The Gift of Time

He gave me today-

His Gift

If I abuse

or misuse it

Ashes will be all that remain.

Yet, if I offer it up to Him

Showers of blessing and beauty

He will send.

He didn’t leave me in yesterday

That gift is far gone

I’ll never unwrap its pleasures

or its sorrow again.

I want His freedom to rise above

All the deadness that abounds

So that when today

is only yesterday

No ashes will be found.

He wouldn’t show me tomorrow

For its safely in His hands

My life is part of His plan

He is my life story

To Him belongs the glory.

Though the road I travel

may be unknown

I know it will lead to home.

We cannot be foolish

with the gift of time

For it is the ladder we ascend

As we take the climb

Eternity ahead

Heaven sublime

(c) Tina Cole

The ‘New’ Reality

jesus is the reality
in a world filled with blinded eyes of vanity
more real than mortal tongue can tell
His word is truth;he'll never fail

he is love in a world of hate
on calvary it was revealed
he is the key to heaven's gate
in him eternity is fulfilled

eat of his flesh, drink of his blood
of his sacrifice you must partake
that from selfishness and sin you may awake
of his sufferings you must share
so his righteousness you may wear

Jesus is the reality
all else is vanity
more real than mortal tongue can tell
his word is truth, he'll never fail

he's the king of kings
the god of heaven
the ruler of the universe
the creator and the savior
of the soul of man

he stands with outstretched hands
softly calling will you come to me
for i will set you free
from death and the destroyer
and you will see i am your reality!

POV and Alley Rose

If you’re a writer, especially of fiction, you know something about point of view. You know it’s one of the most important choices you must make for your particular story. There are three main POVs to choose from.

First person- with this narrator you can build closeness, intrigue, and suspense. They can be reliable or unreliable. You may be able to trust everything they say because they’re honest. Or you may doubt their version of events because they’re trying to deceive you. Or else they are deceived themselves, thinking they’re speaking truth to you. The Screwtape Letters is a prime example of this POV. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is another classic written in the first person-from the view of a six year old girl.

Second Person-This is a rare POV for fiction. It is used in cookbooks and self-help books too. Below is an example from my non-fiction book, How To Be Really Street Smart’.

‘Have you ever been riding your bicycle down a narrow road and suddenly you see a car coming right toward you? If so, you were probably on a one way street. Whoever didn’t read and obey the street sign was the person going the wrong direction. Isn’t it common sense to read and follow the signs so you’ll be going the right way every time?

The world is filled with people trying to tell you the right way to think, to live, and to be. They may be preachers, teachers, scholars, coaches, movie stars, popular singers, politicians, parents, family members, or friends. You must be careful about who you let influence how you believe. Some may deceive you, others may confuse you, but hopefully, more than a few will tell you the truth.’

Third Person- There are two main types of this POV. Limited view is when the narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of one character (at least one character at a time). Omniscient view is when the narrator knows and sees everything going on in the story.

There are other versions of these 3 types that you can learn about here and here.

The third person omniscient point of view has the most trustworthy narrator. They tend to be unbiased. And of course they know more than the other narrators do. In like manner the Spirit of God moved on godly men to write the books of the Holy Bible. Down through the years evil men have written corrupt versions of His Word but they have not succeeded in destroying the  True Living Word which will abide forever. 

Why wouldn’t we want our story to be penned by our Omniscient God, Savior, Deliverer, Healer, and soon coming King? We can trust Him. His Word is coming to pass more and more every day. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith and He desires for us to experience real life and life more abundantly. The reality of it can be found between the pages of His Book-which is written from His point of view-not ours. It takes the Holy Spirit to lead us to the true POV of abundant life in Jesus Christ. 

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  II Peter 1 kjv

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55  kjv

Update on Alley Rose, my work in progress: At the beginning of Corona virus season I had to take a hiatus from writing it because of family obligations. In the last few weeks I’ve had more time to write. So I’d like to share a few lines with you of ‘Alley Rose’ my second novel.

‘After feeding and petting Panther, Savannah walked off the porch and raised her head up toward the sky, expecting drops of rain to hit her in the face. Instead she spotted dense gray clouds moving swiftly in the direction of the midday sun which was shrouded in more clouds. It was disappointing not being able to see the ‘great eclipse’ everyone at school had been talking about.

Mom and Dylan didn’t seem interested in it. But it would’ve been so exciting to see it happen. A once in a lifetime event.  And all anybody has to do is look up into the sky at the right time. If I could’ve been at Mamaw Liza’s I’d be having so much fun. Maybe it’s not cloudy in Newport. Melia and her parents might be there. I wish I was.

Returning to the back of the house, she headed for the porch steps. At that moment a flash of light pierced through the gray gloom. The clouds in front of the sun rolled swiftly back and revealed the moon’s shadow engulfing the sunlight. A thin, silvery ring appeared from the edges of the giant fireball.

Untimely darkness enveloped everything in its midst, as the stars emerged in the background. Previously chirping birds and barking dogs were silenced as confused crickets and cicadas began their nightly rhythmic tunes. Feeling the effects of the immense temperature drop, Savannah wrapped her hands around her shivering arms. Forcing her eyes away from the cosmic scene above, she dropped her pants-clad knees into the wet dirt below and covered her face with her hands.

I looked at it! I saw the eclipse! Am I going to go blind now?’

As you can see this passage is in third person POV. The first half of AR is told in it. But I am writing the second part in first person and past tense too. It seems like the best POV for the story. Time will tell if I picked the right one. Thanks for coming by. Comment if you have anything to add to the subject.

Predictive or Prophetic Books?

The Wreck of the Titan or (Futility)- you may have heard of the Titanic-the actual book and not the movie. This novel, written by Morgan Robertson in 1898, had a plot line about a ship called the Titan, said to be unsinkable. It hit an iceberg in the month of April and sank just like the Titanic did in 1912.


The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz. Part of the plot is about the Chinese government creating a virus to use as a biological weapon. The virus is called the Wuhan400. Koontz wrote the novel in 1981.

Rage-a book written by a high school boy named Stephen King under the pseudonym  Richard Bachman. First published in 1977 and later published in a collection called the Bachman Books. The novel is about a school shooting. Because it became associated with true life school shootings in the 80’s and 90’s King allowed the book to go out of print.

Stand on Zanzbar written in 1968 by John Brunner. Within its pages are futuristic occurrences such as personalized, digital avatars used for entertainment, division in religious denomination over issues like abortion, and genetic mapping.

The Last President(or 1900) by Ingersoll Lockwood and written in late 1890s. It has a strangely familiar sounding plot which involves a President of the ‘common man’. He lived on 5th avenue in New York, where Trump Tower is now. What’s more, protests and riots spread across the country because of his Presidency.


The Holy Bible-no, it’s not a novel but it is the greatest literature ever written. Beyond that, the Bible is the most prophetic book that has ever been written. It doesn’t predict because God is the author and He, who is outside of time, sees the end from the beginning.


Though the world has tried to destroy or discredit the Bible it continues to endure and enlighten those who sit in darkness and are seeking for the light. Jesus was the Word made flesh and the light of the world.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God

John 3:19-21

Don’t be deceived by all the chaos going on in this world. God is still in control. All these things must come to pass according to His Word.. Matthew 24

God, who is outside of time, sees the end from the beginning.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8


If you’d like to understand more about what’s going on in the world at this time, then here’s a post that may help you see things more clearly. Research for yourself but always seek God for ultimate truth.

God Has A Mighty Forest

God's Mighty Forest



1.)   STAND STRONG…IN THE GRACE OF GOD THRU FAITH-Romans 5:2) as a child of God we don’t have to, Nor can we, stand alone.

2.)  GROW DEEP ROOTS to stand strong a tree needs deep roots.;Also true for a Christian. Learning to trust God and realizing he is worthy of our love helps us to keep rooted in him.-Jeremiah 17:7,8

3.)  GIVE SHELTER…TO OTHERS IN NEED. If we allow the Spirit of Jesus to keep our roots watered  and let the word feed us, then our leaves will always be green and our limbs strong so we can be a shelter to help someone in need.

4.)  DON’T BEND IN THE WIND. The winds of adversity will surely come to a child of God but we don’t have to succumb to the devastation that it brings with it. Our God is greater in us than the enemy is in the world. Also, we can’t yield to false teachings or false doctrine because it would eventually uproot us from the true word of God.

5.)  REJOICE IN THE LORD…”then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the lord” I Chronicles 16:33; “and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” Isaiah 55:12 If the trees do it how much more should we be doing it?!

6.)  SOAK UP THE SUN AND RAIN “The presence of the “Son” and the refreshing “water” of the Holy Spirit are what we need to keep us growing and maturing.

7.)  BE FRUITFUL When we allow him to feed us, water us, and shine on us we will produce good fruit. And there are many types of fruit bearing trees in the world. So we should not try to judge our fruit by others or visa- versa…judge others by ours. But keep in mind that the word does say ”Every good tree brings forth good fruit …a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit…by their fruits you shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20

8.)  LET GO OF THE PAST. The wind of the Spirit is able to whisk away or clean out all the unforgiveness, hurt or bitterness in our lives.  Sinful debris from our past will only get in the way of our growth and fruitfulness.

9.)  SHARE YOUR SEEDS…OF FAITH AND GOOD WORKS. Our faith is revealed by our fruits and works. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven” Matthew 6:16

10.)HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH…AND REACH FOR THE SKY.  If you’re a child of the King of glory then you have every right to lift up your head, heart and mind and look for the promised redemption of his children at his appearing. I John 3.

Jeremiah 17:7-9 King James Version

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.



Below is a link to a video of the timeless story of ‘The Three Trees’.  Adults and youth alike will enjoy it.

Hope For the Children

78 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.

4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.


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It’s Always Time To Pray!


A flashback is a literary technique often used in literature and films.  Flashbacks interrupt  normal events to add backstory. Because flashbacks interrupt the normal flow in a story line, editors and experienced writers strongly suggest only adding them if there’s a specific purpose for it. What’s more you should use it in the right place and sparingly. If you’re giving the reader crucial information for understanding the story, and the character’s motives, then these are important reasons.  The Bible is replete with flashbacks like the following:

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

‘17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dream18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy’: Acts 2

Peter quoted the preceding Old Testament verses, revealing to the onlookers that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was foretold in God’s Word. So the Day of Pentecost was the fulfilling of that prophecy.  And it’s continuing to be fulfilled over two thousand years later! His Spirit is still being poured out on those that are hungry and thirsty for His power, righteousness, and truth.

Those people who think that God no longer fills believers with His Spirit are plainly deceived. Some call themselves cessationists-they believe the gifts that happened in the book of Acts ceased during the time of the Apostles. Read more about cessationism. Why would God take away the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth from His people?  Why would He not desire people to be healed today? God doesn’t forsake His own. He said He’d never leave us or forsake us.


But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whomcess the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26


And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5

Righteousness, peace, and joy

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17


Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. I Corinthians 2:3


But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts If you are someone who believes the Holy Ghost(Holy Spirit) is not for us today, then you are truly missing out on the glory and power of His kingdom. Don’t be like those men who stood before Stephen when he said, ‘Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost’ Acts 7:51

You might believe  the ‘so called manifestations of the Spirit’ are fake. And you may say it’s of the devil. Well you could be right about some of them. Below is another blog post you might want to read concerning false prophets. Deceivers in the midst

Maybe you are someone that hungers for His Spirit. Seek Him with your whole heart, surrender control to Him. You can trust that He longs to give you good things. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

With the chaos in the world right now don’t you believe we need some comfort, peace, love, and wisdom? Jesus knows all about it. That’s why he said:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

We need His Spirit. Time is short! Let’s Pray!

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26



























Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. I Corinthians 12:3




A Wise Poet Once Said

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

John Greenleaf Whittier

I’ve seen this poem posted some places online, attributed to Anonymous. Two reasons I believe Mr. Whittier wouldn’t care at all are: 1) He left this earth over 100 years ago. 2) His poem below-I believe-proves the humility that his heart possessed.


An Autograph

I write my name as one,
On sands by waves o’errun
Or winter’s frosted pane,
Traces a record vain.
Oblivion’s blankness claims
Wiser and better names,
And well my own may pass
As from the strand or glass.
Wash on, O waves of time!
Melt, noons, the frosty rime!
Welcome the shadow vast,
The silence that shall last!
When I and all who know
And love me vanish so,
What harm to them or me
Will the lost memory be?
If any words of mine,
Through right of life divine,
Remain, what matters it
Whose hand the message writ?
Why should the “crowner’s quest”
Sit on my worst or best?
Why should the showman claim
The poor ghost of my name?
Yet, as when dies a sound
Its spectre lingers round,
Haply my spent life will
Leave some faint echo still.
A whisper giving breath
Of praise or blame to death,
Soothing or saddening such
As loved the living much.
Therefore with yearnings vain
And fond I still would fain
A kindly judgment seek,
A tender thought bespeak.
And, while my words are read,
Let this at least be said:
“Whate’er his life’s defeatures,
He loved his fellow-creatures.
“If, of the Law’s stone table,
To hold he scarce was able
The first great precept fast,
He kept for man the last.
“Through mortal lapse and dulness
What lacks the Eternal Fulness,
If still our weakness can
Love Him in loving man?
“Age brought him no despairing
Of the world’s future faring;
In human nature still
He found more good than ill.
“To all who dumbly suffered,
His tongue and pen he offered;
His life was not his own,
Nor lived for self alone.
“Hater of din and riot
He lived in days unquiet;
And, lover of all beauty,
Trod the hard ways of duty.
“He meant no wrong to any
He sought the good of many,
Yet knew both sin and folly,—
May God forgive him wholly!”
                            J G  Whittier

                          HIS QUOTES



For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.


Before me, even as behind, God is, and all is well.


No longer forward nor behind I look in hope or fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, The best of now and here.


Peace hath higher tests of manhood, than battle ever knew.


Beauty seen is never lost; God’s colors all are fast.



Return to Evergreen


Return to Evergreen-2


This is a work in progress. If you’d like to read chapter 1 go here.

Chapter 2


“Gabe where is the packing tape? I’ve looked all over the upstairs bedroom and can’t find it anywhere!”

Gabriel Campbell could tell by the volume and tone of his wife’s voice that she was in a bad mood. Generally she was an easy going type. “I’m not sure. Maybe Makena knows. She may have it in her bedroom now,” he spoke loudly in the direction of the kitchen where she was packing boxes.

She rushed through the living room to where he sat in his recliner reading the city newspaper. “Gabe I know you’re tired but we’ve got so much to pack and so little time to get it done. Could you please give me a hand with the kitchen and pantry things?” Without waiting for an answer, she hurried toward her daughter’s bedroom behind the stairs.

After glancing up at her for a second, her husband returned to perusing the paper. He was used to her trying to rush everyone to complete a task at break neck speed though there usually was plenty of time to spare. He liked to take his time whereas she was a bit *obsessive compulsive or OCD. Somehow they complimented each other he imagined.

Standing in the doorway of Makena’s bedroom, her mother said, “When you’re finished with that tape please bring it to me in the kitchen. I’ll probably have everything all boxed before your dad finishes his newspaper. As her daughter taped a box full of books closed Keokee noticed the unhappy expression on her pale freckled face. “What gives girl? Why so glum? I thought you were ready for a change of scenery.”

Makena pressed her bow shaped lips together and said with downcast eyes, “I just don’t know if it’s gonna be any better there for sure. We haven’t been back in three years. I don’t even remember the kids I played with back then. And they probably won’t remember me either.”

“Landon Coffey’s girl Mindy still goes to school there. And she’s in the same grade as you isn’t she?” her mother informed her, trying to diminish her fears. In a way, she diminished her own worries by reminding herself that Mindy’s grandmother Lillie would be there too. How she had missed the closeness they once shared. Could they ever get back such a special friendship again? She wasn’t sure because so much had happened in the last few years that had put an uneasy distance of more than miles between them.

Makena reached her hand up to her long copper blonde hair and began twirling it around her forefinger. “I guess it won’t be so bad after all. Nana won’t be as far away from where we live and we can see her more too. Plus my cousins—even if they are way older than me.”

Her mother grinned. “That’s the spirit.” As she turned around and headed back for the kitchen, Keokee mused, Like mother, like daughter. She’s got my hair twirling gene too. I wonder how much I’m like my mother. Keokee bristled at the notion. After re-entering the kitchen, a thought flooded her mind.* What if  mother had still been living when happened? Oh God! My life would’ve been more than a living nightmare!

Leaving the kitchen, she went into the bedroom, closed the door and picked up her purse from her nightstand. Guardedly watching the door, she pulled out a prescription bottle and shook *two pills into her hand. Those thoughts, those horrible unrelenting, forbidden thoughts could not resurface again.

“Mrs. Milligan, Shelley is on line one,” Alana Milligan’s secretary informed her on the intercom in her chic tenth floor office. The executive editor of “First Class” magazine wore fitted dark brown twill pants and a green cowl neck which accentuated her meticulously made up olive green eyes. In addition she wore a gold star shaped necklace and matching earrings which paired well with her light golden tanned skin (plus softly rouged cheekbones) and brown hair with caramel highlights. The sixty-two year old woman believed in dressing in style every day.

“Thank you Joyce,” she said courteously as she pushed the button to speak to her daughter. “Well it’s about time you got back to me. I thought you’d left the country since it has taken this long to return my call.” There’s was a pause as she listened intently and gazed at her husband who sat on the black suede sofa that stood in the corner of her office and to the left of her slightly cluttered desk. “Really now?” she commented, as her eyebrows rose, giving her a curious look. “No I haven’t seen her in nearly three years myself. If you remember, she didn’t stay here in New York more than four or five months before moving down to Lenoir where her husband was going to pastor a church.”

Barry Milligan leaned forward on the sofa and reached to pick up his coffee cup from the oval glass table that set in front of him. The deep purple cup read “First Class Editor-n-Chief” in silver letters. His wife had it specially made for his sixtieth birthday three years earlier. It was the same year, he recalled, that she took the title of editor in chief of his women’s magazine. Of course, he wouldn’t have relinquished it to her if he had thought she couldn’t handle the job. Waiting for her to get off the phone, he perused her newly decorated office. Though he had told her that it didn’t need changing, he had to concede it was an improvement from the heavier, traditional style it had been previously.

The focal point of the room was a glass sphere, globe hanging from the ceiling by a silver chain. In front and to the left set Alana’s L shaped desk with a cherry top. The base of the desk was black and contained hidden file cabinets. At the present it was cluttered with papers, files and photographs alongside of a glass vase with purple carnations, a stone colored paperweight, silver pen and pencil holder, flat screen computer and office phone. On the far side of the office set a hutch with a smaller size desk. Both desks had ergonomically correct swivel chairs. In addition, there was a loveseat that matched the suede sofa he was now sitting on.

Becoming increasingly impatient, he rose up and walked toward the back wall of the office where three windows faced the front of the high rise building. After giving a quick glance at the New York City skyline from the tenth floor, he hurried to the side of his wife’s desk.

“Lana, I’ve got to leave in a few minutes. Catching my plane to London-remember?”

His wife continued to listen to her daughter with one ear and appeased her husband by glancing in his direction as she held up a long slender finger. “One moment please” she quietly mouthed in his direction. Then she spoke to Shelley, “Yes honey I’ll call you on the weekend and let you know if I can attend the party. You know I’ll try my best. Take care and I hope to see you and the children soon. Bye now.”

After she hung up the phone, her husband said in disbelief, “Do you mean to tell me you are going off to that decrepit little town of Evergreen Gap when the issue is so close to ship time?”

Alana adjusted the rounded collar of her blouse and then said, “Of course not Barry honey. I know the responsibilities I have to live up to here. But I couldn’t fully explain that to Shelley. You know she never has understood the great time and detail it takes in putting a magazine as large and in vogue as this together.” Next she put on her small shaped reading glasses and examined a photo of a female airplane pilot that was to be used for the next cover of “First Class”. Then she continued, “They’re having a birthday party for Dallas. He will be thirteen on the third of November. Shelley considers it a milestone so she’s going all out for it. And she said that Keokee and her daughter Makena are coming too. It appears that they’re returning to live in that coal dust covered, ghost of a town. Only God knows why.”

Evergreen Gap has only two entrances by which it can be reached. One of them Straight Gap Road, flanked by train tracks and a tree-lined river-leading to the town from the south. Though a minor portion is truly straight, the remainder of the route is a succession of winding curves that follow alongside Lonesome River. Beyond the tracks loom three giant silos, now forsaken, once used for the black rock’s processing and storage-ghostly relics of a time decades ago when ‘coal was king’.

From the north, an exit ramp descends and converges with Railroad Avenue leading into the main part of town on *Grand Street. The elementary and middle school can be found on Railroad Avenue. The High School had to be consolidated four years earlier as a result of a poor economy. For a few tumultuous years the community had discussed, debated and argued over what would be the best solution for the children and the county. In the end the school board agreed to consolidate with Copper Creek High, a larger, more modern school ten miles north of town. Many people predicted the death of Evergreen once it happened but as time passed they came to realize it wasn’t much worse off than before-when it was already on life support.

Before arriving in the small town wedged between the ridges of Black Mountain the Campbell family took in the beautiful fall scenery along Straight Gap Road.  As they approached the entrance framed by a train trestle, Keokee was reminded of the times in her youth when traffic would be backed up because some large truck was unable to clear the bottom of the trestle. Eventually they lowered the road underneath to take care of the impasse.

Unfortunately, the town’s police force chose to lower their standards also.  Once called a great place to raise a family, Evergreen Gap could no longer hold such a reputation due to the fact that the chief of police had secretly been selling drugs on the side. In addition, the deputy was investigated for the murder of his wife within the same year. Then to add insult to injury, the year after that the mayor and a few councilmen were indicted for electoral fraud. Their crime of trading cheeseburgers for votes made the town a laughing stock on late night television shows.

Some people blamed the disintegrating state of the community on loss of jobs due to the coal industry issues. Others were sure it was because of prescription drug abuse aided by doctors writing too many prescriptions. Several of the older town folk believed there was something much deeper at the core of its sickness. They called it “the loss of the fear of God”.

Suggestions or comments are welcome.