Jonathan’s home rested high in the rugged mountain village known as Cliff Haven. His six older brothers and towering father led him in explorations of rock formations at an early age. He grew both in stature and muscle and earned respect of his family and peers. His courage and daring drew the admiration of hometown girls; but he paid very little attention to their advances. Romance found no place in the heart of a young man yearning adventure. He dreamed only of new mountains to climb and obstacles to overcome.
His senior year in high school would soon be history. Looking back he realized he should have applied himself as his teachers said. He sent out several applications to colleges; but they were not beating down his door in efforts to enroll him. Mountain climbing needs to be financed; and if he fulfilled his dreams cold cash would pay his way. The dreams must be put on hold until he could complete his education and land a high paying job. The high school guidance counselor persuaded him to seek a career in engineering. He could build bridges spanning mountain tops and over valleys, always keeping the magical mountains in his sight. His heart began to pound as thoughts raced through his mind.
What if I can’t get into a good college? What if I get stuck in a dead end job like my older brothers? I’ll go crazy if I’m tied down in a big warehouse job or an office cubicle! He began to perspire and felt his face and neck getting heated. He slowly walked up to his front porch, putting one foot on the first step, then stepped back and turned around to take a look at his beloved mountains. I’ll find a way. Lord, I believe you placed this dream in my heart and you will make it happen. With a sigh of relief he retraced his steps up the porch and opened the door.
“Jonathan, is that you?”
“Yes, Mama; did I get any mail?”
“It’s on the mantel. Your catalog from Wilderness Adventures came and there is a manila envelope from Oregon. It might be more college information.”
“Thanks, how long before supper?”
“It will be a while. There are fresh chocolate chip cookies. Would you like cookies and milk?”
“I got a whiff of the cookies when I opened the door! Yes, cookies and milk sounds great! I’ll read the mail first.”
He did not want to get his hopes up too high. Several colleges sent out pamphlets; but none showed interest in accepting his applications. The big catalog caught his eye first. He knew they considered him to be one of their best customers. Climbing requires proper clothing and equipment; and he always needed supplies. There would be time to check their latest specials later. Where is that envelope from Oregon? There it is. It doesn’t seem as thick as most of the others. Maybe they are a struggling school and cutting down on expenses; so they mail out less. His trembling fingers tore open the envelope and his eyes quickly scanned the legal size business letter. They accept me! I’m in!
“Mama, the college in Oregon is enrolling me!” He quickly placed the letter back inside the envelope.
Rushing to the kitchen, he knocked his glass of milk off the edge of the table, spilling it all over the floor. He looked into his mother’s convicting eyes, and reached for paper towels to clean up his mess. He felt more like a little boy getting in trouble, than a young man anticipating going off to college. He remembered all the times his mother scolded him for carelessly spilling things over the years. It’s true; I am clumsy. My hands are always in the way. His thoughts were interrupted by his mother’s roaring laughter.
“Oh, Jonathan, you look like an old cleaning woman down on your hands and knees!”
They both laughed so hard Jonathan’s ribs hurt. He finished wiping up the milk; and they both sat down across from each other at the table. He felt a twinge of sadness knowing how much he’d miss his precious mother.
“Well, let me see your letter of acceptance.”
His rough calloused hands reached in the envelope.
“What’s the matter?”
“I got a paper cut! Ow, that smarts!”
He could temporarily think only of the pain made by a simple paper cut. In coming years he’d experience many bumps, bruises, broken dreams and bones.
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