On Stable Ground - Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Luke 6:47-49  Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and does them, I will show you who he is like.  He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock.  But he who hears, and doesn’t do, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.

Julie stood on the platform waiting. Unable to contain her excitement, she arrived at the depot  half an hour early. After barely sleeping the night before and a full morning of chores, her day which normally passed quickly, dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. A train whistle sounded in the distance, signaling to Julie that her wait was almost over. Excited was not strong enough emotion to describe how Julie felt. Tonya was coming! Tonya! Her best friend and cousin was finally coming home for the summer! Three years ago Tonya’s parents moved to the city. Was it really only three years ago? It seemed like a lifetime to Julie. Tonya was finally coming home for a visit!

When Tonya left for the city, they were as close as two people could be. They were normally joined at the hip. Their parents use to joke that they were like peanut butter and jelly, where one was, the other would be also.

When Tonya’s  parents moved from the farm to New York City, it tore the girls apart. Julie remembered crying herself to sleep many nights after Tonya left. At first they tried to stay in contact with the phone calls and emails they shared. They tried to stay close, but over the weeks, months and then years of separation, the girls drifted apart and became busy with their own lives. When Tonya called two weeks ago asking to spend the summer on the family farm, Julie was enthusiastic for her cousin’s return.

Three years could do a lot to a person. Before Tonya left, they were gangly pre-teens with braces, fantasizing about falling in love. They dreamed of settling down and finding their prince charming for Tonya and the cowboy that would help Julie on her Daddy’s farm. Raise their children and live happily after ever staying as close as sisters or cousins could be. However, Julie had never been in love and as far as she was concerned, the only boy to try and woo her did nothing for her except give her a headache. Thinking about her carefree cousin, she wondered if Tonya had found love in the city?

As the whistle sounded again, Julie pulled herself back to the present.  The train was almost at the station and Tonya would be here soon. And as the first car of steel and windows began to pass, Julie stood on her tiptoes trying to look inside and gain the first peek of her cousin. There? No...too young. There? No...too old. There...yes, yes there was Tonya, and Julie began waving frantically, trying to catch her cousin’s attention. Seeing her, Tonya waved and stood up and headed for the train door. Julie bounced along the platform to meet Tonya, for she was finally home!

“Tonya!” Julie yelled as she watched her cousin step off the train. The girls ran to each other through the crowded platform and hugged, both feeling a sense of comfort at being in each other’s company once again.

Stepping back and looking at Tonya for the first time, Julie realized how much her cousin had changed. She was no longer scrawny and awkward, and she looked as if she just stepped out of a magazine shoot. Her auburn hair was curled and flowed down her back. She was wearing a yellow sundress that resembled one Julie had seen on the cover of Cosmo at the Piggly Wiggly a month ago. Tonya’s toes were manicured and she was wearing a pair of healed sandals. In one word, she was beautiful.

Julie was sure she had not changed as much as Tonya. Not to mention that she in no way resembled the model Tonya could be. Julie was cute, but not in a way to turn heads like Tonya was doing now. Two teenage boys that were loading their things into another vehicle could not take their eyes off her. Tonya had always turned heads, but Julie wondered if her skimpy sundress had anything to do with it as well.