The Bend in The Road

Cartoons were always on my agenda for Saturday morning. I woke up early, sneaked downstairs before anyone was up, pulled the button out to turn on the tv, got a blanket and pillow, and got all comfy on the floor facing the tv. All that was on the tv screen at this hour on Saturday morning was a test pattern. “Oh, I hope the tv station comes on soon!” In those days, the tv stations would turn off late at night and not broadcast again until early morning. In a few minutes, the test pattern went away, and I only have about five minutes of the local farm report to get through before the cartoons start. I know they talked about the weather and some tips for farmers, but I didn’t find it interesting at all!
OK, farm report over, and we’re ready for some good stuff like Mighty Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Huckleberry Hound, and Popeye!

Pretty soon, my Mom and Dad got up and came downstairs for breakfast before my Dad went to work. He always went to work a little while on Saturday mornings. I heard her in the kitchen making coffee and getting plates together to set the table. Sometimes Mom would set up a TV tray for me in the living room to watch cartoons while eating my breakfast. I hope she makes me toast with butter and cinnamon sugar on it with a cup of hot cocoa, or maybe even a dippy egg with butter toast cut in triangles! That would start my day off perfectly.

With the TV tray all positioned in front of the TV and I on my chair, I was one happy camper for breakfast and cartoons. Mom went back into the kitchen to have breakfast with Dad before he went to work for a couple of hours. When he got home, we were going up to camp for the weekend!

Here comes Mighty Mouse to save the day! Whenever there was a wrong that needed right, he would come on the scene and do the trick to make everything better. There was nothing to be afraid of when Mighty Mouse was on the stage. I heard the phone ring, and Mom answered it. It must be Grandma this early. “Candy, it’s Grandma and Papa. They want to know if you want to get ready and drive up to camp with them? They’re going to be leaving in a little while.” “YES” was out of my mouth before I knew it!

I ran upstairs to get my suitcase ready—shorts, a shirt, jammies, underwear, toothbrush, socks and shoes, and my bathing suit. I have a sweatshirt and long pants already at camp in case of those dog-gone mosquitos after the sun went down, or I got chilly as we were sitting around the bonfire at night. I had little rubber boots at camp if I went outside to go for a bit of hike while the grass was still wet, and my raincoat was there, too, just in case.

No sooner was I dressed, had my teeth brushed, and Mom put my hair into a ponytail than I heard their car pull up out front. “They’re here!” I ran down the porch steps and met Grandma and Papa on the sidewalk in front of our house. “Are you all ready?” Grandma said. “Am I ever!” I scooted in the front seat between my two favorite people in the world. Our dog, Sam, was in the back seat, and he was excited to see me. His tail was wagging vigorously, and his snout was in my hair at the back of my head. Papa said, “ok, we’re off.” The Tomcat, which we called Papa’s car, was packed with laundry baskets with clean sheets and towels, there were bags of food in the backseat beside Sam, and Grandma said we had to stop at the store for a few groceries. Maybe we’d even get a watermelon! Adventure begins!

As we drove along, Papa would always tell stories. He was telling us about the Indians in the olden days. He was telling a story about a young Indian Princess named Falling Rock who got lost from her tribe in the woods years and years ago. I wonder whatever happened to that poor Indian Princess? She must’ve been afraid in the woods by herself. We no sooner talked about her when we saw a sign that said “watch for Falling Rock” by the side of the road! The story must’ve been true because they’re still looking for her!

We were riding about an hour, and then we came to the familiar little grocery store, where we stopped to get a few groceries. Grandma picked up some potatoes – maybe she’ll make potato salad! Papa was at the meat counter getting some meat. The little grocery store had a few tables in the back where they served food. Papa said it must be time for lunch, so we sat at one of the tables. I had some French fries with gravy; it was so yummy! We finished getting the things needed for the weekend, picked up a watermelon on the way out, and we were on our way again.

We hadn’t driven very far until we came upon the place where we turned right onto a narrow dirt road in the woods that made its way down a steep, steep hill toward the river. The turns were very sharp, and I was always so afraid that we’d slide off the narrow dirt road into the woods and the river below. My knees came up to my chin, and I covered my eyes with my hands. This bend in the road was the worst part of going to camp. I hated this road! We were almost to the scariest part; a hairpin turn is what Grandma called it. I remember Papa stopping the car right on the narrow road before we got to the hairpin turn. He told me to open my eyes and put my legs down. He had a way of knowing when I was afraid and knew just what to do to make me feel safe. Grandma held my little hand in hers, and Papa inched the car ever so slowly down around the big hairpin curve. We pointed out a path right at the point of the curve that was the scariest for me. Grandpa pointed in the direction that I never saw before in the woods, right at the spot where I usually closed my eyes. It was a secret path in the woods. We saw a couple of little bunnies scurrying around, and farther down the trail was a deer just standing there, just looking at us. Grandpa inched the car a little further while Grandma was still holding my hand, and we looked up into the trees and saw some beautiful birds that had landed on the branches. There was a woodpecker, and Papa had his window down so we could hear him pecking away. He inched the car a little further, and we talked about the wild roses that were on the side of the road. First thing you know, we were beyond the area of the road that scared me so much. With Grandma holding my hand and with my eyes open to look down that path, I wouldn’t have seen the bunnies or the deer, or the roses or the woodpecker if I would have had my hands covering my eyes. I wasn’t afraid anymore! There were a lot of really cool things just waiting for me to see if I would have had my eyes closed.

A few more turns and we were down on the flat dirt road that ran alongside the river where our camp was. We passed some other cottages, waved to the people that were unpacking their cars for the weekend, saw boats out on the river, and saw some men sitting alongside the riverbank fishing.

It was such a peaceful, quiet place. Maybe that’s why I loved coming to camp so much. That evening, after supper and all the dishes were washed and put away, Grandpa built a campfire, and Mom, Dad, Grandma, Papa and I were just sitting around the fire. The fireflies were out, Sam was running around the yard and trying to catch them.

As I went to bed on the top bunk bed that night, I thought about that big bend in that dirt road. It was so narrow and so scary for me every time we traveled on that road. But with Grandma holding my hand, and Papa taking away that scared feeling I had by driving the car so slowly around the big bend and pointing out some extraordinary sights, I was able to see beyond being afraid. I was able to see the bunnies and the deer and the wild roses and the woodpecker that I wouldn’t have seen if I still had my eyes covered in fear. Sometimes we have to look right at the scariest part to realize that that there are good things for us down the path. Sometimes we may feel that the fear doesn’t go away, but we may just have to do some things afraid.

God promises us that He will show us our paths, even when they look scary. If we can take our hands away and open our eyes, be silent and slow down enough to inch our way through the parts that we were afraid of, He will hold our hands and show us the tremendous things He has in store. We’ll be able to open our ears and hear the birds and the woodpeckers and see that He is leading us to a safe place. Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free

Silently now I wait for thee
Ready, my God, thy will to see
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth thou sendest clear;
And while the wavenotes fall on my ear
Everything false will disappear

Silently now I wait for thee
Ready, my God, thy will to see
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with thy children thus to share

Silently now I wait for thee
Ready, my God, thy will to see
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Be blessed to be a blessing,


Published by Candy Morgans

Being recently retired from the Healthcare Industry, and the spouse of a retired Methodist Minister, I find some time on my hands, and a strong desire to share experiences and develop relationships with others. God is my driving force, and I have humor and joy in my heart.

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