Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)
TITLE: Maude and Joe
By c clemons
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When Maude met Joe she immediately knew she would be spending the rest of her life with this earnest looking man. Joe felt the same way, it was as though Maude could read his thoughts. Maude had a way of knowing his heart before he shared it. They liked a lot of the same things, which was good because they both wanted a lot of children and had prayed that it would be so. In their first year of marriage Maude had miscarried twice and she had doubts about her dream for a large brood of children. Joe kept telling her to have faith in God, so eight boys and seven girls later she was satisfied that God answers prayers.
There had been a few lean times when Joe was sick and not able to work but the family had become very efficient whether they were in lack or abundance. Bath time in the early days was quite an event. There was no indoor plumbing so the little ones would bathe first in the big washtub in the kitchen because they were the least dirty. The girls would be next and then the boys all using the same water. Needless to say older in this case definitely was not a plus.
Joe loved the way Maude never got flustered about anything. She had seen her share of hard times, whooping cough, broken limbs, and teen angst. Everyone called her the solid rock of the clan. Maude took everything to God in prayer. Her motto was “give it to God and leave it there.” However there was one time that the “rock” cracked slightly and to this day the family retells the story at every family get together.
Several years ago as the story goes, Joe and two of the older boys were cutting down trees a couple of miles from the house. There was a slight mishap, a tree branch crazed Joe’s head, not a real bad cut but he did not want sweat and grime getting into it. He told the boys to run home to tell Mom to bring the first aid box. On the way the boys met a couple of their sisters on their bikes and relayed the message to them and they in turn road home and passed the message on to some more of the siblings that were playing in the yard. At each telling the story changed slightly. Eventually the message passed through all fifteen children. The last child ran into the house and yelled to Maude who was in the bathroom at the time, “Mom! Mom! Come Quick! Dad’s been in an accident and his head was cut off!”
Maude ran out of the bathroom with (let’s just say with her unmentionables around her ankles), and was out the door in a flash. Thank God she was stopped before she got to far up the road. The unflappable Maude had finally cracked, the one thing she could not live without was her Joe. And now here they were all these years later at another family gathering and someone was telling the story again at their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.
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