently up as well. It greeted me with a morning flip-flop "howdy". The mood was somber but open. So, perhaps it would agree to a few bites of toast for breakfast. After all it couldn't hurt to try. The worst thing that could happen was I'd just sit there and have a staring contest with toast again. Maybe I could bribe my stomach with something more substantial but I doubted it. Eating was the first thing to go whenever I got stressed.

And how were my Parents?

Did they feel optimistic or defeated?

One mood would allow us to breathe hope into the dismal sky above us and the other would signal the surrender of another day to defeat. I doubted Mom felt optimistic. I could probably place a good solid bet on that fact.

She was watching one of her biggest joys in life, slip right through her fingers. Mom loved the earth, the dirt, and everything living in it or on it. Hell, she loved dead things too.

She'd told me when she was much younger, probably elementary school, she asked her parents for a small patch of earth. My Grandparents had a very beautiful landscaped backyard. But they'd agreed to her childhood request and had given her some ground in front of the kitchen. The area had become my Mom's first garden.

She'd been hooked on earth ever since. The woman was an earth junkie. The earth was in her blood. It had seeped down into her soul. She didn't just want the earth though like "Oh, it would be nice to have some earth."

No. She had to have it. Somehow she and the earth had made a pact together, and they couldn't be without each other. I don't know if there's a name for people like that, who have the same sort of affliction. If they had a tribe, my Mom would be a life member.

Reality jogged me from my thoughts again. We had seven days to file a response with the Court. Seven days wasn't very long. They say God created the world in six days, and took the seventh day off. We didn't even get a day off. Bummer. It was time. I picked up my phone and made the call.

"Well, I heard back from a few friends suggesting lawyers. But they're swamped with all the foreclosures in our area. But one of them suggested a Legal Aid firm for seniors. I think they can help us file the papers with the Court," Dad said on the phone.


"Yes.  I put a call into them yesterday and we've got an appointment late this morning."

"Oh great!"

"I think so too."

"How's Mom?"

"She's okay. She's okay as long as I'm okay. I think we can figure a way through this."

"That would be so great Dad. It so would. I've been racking my brain and I don't know what to do. I feel so helpless."

"I know. But we have to believe that we're going to find a way through this and keep the Farm."

"I don't think Mom could take it if she lost the Farm."

"She would be devastated. So that's why we're going to focus on what we need to do," Dad said.

"Okay Dad."

Maybe there was hope after all.

"Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."


French Writer, Philosopher


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