Dorothy and LaTonya
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Dorothy And LaTonya
Stephen A. Peterson
In Seminole, Oklahoma lived two sisters, Dorothy and LaTonya. The two sisters lived on adjoining acreage left them by their grandfather five years earlier just before he died. The two sisters were the best of friends sharing their material possessions with each other.
During the summer of 2003, the loving association between the sisters fell apart. The problem began with a small misunderstanding then grew to a major difference. Finally, the problem exploded into an exchange of uncomforting and disturbing words, followed by weeks of silence then no contact at all.
On what a local weatherman described as the hottest day in Oklahoma, Dorothy received a knock on her door around 9:00 AM. She opened the door to find a short stature man with a big smile standing before her.
“Good morning ma’am, I’m a carpenter looking for a few days work. I was wondering if you would have a few little jobs that I could do for you while I was in your neighborhood.”
“I most certainty do”, replied Dorothy. “If you look across my property you will see a small river. That person across the river is my neighbor. About two weeks ago, she and me had a little discussion and disagreement. I’ve decided that Robert Frost, the poet, was right when he said ‘good fences make good neighbors.” So do you see that pile of lumber I have over there? What I want you to do is to build a 12-foot fence so I won’t have to see what she is doing nor she what I’m doing. I’ll pay you well for your efforts. Okay!”
The carpenter assessed the area then said, “Sure, I will do a job that will please you. Thank you ma’am for letting me help you.”
Dorothy provided the carpenter with the supplies needed then left for the day to go shopping in Oklahoma City some 60 miles away. The carpenter immediately began working. He measured, sawed and nailed boards together with his electronic tools for the rest of the day.
On her return from Oklahoma City as the sun was about to set, Dorothy’s eyes widened as she dropped her purchases next to her car. There was no fence on her property. Instead she saw a beautiful, well-constructed bridge stretching from one side of the small river to the other. It was a very beautiful bridge with strong, sturdy handrails. On the other side of the bridge was LaTonya coming across the river with tears in her eyes and out stretched arms.
Seeing her sister cross her side of the bridge, Dorothy left her newly purchased items by her car to meet her sister in the middle of the bridge. With hugs and an exchange of gentle words, each asked the other for forgiveness. The sisters now held each other’s hand turned to see the carpenter cleaning up the mess that was made during the construction of the bridge.
“Sir” responded LaTonya, “I have a couple of jobs I’d like you to do while you’re still in the area. Could you do them?”
“I’d love to”, responded the carpenter, “however, I have many, many more bridges to build for several other people near this area. I’ll be back some day soon to check your bridge and to make repairs to it, if necessary.”
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