The delicate creaking of her chair reached out across the open prairie, as if asking the distant horizon to draw in a bit closer to the gnarled floorboards surfacing the porch of the old weathered farmhouse that was her home. Responding obediently to her movements, as they had learned to do countless years before, the runners of her ancient rocker gently murmured in accompaniment to the steady moaning of the wind, and the quiet hissing of the tall grass brushing against the bottom of the azure sky was a symphony proclaiming the union of earth and heaven in this very, very special place.
        Where was Elmer, she wondered? He’d gone out hours ago, long before the hills edging the sky to the east had even begun to show the first light that hinted the beginning of another new day. “I’ve got to check on those new calves down in that dry wash below the ridge to the north, I think m’be they’ll have wandered a bit far into the ravine and I don’t want ‘em down there if we get a storm this afternoon.” With that he softly kissed her on the forehead and, pulling up around her shoulders the soft quilt her friends had made as a wedding present so many years ago … feeling the warmth of her lips and the satiny lining of the spread it seemed like only yesterday she’d first led him to this bed … he then tucked her in. Carrying his boots in his hand as he slipped from the room, he very softly shut the bedroom door behind him. Falling back to sleep, the last thing she heard was the sound of the rocker on the porch as he sat to pull on his boots, in seasons other than winter what she’d always referred to as his “polite habit.”
        Now, hours later, his lunch was cold on the stove and the darkening sky to the north was beginning to cause her worry. Already the silence of the birds and the nervous dancing of the horses in the corral were signs that the approaching weather was to be more than a light Spring rain. He’d taken his slicker, she’d checked to find the worn iron hook behind the door empty, and he’d ridden out on Ol’ Rusty, an experienced mount not to be upset by even the worst storm nature might call forth this time of year. Ultimately, she was somewhat reassured he would be all right by reminding herself that her concerns were mostly remnants from the time before she’d learned just how strong and capable he was.
        Casting a furtive eye to towering clouds now beginning to erase the day with their menacing gloom, she sighed softly as she rose and pushed the rocker back against the gray clapboards of the house. Stepping out from the porch she took a final glance towards the distant horizon, hoping to see the familiar sight of rider and horse coming from the dark gash in the prairie that marked the southern end of the ravine to which he had ridden. Absentmindedly rubbing the first few drops of rain from her cheek, she tried to contain her disappointment and stepped back up to enter the house. Brushing her fingers along the weather lined grain of the screen door’s wooden frame, she experienced an unexpected tiredness as the texture of the wood against her hand suddenly reminded her of the feel of the skin on her face. With that, and an echoing clap of thunder from the north, she scurried to shutter the windows and prepare for the storm.

        He was startled from the hypnotic trance that the long, almost arrow-straight stretch of highway had cast upon him. “Honey, could you pull the car off to the side?”
Checking his mirrors, and immediately realizing the absurdity of a habit wasted on this barren stretch of road, he nevertheless meticulously eased the sleek four-wheel drive vehicle to a patch of course gravel alongside the highway. Coming slowly to a halt, he once more checked the road behind them, this time realizing that the sudden unexpected passage of a speeding truck guided by a driver exhausted from far too many hours behind the wheel could turn this uneventful day into a small-town newspaper headline. “What is it … is the sun bothering you?”
        “No, I just want to walk back and take a look at that neat old house we passed when we drove over the rise just behind us. Could you hand me my camera bag from behind the seat?”
He’d been with her for enough years to ...

Here is the opportunity to get your very own copy of my book, The Rocker and Other Stories! I have listed below several options for purchasing the book. Please feel free to email me if you've any questions or need further information.  If you are one of the many people who have provided me with so much support and encouragement these past few years, I hope I've done you proud. For the rest of you who are reading this page, I'm excited and pleased that we are to meet in my stories. Here is a bit of a "teaser" from The Rocker:

TO ORDER YOUR VERY OWN COPY OF "THE ROCKER"

You can purchase The Rocker and Other Stories at your local book store or thru Amazon.com or Borders.com (it is in the Books In Print). The Rocker is ISBN#1-58721-334-6.

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