Ethel's Writing's

 

 

 

 

Treasures

In

Erieau

 

© Ethel Wicksey August 2013

Chatham Ontario Canada

ethel_wicksey@live.ca

 

 

                                               ISBN 978-0-9809182-6-7

 

Introduction

I would like to thank my daughters, Sandra, and Jane Hiday. They sat by the hour as I read to them. They even gave me some good suggestions. Jane also helped edit the novel. Patricia and the members of IMAGINATIONink, and Chatham Kent Writers Guild, encouraged me.

A special person wants to remain anonymous. She spent hours editing the novel for me.

David and the Instant Print Shoppe in Chatham Ontario printed the book for me.

In addition, I would like to thank all of you who believed in me and uplifted me in prayer, for without the power of the Holy Spirit and God, I would never have written the novel.

I dedicate Treasures in Erieau to my Sisters, Barbara Kernohan & Kathy Whittaker.

They spent many hours on the phone listening to my ideas and encouraging me.

I wrote most of the devotions in the novel.

I paraphrased the scriptures from the (NIV) Bible.

The poem, Special Friends, was written by, Jane Hiday.

The story about Civilla Martin and all songs I used are Public Domain.

All the characters and people named in the book, except my own and daughters Jane and Sandra are from my imagination.

Some of the places are real.

Thank You

Ethel Wicksey


 

Prologue

Amelia Jean Wilber married Stanley Vander Woerd’s on Friday, June 26 2009, at five o’clock in Blenheim. Stanley’s family, who were staying in Erieau, left for the airport in Toronto to catch a plane to Holland on Sunday morning.

Amelia’s cousin, Jocelyn is looking after her house and cat until she returns from her honeymoon.

When Jocelyn gets to Amelia’s place, she unpacks her suitcase and removes the sheets from the dryer. The house is quiet except for the chirping of birds coming through the open windows.

The clock upon the mantel chimes two o’clock asJocelyn searches through the house for Freddy. She cannot find him anywhere.

Jocelyn calls, “Freddy where are you? You can come out of hiding now. Everyone has left for home.” She goes into the kitchen getting a glass of water and wonders where he is.

“MEOW,” The cat springs out from behind the table causing her to jump and spill her water.

She shakes her head, “Freddy you will have to stop doing that or I will give you away.” He brushes his fur against her leg as to say, “I am sorry Jocelyn.” She wipes the spill from the floor and hugs him.

The gray cat follows her up to Amelia’s art room. Erieau is such a beautiful place to live. A gentle breeze ruffles the curtains as Jocelyn looks out the window. The sky is blue with fluffy white clouds floating above the horizon. Several families are building sand castles on the beach while other children splash in the water. Sailboats with billowing sails glide through the waves.

Jocelyn sits in the recliner and puts her feet up. Freddy jumps on her lap. He is a good listener. He purrs when she tells him, “I came to live with you and Amelia a year ago.

“I am tired. Let me see; Stanley’s family came from Holland and stayed here with Amelia. Some of Amelia’s relations stayed in my loft apartment.

“I helped the staff at Stella’s Tearoom cook supper for Stanley and Amelia’s family, so that they could visit in the evening. I am glad we will not open Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom until after Canada Day.”

Jocelyn rubs her fingers under the cat’s chin. “I moved back to my old bedroom at Amelia’s today. I missed you when I moved to my new cottage last fall.” She closes her eyes and listens to Freddy purr.

~~~~~~

The cat is asleep on her lap when Jocelyn wakes. She sees her bridesmaid’s dress lying on the daybed. Jocelyn holds it up. I love the colour. She hugs it to her bosom. Her cheeks are as bright as the pink dress when she remembers the wedding reception.

A tall handsome man asked if he could get me some punch. I smiled at him and said yes. As we walked towards the table, he told me, ‘The colour of your dress reminds me of a rose that grows in my mother’s garden.’ He said it was his favourite colour.

He seemed so sincere. I looked into his blue eyes. They were the colour of the ocean. There was something special about him. I started to ask where he worked, when his cell phone rang.

He excused himself and left to talk on the phone. When he returned, he told me that he was sorry. There was an emergency at work and he had to leave.

The background noise was so loud at the reception that I was not able to hear his name. It sounded like Chad or Rad. He walked over to talk with Stanley and Amelia for a minute. I watched him drive down the road in his blue truck. Amelia and Stanley left before I was able to ask them about the stranger.

No one I asked seemed to know who he was.

“I think I will call it an early night Freddy.” She picked him up and went down to the kitchen. After eating some leftovers, she headed for the bedroom.

Jocelyn picks up her devotional and cannot concentrate. She listens to the radio instead. The announcer says, ‘The next song is ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ by Mercy Me.’

She hums along with the song. When the song is over Jocelyn turns the radio off.

She climbs into bed, and the cat snuggles at her feet. She dreams about a man with blue eyes as deep as the ocean. Who was the stranger at the wedding, and where did he go in such a hurry?

 

1. Katelyn

It was nine fifteen when the doorbell woke Jocelyn from a deep sleep. Grabbing her robe, she heads down the hall to see who is there. Her friend Katelyn from Edmonton is standing outside.

“Come in Katelyn. We haven’t had a chance to visit since you came home.”

Embracing she muses, “I have missed you Jocelyn.

I slept in. Give me five minutes, please make yourself at home.”

Katelyn walks around the room examining several pieces of contemporary furniture. She looks at the fine details of an antique mantle clock sitting on a corner table.

Jocelyn returns and asks, “What do you think of Amelia’s living room?”

“I love the way Amelia mixes antiques with modern furniture.”

“I’ve learned so much from her,Katelyn. Amelia is a talented interior decorator. She took several courses while she was in college.

“Do you want a cup of tea? I didn’t have time to visit with you at the wedding.”

“I would love one Jocelyn.”

The friends sit at the table and chat.

“It is good to see you Katelyn. Your children must be getting big.”

“Yes they are. She takes several pictures out of her purse and hands them to Jocelyn. “Benny turned three last month, and Katy is two. Mike is spending as much time with them as he can. He has to fly back to Edmonton on Thursday.”

Jocelyn shakes her head, “You are making me feel old. It seems like we just graduated.”

“That was several years ago Jocelyn.

“I noticed how they raised the roof of Stella’s house and built the new Erieau Historical Collectors Guild’s building. I cannot believe what five years can do. The Village of Erieau used to stay the same.”

“Time does have a way of changing things Katelyn. Volunteers from all over the area came and helped build the Guilds building next door. They did it at the same time they raised Amelia’s roof. Your parents, Ben and Kate, worked hard with the expansion. Now everything in the Antique store can be kept separate from the Guild’s collections.”

“My mother was upset on several occasions after one of the staff from Stella’s Antiques sold artifacts that belonged to the Guild.”

“Your mother will never have to worry about it happening again Katelyn. I remember the day I sold the oak wall telephone by mistake.”

“When did you do that?”

“I was taking care of the store while Stella was away for the day. The white and gold tags that the Guild used to identify what belonged to them had fallen off the phone. One of the staff replaced the tag with one that belonged to Stella’s Antiques. There was no way to know the difference. A man came in, and I sold him the antique phone.

“Ben and Kim came in later and I told them I had sold the old oak wall phone. When I saw the expression on your parents face, I knew that I had made a big mistake.

“Kim told me, ‘The wall phone does not belong to Stella, but to the Erieau Historical Collectors Guild.’”

“Were you able to get the telephone back?”

“Yes, the man who bought it returned to the store the next day. I told him about my mix-up. I phoned Ben, and he took care of the situation for me.”

“You were lucky Jocelyn.”

“I know, the month after I sold the phone Stella and your parents started to make plans to build the new addition. Stella died, so the Guild had to put it on hold.”

Jocelyn wipes a tear away, “Living with Stella was never boring. I keep expecting her to walk through the door and give me a hug.”

Katelyn says, “I always felt special when I visited Stella. She often stopped what she was doing and listened to me. She really cared. I still have the antique doll she gave me when I was in the hospital.”

“We all miss her Katelyn. Come with me and I will show you what Amelia’s family did when they raised the roof to make her an art studio.”

~~~~~~

They climb the stairs to the art studio. Katelyn joins Jocelyn at the open window overlooking Lake Erie. Jocelyn looks around the spacious room and says, “I love to spend my spare time up here.”

“I don’t blame you; it is wonderful.” Katelyn walks around the room looking at everything. She pulls out a drawer in the coffee table and picks up several drawings.

She walks across the room and stands in front of a partly finished painting that sits on an easel. “This is a beautiful painting of Amelia’s mother, Marvel.”

Katelyn reverently touches the tubes of paints and feels the bristles of the brushes. The familiar scent of paint mingles in the air. She thinks about her paint supplies packed away in a box at home. There would be a real mess in my house if I tried to paint now... maybe when the children are older! She puts the brushes back where they belong.

Jocelyn asks, “Do you still paint?”

“I was too busy to continue with my studies after the children were born.”

Jocelyn picks up a small painting and says, “Amelia will continue giving art lessons when she gets home.”

“I wished I lived closer so that I could come. I know why you love this room Jocelyn. The view from the four windows is outstanding.” Katelyn moves over to the fireplace and picks up one of the porcupines made of a pinecone and pine needles. She looks at the oil painting of a blue heron with a repaired bill. I wonder what happened to him. The name on the plaque under the painting says, ‘Hughie’.

Katelyn sits in the easy chair. “Jocelyn, how are you related to Amelia and Stella?”

“My mother Isabel Brooks and Amelia’s father are brother and sister; so that makes me Amelia’s cousin. Stella and Amelia’s mother Marvel were sisters. Stella was Amelia’s Aunt.”

“That is confusing Jocelyn. I met Amelia when she was a young girl helping Stella with the store during the summer. We were the same age. Amelia had every afternoon free, so we started the Secret Sisters. I lived in Erieau all my life, until I moved to Edmonton after my wedding. It is good to be able to visit with my family and friends.”

“I am glad you came home Katelyn.”

“What happened to Stella and why does Amelia own the store now Jocelyn?”

“Stella was a widow and never had any children. Your father Ben was the fire chief when her Husband Oliver perished in a fire. Stella died of a heart attack last spring. Amelia inherited this house and Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom from her.”

“I am glad Amelia is going to keep Stella’s open. Mom told me that you work for Amelia while she teaches school.”

“Yes I do. I love working at Stella’s,Katelyn.”

“Where did Amelia meet Stanley?”

“Come with me and I will tell you their story.”

Katelyn follows Jocelyn over to a shelf. Pointing at two large Bibles, Jocelyn says, “Amelia inherited these antique Bibles from her aunt Stella. One of them contained an envelope with important papers in it. The words were written in Dutch.”

Katelyn picks up one of the Bibles. “I have fond memories of the times I spent visiting Stella with my mother. She showed me the pictures in the Bibles and talked about her love of God and Jesus.” She opens the Bible to a picture of Jesus holding several small children in his arms.

“I love this picture Jocelyn. I always imagined that I was the little brown-haired girl held in Jesus’s arms.”

Katelyn pulls out a picture of an oil painting, “I took a photo of this page. I went to school and studied art so that I could paint it someday. After years of lessons, I was finally satisfied that my painting was good enough. The oil painting hangs above my fireplace. I carry the photo of it in my purse to remind me that Jesus loves me.”

Jocelyn wipes a few tears away, “Stella showed the Bibles to me also Katelyn. We spent many a rainy day looking through the pictures when I worked for her.”

Katelyn put the Bible back on the shelf. “Tell me more about the Family Bibles Jocelyn.”

“Amelia inherited the Bibles from Stella. She wanted to find the original owner and return them. StanleyVander Woerd, an antique appraiser from London, came to help Amelia appraise Stella’s estate. He walked into Amelia’s office one day and recognized the Family Bibles. They were the ones that someone stole after his family’s cottage burned.

“I don’t know if you remember the little boy your father rescued from the fire years ago. That was Stanley. They took him by air ambulance to the burn unit in London with severe burns on his arms and body. Your father Ben saved his life.”

“I sort of remember. I was young at the time.”

Jocelyn continues, “Amelia gave the Family Bibles back to Stanley’s mother. Stan and Amelia started dating, and you know the rest of the story.

“I am staying here until they return from their honeymoon. My brother Drew sent me some pictures of Amelia’s wedding. Come over to the computer and I will show them to you.”

Sitting at the computer, they watch the slide show. Jocelyn stops it and says, “I love this picture of Amelia sitting on Stella’s side-by-side swing. The white satin dress is the same dress that Amelia’s Grandmother, Amelia’s mother Marion, and her aunt Stella wore when they were married. Notice how the top and sleeves of the dress are covered with small imitation pearls.” Jocelyn clicks the mouse, and the pictures start again.

Katelyn says, “This is a nice picture of the bridal party. Let me see: you are standing bedside Pearl. Amelia is in the middle with Sharon and Nettie on the other side. It is hard to believe that Nettie is Stan’s twin sister. I have known Nettie for several years. We were summer sisters. She never mentioned that she had a twin brother.”

“I was surprised also Katelyn.”

“It was a beautiful wedding Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn smiles as she remembers the special event. She says, “I saw the look of love that my uncle Randal had before taking Amelia arm. He was going to give his only daughter to Stanley Vander Woerd.

“I heard Amelia’s father whisper; ‘AJ, this is the last time I will call you Amelia Wilber. The next time I hold your hand, you will be Amelia Vander Woerd.’ The music started and then I followed Pearl down the aisle at Amelia’s church.”

Katelyn sighs, “I wish I could have been one of the bridesmaids with you. I lived too far away, so I had to say no. I love the colour the dress you wore Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn picks it up. “My mother made it. I felt like a princess when I wore it.”

“I would love to see it on you againJocelyn.”

Jocelyn puts the dress on and dances around the room like a little girl. “Fuchsia is my favorite colour.” The dress has white imitation pearls sewn around the neckline. The sun shining through the skylight causes the satin material to shimmer.

Katelyn glances at her watch, “It is getting late, and I need to go.”

Jocelyn gives Katelyn a business card. “This is my new address. I bought the old Samson cottage near the picnic shelter. We need to keep in touch. I will make you a copy of the wedding on a CD when I am finished editing it.”

“Thanks Jocelyn, I will enjoy watching it when I get back to Edmonton. I do get homesick. It is hard living so far from my family and friends.”

Jocelyn follows Katelyn down the stairs.

“Let’s get together for lunch at my parents tomorrow.”

“I will bring some cookies for your children.”

Jocelyn stands in the doorway and watches her friend enter the Erieau Historical Collectors Guild. I wonder how Ben and Kim will like having their grandchildren visit them for a month. I will find out tomorrow.

 

2. Jocelyn’s Cottage

The gate creaks as Jocelyn pushes it open. It is on a side road off Mariners Road beside the public beach. A gray squirrel with a red bushy tail runs along the freshly painted white picket fence that encloses her back yard.

Now that the fence is finished, I can get a small dog to keep me company. The garden is doing well. It was a good idea to remodel my cottage. The income from the loft apartment will help with the mortgage.I will put the advertisement in the newspaper tomorrow.

Katelyn’s husband seems nice enough, but he does not interact with his children and I could tell that she was hurting. “God please be with Katelyn and her family.”

Jocelyn goes inside and opens the fridge. I should start supper.The doorbell rings to reveal her friend Norma from Wallaceburg.

“Hello Jocelyn, I was in Erieau, so I stopped to see you.”

“Come in, do you want something cold to drink?”

“Yes I am so thirsty.”

Jocelyn pours a glass of iced tea.

Norma follows her out to the enclosed porch overlooking the lake.

It is so refreshing here.” Norma stands by the window. She sees a few families sunning themselves on the sandy beach. Several children are jumping into the waves. Further down the beach a group of teens are playing volleyball. The aroma of barbecued hamburgers is coming from the picnic area.

“I love it here in Erieau, Jocelyn. You have a beautiful view. I hope to live by the lake someday.”

“It is a wonderful place to live. I sit in my sunroom after a stressful day and relax. Do you want to stay for supper?”

“Thanks, I’d love to.”

“I was my Cousin Amelia’s bridesmaid on Friday. I am staying at her house until she returns from her honeymoon in Ecuador.”

“What are they doing in Ecuador?”

“They are on a short term mission trip and working for an Orphanage near Quito. Their group plans on taking several excursions into the mountains to teach communities how to make Keyhole Gardens.”

“Keyhole Gardens, I’ve never heard of them. What are they?”

“Come out back and I will show you.”

Norma follows Jocelyn to a raised garden in the shape of a keyhole in the corner of her yard.

Jocelyn tells her, “Amelia’s brothers Bernie and Curtis are studying agriculture, and they helped me build this.”

Jocelyn picks a hand full of peas for Norma to try, and explains how they made the garden. “You start by making a circle in your yard that’s about nine feet across. You scoop off the topsoil and put it on a tarp to use for the soil in the Key Hole Garden. We built this one waist-high so that I don’t have to bend.

“We filled the inside of the garden-bed with old tin cans, leaves, grass, newspaper, cardboard, mulch and ashes from firewood. When we layer them together it provides the garden with most of the nutrients it needs to help the plants grow.”

Norma picks a cherry tomato and pops it into her mouth. “Delicious, it tastes like the heirloom tomatoes that my mother grows. I plan to tell mother and some of my friends about Keyhole Gardens. They have large backyards and are always complaining about cutting grass.”

“That is a good idea. We took several pictures while we made the garden. I will send them to you. There is information at the library about them, or you can go on the computer and type in Keyhole Gardens.”

“Thanks Jocelyn, I will do that. Can I help you make supper?”

“Sure, you can pick the fixings for the salads. We will need a carrot, a handful of leaf lettuce, a yellow pepper, peas, green onions and two cups of cherry tomatoes.

“The dirt from the vegetables can be rinsed off in the garden sink. The water drains into the compost, and it feeds the Keyhole Garden.” She opens a cupboard. “You can slice the tomatoes in half and add one diced green onion to this bowl. I put the vegetable scraps into the compost. It has thousands of worms working overtime making soil for me.”

Norma picks some lettuce and washes the vegetables before she takes them along with the cutting board to the picnic table and starts preparing the salads. When she is finished, she picks another pea pod and eats the fresh peas. This is a neat idea. I am hooked on Keyhole Gardens.

Jocelyn waters her flowerbeds and hanging baskets. Fuchsias are her favorite flower. The rose pink petals remind me of the soft pink bridesmaid dress that I wore at the wedding. She starts to deadhead. It is a lot of work, but I need to remove the dead flowers so the plants will keep blooming.

Jocelyn takes the watering can back to the shed and notices her metal detectors hanging on the wall. I will ask Norma if she has time to walk around my property after supper. We might find some buried treasure. She chuckles to herself as she plugs the battery chargers into the wall socket.

Norma sits under a sycamore tree with several bowls of chopped vegetables on the table. Jocelyn gets two empty bowls from the cottage and joins her.

“The salad is ready Jocelyn.”

“Thanks,” Jocelyn gives Norma a bowl, “Come with me and help me pick some strawberries for dessert. I lined both sides of the path with fertilizer bags and put Strawberry plants in the holes in the bags. The plants are full of strawberries.”

Norma picks one and puts in her mouth, “They taste sweet like the strawberries I ate as a child.”

“I know. There is nothing like fresh strawberries. Jocelyn takes the bowls over to the sink and rinses the fruit. The women sit and chatter as they slice the berries in half. When they are finished, they take everything into the kitchen.

Jocelyn hums as she pulls out the fixings for a chef’s salad. She puts the salad into two bowls then tops them with cut ham, cheese, a sliced hard-boiled egg, a handful of fresh peas and a scoop of cottage cheese all topped with a maraschino cherry.

Norma takes a sprig of fresh basil and cuts it up, before putting it into the bowl of baby tomatoes. She pours some Thousand Island dressing over it and gives it a stir.

The timer goes off, and Jocelyn removes the cheesy garlic bread from the toaster oven. She tells Norma, “Supper is ready. We can take it out to the sunroom, and we will have a takeout meal.”

Norma laughs, “Take-out meals; I bet the lineups would be a mile long if they served a salad like this at a fast-food restaurant.”

“You’re right Norma. Most families do not sit down and have a healthy meal during the week. Chips, hamburgers, fries and pop are some of the best sellers in the food industry.”

“I like your wheeled tea cart Jocelyn.”

“I was at an antique auction and saw it, and the price was right. It took a bit of work, but I restored it back to the original condition. I even put a small cooler for the drinks and dessert at one end.”

They sit at the table, and Jocelyn prays for the food.

Norma takes a bite of the fresh tomato salad. “It is delicious. I can’t believe that you grow all this food in such a small garden.”

“I read that three gardens the size that I have will feed a family of ten with leftovers to sell. I cannot eat all the vegetables I grow, so I take the extra over to the tearoom. What they do not use goes home with the staff.”

They finish eating a bowl of fresh strawberries while talking about the fun times they had as children.

Norma sees a praying mantis stranded on one of the lawn chairs in the sunroom. She is not able to resist so she goes over to pick it up. She lets it crawl on her arm. “I love to watch them. Look Jocelyn, her head is moving. She is looking at me. They are a master of disguise. They can turn their heads up to 180 degrees in search of an insect. They are the only insects in the world that can look over their shoulders because they have a flexible neck.”

Jocelyn chuckles, “I see that you still love playing with praying mantis Norma.” Jocelyn holds out her hand, and the mantis crawls on to it.

Norma speaks to the praying mantis on Jocelyn’s hand. “What are you doing? I hope you are not looking for a mate. Listen to me and take my timely advice. Stay as far away from your mate as possible if you don’t want to end up as dinner.”

“You are silly Norma. I am holding a female and she never gets eaten for dinner.”

I know. A female will occasionally eat her mate to provide nutrition for her developing young.”

Jocelyn goes out and puts the praying mantis on one of the tall plants in the keyhole garden.

Norma is laughing so hard when Jocelyn returns, that she spills some of her tea. “I use to collect their egg sacks and bring them home. I loved to sit and watch the babies hatch. My mother’s gardens always had an abundance of praying mantis.

“I hid several egg sacks in a box in my bedroom once. I forgot to take them outside when we left for our holidays. When we came home, the babies were crawling all over the house. My mother refused to enter her home and stayed with her sister for three days.”

“You have to be kidding Norma.”

“Ask my mother when you see her… no don’t do that; she still gets upset when I bring a praying mantis home. Talk to my father instead.

“I thought it was funny at the time, but my mother is afraid of a housefly. My father scolded me and said, ‘Norma get rid of every baby praying mantis and never bring an insect into our house again.’ Getting rid of the babies was no easy task. Each egg sack contained around four hundred babies. Multiply that by five.

“It is no fun to wake up with several baby praying mantises in bed with you.”

“I don’t think I would like that Norma.”

“The ones we couldn’t catch died. One thing though, our house was well prayed over before they died.” She laughs at her own joke.

 

When they finish putting dishes away Jocelyn asks, “Do you want a tour of the cottage Norma?”

“I would love to see it.”

“Let me show you the loft first.”

Jocelyn takes her up the outside stairs to the apartment.

“The people who owned the place before I bought it, turned the loft into a one-bedroom apartment. My uncle Randal and his sons built an outside stairway up to the loft and removed the inside stairs for me. It made the downstairs and loft bigger.”

“It is wonderful Jocelyn? What an amazing view of Lake Erie.”

“I plan to rent it to someone who I can trust. I do not like leaving my cottage empty at night while I am staying at Amelia’s house. There are several valuable antiques in the living room and bedrooms.”

“It is fantastic. I want to rent it. I am looking for an apartment in this area.”

“Why do you want to move to Erieau Norma?”

“I started working at a car restoration place north of Blenheim last month.”

“I didn’t know that. What do you do there?”

Norma laughs, “I spend my days making nuts and bolts and custom-made parts for antique vehicles. I am doing my apprenticeship in tool and die. Someday I will become a millwright.

“I was lucky to be raised on a farm. I was an only child and worked with my father in his shop from when I was big enough to hold a wrench in my hand. I could take the riding lawn mower motor apart and put it back together by the time I was ten. I love everything about my new job.”

“I am glad you love your job Norma. It is the same with me since I started working for Amelia. I even shed a tear when we sell an antique that is special to me. A man was looking at the grandfather clock a few weeks ago. I was relieved when he left without buying it. I look forward to hearing it chime the hour as I wipe the dust from the furniture.

“I like refinishing old neglected furniture, and removing the grime of time.”

“Removing the Grime of Time would make a good writing, Jocelyn.”

“I will think about it.”

They return to the sunroom. The two friends talk about the rent. Norma writes Jocelyn a check for the first month.

“I will get you a set of keys Norma.”

Jocelyn goes to the cupboard and removes some keys then hands them to Norma. “This is one for my back door in case I am not home, and you need something. The freezer is in the basement and is full of frozen fruits and vegetables. Help yourself.”

Norma puts the keys in her purse. “This is going to be an adventure. I always wanted to live by the lake and now my dream has come true. I will move on Friday afternoon. This will save me the long drive to Wallaceburg in the winter.”

Jocelyn asks, “Do you have your metal detector with you Norma? I plan to walk around my property and look for buried treasure. Do you want to help me?”

“Buried treasure? I never go anywhere without my metal detector. It is in the back of my van. I will get it. This sounds like fun; I always enjoy looking for buried treasure.”

Buried Treasure

Jocelyn turns the light on in her large shed and looks around the room at her tools. She runs her hand over the top of a dusty antique cedar chest. You will look good in my bedroom when I am finished restoring you.

She removes her backpack from a hook. It contains a magnifying glass in a protective pouch, a small spade, several rags and brushes, along with a plastic sand sifter. Zippered bags in assorted sizes are in a side pocket. She puts it over her shoulder before picking up her metal detector.

I am glad Norma has a job near Blenheim. She always liked to get her hands dirty.

I remember Norma’s mother telling me about the time Norma was a bridesmaid at her aunt’s wedding. She hid her school bag in the back of the truck and as soon as the reception was over, she changed into her blue jeans.

Norma told me once, ‘Dresses are okay for Barbie Dolls, but I am Norma. I am not a Barbie Doll and will never be one. I will never wear a dress if I can help it!’

Jocelyn sees Norma walking towards her. She says, “We can start by checking around the white picket fence.”

Norma moves her metal detector over the root system of a big sycamore tree near the beach. She gets a few beeps and digs up several coins.

Jocelyn’s is walking beside a large stone on the edge of her property near the playground when she hears a loud beep. She digs in the soft sand. Her spade hits something. She brushes the sand away and says; I found a blue tarp.”

Norma runs over to see what is happening and helps Jocelyn remove the dirt. When the blue tarp is fully uncovered, the girls lift the heavy bundle out of the hole.

Norma asks with a bit of doubt in her voice, “Are you sure you didn’t bury the tarp Jocelyn? You are always playing tricks on me?”

“Norma this is no trick.” She looks up and down the beach, “Good no one has seen us. This is better than Christmas. I wonder what is inside.”

Jocelyn’s hands tremble as she cuts the string. The blue tarp contains four black garbage bags. She opens a bag, and pulls out a locked fishing tackle box. “I will get the bolt cutters from the shed.” She returns and cuts through the lock, then opens the lid. It is full of fishing tackle.

Norma is stunned. She asks, “Why would anyone bury fishing tackle?”

“I don’t know Norma. These tackle boxes are heavy. I wonder what else is in them.” She removes the shelf with the tackle and finds several black leather pouches. She opens the drawstring and empties out a pile of jewelry. She removes her jeweler’s loupe out of her backpack and examines adiamond ring.

“The diamond is real Norma. The bag is full of jewelry. The price tags are still on some of them. We need to take what we found back to the cottage.”

Jocelyn puts the jewels back into the pouch and returns it to the tackle box. They carry them and the other garbage bags to her cottage.

“I will fill in the hole while you put everything away Jocelyn. Your neighbours might get curious and there is no need for them to know we found jewels.”

 

When they are finished, Jocelyn goes back to the kitchen with Norma and opens the tackle box. They push everything aside and spread the contents on the table.

There are five leather pouches,three rolls of bills and a large silver box. Norma opens a yellowed envelope containing several pages of handwritten papers. “I can’t read them Jocelyn; they are in a foreign language.”

Jocelyn puts her white gloves on and examines the lid of a large silver box. She pushes the clasp in the front of the box, and the lid pops open. She removes a glass bottle half-full of liquid, with turquoise flowers around the top from the red velvet lined box. The silver chest also contains several scraps of paper tied with a thin ribbon and a sapphire necklace. She takes her jeweler’s loupe from her pocket and examines it. “These are real sapphires Norma.”

“Will you make copies of these papers for me, please?” Jocelyn gets her camera and takes several pictures of the contents of tackle box “Norma; I think we are dealing with stolen property. I am going to phone the Police.”

Jocelyn picks up her phone and dials. The Dispatch asks, “How can we help you?”

Jocelyn says, “This is Jocelyn Brooks. I live in Erieau at 12 Emma Road. I was out metal detecting around my new property and found a blue tarp filled with four fishing tackle boxes. We opened one, and it contains a silver box and a sapphire necklace. I found buried treasure in Erieau.”

The dispatcher asks, “Have you been reading too many mysteries' lady? Is this a joke? You can get charged for giving false reports.”

“No, this is not a joke; the silver box and sapphire necklace is on my table.”

The dispatcher is skeptical and says. “It isn’t an emergency, so we will send an officer as soon as we can.”

Jocelyn hangs up the phone. She shakes her head and says, “The man at dispatch did not believe me. He thought I was playing a joke and told someone that I was another nut case. The police will not be here for a while. How would you like a hot cup of tea?”

They snack on butter tarts while waiting for the police to arrive.

~~~~~~

When the police finally pull into the driveway a tall police officer with dark-brown hair says, “I am Officer Winkler.” He points to a slender woman, “This is Officer Taylor. Did you phone and say that you found some buried treasure?”

“Yes. My name is Jocelyn Brooks, and this is my friend Norma Featherly. I am the leader of the local metal detecting club. I bought this cottage last fall, and for the fun of it, Norma and I decided to search around my property with our metal detectors. I was lucky and found something. Come in and I will show it to you.”

They follow Jocelyn to the kitchen. Pointing at the table she says, “We found all this in a fishing tackle box.”

The police officers’ jaws drop open in shock. Officer Winkler calls dispatch and ask for reinforcements. He says, “Dispatch you were wrong. There is treasure in Erieau.”

He put his rubber gloves on before picking up the silver box.

Jocelyn says, “I found this bottle with turquoise flowers inside the silver box along with these pieces of scrap paper and a sapphire necklace.”

Officer Taylor takes pictures of the sapphire necklace. She removes a small evidence bag from her kit and puts the necklace in it. She writes something on the outside of the bag.

Jocelyn tells them, “This yellowed envelope filled with papers was in a bag, along with some hundred-dollar bills.” Pointing to the floor she says, “We found three more tackle boxes. We didn’t open them.”

Officer Taylor examines the tackle boxes. “Maybe we can get some fingerprints.”

Officer Taylor finishes taking pictures of everything on the table along with the three tackle boxes. She turns to Jocelyn and says, “You hit the jackpot Jocelyn. There are thousands of dollars in stolen property on your kitchen table, and that is not including what is inside the other tackle boxes.”

Officer Winkler says, “We will need to get your fingerprints so that we can compare them to the ones on the tackle box.”

After they wash the black ink from their fingers Officer Taylor asks several questions and writes a report. Jocelyn and Norma read it over before signing it.

Officer Taylor gives Norma and Jocelyn a business card with her name and badge number then says, “Jocelyn, I want you to come to theChatham-Kent Police station on Thursday afternoon at two o’clock? Maybe you will be able to identify something from the rest of the tackle boxes. I will compare what you found with our stolen property file.”

Officer Winkler places the bottle into the silver box, before putting it into another evidence bag. When he is finished taking pictures, and documenting what is on the table, he asks Officer Taylor to help him take the tackle boxes out to the patrol car. They lock them in the trunk.

Another police car arrives. Curious neighbours stand around trying to see what is going on. The police tell the onlookers, “This is a crime scene you are to leave the area immediately.”

The crowds move down the road.

The police inspect the area where the girls dug the hole. Jocelyn shows them the number three in big black letters on the side of the blue tarp. They put it in a large plastic bag.

Turning to Jocelyn, Officer Winkler says, “I don’t think the tarp has been buried for long. I noticed that you have a small blue tarp in your shed. Would you mind if I fill it with stones and put it back in the hole?”

“It is alright with me. I have a pile of leftover stones by the door of the shed. You can use the old tackle boxes on the shelf over there that the previous owners left.

“Thanks, we will return them when we are finished with the investigation.” The officer fills the four tackle boxes with stones wrapped in rags before putting the fishing tackle back on top. He asks, “Jocelyn, do you have a black marking pen?”

Jocelyn hands him a black marking pen from the shelf.

Officer Winkler tells Norma and Jocelyn, “Someone will come back after it is dark and the curious people have gone home. They will bury the tarp and tackle boxes.”

“I have a spare key to the shed.” Jocelyn takes it off her key chain and gives it to him.

Officer Taylor says, “We have arranged for some undercover police to watch this area. Please do not tell anyone except your parents what you found. If you see any suspicious activities, call this number at once. The thieves might come back to dig up the treasure. We will keep you informed.”

“I forgot to tell you, I took pictures of what we found. Norma scanned copies of the papers for me. I manage Stella’s Antiques and plan on doing research to find out what kind of bottle it is. I have never seen one quite like it before.”

Officer Taylor says, “Let me know if you discover anything. It might help us find the owner of the silver box and sapphire necklace. Thanks for all your help.”

The police cars pull out of the driveway.

They go inside. Norma says, “I don’t think I will go on any more treasure hunts with you. I had enough excitement tonight to last me for a lifetime.”

“I agree with you. It is getting late. You can spend the night and wear some of my clothes to work tomorrow.”

“I am off work tomorrow because it is Canada Day. I will spend the night, but I am okay for clothes. I have my suitcase in the van.”

Norma phones her parents. She tells her mother, “I am staying with Jocelyn in Erieau tonight. I rented her loft apartment and will be moving into it on Friday after work.”

“That is good Norma. Your father and I were worried about your drive home after dark during the winter. Highway 40 is treacherous during a snowstorm, especially if the snow is blowing from the west.”

“There was a lot of excitement in Erieau tonight Mother. Jocelyn and I were using our metal detectors on her property near the beach when Jocelyn’s detector started to beep. We dug up a blue tarp that contained four locked fishing tackle-boxes. Jocelyn cut the lock on one, and it contained a silver box along with several expensive pieces of jewelry. The police left ten minutes ago. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.”

“Are you sure you’re not reading one of your mysteries, Norma?”

“No Mother, I will email you a picture so you can see what we found. The police think that some thieves stole the jewels and buried them on the beach. They told us to keep our doors locked and report anything suspicious.”

“You both need a good watchdog. Sugar Baby is sitting in my lap pining for you. Talk it over with Jocelyn. I would feel much better if Sugar Baby was living with you, considering the circumstances.”

Norma holds her hand over the mouthpiece and says, “Mother told me that we could have Sugar Baby to guard the place for us if you want. She is a good watchdog. Remember how she cornered the burglar in the basement of my parents’ house until the police arrived.”

“I planned on getting a dog Norma. I know I would sleep better at night knowing Sugar Baby was guarding the place.”

“Mother, Jocelyn says that I can bring my dog.”

“Good, I will see you tomorrow. Take care of yourself. I love you.”

After they finish sipping their tea, Jocelyn turns on the air conditioner and walks around the room locking all the windows and doors. Jocelyn says, “I have to go back to Amelia’s for the night. I will see you on Friday.”

~~~~~~

Some of Jocelyn’s neighbours stop her in the way back to Amelia’s place. They want to find out why the police were at her cottage.

She evades their questions about the police and tells them, “I have to get home. It is getting late. I am tired and still have the beans to prepare for the Canada Day picnic tomorrow.”

Freddy is waiting at the door. He follows her into the kitchen and Jocelyn gives him a fresh bowl of water and a scoop of food.

She opens the filing cabinet and removes a yellow folder then writes Treasures in Erieau at the top. The strange words on the photocopies make no sense, so she puts them into the folder.

Jocelyn glances through the pictures she took of the tackle boxes, rolls of money and bags of jewels. She stops at the photo she took of the silver box that contained the blue sapphire necklace and the bottle with turquoise flowers. They are beautiful. I wonder how much they are worth. I would like to keep them. She sighs; I know they must belong to someone.

My parents taught me to be honest. It is hard, but I am glad I did the right thing. What have I unearthed? She buries her head in her hands and has a good cry.

She puts the pictures in the folder before phoning her mother. Isabel answers on the second ring.

Jocelyn wipes her tears away. “It is so good to hear your voice Mother.”

“Is something wrong Jocelyn? It sounds like you have been crying?”

“I have been crying Mother.”

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, we had a lot of excitement at my place tonight. I had to call the police.”

“Was the store robbed?”

“No, we weren’t robbed.”

“Slow down Jocelyn! You sound upset.”

“I am a bit edgy. Norma and I found buried treasure in my back yard.”

“Buried treasure, are you kidding?”

“No, Norma stopped to visit. We checked my yard by the beach with our metal detectors. Mine started to make a loud noise. We pulled up a blue tarp. It had four locked tackle boxes. One contained a package with a silver box. I opened it and found a beautiful bottle with turquoise flowers around the top and a sapphire necklace.”

“Jocelyn, are you sure you’re not reading one of your Nancy Drew mysteries?”

“No Mom, I am telling you the truth. I will show you the pictures in the morning. It is late, and I still have to prepare the beans for the picnic tomorrow.”

“I believe you, let me pray for you. Dear God, I pray that you will help Jocelyn to calm down and have a good night’s sleep…”

“Thank you for your prayer Mom. I will need them even more in the next few weeks. I have a strange feeling that my life is about to change.”

Jocelyn hangs up the phone and goes over to Stella’s Tearoom. She washes out the restaurant size slow cooker and fills it with several large cans of beans. She adds two cured ham hocks, onions, along with molasses, mustard, ketchup, a bottle of barbecue sauce and other spices. She stirs it all together and sets the temperature. The baked beans will be ready by lunch.

Jocelyn gets ready for bed. She is so uptight that she jumps at every noise coming from outside. She goes to the storage room and returns with a baseball bat. Now I am armed and dangerous.

She is not able to sleep so she picks up a booklet. I feel peace when I read one of Emily’s writings. She has been through so much.

God please protect us and keep us safe. I have tried to be honest even though it was hard to give the buried treasure we found to the police…

Treasures in Heaven

Mathew 6:19-21 Paraphrased.

Store up for yourself treasures in heaven, where moth or rust cannot destroy and where thieves do not break in or steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Jocelyn laughs until her tears fall freely. God you have a sense of humor. She continues to read.

After I recovered from cancer surgery, my family took me on a cruise to Alaska. Mrs. James and her family sat at our table.

I saw her relaxing in one of the lounges the next day, so I joined her. There was a stack of travel brochures on her lap.

I asked her if this was her first cruise.

She told me yes, that her husband had died the year before. Tears trickled down her cheeks. He always wanted to take me on the cruise to Alaska, but he was too sick to travel.

I asked her why and she told me that it was a long story.

I told her I was interested in hearing her story.

This is what she told me.

Once a year I stopped at a travel agency to get travel flyers for different destinations from around the world. I enjoyed going to the library to borrow books. If possible, I would find a documentary and music from the country we planned to visit.

In July, I set up the card table and spread it with pictures of airplanes, cruise ships, dream islands and sandy beaches.

I turned on a special magnifying screen. I put the pictures in front of it one at a time so that my husband Lloyd could see them. We read all the brochures then talked about how the people dressed and what animals lived in their country. I did this for thirty years.

Thirty years, I questioned.

“Yes,” she said. “There was an explosion in the factory where my husband worked. He lost most of his sight. He ended up with a spinal injury and could not sit up for more than a few hours at a time. This was hard on him. I loved Lloyd so much.

Lloyd and I planned to take a cruise to Alaska the year he was injured. He was never able to travel again. We spent one week a year going on a special dream trip together.

We ate tortillas with rice and beans on our pretend trip to Mexico. I learned how to cook foods from all over the world.

I never did acquire a taste for borscht when we traveled to Russia. My friend said she ate borscht for breakfast, lunch and supper when she was on a mission trip in the Ukraine. Thank goodness, I did not go to Russia. Eating borscht once was more than enough for me.

I chose Hawaii last year. When it was time to go on our holiday, I put up the card table and spread it with pictures of the Hawaiian Islands.

We talked about how the people dressed in Hawaii and what animals lived there.

I asked my neighbour, who was from Hawaii, to cook a Kalua Pig in his pit. Friends and family came to a Luau party. We served pineapple boats filled with fresh fruit, Pina-colada in a punch bowl, along with several other dishes. A dance club came and danced the hula for us.

That was our last fun trip. Lloyd died in his sleep the following month.

My husband arranged in his will for my daughter and her husband to take me on a cruise to Alaska, so here I am. She wiped her tears from her cheek with an embroidered hanky. She said, ‘I go back to my room at night, and write a letter to Lloyd describing my day.’

I gave Mrs. James a hug and our tears mingled together. You see; she understood what it meant in the Bible book of Matthew when it said treasures in Heaven. Her treasured husband Lloyd went on ahead of her and will be waiting there to gather her in his arms once again.

By Emily

 

Jocelyn wiped away a few tears and put the book on her nightstand. “God thank you for the timely writing. I need You to remind me of what my true treasures are so I will not get greedy. Help me find the owner of the silver box, Sapphire necklace and the bottle with the turquoise flowers. Please keep Norma and myself safe…”

 

3. Canada Day

The alarm rings and Jocelyn grabs her pillow and puts it over her head. “I need forty more winks.” It is the first of July, a Canadian Holiday. Her friends and family will join her behind Stella’s Antiques and Tea Room for a picnic lunch.

Amelia’s cat has other plans. It is after eight and he wants his breakfast. He jumps on the bed and lands on Jocelyn’s feet letting out one ear splitting me-ow. He scares the wits out of Jocelyn. She screams, jumps out of bed and grabs the baseball bat.

Realizing that it is not the robbers, but the cat up to one of his tricks she scolds him. “Freddy you are going to have to stop scaring me like that or I will lock you in the laundry room at night.” She reaches over and rubs the cat gently under his chin. “You win; I will get you something to eat.”

Jocelyn drags her weary body to the bathroom and has a refreshing shower. It was a long night.

She puts on a pair of blue Capris with a sleeveless white blouse. After slipping her feet into a comfortable pair of sandals, she heads to the kitchen. She gets the special cat food out of the cupboard and fills the cat dish. She says with humour, “Who needs an alarm clock when they have Freddy the Freeloader living with them.”

Jocelyn turns the radio on and listens… Erieau last night. The police will not give us any details of what happened. We will keep you informed. There will be fireworks in Chatham and Erieau Tonight.

Chatham Kent area will have cloudy skies with a few scattered showers later in the day. Take your umbrellas if you are going to watch the fireworks tonight. If you plan to be out on the water in a boat, wear a life jacket. It is five minutes after nine. Have a safe and Happy Canada Day.

Jocelyn fills a glass with orange juice and puts a fresh blueberry muffin in the toaster oven. Once the muffin is warm, she takes her breakfast up to the art room. She examines Amelia’s oil painting of two swans and their baby cygnet swimming in McGeachy pond. It is so real that you could mistake it for a photo instead of an oil painting.

Jocelyn glances out the windows and up at the skylight. This is a perfect room for an artist. Amelia can have natural light when she paints.

She scans the horizon through all four windows. She cannot see any clouds. I think the weather announcer is wrong. It is going to be a beautiful day. She watches the people strolling down the boulevard of the peaceful village of Erieau. I love watching the boats on Rondeau Bay and Lake Erie.

She sits in the recliner and puts her feet up. “Thank You for allowing me to move to Erieau God. I spent most of the night thinking about what happened yesterday. Why did someone hide the stolen treasure on my property? Who is the owner of the silver box, sapphire necklace and the glass bottle?

“I have so many questions. Thank goodness for computers and the Internet, so that I can search the web. I want to know what the bottle and silver box are. What do the words in the envelope full of letters and on the scrap papers say?

“This is going to be hard. I cannot tell anyone except my mother about the treasure we found last night. My friends at the metal detecting club always phone each other and talk about what they find.

“I remember a verse I learned in Sunday school from,

Psalm 139: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)

She whispers, “Search my heart God. Help me to turn my life over to You, so that I don’t begin to worry. I know I was upset because I couldn’t keep the treasure. I have always tried to be honest. I can’t say that I wasn’t tempted to keep some of it. Ever since my parents bought me the metal detector, I dreamed of finding a pot of gold at the end of my shovel.

“I finally found my pot of gold. I dug up real jewels and silver in my backyard. I know that I read too many mystery stories when I was younger. I liked Nancy Drew and the Mandy Series.”

Jocelyn goes over to the shelf and picks up her morning devotion and reads,

Treasures

Matthew 6:19-20 Paraphrased. Where do your treasures lie, in your earthly possessions, which might be stolen or lost at any time, or in heaven, where they will never be destroyed? Put your value in things that will last, not in fleeting material possessions.

Jocelyn rereads what she just read. “God, are you trying to tell me something? I read Emilie’s writing, Treasures in Heaven last night and my morning devotion is from the same scripture.

“I already have precious treasures; it is my family and friends. They all helped at Amelia’s and Stan’s wedding last week. You have given me a better treasure. It is the treasure of memories; the kind I get when I share laughter with my family and friends. The kind I have in my heart and take wherever I go.

“Thieves can’t steal this treasure away from me and bury it in the sand. Your Son Jesus talks about this kind of treasure in the Bible. It is the treasures of heaven.”

Jocelyn picks up the yellow folder and feels better about the decisions she made.

The Picnic

Several women from the village are helping in the kitchen when Jocelyn arrives at Stella’s Tearoom. Her mother gives her a hug and whispers, “I want to talk with you.”

Isabel tells Kim, “I need to talk to Jocelyn for a minute. Can you remove these cookies from the oven when the timer goes off please?”

“I will; everything is ready.”

Jocelyn’s mother washes her hands and wipes them on her apron before pouring two cups of coffee. She asks, “What have you been up to now Jocelyn?”

“Come to the office and I will show you.”

Jocelyn gets some cookies and follows her mother. They sit at the desk. Jocelyn tells her how she found the treasure and what the police said.

She opens the yellow folder with the words Treasures in Erieau written on the cover. She gives the pictures of the silver box, the glass bottle with the turquoise flowers and, blue sapphire necklace to her mother to look at.

“See Mother, I am telling you the truth. Norma and I did find treasures in my backyard.”

“Wow Jocelyn. You did find your pot of gold at the end of your shove.”

Her mother examines the pictures. “The silver box is beautiful Jocelyn. The stones in the necklace are expensive sapphires. It must be worth a lot of money. Do you have any idea where it came from?”

“No. The police asked me to go to the police station in Chatham on Thursday afternoon. They asked me not to talk about what we found with anyone except you, so try not to say anything.”

“I won’t Jocelyn. It must be hard on you. Ever since we bought you the metal detector, you talked about finding hidden treasure. Now you found some in your own backyard and you are not able to tell anyone about it.”

“It has been hard. I have to do what is right. I plan to go on the Internet tomorrow and find out what the foreign words from the papers say. I will check out the silver box and glass bottle also.

“If you need any help let me know Jocelyn”

“I will need your prayer mother. It is still hard for me to believe. The writing I read last night, and for my morning devotions, was from Mathew 6:19-20. I find a tackle box full of treasures and God tells me not to store up treasures on earth, but in Heaven. It was so coincidental that I had to laugh.”

Her mother says, “I have had that happened to me several times Jocelyn. There is nothing coincidental with God’s plans in our lives.” Isabel looks at her watch, “We need to set up for the picnic.” They return to the kitchen and find everything is almost ready.

Friends and families start to gather in groups on the beach and under the trees. They talk about what has been going on in their lives. Grandmothers show off pictures of their grandchildren.

Katelyn and her husband arrive and set up their lawn chairs in the shade. Mike spreads out a blanket for the children to sit on. He gives his son a plastic dump truck, along with a shovel and tells him, “Benny; you need to stay with us. I will take you swimming later.”

Ben bounces his granddaughter Katy on his knee. She squeals with delight. Several of Katelyn’s friends stop and chat with her.

Jocelyn’s mother, Isabel asks her oldest son, “Randy did you fasten the door to the saw horses with screws?”

“Yes mother.” Randy shakes his head and laughs. He turns to his twin brother and asks, “Drew will our mother ever stop teasing me about the day I forgot to fasten the door to the sawhorses? It was six years ago.”

“If I know our mother, and I think I do, I would have to say never. It was a funny sight watching the table tip on end, that fateful day in two thousand and three. The food flew through the air and landed in your hair.”

“Drew, you know that it was Bernie’s fault. He sat on the end of the table. It was fortunate for us that they hadn’t put all the food out yet, or we would have starved.”

“I was lucky that I had my camcorder running and got to record the two plastic bowls as they went flying through the air. You looked so silly covered in green peas and red beet salad. If it was December 25th, we could have used you for our Christmas tree. All that was missing was the star on the top of your head.” He laughs.

“I was a mess Drew. I would far rather be dressed in beets than eat them. I hate beets especially beet salad.”

“I love beet salad Randy. Remember how I always ate your beets when we were kids. The rule at home was if you didn’t clean your plate you weren’t hungry enough for dessert.”

“I remember.” The brothers continued to laugh as they set up more picnic tables.

Isabel checks the table for herself. Good, it is solid. She covers it with a flowered cloth shower curtain and holds it down with several tablecloth holders.

Amelia’s mother comes over to help. She says, “I never thought to use a shower curtain for a tablecloth before.”

“I use them all the time Marvel. They are long enough to fit picnic tables and the door on the sawhorse. When they are dirty, I throw them in the wash, and they come out clean.”

Jocelyn asks her brothers, “Randy and Drew can you get the roaster oven for me?”

They go to the tearoom. Drew removes the lid from the beans and stirs them. They get spoons from the counter and taste them. Drew says, “They are almost as good as the beans Stella used to bake.”

Randy says, “They need more barbecue sauce.”

He picks up a bottle from the counter and removes the lid. He is about to pour the whole bottle into the beans when Jocelyn shouts, “RANDY, put that bottle down, or you will be covered with barbecue sauce. You will look worse than the day the beets fell on your head.”

“Caught in the act Jocelyn!”

Her brothers know better than to argue with their younger sister Jocelyn, so they put the lid back on the beans and carry it down to the picnic table.

The women bring out big bowls of assorted salads from the tearoom. Isabel shows them where she wants them placed. Bernie and Curtis carry over pans of cooked chicken, along with trays of barbecued ribs.

Several big coolers with punch sit on a sturdy table by the wall. One of the men puts jugs of sun tea beside a bowl of lemon wedges.

Isabel walks around and checks the tables. The food is ready. She asks Mickey her youngest grandchild to ring the old triangle dinner bell. It is lunchtime.

Randal says the prayer. “Thank You God that our family and friends gather here today to celebrate Canada Day. We also thank you that we live in a free country. Thank you for the food, fun, and fellowship we are having. Be with Amelia and Stanley because they are not with us this year. Thank you for the food that has been prepared by our family and friends. Amen”

Isabel announces, “Mothers with younger children and senior citizens can go first. Please help serve the smaller children, so that they don’t waste food.”

The people sitting on lawn chairs do a balancing act and try not to have their food land in their laps.

Jocelyn fills her plate and joins Katelyn and her family.

Katelyn says, “I have missed these families and friend picnics Jocelyn. It is hard living so far away. It will be even harder if we move to Singapore.”

Jocelyn tells her, “I miss you here also Katelyn.”

They sit and talk while they eat.

Katelyn’s father Ben asks, “Jocelyn when was the last time we celebrated a Canada Day gathering like this?”

Jocelyn says, “It was the year before Stella died.”

Randy asks, “Mom, where are the deviled eggs?”

Isabel answers, “No one thought to bring them. Amelia and Stella always took turns making them.”

After they clean the tables and gather the garbage, Randy and Drew bring three ice cream makers out of the storage room. They go to the extra fridge in the shed and return with three containers filled with the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream mixtures. They are careful not to spill any as they pour it into the center containers. They close the lid before packing ice and salt around the tubs.

~~~~~~

The women set bowls of strawberries and cherries on the table along with homemade baked pies, tarts, and cookies.

When the ice cream is ready, Marvel rings the triangle bell.

Jocelyn and her brothers serve the ice cream. When they are finished, they make a dish for themselves and join Isabel and Marvel under the sycamore tree.

Jocelyn says, “Thank you for all your help. This has been a lot of fun. I will ask Amelia and Stanley if we can make it a tradition every year.”

Freddy the Freeloader escapes from the house. He pounces on a scoop of ice cream that a young boy dropped. The boy throws a handful of sand at the sneaky cat. The cat runs into the hedge to hide. “Conner let me wash your hands and I will scoop you another bowl. This one has sand in it.”

“Thank you Aunt Jocelyn.”

“Conner you need to sit with me so that Freddy the Freeloader won’t get your ice cream again. How old are you now?”

“I turned seven in March.”

“Are you going fishing this afternoon?”

“Yes. My parents gave me a new fishing rod and tackle box for my Birthday. Dad is taking Mickey. Will you be my fishing partner?”

“I would love to Conner. Do you want to help me pick up the garbage and then you can ring the bell for me?”

“Yes Aunt Jocelyn.” They put their garbage into the garbage can then Conner runs over and rings the bell.

Jocelyn says, “If the children want to hear a story, they can come and sit on the grass under the sycamore tree.”

The children run over. A few adults join them. Jocelyn is a talented storyteller.

Jocelyn picks up the cat and proceeds to ask, “Do you want to know why Amelia calls her cat Freddy the Freeloader?”

Conner shouts, “I do!”

Jocelyn says, “This is the story of how Amelia’s cat Freddy the Freeloader got his name.

“Amelia fell in love with Freddy when he was a small gray kitten. She asked her father if she could have him. She brought him home when he was six weeks old. He was a mischievous kitten.

“One-day Amelia looked all over the house and could not find him. At last, she heard a weak meow coming from the back of the couch. When she pulled it out there was no kitten. She stopped, listened, and realized that the small kitten was inside the lining of the couch. She used a screwdriver to remove some of the staples from the back of the couch so that she could free him.

“Eventually he grew up and became a beautiful gray tabby cat. Amelia let him wander outside during the day. He started to gain weight. She could not figure out why. Her brother Randy a veterinarian suggested she should buy him diet cat food. She did, and he still didn’t lose weight.

“One-day Amelia was at the ice cream shop when she saw Freddy jump out from under a table and attack an ice cream that a small girl dropped.

“The shopkeeper gave the little girl a new ice cream. He talked to Amelia and said, ‘I see that Freddy the Freeloader is up to his tricks again. He comes here all the time, mainly on weekends when I have a crowd. He sits under the table waiting for someone to drop a cone on the ground. He pounces on the ice cream and eats his fill. I started to call him Freddy the Freeloader.’

“Amelia told the shopkeeper that she would try not to let him out during the day on weekends.

“The cat meowed at the door all day long. He loved ice cream. He began to lose weight.”

Pearl, the woman who owns Fishful Thinking says, “I always wondered why he had such a funny name, and now I know. Are you going fishing this afternoon Jocelyn?”

“Yes I am taking my nephew Conner.”

“Good, you can come with me on Fishful Thinking? I will arrange it with Ben.”

“Thanks Pearl.”

Jocelyn gives Conner a hug and says, “I will meet you at the Marina later.” She takes Freddy to Amelia’s place and puts him in the back room so that he cannot get out. She grabs her bag with her sunscreen, along with her fishing hat then stops and talks to her mother.

Her mother tells her, “Marvel and Kim are meeting me at the side-by-side swing. Come and join us?”

Jocelyn walks beside her mother. They are tired after spending long hours preparing for Amelia’s wedding and the family and friends picnic. They rest while they watch the people at the beach.

Several teenagers play beach volleyball while another group throws Frisbees.

Katelyn’s family builds sand castles. Mike scoops a bucket of water, while the children fill pails with sand. Groups of friends sit and chat.

Marvel says, “Kim you must enjoy having your grandchildren visit with you for the summer. Edmonton seems so far away.”

“I do. It will be even more difficult for us if Mike takes the promotion and moves his family to Singapore. He has to let his company know soon. If he doesn’t take the promotion, he will be out of a job. It is a trying time for him and Katelyn.”

Isabel says, “It will be hard for Katelyn to move to a foreign country with two small children. She won’t have any of her friends or family to help her. We need to ask God to help Mike make the right decision. I remember reading in John 14: Whatever you ask in Jesus’s name, that He will do so His Father may be glorified in Him.”

Isabel says, “In Matthew 18, it tells us if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask; it will be done for them by their Father in heaven.”

“We have more than two people here right now.” Jocelyn starts to pray, “God please bless Katelyn’s family and help Mike make the right decision. Bring a special person into his life that will give him some Godly advice…”

The women pray for their friends and family and know that God is listening. They have an inner peace.

Isabel says, “God will provide. He has for us in the past. He will take care of your family Kim. We will continue to pray for them.”

They take turns sharing stories of how God looked after them in their times of need. The swinging of the glider helps the friends unwind and relax.

Ben rings the triangle bell and announces, “All the children and adults who are going fishing need to go to the Marina. Remember children, you must have an adult partner.”

A Fish Story

Jocelyn wanders down to the Marina. Ben, the Fire Chief is waiting for them and gives the instructions, “You are to keep your life jackets on at all times. Children need to obey your adult helper. Good luck and catch a bucket of fish.”

Jocelyn holds Conner’s hand while they get into the houseboat. Pearl welcomes them and says, “This is Pogo.” The dog wags his tail and runs around the boat all excited. He loves to go for boat rides.

After the passengers are settled, the boat heads to Rondeau Bay where the perch are biting. Pearl says, “With any luck we will bring home enough perch so we can have a fish fry for supper.”

One of the older children asks, “Pearl why do you call your boat Fishful Thinking? It is a silly name and it doesn’t even look like a boat.”

Pearl laughs before speaking, “My family started a contest to name the boat. I won with the name Fishful Thinking. I took the letter W away from Wishful. I added an F and I ended up with Fishful. I added Thinking. It was that easy. Amelia painted the name ‘Fishful Thinking’ in big bold letters on both sides of our houseboat.”

Conner holds Pogo on his lap. He says, “I like your house boat Pearl. It is ever so much fun to ride in. Who made it?”

“My family along with some of our friends helped build it. I still think it is the strangest looking boat in the world.”

Jocelyn asks, “Didn’t your family have your picture and an article about the boat in a magazine?”

“Yes we did. I have a copy of it in my bag.” She pulls out a plastic covered magazine and reads, “A Blenheim Ontario family builds a seaworthy houseboat, by using an old camping trailer, and a set of used airplane pontoons.

“They gave us a trophy for the most unusual boat. This is a picture of my family standing beside the houseboat holding the trophy. Tourists still stop and stare at our boat. Visitors to Erieau have taken countless pictures of their family standing in front of it. It is a real conversation piece.

“I remember the summer we built it. Amelia’s parents let her come over and help me. My father and brothers began by taking our old camping trailer apart. They removed the wheels then lined the body to make it watertight.

“Amelia and I sanded the pontoons. After they were primed, we painted them a bright green. Our legs and arms ended up turning green. My mother told us, ‘If you were any greener I would mistake you for a frog.’ She used turpentine to remove the paint. I still do not like the smell of turpentine.

“My father built a ladder, so we could climb to the top of the trailer. Then he built a diving board and a railing around the new roof.

“My mother told me that my father built the railing, so we could sun ourselves without her worrying about us falling overboard. Amelia and I spent several summers up on the roof.

“The men built a platform big enough to hold the trailer with plenty of room to walk around it and then attached it to the bright green airplane pontoons. My older brother took a used outboard motor apart and rebuilt it.”

With laughter bubbling up from within, Pearl says, “The big day finally came when ‘Fishful Thinking’ was finished. I remember sitting proudly beside my father on the tractor as he drove the houseboat down the road through Blenheim. I think my father took a long detour through Blenheim on purpose.

“The people stared. Several of them jumped into their vehicles and followed us all the way to Erieau.

“By the time we reached McGeachy Pond near Erieau, I counted twenty cars behind us. They wanted to get a better look at this funny contraption traveling down the highway on four wheels.

“My father pulled up to the boat launch in Erieau. The crowds that gathered around us were all pointing and laughing. A few older wiser men mocked my father saying, ‘It will never float! Go park your contraption at the trailer park where it belongs’. The men at the marina helped my father with the launch of ‘Fishful Thinking’ and it did not sink; it floated.

“Fishful Thinking has certainly proven to be seaworthy. She even survived a tornado, but that is another story.” Pearl points to her bag, “I have some photos of ‘Fishful Thinking’ before and after the storm. I will show them to you after we catch some fish.”

The boat stops and they drop the anchor. Pearl puts Pogo in his kennel to keep him safe.

Jocelyn helps Conner set up his fishing line. He picks out the biggest minnow from the pail and puts it on his hook before casting it over the side of the boat. There is an explosion as a giant fish jumps out of the water. Conner knows what to do. He jerks the rod to set the hook and starts too reel in his fish.

Pearl tells the children, “Bring in your lines, so that they don’t get tangled.”

Conner keeps his line tight. The bass puts up a good fight and jumps out of the water several times trying to throw the hook.

Jocelyn nets the large-mouth bass. She measures it, “Conner; your bass is 20 inches long.”

Conner holds his large fish in front of him while several people take pictures.

Pearl gets out her Large-mouth Bass Length to Weight Conversion Chart. “Your bass is about five pounds Conner. You can put it into the live well at the stern of the boat.”

“Where is the stern Pearl?”

Pearl tells him, “The stern is at the back of the boat and the bow is at the front.”

Pearl’s father moves the boat to a different spot.

Pearl tells the children, “You can drop your lines back in the water.”

The children all catch fish. When they have enough Pearl says, “You need to leave some for tomorrow. Reel in your lines and we will head back.”

Isabel and Marvel are waiting at the marina when the boats return. The children jump up and down all excited as they tell t about all the fish they caught.

Pearl’s father tells them, “We stopped fishing when we caught enough fish for supper. I didn’t want to spend all night cleaning fish.”

Connor reaches into the live well and pulls out his large bass to show to his grandmother. He has a big smile on his face as he holds it up. Connor says, “My father taught me if I catch a fish I have to clean and fillet it.”

His Father Randy agrees, “Connor, bring your fish to the cleaning station. This is your first bass and I am proud of you.” He gives his son a hug.

~~~~~~

Connor returns to the picnic with a small cooler that holds his bass fillets.

His father says, “Connor you can go off and play with your friends. Frying fish can be dangerous.”

Randy takes the cooler over to his brother Drew. A big propane fryer is set up in a safe place away from the children. When it is hot enough, they dip the fish into the batter mixture then drop the fillets into the sizzling oil.

Amelia’s brothers, Bernie and Curtis fry up hot dogs. When everything is ready, the familiar sound of the three-corner bell rings, calling the hungry people to come and eat.

Conner runs over and serves Jocelyn a piece of the bass that he caught.

She tells him, “The bass taste good, Connor.”

When they are finished eating the men cut into the watermelons. Isabel and Marvel serve the cupcake-cake with the red maple leaf flag on top. They bought it at Maple City Bakery in Chatham.

Marvel says, “This is a good way to serve a crowd. It is not messy like a real cake.”

Then the people are finished eating and they clean up the picnic area.

Stanley’s Uncle Dedrick tells a story to the people sitting under the sycamore tree. “You always have to be aware of the weather when you are in a boat on Lake Erie. Last summer when we were out fishing, a storm blew in from the west without any warning. As we sped towards the marina for protection, the boat’s propellers caught in an abandoned fishing net.”

Dedrick continues, “Some of the passengers were seriously hurt. My wife Helena got a deep gash in her head when we came to an abrupt stop. They did a CAT scan at the hospital and it showed a small concussion.

“My nephew Stanley’s arm was slashed open by the propeller while he was trying to cut the gill net from around the motor’s blades. Large waves continued to toss my boat around like a kid’s toy. Hail the size of golf balls crashed down on us putting holes through our windshield and canvas top.”

Connor asks, “How did you get to shore, did you have to swim?”

“No, we were going to launch theinflatable life raft when the Search and Rescue arrived from Erieau. They towed my boat to shore. An ambulance was waiting to take my wife and Stanley to the hospital.”

Another man tells them, “A storm called the Black Friday Storm in October 1916, sunk four large boats and killed fifty sailors. The wind was more than 70 miles per hour.”

An older man tells them, “Lake Erie is the shallowest of the five Great Lakes. People still do not believe me when I tell them that in the mid to late fall the waves can get to be around 3-5 meters tall for you and to Americans that is 10-15 feet. I ran my boat ashore at Seagull Island during a violent storm once. I tied it to a tree and thought it would be safe.

“Giant breakers splashed over the island while we clung to the trees for dear life. When the storm was finally over, my passengers were drenched, but thankful to be alive. All that remained of my boat was the stern with the motor still attached. The rest of the boat sunk. Someone came from Erieau to rescue us.”

When they are through talking Ben announces, “The winner of the fishing contest is Conner. Tim caught the smallest fish.”

When they are through giving out the prizes, the families wander over to see the fireworks.

Jocelyn sets her lawn chair beside her mothers, “Thank You for helping me with the picnic.”

“I enjoyed myself Jocelyn. Our family and friends all helped.”

“We will have to continue with this tradition. I know that Stella would have wanted this. I will talk with Amelia and Stan when they get home.”

Jocelyn’s mother yawns, “Let’s hope that there is no wedding the weekend before we take on the Canada Day challenge again. I am not as young as I used to be.”

“I am tired too. I finished preparing the baked beans at one in the morning. I have a lot of paper work to do tomorrow. Pearl will watch the store for me until I get back from the police station.”

“We have so many good friends Jocelyn. They are willing to stop what they are doing and lend a hand.”

“I know Mother. I have been thinking about what happened when the guest came to Amelia’s and Stanley’s wedding. We gathered at Stella’s Tearoom for supper. The staff took turns helping us cook. Our homes were filled with company.”

Isabel says, “I didn’t mind. It was like the old days during the harvest. We fed the threshing crew’s lunch and supper.

“The only thing different was we didn’t have to get up at five to feed the chickens and milk the cows. After my mother and I finished the chores in the barn during the harvest, we baked bread, made pies, roasted pans of meat and cooked pots of vegetables. We even scrubbed the pots and washed the dishes before milking the cows in the evening.”

“You had to work hard when you were a young girl Mother.”

“All the farmers and their families had to work like that. We had no other choice. It was a challenge to get everything finished in time. We never had to count sheep to get to sleep at night.

“We all worked together.” A beach ball hits Isabel on the head interrupting their conversation. Jocelyn throws it back and the child is happy.

“I am glad it was a beach ball and not a soccer ball that hit you in the head Mom.”

They laugh.

Jocelyn continues, “I remember the fellowship we had as we played games or sat on the side by side swing with someone and reminisced about the bygone years. Amelia’s wedding was so beautiful.”

“Even though I am tired Jocelyn, I would not want to change the fellowship we shared in the past few weeks.”

“I know how you feel Mother. I do not need the jewels and silver that I found to make me happy. My family and friends are my treasures. I already have treasures in Erieau.”

An explosion of fireworks interrupts their conversation. The children scream with delight. Jocelyn watches as Ben and some of the other firefighters light the fireworks.

~~~~~~

When it is over, Jocelyn and her mother walk back to Amelia’s place. They hug before Isabel drives home.

Jocelyn goes to her bedroom. She picks up the booklet written by Amelia’s friend and opens it.

My Burdens Are Lighter When I Give Them to God

First Peter 5:7 paraphrased.

When I am feeling overwhelmed with stress, God encourages me to cast my cares on his shoulders. He is not a stern judge waiting for me to break under my worries; He actively wants to help carry my burdens.

Jocelyn thinks about what is happening in her life. I need to cast all my concerns to God for He cares for me. Whenever I go fishing, I usually cast several times before I catch a fish.

Conner was lucky today. He caught a big bass with his first cast. Life is usually not like that. I have gone fishing in the past and never had a bite.

She continues to read.

It is the same way with trying to get rid of my problems; I have to spend a lot of time praying. With persistent faith and prayers, God will take away my burdens.

We all have some loads to carry. That is the nature of life. Sometimes the loads I carry are so heavy that it takes all I have in me to keep from caving in beneath the weight. This might be one of those seasons for you. I have some good news.

God can be trusted with your anxieties and concerns. You need to tell God about all your worries and burdens. He can handle them better than you can and has never let me down in the past. I know He will be with you today and tomorrow.

Emily

 

She writes, ‘My Burdens Are Lighter When I Give Them to God’ then prays. “Thank You for this wonderful day. I know that the Bible says not to worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. It is hard to do. God I want to trust you and turn all my concerns over to You...”

Jocelyn gets into bed and sleeps soundly because she cast all her burdens up to God, and He is taking care of them for her.

 

4. First Note

Jocelyn stretches and rubs her eyes, Thank You God, for a good night’s sleep. She reviews what she wrote the night before. ‘My Burdens Are Lighter When I Give Them To God’. “Thank You God for taking some of my fear away.” She reaches over and puts the index card on her nightstand before getting out of bed.

She picks up a booklet called, ‘Divine Love’ by Emily and opens it at random.

Sweet Fruits

How I spend the first few minutes each day will affect the sugar content of the fruit that I produce in my life. I need to start my day by coming into the presence of God. When I spend time having devotions, reading my Bible and praising God, the love of His Son Jesus shines on me.

I want to let the Holy Spirit flow up from the roots of God into my limbs to feed the fruit growing on my branches’ nourishing food. When I do this, I will continue to produce fruit that the farmer (God) can use to bless the people He sends to me. God wants to feed His people the sweet fruit from the words of Jesus.

Help me to grow sweet fruit God. I give my branches to You. Let your Son shine on me and fill me with living water so that my branches will produce sweet fruit.

I pray that You will bless me God and let Jesus through the Holy Spirit, shine on me each morning, so that the fruit I produce will be as sweet as honey.

With Christian Love,

Emily

 

Jocelyn sits and thinks of the words she just read. How I spend the first few minutes each day will affect the sugar content of the fruit that I produce in my life.

“God, Emily is right. If I do not come to You and allow You to fill me afresh each morning, I seem to have a harder day. Little things of no importance creep in to bug me, and sometimes I speak harsh words. The phone rings, interrupting her prayer. She answers.

“Is that you Jocelyn? It is Mrs. Gomer.”

“Yes it is. How are you feeling?”

“I am a lot better now. The people in Erieau are ever so kind. My neighbors took turns staying with me after I came home from the Hospital.”

“There is something special about the people in Erieau Mrs. Gomer.”

“I agree Jocelyn.”

“The doctors said it was a miracle that I didn’t break any bones when I fell. I will try to be more careful.

“How did you fall?”

“I insisted on wearing my dress shoes to Stanley and Amelia’s wedding, instead of the sensible ones my daughter bought me. I will be ninety next month. You would think I would know better.”

“I caught the heel of my shoe on the carpet and fell flat on my face hitting my head and breaking my glasses. I ended up with a concussion and two black eyes.”

“Can you believe that I fought with the resistance in Poland, during the Second World War and never received a scratch?”

“I am glad you are feeling better.”

“Thanks Jocelyn. I am moving into the senior residence in Blenheim on Friday.”

“I thought you were going to move to Chatham last year.”

“I was, but the house deal fell through, something about the mortgage not going through.”

“A missionary couple I know will be returning to Canada and have rented the furnished house from me.”

“That is a good arrangement for both of you.”

“Kim and Ben arranged for some men in the church to help me move what I need.”

“Amelia told me about it. She said that she bought some of your belongings.”

“Amelia is so kind. She insisted that I continue to use my belongings until I moved. My daughter has everything packed and labeled as Amelia instructed. I need to know what time Amelia’s brothers are coming to take the boxes to Stella’s Antiques.”

“I saw them yesterday and they said that they would be there Friday afternoon at two o’clock.”

“Thank You Jocelyn.”

“The next time I am in Blenheim I will stop by and visit you Mrs. Gomer.”

Jocelyn gets ready for the day and then goes to the kitchen. She listens to a CD while she prepares her breakfast. ‘Lord I Lift Your Name on High’ is playing. She sings the familiar words.

“God I want to lift Your name on high today. I am glad I have Your Son Jesus in my heart”

She continues humming as she heads over to the store. Her friend Pearl greets her with a hug. “Everything is ready for the tearoom to open Jocelyn.”

“Thank You for helping me today, Pearl. I will be in the office if anyone needs me.”

Jocelyn goes to her office and turns the computer on. As soon as it boots up, she downloads the pictures from her camera. She prints off several copies of Connor holding the large bass. She puts them in her bag. She smiles as she thinks about the fun she had with her family and friend the day before.

Jocelyn checks her emails and Face Book. She takes out the photocopies of the scrap pieces of paper and studies them. Polsky, that sounds Polish to me.

She types the words from the paper into the Polish to English translator.

Jew, Dziewczyna ponosił 1942 Maja, w Gettach Warszawy Polski. Imię (nazwa) Rodzenia, Bohdana Troki.

She clicks on interpret and reads the information.

Jew, Girl born May 1942, in the Warsaw Ghettos of Poland. Birth Name, Bohdana Troki.

Jocelyn prints a copy of the information. Some of her friends arrive. They want to find out what was going on at her cottage on Tuesday night. She sits and chats with them.

It is hard not to tell about the silver box and bottle, but she has promised the police not to talk about what she found. She really wants to keep her word.

After her friends leave, she goes to the tearoom and makes her lunch. She takes the tray out and sits in the side-by-side swing. She has no more interruptions.

When Jocelyn is finished eating her lunch, she returns the dirty dishes to the Tearoom then goes over to the antique store to check on Fern the new girl she hired from Job Works, through Community Living.

Fern is humming as she dusts the grandfather clock in the corner room. The clock strikes twelve. Fern jumps and drops the dust cloth. “It startled me.”

Jocelyn smiles, “I still jump when the clock strikes the hour. You will get used to it Fern. You are doing a good job. Ask Lois if you have any questions.”

Fern picks up her cloth and continues dusting.

Jocelyn goes to another room and talks with Lois. “How is Fern doing?”

“She is learning fast. I only need to show her something once and she can do it.”

“That’s good. Fern’s worker from Community Living will be in this afternoon. Could you give her this report for me?” She hands Lois a red folder. “I need to leave for Chatham soon.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn stops in Cedar Springs on her way to talk with her mother.

Isabel asks, “Did you find out any more information?”

“Yes mother. The bottle might have come from Poland during the Second World War. The notes are written in Polish. A computer program translated it into English for me.” She pulls out the paper and reads.

“Jew Girl born May 1942, in the Warsaw Ghettos of Poland. Birth Name, Bohdana Troki.”

Isabel says, “If she was born in May 1942, she would be 67 years old now.”

“Please don’t tell anyone about what I found.”

“My lips are sealed.”

Jocelyn gives her mother a hug then heads for Chatham.

~~~~~~

Her favorite song is playing, ‘He Knows my Name’.

When the song is finished, she turns the radio off. “God, You know my name. I remember reading a scripture in my Bible about how You have a plan for me. You listen to me when I call Your name.”

Jocelyn is early, so she stops at a donut shop. After finishing her coffee, Jocelyn walks across the road to the Chatham Kent police station. She hands the clerk the business card that Officer Taylor gave her. The clerk tells her to take a seat.

Within a few minutes, Officer Taylor enters the room. She shakes Jocelyn’s hand. “They are waiting for you.”

They enter an elevator that takes them to the basement, and then walk down a long hallway to a door.

There is a police officer standing inside the door. He tells her, “You have to leave your bag and purse on this shelf and do not touch anything on the table.”

Jocelyn stands with her mouth agape when she sees the table. The silver box,sapphire necklace and glass bottle with turquoise flowers sit amongst; diamond rings; fancy gold brooches, Swiss watches and other expensive jewels on a large conference table. There is a handgun along with several boxes of bullets. Three large bags hold coins and bills. A stack of Interact, VISA and Master Cards add to the collection.

A box of loose fishing tackle is beside four tackle boxes and a blue tarp.

Officer Taylor says, “Jocelyn, you unearthed quite a collection with your treasure hunt on Tuesday night. A jewel appraiser estimated that you found several million dollars’ worth of jewels, gold and silver. That is not including the ninety seven thousand dollars in bills and the coin collection.”

Jocelyn says, “I can’t believe that all this came out of four large tackle boxes.”

“It did. I would like you to meet, Officer Sam Dryer from Chatham and Officer Inez Beer, from London. They are working together in a Joint Investigation. Inez is responsible for the case. I have to go out on patrol. You can tell them what you know. It has been a pleasure meeting you.” Officer Taylor excuses herself and leaves the room.

Officer Dryer shakes Jocelyn’s hand. “If you want you can call me Sam.” He points to his camera and computer. “We spent several hours documenting what you and Norma found. We have been comparing the jewels with the records of stolen property in our computer records.

“Burglars broke into a home in a subdivision north of London last March and stole the jewels in this pile. This box of jewels is from a jewelry store robbery. When we are through with the investigation, the owners will be notified, and their property will be returned.”

Jocelyn asks, “Have you found any information out about the silver box with the sapphire necklace and bottle with turquoise flowers?”

Sam shakes his head, “We ran all the information about it through the database. The sapphire necklace and silver box are not in our records.”

Jocelyn tells him, “I found something interesting this morning. I thought one of the words on the scrap piece of paper from the silver box was Polish, so I typed them into the Polish to English translation on my computer. I was right. This is what it printed out. She removes a piece of paper from her pocket and hands it to Sam.”

Sam reads it,

“Jew, Girl born May 1942, in the Warsaw Ghettos of Poland. Birth Name, Bohdana Troki.”

Inez says, “Good work Jocelyn. I might hire you as a detective.”

Inez picks up the scraps of small papers from the silver box and the yellowed letters. “It will take us months to find time to translate these pages.”

Jocelyn tells her, “I can do it for you if you want. I have taken photocopies of all the writings and have some good pictures of the bottle and silver box.”

Inez says, “That would be a big help. I will talk to my supervisor and get back to you. If you find out anything, let us know. We are trained in how to handle these situations.”

“I will.”

Officer Inez gets up and walks towards the door, handing Jocelyn her business card. “This is my phone number. Give me a call if you think of anything.”

Jocelyn picks up her purse and wishes that she could have taken some pictures of everything on the table. She takes one last look over her shoulder before following Officer Inez out the door.

“Thank you for all your help Jocelyn. We will phone you when we learn anything more.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn heads for home. It starts to rain, so she puts her wipers on. It stops when she gets near McGeachy Pond. She pulls over to the side of the road and watches the swans swimming. The sun comes up, and she notices a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

She thinks of the covenant spoken in the Bible by God to Noah. Jocelyn feels better. God loves me and he wants what is best for me. She lets a car pass then pulls onto the road and drives towards Erieau. She says, “Thank You God for my job and my new cottage. Erieau is my home now.”

Jocelyn climbs the stairs to the art room. After turning her cell phone off, she removes her shoes and walks over to the window overlooking Lake Erie. Several large sailboats are having a race. She watches the tall boats as they cut through the waves.

Jocelyn cannot stop yawning. The recliner looks inviting, so she decides to take a nap.

It is after six when she wakes. I must have been tired. Jocelyn decides to go to Eau-Buoy Galley for a late supper.

Her friends, Pearl and Sharon are there. Jocelyn orders a fish sandwich with a side of coleslaw, along with a glass of iced tea.

The conversation gets around to the police visiting her place on Tuesday night.

Her friends keep pestering her, so Jocelyn tells them, “I am not at liberty to share what happened. When the police tell me it is okay, I will tell you.”

Changing the subject, she says. “I brought my notebook computer. I have a slide show of Amelia’s wedding if you want to see it.”

The friends look at the pictures and talk about Amelia’s weddings. At eight o’clock, they get up to leave.

Jocelyn promises, “I will phone you as soon as I have any news that I can share.” She tells them, “There is a problem living in a small Village. Mr. Jones can sneeze at two o’clock and his neighbours spread a rumor that he is in the hospital with pneumonia by six. When I lived at home on the farm, we might not see our neighbours for a week. One thing though, if there was a real emergency; our neighbours were there to help us.”

Pearl and Sharon both agree. They promise to get together again soon.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn looks after Freddy then goes to her bedroom. She thinks about all the money, gold, silver and jewels she saw on the table at the police station. I will have to talk to mother about it in the morning. It is hard for me to believe that Norma and I found a treasure worth millions of dollars in my back yard. It is going to be difficult to keep this to myself but the police told us not to talk about it.

This reminds me of the man who took a day off work. He went golfing and got a hole in one, but could not tell his friends because he was supposed to be at home sick.

What will the thieves do if they return and find the blue tarp full of rocks? My life could be in danger.

Jocelyn reads her devotion from Psalm 18:1-3. She writes on her index card.

I love You Lord; You are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. My God is my rock in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. ((NIV)

 

She puts the card on the end table and climbs into bed. “I feel at peace with You God. I know that You will take care of me and that I do not need to worry.

“Thank You for being with me. I pray that You keep us safe. Help the police find the thieves and return the stolen goods to the rightful owners.

“Where are Baby Bohdana and her mother? Help me find them.”

 

5. What a Day

Jocelyn reads from her Bible, and Paraphrases the words, adding her name on a small card.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

I know the plans that I have for you Jocelyn, declares the LORD. I have plans for your care and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Call upon Me. Come and pray to Me. I will listen to you Jocelyn when you seek Me. You will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jocelyn reads what she wrote over a few times and puts the card in her pocket so that she can read it again at lunch.

“I had a good day yesterday God. I talked with some of my friends and resisted telling them about what happened on Tuesday night. I remember my parents and Stella telling me, ‘set a good example and never break a promise.’

“It was not easy. Just think, after all these years I finally find a treasure and cannot keep it. I can’t even talk about it. I know that it all belongs to someone else. Please help me find the owner of the small bottle, sapphire necklace and silver box.

“Thank You for all your help. I sure would like to know what the plans are that you have for me.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn goes to the tearoom. It is not busy so Jocelyn sits and has a muffin and a cup of tea with her friend Pearl. It is hard not to tell her about the hidden treasure but she gave her word to the police. She puts her plate and cup into the dishwasher. I might find time to interpret another piece of paper from the silver box this afternoon.

Several customers inquire about what took place at her cottage on Tuesday night. She keeps telling them that she is not at liberty to talk about it.

Jocelyn’s older brother Randy comes in to see her. “I need to talk to you Jocelyn. Can we go back to your office?”

“Yes, come with me.”

With concern in his voice, he asks, “What is this, I heard about you finding something in your yard Tuesday night. Someone told me the police came to see you and Norma. What is going on Jocelyn?”

“Norma and I found a tarp full of buried treasure. I thought it was stolen, so we phoned the police.”

The excitement of the past day overwhelmed Jocelyn. Tears filled her eyes and ran down her cheeks. Her big brother wrapped his arms around her and held her close while she wept.

Randy had always been there for her. After their father died, they supported each other as they grieved. Even though the police said not to talk to anyone except her parents. Jocelyn knew her words would be safe with Randy.

Jocelyn answered the phone.

“This is Officer Inez Beer. Sam and I talked with our Superior Officer and he agreed to let you help with some of the investigation. We want you to find out what the papers say. My email address is on the card I gave you. Send me anything you find.”

“I will Inez.”

“I saw the advertisement for your club’s potluck barbecue in the newspaper. Do you think your Metal Detecting Club will help the police Jocelyn?”

“We have helped the police in the past. I know our club would want to help again.”

“Good I would like to meet with the leaders, at your place before everyone arrives.”

“Garry and I are the leaders. I will phone him.”

“Thank you. We found a laptop computer with a lot of information.” Inez continues, “See you at three on Monday. I will be wearing street clothes and driving a green van.”

Jocelyn says, “Inez, my older brother Randy is here. He heard about Tuesday night and is worried about me. I told him what happened.”

“Thanks for letting me know. You can tell your brother everything Jocelyn.”

“See you on Monday Inez.”

Jocelyn hung up and turned to Randy. “The police said it is all right for me to talk with you.”

“Thanks for trusting me Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn pulled the yellow folder out of her briefcase, and removed the papers from it and hands them to her brother. Randy examines all the photocopies. She tells him everything that has happened to her.

He says, “I don’t believe my eyes Jocelyn. You sure hit the jackpot.”

“Randy, I have found some information. I thought one of the names on the scrap piece of paper from the silver box was Polish, so I typed the information into the Polish to English translation on my computer. I was right and this is what it printed out.”

Randy reads the paper then says, “This is interesting. It reminds me of what one of my professors told me. His family was a Jew from Poland. He talked about how his mother and father were visiting in Canada when the Second World War broke out. They stayed in Canada while most of their families back in Poland ended up in the gas chambers or died in concentration camps.”

Randy begins to pace as he thinks. “I really need to go now since there is a sick cow waiting for me.” He looks Jocelyn in the eye and says, “Be careful and trust no one except the police or your family with this information.

“Remember, if you ever need anyone to talk to I am a phone call away. Love you Sis.” He playfully messes up her hair as he gets into his truck.

Jocelyn puts the yellow folder in a safe place and goes over to the fridge in the Tearoom. She pours herself a tall glass of iced tea and takes it back to the office in the antique store. She phones her aunt Marvel.

Marvel answers, “Is that you Jocelyn?”

“Yes. I have a lot of extra work to do. Can you come in and run the store for me Saturday morning at eight thirty? I will also need you on Tuesday at nine. Brenda’s granddaughter Fern will be working with you. She is new. Lois will be coming in on Tuesday at two o’clock to close.”

“Yes Jocelyn, I have no other plans.”

“Thanks for your help Marvel.”

 

~~~~~~

When Jocelyn is through eating her lunch, she goes to the back room and returns with some clean rags and a pan of warm water.

Instructing Lois, she muses, “Running an antique store is a lot of work. You begin at one end of the store on Tuesday and dust and wash everything in the store. When you are finished you start all over again.”

Jocelyn and Lois listen to music as they start the never-ending job of dusting and cleaning.

The phone rings.

It is Pearl. “I need help in the tearoom. Can you spare Lois for a little while?”

“Yes.”

Jocelyn hangs up and tells Louis, “That was Pearl. The Tearoom is full of customers. She needs help?”

“I don’t mind going Jocelyn, anything is better than dusting.”

Louis leaves and Jocelyn picks up the dust rag. She examines the fine details on a teacup as she wipes away the dust. When it is clean, she gently puts it back in place before picking up another one.

~~~~~~

Lois returns from the tearoom.

Jocelyn looks around the room with satisfaction and says, “I love antiques, but I need to come up with some kind of invention to do the dusting for me.”

Louis says, “I will be the first one to buy it.”

Her cousins Bernie and Curtis arrive. Bernie asks, “Jocelyn where do you want us to put the boxes we have in the truck from Mrs. Gomer’s?”

“We prepared the downstairs storage room for it. You can back the truck up to the large garage doors. I will go and open them for you.”

She goes downstairs and opens the wide doors. Bernie tells her, “It is a good thing that someone cleaned out the storage room for you. We will likely have about two trips. Amelia must have bought everything that wasn’t nailed down.”

Curtis helps Bernie carry in all the boxes.

When the truck is unloaded, the brothers leave for another load.

Jocelyn picks up all the invoices and puts them in a blue folder. She writes Mrs. Gomer’s name on the outside.

Mrs. Gomer’s daughter followed Amelia’s instructions by numbering each box and typing two written invoices of the contents in the box. She glued one on the sides of all the containers.

Jocelyn is excited. This will make it easier for us. She reads the label on a box.

 

76 Fragile

Hand Blown Christmas

Animal Ornaments

Warsaw Poland, 1936

 

Jocelyn takes the box to a table and opens it with a box cutter. She peeks inside. It contains a wooden chest with a set of antique hand blown Christmas animal ornaments.

Every ornament is different. She picks up a fragile glass white dog. She places it back into the protective tissue then closes the lid with packing tape and places it on a shelf.

She opens another box and finds a walnut carving of a St Bernard Dog. “I love it. I’ll buy it if the price is right.”

Jocelyn examines a cuckoo clock and sees that it is from Switzerland. “I could spend all afternoon here, except I have lots of work to do.” She puts the dog and clock back in the boxes and tapes the flaps shut.

She reads some of the labels on the boxes and says, “If this is a sample of what is in the boxes, it will be exciting to open them. I can’t wait until Amelia comes home, so we can get started.”

 

Jocelyn returns to the store and tells Lois, “Amelia bought most of Mrs. Gomer’s belongings. I never was in her house.”

“I have been at her place several times Jocelyn. The Gomers were missionaries after her husband retired from being in the ministry. Memories from all around the world filled her shelves. Her furniture came from Africa, South America and Europe.”

“I saw some antique Christmas animal ornaments in a boxLois.”

“I was at Mrs. Gomer’s house for a Christmas tea a few years ago Jocelyn. The ornaments were hanging on her tree. I loved the one of the baby kitten. She told me that her father made them in his glass factory before the Second World War.

“She told me that she bought them at an auction several years ago, while she was living in Germany.”

“I am looking forward to Amelia coming home Lois. It will be like Christmas when we open all the boxes and get to see inside.

“I will be busy helping Bernie and Curtis, unload the truck when they come back. Thanks for all your help.”

The front door opens, and a customer walks in. He looks around the room as if he is searching for something. Lois goes over to talk with the man then takes him back to the clock room.

The front door opens again. It is Norma. She has a big smile on her face. She runs over to Jocelyn and gives her a warm hug. “What have you found out Jocelyn?”

Jocelyn tells her, “I stopped at the police station, and you won’t believe what was in the other packages. I will tell you more when I get home.”

“I will see you later. My father is out front with my belongings. He is helping me move them into the loft. Sugar Baby says hi. See you after work.”

Jocelyn waves as Norma leaves then returns to the storage room. She shows her cousins where to put the boxes. It is past closing when they are finished.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn rushes home and takes a refreshing shower, and gets ready for an exciting evening. She opens the closet and pulls out a pair of blue Capris. I will wear the pink top and matching clogs.

Jocelyn is having a hard time concentrating. Her mind keeps wandering.

She looks at her watch. Norma is waiting to hear all the news. She grabs her purse and computer bag and leaves through the back door, then walks down the beach towards her cottage.

The Man With the White Hat

Jocelyn sees a man, wearing a white hat, sitting on the beach with his back to the lake and looking towards the houses through his binoculars. He looks out of place. Most visitors to Erieau spend their time watching boats out on the lake.

The man sees her watching him. He turns his head away and puts some dark sunglasses on. Jocelyn notices the shadow of a beard.

Who is he? What is he looking at? I will tell Officer Inez about him when she gets here tomorrow. Jocelyn passes him then runs up the outside steps to Norma’s flat. Norma pokes her head out and asks, “What took you so long?”

Norma’s dog Sugar Baby comes out and dances around in circles. She is excited to see Jocelyn.

After setting her computer case on the end table, Jocelyn reaches into her pocket and pulls out a doggy treat for Sugar Baby. She makes a big fuss over the small dog. “I still think you look like an overgrown rat with whiskers.”

She gives Norma a hug then starts to sneeze. “I don’t know what I am going to do she says, I am still allergic to feathers.”

Norma laughs so hard, that she has to go to the sink and pour herself a drink of water. “How can you be allergic to my name Jocelyn?”

They laugh at their private joke. Norma’s name is Norma Featherly.

“I am teasing you, I like your name. It is light and fluffy.” They break out into spontaneous laughter. It helps take away some of the built-up tension, so that they can unwind.

“I came as soon as I could Norma. Amelia’s brothers Bernie and Curtis brought in two truckloads from one of our customers. I had to match the numbers on the boxes with the numbers on the invoices. It took all afternoon.”

“You must be tired. Sit and relax while I set the table.”

“Thanks Norma, are you sure you don’t need any help?”

“No, I made us a pizza, or should I say I opened a box and put a pizza in the oven. The salad is fresh from your garden.”

When everything is ready, Norma says a prayer for the food.

After they are finished eating Norma says, “I made you a surprise for dessert.” She takes a plate, and puts it on the table.

Jocelyn is excited, “Cherry Bliss Brownies; they are my favorite. Your mother always made them for me, when I came to visit.”

They eat the cherry squares.

“How do you make the brownies Norma? I think they would sell at the tearoom.”

“I use a chocolate brownie mix, and top it with a white filling. To make the filling you need to beat 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1/3 cup of butter, until fluffy. Beat in 1/3 cup of sugar, two eggs, two Tablespoons of flour, and ¾ teaspoon of vanilla. Drop a spoonful of the mixture, over the brownie batter in pan. Use a knife to cut through the batters to create a marble pattern.

“Spoon a can of cherry pie filling, over the top, and bake in 350 degrees F oven, for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

“When cool put the chocolate bar into a zip-lock bag and put into a bowl of hot water until it melts. Cut off the corner and drizzle it over the brownies. Serve in miniature paper cups.I brought you the recipe.”

“Thank you Norma I will give it to my mother. She does most of the baking for Stella’s Tearoom.”

Jocelyn returns to the table and asks, “Do you remember the day that we met at summer camp. You were twelve at the time and had no brothers or sisters. You said at the end of the summer, ‘best friends are the siblings who God forgot to give you.’ We have been best friends ever since.”

“That was a long time ago Jocelyn. We only see each other a few times a year. Now we are going to be neighbours. Tell me all you have discovered about the buried treasure since we last talked.”

“I will, after we put the dishes away. I need to use the table for the papers.”

They make fast work of cleaning up. After they wipe the table, Jocelyn pulls out the yellow folder with the words’ Treasures in Erieau on it and removes a piece of paper. You need to read this Norma.”

Norma reaches across the table to get the paper and reads,

“Jew, Girl born May 1942, in the Warsaw Ghettos of Poland. Birth Name, Bohdana Troki.

“Wow! How did you find out this information Jocelyn?”

“It was easy. One of the words looked Polish. I remembered reading about how to translate languages, so I tried it and it worked. I turned on my computer and I typed the words (Polish to English Translator). I typed in the words from one of the pieces of paper and this is the translation.

“That is awesome; I would never have thought of it. What happened at the police station yesterday?”

“Let’s go outside and I will tell you.”

Norma walks to the fridge. “Would you like another cold drink?”

“Thanks I would. Let me take your dog down to the yard, so she can have a run first.” Jocelyn puts a leash on Sugar Baby. “I will be right back.”

 

When Jocelyn returns with the dog, she opens the sliding glass door to the balcony. She sits on a patio chair and relaxes.

Norma joins her. She gives Jocelyn a fresh tropical smoothie. “This is to toast our new home.”

The drink has a toothpick umbrella, with a maraschino cherry, and a slice of pineapple.

Jocelyn takes a sip, “This is good.” She looks towards the beach and sees that the man with the white hat is still sitting there. He is looking at her through his binoculars while speaking on his cell phone. He looks suspicious. I will not say anything to Norma. She might worry.

The man stands up. She is not able to take her eyes off him. A chill runs up and down her spine. He turns his back, puts his sunglasses on, and walks towards her. He stops and gazes at her then waves before he enters the cottage across the road.

A short man with a green hat and dark glasses leaves the cottage. He looks at Jocelyn and smiles.

Jocelyn panics and her face turns white. Her hand trembles and she spills the smoothie. She removes the toothpick umbrella from her lap then dabs at the spreading pink stain on her new Capris. Now what am I going to do? We might have thieves for neighbours.

Norma looks at her. “Are you feeling okay Jocelyn? You look like you have seen a ghost.”

“I think I saw something worse than a ghost. We need to go inside and talk. Something is wrong.”

Norma grabs Jocelyn’s drink to prevent her from spilling it again. She sets it on the table by the rocking chair in the living room and makes sure that Jocelyn is all right. She goes into her bedroom and returns with a pair of jeans. She says, “Jocelyn, you need to soak your, Capris or the stain will not come out.”

Jocelyn changes into the jeans. She looks into the mirror. Her face is white. She takes a cold wet cloth and holds it to her face then takes several deep breaths. She fills the sink and adds some stain remover before putting her Capris to soak. Good, the stain is coming out. Jocelyn returns to the living room.

Norma looks at Jocelyn and asks, “What happened; I have never seen you like this before. Why did you turn so pale?”

“We might have thieves for neighbours.”

“You’re not serious.”

“Yes I am.” She proceeds to tell Norma what happened. Jocelyn says, “The man look suspicious.”

“What is suspicious about a man wearing a white hat sitting on the beach?”

“I have never seen a tourist, sitting at the beach with their back towards the lake, looking into peoples’ back yards before.”

“Now you have got my attention. Tell me more.” Sugar Baby jumps up and sits in Norma’s lap.

Jocelyn takes a sip of her smoothie…“Let me start from the beginning. She tells Norma about the armed guard, Officer Inez the gun and that there was over a million dollars’ worth of stolen property on the table…

Norma says, “A real gun, are you telling me that there was a gun in one of those fishing tackle boxes?”

“Yes. Apparently they also found a computer with some information.”

“This is scary Jocelyn buried treasure, thieves, guns. I don’t like it.”

“It is hard to believe Norma. The hardest part is not being able to tell anyone.”

“I forgot to tell you that Officer Inez is coming here on Monday afternoon. She wants our metal detecting club to help her. I don’t have any more information.”

“This is exciting Jocelyn; she wants your club to help the police.”

“We helped them in the past. I need to phone Gerry and ask him to come early. You can join our club and come to the barbecue if you want.”

“I plan on joining. I can’t wait to meet your friend Gerry on Monday.” she smiles.

Jocelyn gets up and takes her empty glass to the sink. “Norma you will like Gerry. Do not tell anyone what I told you about the treasure.”

“I won’t.”

“I am glad you have Sugar Baby to guard you tonight. All I have is Freddy the Freeloader and he is useless.”

“I will keep my doors locked and sleep with my phone beside me. I think you should take the road home Jocelyn.”

“You’re right Norma.” She looks at her watch. “I am tired. It has been a long day.”

Jocelyn glances across the road at the cottage. She sees someone standing at the upstairs window looking through a pair of binoculars. She trembles with fear. She whispers in Sugar Baby’s ear, “You take good care of Norma for me.” The friends say good-bye.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn hastens up the road to the security of Amelia’s house. She feeds Freddy then goes to her bedroom.

She leans the baseball bat on the nightstand and gets ready for bed. Jocelyn turns on her CD player and closes her eyes while she listens to the music. I lift my eyes up to the mountain… she turns it off and thinks of the words. Jesus is my helper and my strength, when I am afraid. It is going to be a long night.

She opens her devotions. You can find the words; fear not 365 times in the Bible. There is one for every day of the year. I must be a slow learner. God has to keep reminding me to stop fearing and trust Him.

She continues reading; write one ‘Fear Not’ scripture on an index card every day, so that you can carry it with you. Add your name to the card and make it personal. Turn the card over and write about your fears. Tell God about all your concerns. Pray and ask Him to give you peace in your situation.

Come to Jesus with all your burdens. Rest in Him and he will take away your fear.

Jocelyn writes out the Scripture from the devotionon the back of an index card.

Matthew, 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (NIV)

She prays, “I have been too busy and haven’t spent enough time alone with You God. Please take away my fear.”

She feels at peace and falls asleep.

 

6. Bumps in the Night

A loud boom outside Jocelyn’s bedroom window wakes her. A bright flash of light is followed by another big bang and at first she mistakes it for fireworks. Several Americans are in Erieau for the Fourth of July. The noise continues to get louder. It must be a storm. She rolls over and tries to sleep but it is no use.

 

Jocelyn gets out of bed. There is a chill in the air so she wraps in her housecoat. She turns the floodlights in the back yard on and opens the door. The thunderous crashing of breakers draws her as she reaches for her raincoat and heads for the beach.

A gale-force wind hits her in the face. Jocelyn jumps when a large branch crashes to the ground narrowly missing her. It drenches her with muddy water. That was too close. The branch could have hit me! She returns to the safety of the house.

After a quick shower, she goes into the kitchen and makes a hot drink to calm her nerves. She slips a small flashlight into her pocket in case the lights go out.

She takes the hot chocolate and some cookies up to the art room. The cat follows her. Good, the lighter and candles are still on the mantel. Jocelyn goes to the window to watch the lightning. “I love storms Freddy. I remember how my brothers hid in the closet whenever there was a storm. My father had to pull me away from the window.

“Mother always scolded me when I was a little girl and said, ‘The lightning might strike you.’ She went on to tell me. ‘I was standing at a window when I was your age. Lightning hit our house and knocked me off my feet. I was scared. I wasn’t hurt but every time there is a lightning storm my teeth ache.’”

Jocelyn’s heart races as lightning strikes followed by a loud boom of thunder. The room shakes; the lights flicker then go out. She lights the large candles. The raging storm gets worse. The breakers continue crashing against the beach.

Jocelyn watches the blinking light from the lighthouse. It cuts through the darkness to guide the sailors safely to the mouth of the channel.

She goes to the swivel rocker and gets comfortable before covering herself with a warm comforter. “Freddy come and sit on my lap.” She talks to him. “Jesus has been my lighthouse all through my dark storms. He has always led me to safety. I know that He is with me whenever I am hurting. I know that God will help us keep our light from going out if we ask him to.”

Jocelyn looks at the candle with its flame pointing toward heaven. “Our Sunday school teacher Karen did an object lesson once. She called it “Let your light shine for Jesus”. She asked us, ‘What happens to the flame of a candle when we gently blow on it? We all know that the flame will start to flicker back and forth. If someone blows too hard it will go out.’”

“She said, ‘We have been called to be a light in this dark world with our flame pointing towards heaven. If we let the circumstances around us causes our light to flicker back and forth, our life will burn out quicker.’

“Our teacher lit a candle and told us to watch the flame. It pointed to heaven. She gently blew on the candle. She said, ‘See what the flame does to the candle.’ The wax started to burn unevenly and twice as fast. The wax dripped down the side of the candle. She told us, ‘Do not do this at home without your parents help. Never play with matches or anything that can make a flame.’

“Every time I look at a candle I remember her words. She said, ‘Compare the flame of the candle to your life. Jesus said not to hide your light under a bushel, your light is to shine for Him.’ She told us, ‘Try not to let Satan puff your light out.’

“My teacher told us, ‘when we keep doing things to please the people around us and not pray and not listen to what God wants us to do, our light flickers.’

“I try to compare my light to the one we used to sing about as a child. I pray that it is shining bright and not flickering around.

“I remember that when she was finished with the object lesson the class sang, ‘This Little Light of Mine.’”

Jocelyn holds up her finger as she did when she was a little girl and sings while she does the actions.

 

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.

Let it shine; let it shine, all the time.

 

“Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m going to let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m going to let it shine.

Let it shine; let it shine, all the time.

 

“Won’t let Satan blow it out; I’m going to let it shine.

Won’t let Satan blow it out; I’m going to let it shine.

Let it shine; let it shine, all the time.”

“That felt good God. Help me to let my light shine for Jesus no matter what happens to me. Don’t let my flame flicker.”

 

If only Jocelyn knew the future and how Satan would try to snuff the light of Jesus out of her life and the loving village of Erieau in the weeks ahead.

The lights come back on so Jocelyn extinguishes the flames, and then rests her head on a pillow. She shuts her eyes while listening to the storm.

It continues to rage all around her, but she feels protected and safe in Jesus’s arms. The whitecaps foam as the large breakers crash onto the sandy beach. The wind whistles through the trees. Jocelyn sleeps.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn wakes with a start. There is a buzzing coming from the back yard. She gets to her feet and looks at her watch. It is eight o’clock in the morning. The storm is over. She looks out of the window and sees the size of the branch that narrowly missed hitting her the night before. Ben is using a chain saw to cut it into firewood. I need to go and help.

She goes and gets dressed then opens the door and looks around. Good, there is no damage to any of the buildings or vehicles. I wasn’t thinking when I stepped out into the storm last night. God, Thank You for not letting the branch hit me. Now I know why my father calls the dead branches on a tree, widow makers.

Jocelyn starts raking the twigs and small branches into a pile. When the work is finished, the people who have been helping in the yard gather in the tearoom for breakfast.

Ben says, “We will be kept busy helping our neighbours cut up branches today. Several large trees have fallen on the Boulevard and a few sheds are smashed. Someone told me that a tree landed on two cars. The main thing is that no one has been injured.”

Jocelyn doesn’t tell anyone about what happened to her during the storm. She says, “I am glad that no one was hurt. I do not have to be at work until two o’clock today. I am going over to my cottage and see if there is any damage.”

Ben tells her, “Give me a call if you need any branches cut up.”

“I will.”

Several customers come in and talk about the storm.

Jocelyn takes her mother over to the art room, so that they can talk in private.

Isabel asks, “What happened when you went to the police station in Chatham Thursday?”

“I wish you could have been there Mother. I entered a room with a guard at the door. Officer Taylor told me that he was their Quartermaster. He was in charge of all the evidence at the police station.

Clear plastic bags containing money, gold, silver and jewels covered the top of a large table. Several bins full of credit cards were at one end. I saw two guns along with some Interact scanning machines.”

Her mother says. “I would have liked to have seen it.”

“I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures.”

“That’s too bad.”

“Mom, I am concerned. I keep seeing a man with binoculars and wearing a white hat. He lives in the cottage across from mine and keeps watching me. It is getting spooky. I wonder if he is one of the thieves.”

“He could be. You need to keep your doors and windows locked. Be careful Jocelyn and always take your cell phone with you.”

“I will Mom.” After Isabel returns to the tearoom, Jocelyn goes back to her bedroom. She changes out of her blue jeans and gets ready for the day. She puts her phone in her pocket before heading to her cottage.

Someone had already cut up a few small branches, and stacked them beside her stone barbecue. She walks around her property and notices that there is no damage. The hole where they found the treasure had not been disturbed.

She watches as the man with the white hat walks down the beach behind Stella’s place. He has his back turned to her and is looking at something on the ground.

Sugar Baby is in the yard, so she gets the dog and takes her into the cottage. She wipes the dog’s muddy feet with an old rag. “I guess you will be my watchdog today.”

Jocelyn puts a new message on her phone. “This is Jocelyn. I am unable to come to the phone. If you need me phone Stella’s Antiques and they will help you or leave a message.” She turns her phone off and locks her doors. I do not want to be disturbed.

She hums along with the quiet music playing in the background. It helps her relax. Jocelyn opens her notebook computer and turns it on. While she waits for it to boot up, she opens the yellow folder and examines the pictures and writings. She numbers the scrap pieces of paper and goes to the Internet. She clicks on the favorite tab and opens up the page that she saved from the Polish to English Translation.

She types in the letters from the second piece of paper.

Its translation says,

I love you Bohdana. Bohdana I will always love you. God, take care of my baby Bohdana.

 

Jocelyn types in “Warsaw Ghettoes, May 1942”. After reading a few pages, Jocelyn picks up a tissue and wipes her tears. I cannot continue reading about what happened. She leans back in her chair and stares into space. How can people be that cruel God? This assignment is going to be harder on me than I expected. Bohdana and her family were real people. Help me find her.

She whispers, “I need to search for some information about the silver box from the computer. If I am lucky, I will be able to find out what it is, and who made it. It should not be difficult.”

She types Jewish silver boxes into Google. She sees several pictures. Under them are the words Sterling Silver Etrog Box.

Jocelyn looks up Etrog. The web page has a lot of information. She copies the one she is interested in to her word program. The Israelites used a lemon-coloured citrus fruit, ‘The Etrog’, in the ceremony of booths.

Jocelyn is excited. The silver box we found and the silver boxes I saw on the computer are about the same size. This silver box would be from a Jewish family.

She types in “small antique bottle with turquoise flowers”. She does not find any of the same size and shape. It will take weeks to check out all the bottles.

Jocelyn does not have time to do more, so she prints the information she has then saves it into a file on her computer called Treasures.

She sends a copy of it by email to Inez.

Jocelyn shuts down the notebook and puts a printed copy of all the information she found in the yellow folder. If I am lucky, I will have time to shut my eyes for an hour before I go to work.

She turns the phone on and checks her messages. The voice says that there are twenty new messages. What did we do before the answering machine? I had better listen to them.

Jocelyn pours herself a cold drink and looks at her watch; it is ten to eleven. She grabs a quick lunch then starts deleting messages. There is one from her mother. “I have tried to get you six times; are you all right?” She phones her mother.

“Jocelyn is something wrong? I was going to walk over to check on you.”

“I turned the phone off. I am alright.”

“What if there had been an emergency?”

“Someone would have driven over to tell me. I find that my phone is ringing off the hook and I cannot get any work done. I am only around the corner.”

“Did you find out any new information?”

“Yes. I think the box we found is a Sterling Silver Etrog Box.”

“A what?”

“An Etrog Box. Etrog is a citrus fruit that the Jews use to celebrate one of their holy days. They would keep the fruit in a cloth lined container to prevent it from getting bruised.”

“I found nothing out about the bottle. She reads the note from the mother. It is getting late and I have fourteen more calls to check.”

Jocelyn checks the other messages. There are several calls from Gerry. “Jocelyn where are you? Do you need anything in town for the barbecue on Monday? Phone me back.”

She phones him, “Hi Jocelyn. I phoned five times and left you several messages.”

She laughs. “Sorry, I have been living at Amelia’s and turned my phone off.”

“You did what?”

“I said I turned my phone off. I had a lot of work to do and did not want to be disturbed.”

“That is not like you Jocelyn.”

“I know. I will give you my cell phone number, so you can reach me when I am not home. I do not need anything in town. Come around three thirty on Monday. I have someone I want you to meet.”

Gerry says, “Two people saw our advertisement in the paper. They phoned me this morning. They want to come to the barbecue and see about joining our metal detecting club. I invited them to come to the barbecue.”

“That is a good idea Gerry. I will see you on Monday.”

The rest of the calls were from telemarketers wanting her to spend her money.

Jocelyn puts the phone on the cradle and lets Sugar Baby out to run in the back yard. She looks around and does not see the man with the white hat.

I have time for a short nap before I have to go to work. She sets her alarm for one thirty.

She is in a deep sleep dreaming about a man chasing her down the beach. He is wearing a white hat and dark glasses.

The phone wakes her with a start. It is another telemarketer. She has to bite her tongue to prevent herself from shouting into the phone. She looks at her clock by the bed and sees that it is twenty after one. She gets up and heads back to Stella’s store. It is Saturday and she has to lock up.

~~~~~~

When Jocelyn arrives at work her aunt Marvel says, “Fern left at one. She is a good worker. Most of the dusting is finished. We sold the Chippendale desk that was in the clock room. They will pick it up on Wednesday afternoon.” She opens a schedule and shows Jocelyn what cleaning needs to be finished.

“Thanks for all the work you do. The place always looks spotless when you come in to help. You are just like your sister Stella. She had a magic way with a dust rag when she cleaned.”

They talk for a while. The health department was in and they gave me this envelope for you.

Jocelyn opens it. “The health department says that they have approved the improvements. Stella’s tearoom is in accordance with their health standards.”

Jocelyn looks around, “Uncle Randle did a good job building the walls that enclose the tearoom Marvel. Now the antique store and tearoom have their own entrance and cash register. I find that the bookkeeping is a lot easier to do now.”

The bell above the door rings. Marvel leaves.

Jocelyn walks over to help the customer. “My name is Jocelyn. How can I help you?”

The woman smiles at Jocelyn. With a bubbly voice, she says, “We moved to Chatham from London a few months ago. I am looking for a Grandfather clock that is in good working condition. It is a gift for my husband for our wedding anniversary.”

“We have one in the clock room.”

The woman follows Jocelyn to the back room.

Jocelyn shows her the clock and says, “This clock is in perfect running condition.” The grandfather clock sounds the hour. The familiar sounding chimes echo throughout the store.

The woman says, “I love the sound of the clock. What do you know about its history?”

“I have the information about the clock,” Jocelyn reads, “The Grandfather is a 1900 Waltham grandfather clock.” Placing her hand on the clock she says, “It has fancy cut outs on the sides and columns. She opens the front door, “You will notice the beveled glass.”

The customer rubs her hand over the finish.

Jocelyn tells her, “As you can see for yourself, the mahogany grain in the case is in excellent shape. You will notice that the clock has carved claw feet. This is a well-designed timepiece.”

The woman tells her, “I will walk around the store for a while and think about it.”

Jocelyn smiles and asks, “Would you like a cup of tea?”

“Yes I would.”

Jocelyn takes her up to the tearoom and pours her a cup of tea. Sharon brings her a plate of fancy sweets.

Jocelyn says, “I will be out in the store if you need me.”

Twenty minutes later the customer returns with a big smile on her face. I love the clock Jocelyn. Do you have someone who can deliver it to Chatham for me in August? I want it to be a surprise for my husband.”

“My cousins deliver for us.” Jocelyn gives her a form. “Please fill in the information on this paper. I will put it in our delivery book. They will phone you the week before to make the arrangements.”

The customer writes down her address, and phone number. She swipes her debit card and the transaction goes through.

Jocelyn walks to the door with her customer.

Jocelyn returns to the clock room and rubs her hand over the wood of the grandfather clock. “You are going to be missed. You have told me the hour on the hour without fail for several years. I have dusted you every week.” Jocelyn wipes a few tears from her eyes.

It has been a long day and Jocelyn closes the store and puts the money in the safe, then heads home. She goes to the fridge and gets a plate of leftovers and a tall glass of iced mint tea. She takes the tray of food outside to the side-by-side swing.

On the way out the door, she picks up the bag that contains some reading material. The cat follows her and sits across from Jocelyn. When she is finished eating she unlocks the pin and the glider starts to move.

She looks around the yard. The volunteers had cut up the fallen branches, and stacked them on the woodpile. A family with children play with a beach ball near the water’s edge.

Freddy sleeps while Jocelyn swings gently back and forth. Several friends stop to chat for a while. The sun begins to set and the sky turns pink.

Jocelyn reads her devotion then gets a new index card and writes, ‘Fear Not’ at the top. She personalizes a scripture.

Isaiah 43:1-3. The LORD your Creator says, ‘Jocelyn, I formed you. Do not fear, for I Your Lord have redeemed you my daughter. I have called you by name and you are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, the flame will not burn you. Jocelyn, I am the LORD Your God.’(NIV)

She reads what she wrote several times before slipping the card in her bag.

Jocelyn is tired and cannot keep her eyes open. She takes the dirty dishes into the kitchen and washes them before going to bed. Freddy curls up beside her. Jocelyn picks up the card she wrote earlier and starts to read. Her eyes are heavy and she falls asleep with it still in her hand.

 

7. Church with Family and Friends

Jocelyn wakes in the morning to find a sleeping cat on her bed, “Freddy why didn’t you wake me up? You are falling down on your job as an alarm clock.” She scoots him from the bed and glances at the card in her hand. Fear Not. “Thank You God for such a restful night.”

After she has a quick shower, Jocelyn gets ready for the day. She removes a pink folder from a basket and reviews her plans for the children’s object lesson. She counts to see if she has enough supplies, then heads out the door.

The Church service starts at eleven in the summer, so Jocelyn goes over to the Eau-Buoy Galley for her breakfast. Pearl and Sharon are there waiting. She orders egg, cheese and sausage on an English muffin and a cup of coffee. The women sit and listen to the men as they brag about all the fish they caught the day before.

Pearl whispers, “Our family always let the fish go we don’t need so that there will be plenty for the next day. I was on Fishful Thinking when the Game Warden checked a large boat moored beside us earlier in the year. They had and I am not kidding, two hundred and sixty seven perch and that’s not counting the bass, pickerel, trout, and salmon.”

Jocelyn says, “That is a lot of fish.”

Pearl continues, “I watched them take pictures of all the fish and released the ones that were still alive. The two men were charged by the Department of Fisheries.”

Sharon says, “I am glad that I do not have to pay their fine.”

Jocelyn finishes her breakfast. When her coffee cup is empty, she excuses herself. “I need to go and set up the object lesson.” She heads out the door and walks down the center of the Boulevard to church.

~~~~~~

Pastor Dale and his wife Robin welcome her at the door. Robin says, “I am looking forward to helping you with your object lesson today Jocelyn.”

“Thank you for offering to help me.”

Jocelyn and Robin go to the front of the church. Jocelyn spends a few minutes telling Robin what she needs her to do.

The minister goes to the front and says, “I am Pastor Dale Smithworth. If this is your first time here, please raise your hand and tell us your name and where you are from.”

The Pastor welcomes several guests, then says, “The boys and girls can come up front and sit on the floor. Jocelyn has an object lesson for us today. My wife Robin will help her.”

Robin and Jocelyn go to the front of the church. Jocelyn says. “I am Jocelyn Brooks and I want to talk about trusting in God and Jesus. This is Robin, and she will help me.”

The pastor’s wife stands beside Jocelyn. There is a measuring tape on the floor in front of the pulpit.

Jocelyn says, “I need one of the children to help me.”

Jocelyn studies the group of children eagerly waving their hands in front of her and notices a small boy who has health problems. He is sitting with his mother and his hands are on his lap. She smiles as she asks, “Ron do you want to help me.”

Ron’s face lights up. He is surprised because he is not outgoing. When he gets to the front of the church Jocelyn says, “Ron, I want you to stand behind this line and take a big step. The pastor’s wife will measure it for me.”

Ron takes a big step.

“That is good Ron. I want you to go back to the line and hold my hand, while you take another step.”

Ron goes back to the line. Jocelyn looks him in the eye and smiles while she holds his hand. She pulls him forward as he takes another step.

“That was an extra big step Ron.”

Robin holds up the measuring tape and shows everyone the two marks.

Jocelyn tells the children, “As you can see; Ron was able to take a bigger step when he held my hand. It is the same way when we put our trust in God and Jesus. When we hold their hands in faith and take steps, we can do more. Remember, God wants you to trust Him.”

Jocelyn opens her Bible to the front page. “I wrote this in my Bible several years ago and it has encouraged me, ‘God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called.’ We are all called by God.”

She reads from her Bible.

“John 14: 26 says, But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My (Jesus) name, He (The Holy Spirit) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that ‘Jesus’ said to you.”(NIV)

Jocelyn gives Ron the retractable cloth measuring tape with the two marks on it. “Ron when you find life hard, I want you to reach into your pocket and get this tape. Remember back to today and see how much bigger your step was when I held your hand. God and Jesus want you to hold on to their hands. Thank you for your help.”

Jocelyn tells the children sitting on the floor, “You can go back to your seats. I have a tape measure for you also and will give it to you after the service.”

The pastor goes to the pulpit and says, “Thank you Jocelyn. I know it is true. Several times during the past when I have asked God to help me and held on to His hand in faith I was able do what I thought was impossible. We will sing; ‘God Will Take Care of You.’”

 

They stand and sing.

Be not dismayed whatever betide, God will take care of you. Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.

God will take care of you through every day, over all the way; He will take care of you. God will take care of you…

All you may need He will provide. God will take care of you. Nothing you ask will be denied. God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you. Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you…

They sit after the prayer.

Pastor Dale says, “I want to tell you the story that I read about ‘God Will Take Care of You.’

Civilla Martin wrote this hymn in 1869, when she needed to learn the lesson of resting in God’s care. Her husband, the Reverend W. Stillman Martin, was going to go out of town on Sunday to preach the gospel.

His wife took sick on Sunday morning, so he decided to stay home. His son said, “You need to go to the meeting father; God will take care of mother.” The father listened to his son and left to preach.

Civilla’s husband returned that evening. He found his wife greatly improved and busily writing this text, ‘God Will Take Care of You,’ which had been suggested by her son’s words. That same evening Mr. Marten composed the music for the song.

He told her, ‘Several people asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior at the service.’

Civilla’s son had faith that God would take care of his mother while his father traveled to where he was going to share the gospel. God did take care of her.

What can we learn from Civilla and her son’s faith? Think of different situations you have already gone through in your past and see how God took care of you. Now think about what you are going through today. God is taking care of us as we go through all the trials in our life.

Don’t you think God will do the same and take care of what is going to happen to you tomorrow also? God will definitely take care of you, when bad things happen to us, and they will! We need to trust in this promise and hold on to God’s hand and never let go. God wants to take care of you.

God sends the Holy Spirit to guide us, direct us and comfort us, when we are going through rough times.

When my mother was sick and dying, she asked me to bring her pink and blue comforter to the hospital. I wrapped it around her as she sat on the recliner. I prayed, asking God to allow her to feel His arms surrounding her. I left the room: and when I returned, my mother was humming her favourite song, ‘God Will Take Care of You’. She had a smile on her face even though her body was full of cancer and wracked with pain.

Mrs. Civilla Martin also wrote, ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow.’

“I like to find out how and why our great hymn writers came up with their ideas for their hymns. You can find the information for both hymns on the Internet at (scriptureandmusic.com).

“It tells a true story of Civilla Martin visiting a bedridden Christian friend in 1904. Mrs. Martin asked the woman if she ever got discouraged because of her physical condition. Her friend responded quickly: ‘Mrs. Martin, how can I be discouraged when my heavenly Father watches over each little sparrow and I know He loves and cares for me?’

“Within just a few minutes, Mrs. Martin completed the writing of her new text, which has since been a source of much encouragement to many of God’s people. It comes from Matthew 10:29-31. “Let us stand and close the service by singing the first two verses of her song; His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

Everyone stands and sings,

Why should I feel discouraged?

Why should the shadows come?

Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home?

When Jesus is my portion?

My constant Friend is He:

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,    

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me…

When they are finished the pastor says, “Let us pray, God you have taught us that You will take care of us and that Your Eye Is on the Sparrow. We will have to go through difficult times, but you tell us that you never take Your eyes off us…”

Fear Not

After the service, Jocelyn walks home and eats her lunch then heads out to the backyard and relaxes in a reclining lawn chair.

She takes out one of her fear not cards and reads,

Other words for fear are Anxiety, Distress, Alarm, Worry, Unease, and Nervousness. Charles Spurgeon said, ‘Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.’

The opposite of fear and anxiety are peace, assurance, calmness, tranquility, serenity. When you look at a situation that is causing you to fear, are you able to turn it over to God and have peace. Why not take the time to pray about your fears, and anxiety, so that you can have peace.

 

Jocelyn thinks over what has been happening in the past few days. “I know You have told me not to fear God. I pray that You will help take all my fears, and worry’s away, so that I will have peace once more.”

She lays her head back and falls into a restful sleep. She feels the loving arms of God holding her up.

Jocelyn is refreshed when she wakes. I think I will go for a swim. She hums as she changes. Thank You for being with me God, and returning my peace.

The water is refreshing. After swimming for a while, Jocelyn lathers her skin with fresh sunscreen and sits on her towel in the sun. She listens to the waves and the laughter of families playing at the beach. Several friends stop to chat.

Jocelyn runs out into the water once more and jumps into the waves. After a good swim, she wraps in her towel and gathers up her belongings.

She looks around and sees the man with the white hat walking along the beach towards her. He is wearing dark sunglasses, so she cannot see his face.

A chill goes up her spine. She goes inside and locks all the doors. Who is the man that I keep seeing? Is he one of the thieves? I know the opposite to fear is peace. God, it is easy to speak the words. The Bible says not to fear, but it is hard to do.

 

Jocelyn’s mother stops in for a visit after supper. She has a cooler with eggs and fresh hamburger patties that she ordered for the metal detecting picnic.

Jocelyn puts the meat and eggs in the fridge. She takes out some fresh beets and puts them on to boil. “The beets will take a while to cook mother. We can go out to the swing. Do you want some iced tea?”

“Yes, I am thirsty so let me get it.”

Isabel takes two tall glasses out of the cupboard and fills them with chipped ice before adding the tea. They walk out into the fresh air and sit in the side-by-side swing.

As they sip their drinks Jocelyn says, “I am having different kinds of emotions. I try to trust in God, but it is hard to do. When I think of the hidden treasure or see the man with the white hat, I start to tremble. This is happening all the time. I need you to pray for me. I want some of the peace that Pastor Dale talked about this morning.”

Her mother holds Jocelyn in her arms while Jocelyn weeps. “I know it is hard for you Jocelyn. You have gone through so much lately. It is easy for people to say, ‘Do Not Fear’, but sometimes fear is necessary to keep us out of danger.

“You have stirred up a bee’s nest and where there are bees people can get stung. There is a lot of greed in the world. People want what doesn’t belong to them and will go to any length to get it. Are you afraid to stay here alone at night?”

“No mother, I asked for God’s help last night and slept in. You won’t believe this. I had to wake Freddy up at eight thirty this morning.”

“That’s not like Freddy.”

“Why this is happening to me mother? I was having a bit of fun and going on a simple treasure hunt. Now there might be robbers in my backyard. I could be in danger. I wish I had never found the treasure. If I had a choice, I would put it all back in the hole and not let anyone know that it was there.”

“Life is hard Jocelyn. I received an email. I thought it was interesting so I made you a copy.

She reaches into her pocket and removes a paper. “Here it is.” Isabel gives it to Jocelyn and she reads.

Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee

A Spiritual Story by Unknown Author

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again, whether you drink coffee or not.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her how things were getting hard and she wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. As soon as she solved a problem, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen and put carrots, eggs, and ground coffee beans into three separate pots then filled them with water. She boiled them for twenty minutes without saying a word.

She takes the carrots and eggs and puts them in a bowl. She pours the coffee into in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the grandmother asked her granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean Grandmother?’

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being in the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg was fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her granddaughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?’

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a pliable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I first have a fluid spirit: but after a death or a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same: but on the inside, am I bitter, or tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level.

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

 

Jocelyn’s mother sits quietly holding her daughter’s hands, as they ponder the writing.

Isabel breaks the silence. “I think we should pray and if you want I can ask one of your brothers to come and stay with you. Marvel could lend you one of her watchdogs, except Freddy would not be too happy.”

“I will be all right mother. I am keeping the doors and windows locked. You might think I am silly, but I leaned my old baseball bat on the nightstand beside my bed.”

“You can’t be too careful Jocelyn.” Jocelyn prays, “God, please bless my friend Katelyn, and bring somebody into Mike’s life that will teach him the importance of being a good husband and father. Draw him closer to You and help the police find the thieves and keep us safe.”

Her mother prays also.

The sun is setting. They go into the house.

Jocelyn goes over to the stove and tests the beets. “Mother the beets are cooked and soft just like the carrots in your story. I need to boil some eggs for tomorrow.”

Jocelyn chuckles, “All I need is some ground coffee beans, and we will be able to have a soft beet, a hard-boiled egg, and a fragrant cup of coffee.” They laugh and it relieves some of the tension.

“Thanks for coming Mother, I feel so much better. I think I will make us a cup of coffee, but it will have to be instant.”

They talk about carrots, eggs and coffee beans as they sip their coffee and nibble on a cookie.

“I will continue to pray for you Jocelyn.”

Her mother prays while she drives out of town. “God I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know you are with us in all our trials. Please be with my daughter and help take her fear away…”

 

8. A Real Treasure Hunt

Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom is not open on Mondays. Jocelyn sits on the side-by-side swing listening to the birds singing in the trees while several sparrows flutter around the yard searching for food. A humming bird drinks from the feeder. The gray squirrel with a red bushy tail chases some other squirrels up the tree. She sees the boats out on the lake, and decides to go for a swim.

Jocelyn feels refreshed after her swim. I need to go to my cottage and get ready for the barbecue.

She sings, ‘His eye is on the sparrow’ as she walks through the house.

Jocelyn puts the food that she prepared the day before into her cooler. She picks up her briefcase with her notebook computer and yellow folder and drives to her cottage.

She looks up and down the beach and across the road. There is no sign of the man with the white hat; maybe I was mistaken. My friends and mother always accuse me of having a vivid imagination.

After washing her hands, she cuts the beets into small cubes then gets the other ingredients out of the fridge. She makes a beet salad and a pea salad.

Jocelyn puts the two covered bowls in the fridge. She sees the pile of dishes. I think I will use the dishwasher. She cleans up the dishes then lets Sugar Baby in and gives her a treat.

I really should freshen up. She goes down the hall to her bedroom and changes into her white Capris along with a new pink blouse. Jocelyn returns to the living room and nods off in her recliner. She is jarred awake when the doorbell rings.

Jocelyn opens the door and lets Inez in.

You would never know she was a police officer by the way she is dressed. She is wearing cut offs and an old baseball shirt with matching hat. Inez asks, “Am I early?”

Jocelyn shakes her head and asks, “Do you want a cold drink?”

“I would like iced tea if you have any.”

Jocelyn pours two glasses of iced tea then sets them on the table.

Inez says, “We need your group to go on a real treasure hunt for the police tonight Jocelyn? We arrested a man for armed robbery. His fingerprints were on one of the guns and several of the articles you dug up.”

Jocelyn is about to tell Inez about the man in the white hat when Gerry arrives. His jaw drops when Inez pulls out her badge and says. “I am Officer Inez Beer from London. I am in command of a joint investigation with the Chatham Police force. I need to talk to you.

“What do you want?”

“Jocelyn and Norma found a fortune of jewels, gold, and silver in their backyard on Tuesday night. A gang of thieves stole them from the London area.

“We never found out what the thieves did with what they stole. It was a big help when Jocelyn and Norma found it.

“The courts plea-bargained with the man we arrested. They will give him a lighter sentence if he cooperates and helps us recover the rest of the stolen goods. He said that the leaders told him to be available every night this week because they were planning to smuggle it by boat to the states.

“He knows they buried everything in this area because he was in the boat when they brought the tackle boxes to shore. They walked towards the property line behind the houses along this stretch of beach He does not know the exact spot where they buried it.

“The police came up with a plan. We want your group to go on a real treasure hunt at the edge of the park and near the property lines. When the beeper on their metal detector indicates a large stash, they will dig down six inches and drop a coin into the hole for their helper to find. Do not dig up the treasure. We will take care of it later.”

Jocelyn says, “The neighbours won’t get suspicious because we have several fun treasure hunts every summer. She dumps a bag of coins on the table. You can use these coins.”

Inez says, “Good. When you fill in the holes drop one of these white rocks on the spot. I want to talk with the members that you know can be trusted. I will tell them what is going on.”

“Bring them into the cottage two at a time, so no one gets suspicious. They can help you carry the food down to the picnic shelter. Pair them with the newer members of the club when they go on the hunt.”

Inez gives Gerry and Jocelyn the white rocks and a few coins.

Gerry tells Inez, “Two men phoned on Saturday and wanted to join our club. I invited them to come to the barbecue tonight.”

“Can you describe them?”

“No Inez, I only heard their voice over the phone. The names they gave me were Wayne and Allen. Wait a minute. I have Ident-A-Call.” He opens his cell phone and clicks the buttons. “Darn their numbers are both unlisted.”

Jocelyn’s mother arrives, “I brought you the butter tarts from the tearoom that you ordered?”

“Thanks Mom. Inez this is my Mother, Isabel.”

Inez asks, “Are you available tonight Isabel. I need you to answer the door for me?”

“I can help, what do you want me to do?”

Inez takes Isabel to the back room and tells her what she needs her to do.

~~~~~~

No one is at the picnic shelter. Jocelyn tells Gerry about the treasure she dug up. They decide who the helpers should be.

A few of the members arrive. Jocelyn gets them to go with her back to the cottage.

Gerry heads out with the numbered sticks and stops at one of the homes on the beach. He asks the owner if they will let the metal detecting club check out their backyards near the beach. If they hesitate, he shows them a newspaper clipping.

 

 

Lost Ring Found

By Local Metal Detecting Club

Glenine Patrick of Windsor said, ‘thanks to Jocelyn Brooks, I have this ring on my finger once more. My husband gave it to me on our wedding day, 36 years ago. He died last year, and the ring has a lifetime of memories.

‘It fell off my finger while I was making sand castles with my grandchildren. I never thought I would see it again.

‘The metal detecting club volunteered to search for it. Jocelyn found it.’

 

Most of the people that Gerry talks with know Jocelyn. He puts a numbered flag at the edge of their property, by the beach. When he is finished, he puts a flag in the play area and near the parking lot.

When he gets back, the barbecue it is hot enough. Jocelyn returns with the hamburgers and sets the cooler beside the barbecue. “Most of the members are here Gerry. You can start cooking.”

Jocelyn and her helpers set the tables.

A scrawny dude in his late twenties gets out of a van. He has several tattoos on his arms. A dirty black cap covers his shoulder-length hair. He is wearing a hooded jacket that is zippered shut. He opens the back of the van and removes a beat-up metal detector.

He struts over to the group then looks around the gathering as if to say, why are you staring at me? He spits a wad of gum into the garbage can, clears his throat and says, “Hi. I am Allen. Is this the metal detecting club?”

Gerry welcomes him. He introduces Allen to the other members.

A man appears. It is as if he came out of nowhere. He has a white hat pulled over his hair and wears a pair of wraparound sunglasses, so you cannot see his eyes. He walks up to the group and with a deep voice says, “Hi! I am Wayne.”

Jocelyn’s feet freeze to the spot. Her body begins to tremble. The man who is her neighbour; the man who could be one of the thieves; the man she saw on the beach is standing ten feet away. He looks familiar. I think I have seen him somewhere before. Who is he, and what is he doing at the barbecue?

Gerry shakes Wayne’s hand. He brings him over to introduce him to Jocelyn. “Wayne this is Jocelyn Brooks. She is the president of our metal detecting club. Jocelyn this Wayne, the man I told you who phoned.”

Wayne shakes Jocelyn’s hand and smiles.

Jocelyn drops her hand and backs away. Is Wayne a thief? Have I shaken the hand of a thief? She does not want to meet the other stranger, so she goes to the picnic table and removes the lids from the food.

She is finished putting spoons into the salads when Gerry announces, “The hamburgers and hot dogs are ready. Jocelyn will pray?”

Jocelyn walks over to stand beside Gerry. She looks at the man in the white hat. He smiles. Jocelyn’s cheeks begin to turn the same colour as her blouse. With a trembling voice she prays, “God; we thank you for this food. Please bless us as we gather to have fun.

Amen.”

Gerry tells them, “Line up and help yourself. There is pop in the coolers.”

Jocelyn’s friend Norma arrives and fills her plate with an assortment of food, and joins Jocelyn at the table.

Jocelyn says, “Gerry this is my best friend Norma Featherly. Remember, I told you about her. Norma this is Gerry Patterson. He helps me with the metal detecting club.”

Gerry’s face breaks into a large smile. “I am glad meet you Norma. I have heard many stories about you from Jocelyn.” He sneezes and looks her in the eye and smiles. “It seems I already know you.”

Norma can’t take her eyes from Gerry. Jocelyn told me Gerry was good-looking and she wasn’t exaggerating. She says, “I hope the stories were true. Jocelyn has a way of stretching them sometimes.”

Gerry carries on. “I know from experience that Jocelyn can spin a good tale, isn’t that right Jocelyn?”

Jocelyn laughs and says, “You will never know.”

Gerry smiles at Norma. Our metal detecting club has become more interesting. “To tell you the truth Norma, Jocelyn had nothing but good to tell me about you. I am glad that you moved to Erieau. Maybe I will have a chance to get to know you.” They sit and talk about where they work.

When everyone is finished eating, they all put their disposable plates into the garbage. Gerry cuts up a watermelon and Jocelyn puts a container with chocolate-chip cookies, and butter tarts on the table.

Jocelyn takes out her camera and walks around. She discretely snaps pictures of the people as they stand in groups talking. She takes a good one of Wayne and Allen.

After they serve dessert, Jocelyn asks Gerry to help her carry the perishable food back to her cottage.

“Gerry grins, “I asked Norma to be my partner for the treasure hunt. I hope you don’t mind. Why didn’t you introduce me to her sooner? She seems to be a nice girl and from what she told me, she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. Imagine making parts for antique cars.”

“I am glad that you like Norma. She is like a sister to me.”

When Jocelyn gets to the cottage, she tells Inez and her mother what happened at the barbecue. She pulls out her camera and shows Inez the pictures of Wayne and Allen.

Inez smiles and says, “I will send the pictures to the police station to be checked.” She pulls out her portable notebook computer and downloads the pictures from the camera.

“I want you to delete the pictures of Wayne and Allen from your camera. This is police business and they could be criminals.” Jocelyn deletes the pictures before they go back to the picnic area.

~~~~~~

Gerry blows his whistle to get everyone’s attention.

Jocelyn says, “It is time to get your metal detectors. We have some extra ones you can use. Glenine Patrick of Windsor donated them a year ago, after I found her ring. We are ready to start.”

Gerry gives the newcomers a card.

 

The Code of Ethics for Metal Detecting Clubs

I will respect private property and do no metal detecting without the owner’s permission.

I will fill in all the holes I dig.

I will appreciate and protect our heritage of natural and cultural resources, wildlife, and private property.

I will use thoughtfulness, consideration, and courtesy at all times.

I will leave gates as found.

I will remove and properly dispose of any trash that I find.

I will not litter!

I will not destroy; property, buildings, deserted structures, or what is left of ghost towns.

I will not tamper with signs, structural facilities, or equipment.

I will return an item, by any means, if someone can adequately describe it!

 

Gerry tells them, “Our club follows this code and only the people who agree to follow it can join our club. We are going to do things differently this year. Several owners gave us permission to search along the edges of their property.

“I have given each team captain a paper with a number. I put corresponding numbers on a stick. The rest of you have numbers. You can find your partner for the hunt. We will start when I blow the whistle.”

The man in the white hat comes and stands beside Jocelyn. “I am glad to meet you Jocelyn. We both have number nine. My name is Wayne.”

He has a deep voice. It is so deep that it sounds like there is a frog in his throat. What am I going to say to him?

Wayne asks, “How do these metal detectors work.”

Jocelyn shakes her head, “First you have to take it out of the box and put the rechargeable battery in it. Did you charge the battery before you came?”

He chuckles “Yes; I even read the instructions. They are all Dutch to me.”

She says, “I will show you what to do. Turn this button on and walk beside me moving your metal detector side to side.”

Jocelyn picks up a backpack that holds her small spade and plastic scoop. Wayne offers to carry it for her. Jocelyn gives him the bag. “It looks like we are going to have a long walk Wayne. Number nine is a way down the beach.”

“I don’t mind,” he smiles, “I’m not in any hurry.”

She starts to stroll up the beach. Wayne walks beside her. Jocelyn tries not to look at him. It is very difficult. What will happen if he is one of the thieves? He doesn’t look like a thief. He has a dimple on his right cheek when he smiles. There is something mysterious about him. I wish I could see his eyes.

When they arrive at the stick with number nine on it, Jocelyn tells Wayne, “Turn on your detector and do what I am doing.”

They are way down the beach and no one is near them. Jocelyn goes over to a rock and moves around it with her metal detector. Twenty minutes later it starts to beep as it did on Tuesday night. There must be a big stash buried here. She leans her detector on a rock then opens her backpack. She gets a coin from her pocket.

Wayne comes over to help her. Jocelyn says, “I will shovel the dirt and you can sift it.”

Jocelyn digs until she has removed six inches of sand. Without Wayne seeing her, she buries a coin in the dirt on her small spade.

Wayne sifts through the dirt and jumps up all excited. His hat and glasses go flying. Jocelyn gazes into the most beautiful blue eyes that she had ever seen, the same ones she saw at the wedding. Wayne grabs his hat and shoves the glasses back on his face. He glances around to see if anyone saw him. He reaches into his pocket.

Jocelyn begins to shake. I hope he doesn’t have a gun.

Wayne shows her a police badge and whispers, “Officer Bradley Hornsby at your service, Brad for short. Now pretend we have never met. You might blow my cover.”

With a shaking voice she whispers, “I am glad you are not one of the bad guys. You have too nice a smile.”

Her heart races as she fills in the hole. She reaches into her pocket and while Wayne’s back is turned, she drops a white stone on the ground.

Wayne and Jocelyn continue to search for coins. Neighbours come out and talk with them. Jocelyn shows the children how to work the metal detector. Her head is spinning. It is hard to keep her eyes from staring at Wayne.

Wayne and Jocelyn head back when they hear the whistle.

Norma and Gerry greet them. A ring and a few new coins sit in the center of the table. Gerry picks up a man’s gold wedding ring then gets out his magnifying glass. “The inscription on the inside says, ‘Ben and Kim Rose, 1952.’”

Jocelyn says, “The ring belongs to Benour local fire chief. He lost it five years ago. He will be excited to get it back.”

Gerry tells the new members. “It always feels good to find something and return it to its rightful owner. Our club’s policy is to try to find the owner if we can. Jocelyn you can return the ring to Ben for us.”

Gerry picks up a coin, “This is a 1942 silver dollar. He gives the coins back to the people who found them.

Allen says, “I have to go.” He gets into his van and drives away.

It is late, so Jocelyn starts to pack up. When they are finished, Jocelyn looks around for Wayne. She wants to ask him a few questions, but he has disappeared.

Gerry and Jocelyn take the group leaders back to the cottage. They sit around and talk to Inez.

Gerry says, “We found were five stashes of treasure might be hidden.” He gets out a pencil and draws a map. The leaders put an x on where they put their white rocks.

Inez thanks the metal detecting club for their help and tells them to say nothing about what happened.

After they leave, she tells Jocelyn, “Keep your door locked. Do not open it unless you know the person. These criminals are armed and dangerous. I will phone you in the morning.”

Jocelyn watches as Norma and her dog go up to the loft. She takes one last look at the rental cottage across the road. Her mother follows Jocelyn to her van.

Her mother tells her, “Inez wants me to spend the night with you. You might be in danger.”

When they get home, Jocelyn lets Freddy in and feeds him.

She sits with her mother and they chat for a while. They pray and ask God to protect them.

Jocelyn takes her mother to the guest bedroom and finds an extra pair of pajamas. She heads to her room but she is cannot relax because she keeps thinking about everything that has happened in the past few days.

She turns on her CD player. The song, ‘I Lift My Eyes up to the Mountain’ is playing. Jocelyn feels a peace come over as she listens to the words. She stops the CD.

The words are from the Psalms. She takes out her Bible and reads the familiar words then paraphrases some of them on an index card.

Psalm 121: God I lift up my eyes to the hills where my help comes from. My help comes from You my LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. You will not let my foot slip; You watch over me and do not slumber; or sleep. You are my shade at my right hand; and the sun will not harm me by day or the moon by night. You my LORD will keep me from all harm and watch over my comings and goings both now and forevermore. (NIV)

Jocelyn puts the card on the end table by the lamp and gets into bed. She turns the light off and prays, “God; I know you will take care of me. I do not know what is going to happen in the future. I trust You…”

 

9. Get Away From the Window

Jocelyn tosses and turns. It is two in the morning. Perhaps it is the hamburger she ate at the barbecue or maybe the man with bright blue eyes wearing a white hat. Something is robbing Jocelyn of her sleep.

She gets out of bed and climbs the stairs to the art room. Jocelyn looks out the window. She left the outside security lights on near the shop where they refinish furniture. She sees a shadow moving. Someone is hiding behind a bush near the side-by-side swing in the backyard.

She tries to blend in with the drapes. There is a movement by the water’s edge. Two dark figures pull a small rowboat up onto the beach. They start to run towards the neighbour’s house.

They stop beside a big rock on the edge of the yard. She sees the light from a flashlight shine on a piece of paper. The prowlers turn their metal detectors on and start searching near a rock. Jocelyn cannot hear the familiar beeps because they have their headphones on.

One of them must have found something. The person removes a small spade from a backpack, and digs feverishly in the sand. The other person helps. A few minutes later, they remove some containers that look like the tackle boxes she found the week before. They take them to the boat.

Is it Bradley? Is Bradley a real police officer? Anyone could use a fake badge. Did Bradley see me drop the white rock? I let my guard down after he told me he was a police officer. Maybe that is what he planned all along. Now what am I going to do?

The two prowlers move down the beach to the edge of another property and walk around a rock with the metal detectors. They start to dig in the sand again. They pull more boxes out of the hole.

Jocelyn hears a boat motor start-up in the marina. It moves slowly out of the channel. She looks at her watch. Somebody must be getting an early start on fishing this morning.

A little while later, a fishing boat stops in the water not too far from the rowboat. Someone from the boat joins the people on shore.

They search the edge of Amelia’s property with the metal detectors. The new person drops to the ground and starts to dig. Jocelyn looks around for the police and notices that the shadow by the hedge is missing. “Where are the police when you need them?”

The person who is digging pauses and looks around as if he heard a noise. He continues to dig.

I must stop them. Jocelyn picks up her cell phone and dials the number Inez gave her.

Inez whispers, “Jocelyn where are you.”

“I am standing behind the drapes, upstairs in Amelia’s art room. I am watching the thieves dig up what look like tackle boxes”

Ines Whispers, “Get away from the… There is gunfire. The window shatters causing the glass to fly everywhere. Jocelyn feels like a baseball bat hit her head, then falls to the floor. She hears her mother scream, “Jocelyn, where are you, Jocelyn?”

Jocelyn panics. There is more gunfire. “God help me.” She crawls across the glass-strewn floor, not aware that she is cutting her knee and hand on the shards of glass. She makes it to the bottom of the stairs and falls into her mother’s arms. Blood is trickling down her daughters face.

Jocelyn says … “Bullet… window… police.” She tries to tell her mother what happened, but she falls to the floor in a faint.

Isabel dials 911 and tells them, “My daughter has been shot in the head and is bleeding. We are in the house beside Stella’s Antiques at Amelia Wilber’s house.”

They tell her, “We are dispatching the Erieau fire department and an ambulance. Have your daughter lie down and hold a compression bandage on the bullet wound. It should help stop the bleeding.”

Isabel props the front door open. She grabs several bath towels and holds them to Jocelyn’s head to slow the bleeding.

Isabel answers the phone. Inez, asks, “Is Jocelyn all right? I told her to move away from the window. I heard the glass in shatter.”

Isabel is weeping; she catches her breath and says, “Jocelyn has been shot in the head. She passed out. I phoned 911 and help is on the way.”

“I am on the beach behind Stella’s Tearoom. The crooks shot a police officer. A helicopter is on its way to take the officer to London.”

A fire truck pulls up to the door. Ben, the local Fire Chief, followed by several firefighters, rushes through the doorway. Isabel calls out, “We are in the back hall.”

Ben runs down the hall and sees Jocelyn lying on the floor. She is covered in blood. Ben examines her and says, “Nothing is broken. A bullet grazed the side of her head. I can’t work here; we need more room.” Turning to the firefighters he says, “Help me to move Jocelyn into the living room.”

He tells Isabel, “Phone my wife Kim and asks her to come at once. She is a nurse.”

Ben gives instructions to the firefighters that are with him. “Jim you stay with me while the rest of you go and see if the police need help with crowd control. Jim will call you if I need any help.”

Jim puts a blood pressure cuff on Jocelyn. Ben opens his first-aid kit and starts to work on Jocelyn’s bleeding head. It is always hard to attend to a person you love. He removes shards of glass from around the bullet wound then presses a compression bandage to the gash to stop the bleeding.

He remembers the night his friend Oliver died in the fire. He had to come to this very house to tell Stella that her husband Oliver was dead. A tear trickles down his cheek. God please be with Jocelyn and the police officer.

Kim arrives. She is out of breath from running. She takes Isabel into her arms and says, “Isabel, I am here to help.” She goes over to her husband who is working with Jocelyn. Kim puts her hand on his shoulder and asks, “How can I help?”

Ben tells her. “I will continue to hold the compression bandage on Jocelyn’s head. She has fainted. I need you to tend to her hands and knees.”

Looking up at Isabel, Ben smiles reassuringly, “Jocelyn will be all right. I don’t think the wound to the head is life threatening. She will need several stitches and will have a horrible headache.”

Kim examines the wounds. When she is finished she says, “Large shards of glass have lacerated Jocelyn’s left hand and knee. I will remove as much as I can.”

Isabel phones her brother. Marvel answers. “Marvel, this is Isabel; Jocelyn has been shot.”

“What happened?”

“I don’t have any information. Can you and Randal come and help? Kim and Ben are looking after Jocelyn. I will be going to the hospital with her when the ambulance arrives.”

“We will get there as fast as we can.”

“Thank you, Marvel.”

~~~~~~

When Kim is finished removing the glass, she puts butterfly bandages on the worst cuts to stop the bleeding and wraps the injuries. She checks Jocelyn’s other hand and knee, but they only have a few minor cuts.

Kim says, “The doctor will remove the rest of the glass at the hospital Isabel. I need a blanket and your help to remove her nightgown. It is covered in glass.” When they are finished cutting the nightgown off Jocelyn, Kim wraps her in a blanket.

Two police officers enter.

Ben introduces himself. “I am Ben, the Erieau Fire Chief. This is my wife Kim. She is a registered nurse. Isabel is Jocelyn’s mother”

The officer in charge checks on Jocelyn. He sees that Ben has everything under control. He asks Isabel, “Where is the window that was shattered by the bullet?”

Isabel points down the hall. “It is upstairs in what we call the art room. Go to the first door on the right.”

The officer returns a short time later, and asks, “Do you have a broom and vacuum that we can use? We will need to remove the broken glass from the floor before we can finish our investigation.”

Isabel opens the door to the broom closet and takes out a shop vacuum then returns to be with her daughter.

Kim says, “Isabel you need to change out of your bloody pajamas before you go to the hospital.

Isabel goes into the guest room and looks at herself in the mirror. She is shocked at what she sees. She grabs her clean clothes then goes to the washroom. Isabel strips the bloody pajamas off and drops them into the garbage can. She washes the blood from her hands and face, before dressing. She hears the siren of an ambulance. She grabs their purses then goes to the living room to check on her daughter.

Jocelyn opens her eyes. “What happened?”

Kim holds her hand and says, “You have been injured Jocelyn. It looks like you will be having limousine service, all the way to the hospital.”

An ambulance attendant takes Jocelyn’s vitals. The other one gets a report from Kim and Ben, before strapping Jocelyn onto the Gurney. They take her out to the ambulance. Isabel gets into the front seat. The sirens blare all the way to Chatham.

Who is Officer Bradley Hornsby

At ten in the morning, Isabel gets up from the reclining chair. She stretches her cramped muscles. Jocelyn is still sleeping. The doctor in emergency has sent her to have a CAT scan. He told her that Jocelyn had a slight concussion and that she will have no permanent damage. He said that he stitched where the bullet grazed her head above her ear and removed the glass from her hand and knee.

They sent Jocelyn to her room around seven in the morning.

Isabel sits at the bedside of her only daughter. She gently picks up the hand without the bandage. She whispers, “I love you Jocelyn. What would I do if you had died? The doctor told me, ‘It was a miracle that you are still alive Jocelyn. If the bullet had hit you a half inch to the left, you could have died.’ Thank You God for sparing my daughter’s life.” She grabs several tissues and wipes her tears away.

She rubs her fingers across Jocelyn’s tear-stained face. There is a bandage wrapped around her head where they stitched up the cut. Isabel gets a wet cloth from the bathroom and washes the tears and all the dried blood from Jocelyn’s face and arms, then covers her in a warm blanket.

She whispers, “God please be with the police officer who was shot. Robin told me that he was in surgery.”

Jocelyn mumbles a few words, a robber… Inez… get away… help…. She falls asleep.

When Isabel is finished taking care of her daughter, she goes to the washroom. She looks into the mirror and sees that there is still a few spots of blood splattered on her face. She gets the bag out of the metal cupboard. When she is through washing the tears and dried blood away, she runs a comb through her matted hair. “That feels better.”

Jocelyn’s brothers Randy and Drew went home to look after their animals. Randy said that he would stop by the house and get a toothbrush and another change of clothes for me. I hope he remembers a good book for me to read. I need to keep my mind off what is going on.

A few of her family and friends waited with her during the long ordeal. Marvel and Kim had gone back to Erieau to clean up the mess in the house. They would open the tearoom and antique store for the staff.

Jocelyn’s minister, Dale Smithworth and his wife Robin were at the hospital most of the night. They promised to return later in the day. Isabel’s family and friends were the support she needed while she waited for the news about Jocelyn.

~~~~~~

A kind nurse brings Isabel a tray of food for breakfast. When Isabel is finished, she reclines in the chair. It was a long night and she is exhausted from worry and lack of sleep.

Jocelyn wakes again. She tries to sit up in bed, reaches for her head and falls back on the pillow. “What happened? Why am I in the hospital?”

Her mother tells her, “You have a slight concussion. A bullet smashed the window and grazed your right temple. It is lucky it is in your hairline. Your hair will cover the scar. You had several pieces of glass removed from your hand and knee. The cuts were deep and the doctor had to put several stitches in them to close wounds.

“I don’t remember anything.”

Isabel reaches over and holds her daughter’s hand. “It will take time Jocelyn. You will be all right. We have been praying for you. Marvel and Kim left earlier and are taking care of the store and tearoom.”

Jocelyn falls into a restless sleep.

Jocelyn wakes a few hours later when she hears some familiar voices. Her brothers enter the room with a big bouquet of flowers. Drew tells Jocelyn, “The flowers are from all your friends and family in Erieau. The card includes paw prints from Freddy and Sugar Baby. I don’t think they will come within a mile of me the next time I visit. Have you ever tried to take a paw print of an animal against their will?”

Isabel laughs. She says, “You are up to your old tricks again Drew.”

Drew holds the humongous card up so that Jocelyn can read it. There is a smudged cat print along with a perfect print of a dog’s paw.

Jocelyn is not able to sit up for long. Her brothers leave and promise to come and see her again.

Pastor Dale and his wife Robin stop in to find out how Jocelyn is doing. Robin wipes a few tears away when she sees Jocelyn sitting up in bed. “You had us all worried last night Jocelyn. I am glad that you are alright.”

Pastor Dale and Robin pray for Jocelyn and tell her that she is on several prayer chains.

Inez comes to the door after supper.

Isabel motions for her to come in. Jocelyn is sleeping. Inez sits across from Isabel and asks, “How is she?”

Isabel looks lovingly at her daughter. “She is doing better. Her mind is a bit fuzzy but she has not lost her sense of humour. We all had a good laugh when we saw what her brother Drew did.” She hands Inez the card with the paw prints and they both laugh.

Jocelyn wakes. Her mouth is dry, so she takes several sips of apple juice.

Inez says, “Jocelyn I need to get a statement from you. I will try to keep it short.” She takes out a clipboard with a report written on it. She reads all the information to Jocelyn then says, “Now let’s start at the beginning and tell me what happened.”

“I can’t remember much. I know I decided to go upstairs because I couldn’t sleep. I remember phoning you and then I woke up in the hospital this morning.”

Inez reassures her, “That’s alright Jocelyn. You have had a real ordeal this week. I will let you rest. You are one lucky person. If you didn’t move away from the window when I told you to, you might have been dead.

“I have a gift for you.” She has a big smile on her face, as she hands Jocelyn a white hat with two specks of blood.

“My partner Officer Bradley Hornsby was shot. He is going to have several months off work, but we are glad that he wasn’t killed. He refused to let the medics put him into the helicopter this morning until I promised to give you this hat. He had me write his name and phone number on the inside rim, so you could find him. He mumbled something about walking out on you at a wedding?”

Jocelyn says, “He did.”

Inez puts her hand on Jocelyn’s shoulder then whispers into her ear, “I can’t go into any details yet Jocelyn, but Officer Bradley Hornsby is one lucky man, in more ways than one. I have to go and write up my report. I will come to see you tomorrow.”

“Jocelyn doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The man with the blue eyes and white hat is a police officer. The robbers could have killed him. Bradley was shot. She clutches the white hat. Bradley wants to see me. He is not one of the bad guys.

Jocelyn has a big smile on her face when she falls asleep. She dreams about the stranger with a white hat and blue eyes.

Her mother is puzzled. Who is Officer Bradley Hornsby? Where did her daughter meet him?

 

Jocelyn wakes when the doctor comes to examine her. She feels more peaceful. The medicine is working and her head does not hurt as much.

He reads her chart and says, “I will keep you another night and check on you tomorrow. The CAT scan showed a slight concussion. If the bullet had been a fraction of an inch more to the left, you might have been dead. Your hair will cover the scar.

“You have several deep cuts on your knee and left hand. I removed quite a few large shards of glass. You will likely be removing small pieces of glass for a few years. Keep your hand and knee dry and try not to overdo it. I will see you next week.

You will need to take it easy for a few days.”

The doctor leaves and Isabel curls up in the recliner. It has been a long day. God blessed her with the love of family and friends in her time of need.

She prays quietly, “I don’t know about other people God, but I wouldn’t trade owning all the gold silver and jewels that Jocelyn found for the precious life of my daughter.”

A scripture comes to her mind. Do not store up for yourself silver, gold, or jewels, but store up for yourself treasures in heaven. “I can’t keep awake. I will look it up tomorrow,” she mumbles as she turns the light off and tries to remember more, but her eyes are heavy.

 

10. Home at Last

Jocelyn’s Mother Isabel stretches and rubs her back. It is around three o’clock. Jocelyn is awake.

Jocelyn sits up. “I hope the doctor sends me home soon.”

The words are no sooner out of her mouth than doctor enters the room and tells Jocelyn, “You can go home. Do not overdo it. You have had a shock to your body. I will see you next week. My nurse will phone you.”

The nurse removes the intravenous and gives Jocelyn her discharge papers.

Isabel helps Jocelyn into a summer dress. “I thought this would be easier for you to get into.”

 

Kim has the room ready and helps Isabel put Jocelyn to bed. She is tired and falls asleep before they leave the room.

“Thanks for coming over to help Kim.”

“You would do the same for me Isabel.”

“I am going over to talk with Marvel. When I come back, I am going to eat then take a nap.”

“You look tired. I will stay and keep an eye on Jocelyn for you. Several of your friends stopped in and they will take turns sitting with Jocelyn tonight.”

“Thanks Kim.”

The place is crowded with customers. Quite a few people stand looking out the window at the scene below.

When they see Isabel, her friends come over and ask how Jocelyn is. They are upset and say, “This just is not right. The village of Erieau has always been a safe place to live.”

Isabel’s Sister-In-Law Marvel rescues her.

“Come to the office where it is private. We need to talk.” Marvel stops Sharon, and asks, “Will you please bring us a pot of tea and a plate of food. Isabel and I will be in the office. We are not to be disturbed.”

Marvel asks. How are you holding up, Isabel? This has been hard on all of us but you are her mother.”

Isabel starts to cry. The stress had built up and she had to remain strong for her daughter. Marvel gathers her in her arms as they weep together.

Sharon brings them a pot of tea, a plate of sandwiches and cookies. She asks, “How is Jocelyn?”

Isabel answers, “Jocelyn is sleeping. Kim is with her.”

“Kim has arranged for me to sit with her tonight.”

“Thanks Sharon, I don’t know what I would have done without the support of family and friends.”

Marvel asks, “How badly is Jocelyn hurt, Isabel?”

“She has a slight concussion. They had to put stitches in her head where the bullet hit her. She is lucky that the glass did not get into her eyes. The cut on her head is in her hair, so the scar will not show. She has several deep cuts. The doctor removed the glass from her left hand and knee.”

“We have been praying for you Isabel. Randal boarded up the window after the police finished with their investigation.”

“Jocelyn will be in no shape to work for a while, Isabel. Could you phone around and get extra help? The Summer Sisters are always willing to help. The Village of Erieau will be swamped with curious people.”

Marvel smiles, “The village is already swarming with curious people. Your friends have offered to help. Remember you are talking about Erieau.”

“Thanks Marvel, I knew I could count on you.” Isabel pulls out a bookmark and says, “I found this on Jocelyn’s dresser this morning.” She hands it to Marvel.

Special Friends by Jane

Special friends are like rare gems.

They are hard to find.

When you find one, treasure them, and help their light shine.

 

“That is true Isabel. We are blessed to have treasured friends in our life.”

“Do you know what happened, Isabel?”

“You likely know more than I do”

“Ben told me that Jocelyn found a stash of buried treasure.”

“That is true, Jocelyn told me about the buried treasure. She showed me several pictures.

“By the way, have you ever heard of a police officer by the name of Bradley Hornsby?”

Marvel says, “Isn’t he is the police officer that was shot?”

“I didn’t hear his name I wonder how he is doing. I have been too busy to listen to the news or read the paper.”

“The doctors said that his arm and leg were badly injured. They removed the bullets, and he will live.”

“I will pray for him.”

Marvel says, “There was more excitement yesterday. A Canadian Custom’s boat arrived and towed a fishing boat away. A police tow truck loaded a small motor boat onto a flatbed. The beach has been swarming with police and reporters.”

Isabel swings the swivel chair around and looks out the window. Police tape surrounds the area blocking off sections of the beach. Crowds of curious onlookers stand outside the bright yellow tape, talking to each other. Reporters from several television stations stand by waiting for a news story.

Several uniformed police are walking up and down the beach with metal detectors. Two armed guards stand beside a Brinks truck. The news reporters rush over with their cameras rolling when they see the police pull a blue tarp out of the ground. The brink’s truck pulls up beside them and loads what is in the tarps into the truck.

Isabel tells Marvel, “Road blocks are set up on the way into Erieau. All vehicles leaving Erieau are being searched.”

Marvel says, “The same is going on at the marina.”

Isabel swings her chair around. With tears flowing down her face, she says, “Erieau will never be the same again.”

“I know Isabel. It will be hard; we need to pray.”

Marvel holds her hands as they pray together.

Isabel is exhausted. “I should go back. Kim is sitting with Jocelyn. I will see you in the morning.”

~~~~~~

Kim is taking a casserole out of the oven when Isabel returns. She says, “Your neighbours have been sending food.”

They sit and chat while they eat. Kim pours Isabel a glass of water and gives her a sleeping pill.

“Sharon will stay and watch Jocelyn tonight. The pill will help you sleep.”

“Thank you, I haven’t slept much, and I am exhausted.”

They pray for Jocelyn and the injured police officer before Kim leaves.

Isabel goes to the washroom and stands in the shower. She lets the warm-water wash away the dirt and grime. She washes her tangled hair. She dresses in a blue nightgown. That feels better.

She checks on Jocelyn and finds she is clutching the bloodstained white hat in her good right hand. She is muttering words in her sleep. They do not make sense. … the wedding …. blue eyes the colour of the ocean… phone call… Brad was not a bad-guy…

Isabel gives her sleeping daughter a kiss. She whispers, “I could have lost you. Oh Jocelyn what would I ever do without you?” A tear slips down her cheek.

Sharon walks in and puts her arms around Isabel. “You need to go to bed.”

Isabel goes to the bedroom and gets ready for bed. She puts her head on the pillow and whispers, “Who is Officer Bradley Hornsby?”

 

11. Frustration

Sharon and Isabel help Jocelyn get dressed before lunch. They support her, as she walks into the living room. Jocelyn sits in the recliner with her feet up by the window.

Sharon excuses herself, “I need to go to work. The tearoom is extra busy after the shootings.”

Jocelyn and Isabel thank her.

Jocelyn clutches the white hat. “Mother my head feels like it was hit by a sledge hammer. Can you get me another pain pill?”

“Yes I will. There is a pot of mushroom soup heating on the stove. Are you hungry?”

“I am.”

Isabel brings a tray of food and sits it on the table between them. She hands Jocelyn a pill and a glass of water. “I thought it would be easier for you to drink your soup from a mug.”

Jocelyn takes a sip, “This is so good. Thank you for all you have done for me, Mother. I know I gave everyone a scare.”

“The main thing is that you are alive and will get well. I think I lost ten years from my life when I heard the gunshots. It was even worse when you staggered down the stairs into my arms. Blood was dripping from your face. I thought you were dead. I was relieved when I felt your pulse.”

When they are finished eating Jocelyn asks, “Mother can you please bring me the channel changer. I want to see the news.”

Jocelyn turns on the news. The reporter points at a picture on the screen behind him. “A London police officer Bradley Hornsby was flown by helicopter to the London hospital from Erieau. He was shot Tuesday morning after being in a shootout. We will break for a commercial.”

Bradley is the man I met at Amelia’s wedding. I will always remember his dark blue eyes. God, please help him get well.

The reporter continues. “Jocelyn Brooks, the manager of Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom in Erieau was also shot in the shootout. She was treated at the Chatham Kent Health Alliance and released yesterday.”

Jocelyn turns the television off. She is about to tell her mother about Bradley when there is a knock at the door.

Officer Inez enters with a white box in her arms and sits facing Jocelyn. “You are looking better. I have good news; we caught most of the robbers. The police are searching the beach behind Stella’s for more stashes of gold, jewels and silver.”

Jocelyn is relieved she says, “Have you heard how Bradley is?”

“He is doing as well as can be expected. The bullet caused major damage to his right arm. Another bullet shattered the bone below his left knee. It was lucky that he was wearing his bulletproof vest, or he would have been dead. Two bullets hit the vest near his heart.”

Jocelyn has a lump in her throat and takes a sip of water. “Will he be alright?”

“Only time will tell. The bullets were removed by a team of London’s best orthopedic surgeons.”

“That is good.”

“I visited him this morning and he was sitting up in bed. He asked me if I would go to his mother’s house in Chatham and bring you this box.” She starts to give the box to Jocelyn, looks at her injured hand and asks, “Do you mind if I open it for you?”

Holding up her hand Jocelyn says, “Thanks for your help.”

Inez opens the box and takes out a beautiful bouquet of pink roses. “I will put them in a vase for you.”

Jocelyn stares at the roses; Bradley was right; they are the same colour as the bridesmaid’s dress I wore at Amelia’s wedding.

Inez enters the kitchen and asks, “Isabel, do you know where I can find a vase?”

“Over there on the shelf. I love the colour of the roses.”

Inez arranges them in a tall vase, then returns to the living room and sets it on the end table beside Jocelyn.

There is a note. She opens it and hands it to Jocelyn.

Inez says, “Your mother is taking me up to the art room. I need to look around and fill in my report.”

Inez follows Isabel up the stairs and walks over to the curtain by the boarded up window.

She puts her finger through the blood-splattered hole in the curtain made by a bullet. “Your daughter is lucky Isabel.”

“I know Inez; I thought she was dead when she fell into my arms.”

“It must have been scary for you. I had a hard time when the robbers shot my partner Bradley. We have been working with an investigation team out of London for several years. He is like a brother to me.”

“It must have been hard Inez.”

“It was. I still jump if I hear a car backfire.” Pointing to a hole in the ceiling Inez says, “The bullet was removed from this hole and taken to the lab. We are waiting for the Ballistics report.

“The police have sent everything to London, and a special Joint Investigation team is making an inventory of all the stolen property. It will take weeks to record it all and find the owners.”

~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Jocelyn is reading a letter.

Dear Jocelyn,

We have never met. My brother Bradley has been talking about the woman he met at Stanley’s wedding in June. When he stopped to see me on Sunday, he picked a rose from my mother’s rose bush. He told me that this was the same colour as her dress.

His supervisor phoned him at the wedding on Friday night from London. Bradley told them he was in Erieau.

They asked him to go to the police Station in Chatham and work with the Joint Investigation team. He told me that he never had a chance to get your name or phone number from his friend Stanley.

Stanley went to church and school with us before he moved to London.

I live in Kitchener and work as a trauma nurse. I have arranged for a leave of absence to take care of Bradley after he leaves the hospital.

Yours Truly

Claudia

PS. Brad told me to give you his clean white hat. It has no splattered blood on it. He said to tell you that when you wear the hat, he wants you to think of him.

 

Jocelyn examines the new white hat. Written on the inside rim of the hat is printed, Officer Bradley Hornsby. Jocelyn whispers Officer Bradley Hornsby. There is a coloured picture of Officer Bradley Hornsby, in full-dress uniform with his address, Email address, and phone number. He is smiling and has blue eyes.

Jocelyn puts the hat with the bloodstains in the box with the letter and places the other hat on the pillow beside her head.

When Isabel and Inez return Jocelyn asks, “Mother can you please take the box to the bedroom for me?”

Isabel picks up the box and leaves the room.

“Thank You for bringing me the letter and flowers Inez.”

“Do you have any more information about the notes from the silver box Jocelyn?”

“No, I will do more research when I feel better.”

“Don’t overdo it. You need to take it easy. I am glad you are feeling better.”

Inez is on her way out the door when the phone rings.

Isabel answers. When she is finished talking she tells Jocelyn, “It was your doctor’s office. I wrote the information down for you. She pins the paper to the calendar on the wall.”

Jocelyn lays her head back on the pillow and relaxes.

Her mother comes over and removes the dirty dishes. “How are you feeling?”

“I have a hard time walking with all these bandages on my knee. I am lucky that I am right-handed and have the use of one hand. My head is throbbing.”

“You will not be able to work for a few weeks. Marvel has arranged for a few of the Summer Sisters to help her in the store. It is hectic with the extra crowds coming to Erieau. Curious people want to find out what is going on. Most of them never even heard of Erieau before the shooting made the headlines.”

“I sure stirred up a hornets nest when I found the treasure, didn’t I Mom?”

“You sure did. The phone has been ringing off the hook, so we turned on the answering machine and turned the ringer off. There is a lineup of reporters trying to talk to you. We told them not to bother with is until you are feeling stronger.”

“Inez said you might like to read the headlines.” Isabel picks up a London newspaper from the coffee table and holds it for Jocelyn to read.

Jocelyn looks at the paper and sees a picture of Bradley and another one of her.

 

A jewel thief shot London Police Officer Bradley Hornsby, while he was in Erieau investigating a case.

 

Jocelyn studies the caption. Below it, there is a picture of Bradley.

She thanks her mother and smiles at the memory of the wedding.

“Who are the beautiful roses from Jocelyn? They are the same colour as the dress you wore at Amelia’s and Stanley’s wedding.”

“They are from Officer Bradley Hornsby.” She shows her mother the pictures she has of him.

He is good looking “How do you know Officer Bradley Hornsby? You were talking about him in your sleep last night?”

“I was. I do not know him; we only met twice. The first time was at Amelia’s wedding. There was something special about him. I liked his eyes. They seemed to be smiling when he talked. I was going to ask where he worked when his cell phone rang. He left and I never got his name.

“He is the man I told you about, who I saw sitting at the beach wearing a white hat. The next time I saw him was at the metal detector’s barbecue. He wore a white hat and had wraparound sunglasses covering is eyes. He called himself Wayne. I accidentally knocked off his hat and sunglasses. I was surprised. Wayne was the man with blue eyes that I met at Amelia’s wedding.

“I thought he was one of the thieves, even after he showed me his badge. He said he was an undercover Police Officer and told me his real name was Bradley Hornsby. He was staying at the cottage across from my place, with another seedy character.

“I didn’t find out until Inez told me that Bradley was who he said he was all along. He is Inez’s partner a police officer.”

Isabel says, “You sure have had an adventure. I am glad that you and Bradley are going to be okay.”

“So am I Mother.”

Isabel fluffs the pillows, “Is there anything I can do for you.”

“I need the phone so that I can answer some of the important messages.”

“I deleted all the repeat calls and the ones from telemarketers. You need to talk to your two brothers first. Randy and Drew came to see you this morning but you were sleeping. They said that they would be in tonight.”

Her mother gives her the phone and goes back to the kitchen.

Jocelyn phones her brother Randy and reassures him that she is going to be okay.

He scolds her and tells her “I told you to be careful. Drew is out on a call.”

Jocelyn hangs up.

Her mother returns and says, “There are several reporters waiting outside to talk to you. What do you want me to do?”

“You can arrange for one reporter to come and talk with me, after I lie down for a while Mother.”

Her mother goes outside and talks to a reporter. “My daughter has agreed to have one reporter talk with her. Do not tell anyone. Take your camera operator and meet me at Stella’s Tearoom at three thirty. I will come and get you.”

Isabel sits in the recliner and puts her feet up for a few hours. At two-forty-five, she climbs the stairs to the art room and unlocks the door to Stella’s Tearoom. She asks the television crew to come with her.

They walk over to the art room. Isabel points. “This is the boarded up window where the bullet shattered the glass. The hole in the ceiling is where the police removed the bullet.”

She takes them down to the living room. Jocelyn sits in the recliner. She has a light throw over her legs and her injured hand sits on a pillow.

The reporter sits across from Jocelyn. I am Vern Madden. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

“No.”

“What made you think there was buried treasure on your property Jocelyn?”

“I didn’t. My friend Norma stopped in to visit me last Tuesday. We used to spend a week visiting each other every summer when we were kids.

We read all fifty-eight of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Our favorite book was ‘The Legend of the Lost Gold’. Our parents bought us metal detectors so that we could search for treasure in Erieau. We wanted to be a detective like Nancy Drew, and find a chest of gold at the end of our shovels.

“Did you ever find anything?”

“Yes. I found lost rings, and Norma found a 1947 silver dollar. People are always loosing things in the sand on the beach.”

“I am the president of the local metal detecting club. Norma and I were walking around my property last Tuesday with our metal detectors looking for coins. Mine started to beep. We dug up a blue tarp full of treasure.

“If I had known what would take place in the following days, I would have left it buried in the ground.”

The reporter asks, “What was in the blue tarp?”

“I have been told by the police not to talk about it.”

He says, “The question most people are asking is, why you went up to the art room at three in the morning?”

“I’m not sure. I always go up there to unwind, when I can’t sleep. I remember looking out the window. There was no moon. The security light was on, and I saw a shadow near the swing. The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital.”

Jocelyn reaches up and touches her head. Her mother tells the reporter that he needs to go.

The reporter and his crew thank her then they leave through the back door.

Jocelyn and her mother watch the evening news and see the interview done by the reporter.

It has been a long day. Her mother helps her get ready for bed and turns on a CD of quiet music.

Jocelyn sings the well-known words. “Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, when Jesus is my portion, my constant Friend is He.”

Her mother joins her with the refrain.

“I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

“That is one of my favorite songs Jocelyn. I am glad God is watching over you. I think it is time for us to go to sleep.”

Her mother dims the lights. “I will shut your door to prevent Freddy from jumping on your bed.” She gives her daughter a hug and leaves the room.

Jocelyn begins to pray, “I don’t understand why I was shot. I don’t have to understand, but I need to trust You. I thank You that Bradley and I were not killed…”

 

12. The Yellow Folder

Jocelyn’s mother helps her get out of bed. By holding on to the wall, Jocelyn makes it to the bathroom. She sits on a chair in the shower while she has a sponge bath. “I feel refreshed. I can’t wait until I can have a real shower.”

Her mother helps her put on her shorts and a shell top.

“I have an idea Mother. Get the computer chair from the office and I will use it to move around the house until I can walk better. This will save you a lot of work and I won’t be in as much pain.”

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Her mother brings the chair into the bedroom. Jocelyn sits in it while her mother pushes her to the kitchen table.

There is a meow at the door. Her mother lets Freddy in.

The cat rubs up against Jocelyn’s legs. She reaches down and pats him. “It’s all right Freddy. I will be as good as new in a few days.”

The cat is happy and goes off to hide in his favorite spot behind the couch.

After they have finished eating breakfast, Jocelyn’s mother says, “Put your feet up in the recliner, sit back and relax.

“I made this for you this morning.” She sets up a wooden tray with a pillow hot glued to the bottom. “This should fit on your lap to hold your notebook computer.” She puts up a TV table beside the chair.

“Thanks’ Mom.” Jocelyn turns the computer on and answers several emails from her friends. She is excited as she reads the one from Bradley.

 

 

 

 

Friday, July 10 2009

Dear Jocelyn,

I asked Inez for your email address. My sister told me that I could only use her notebook computer for twenty minutes. I am weak and will not be able to get out of bed for a while.

I have a cast on my right arm, and right leg. It is hard to type one handed. My chest still hurts where the bullets hit my bulletproof vest. They are a nuisance especially on hot days. I will never complain about wearing it again.

I am sorry that you were hurt. When you are feeling better, email me and let me know how you liked the roses. I hope you are wearing my white hat.

My sister is motioning for me to lay back and rest. She is a registered nurse and can be a battle-axe when I don’t listen to her. Don’t tell her I said that. She is a wonderful sister, and I love her. I need to go.

Bradley

 

Jocelyn closes her eyes and thinks about Bradley. She hugs his hat, as she sings along with the music.

“I don’t know about tomorrow; I just live from day to day;

“I don’t borrow from its sunshine, for its sky may turn too gray; I don’t worry over the future, for I know what Jesus said, and today I’ll walk beside Him, For He knows what is ahead.

“Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”

Her mother enters the room, “I am glad to hear you singing once more Jocelyn. I am going over to the tearoom. Is there anything I can do for you before I go?”

“Yes Mother. Could you bring the yellow folder from my briefcase for me? I want to work on the writings that I copied from the old envelope. I would like to translate one of them today.”

Her mother sets the yellow folder on the table. “Don’t overdo it Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn tries to type using her right hand. The doctor wrapped a bulky bandage around the palm of her left hand.

Isabel says. “If you want, I will go over to the office and type a page and save it on your memory disk for you.”

“That would help Mom. I will work on one of the small scraps of paper from the silver box. I can use one hand for that.” Jocelyn mother opens the folder and takes out a paper. She hands another one to Jocelyn.

Isabel goes over to the antique store. Jocelyn brings up the screen for Polish to English that she saved, and types the words.

It takes a while, but with pure persistence, she has the typing done and hits search. Jocelyn reads.

I spent my whole day holding Bohdana in my arms. I studied all her fingers and toes. I looked deep into her eyes praying that I would be able to look into them once again. I clipped a lock of her hair and put it in my locket. I wept and cried out, ‘Bohdana my baby; how will I ever be able to give you away? God help me.’

 

Jocelyn wipes a few tears away then types, Bohdana into the English to Polish Translation, and gets Bohdana.

When Jocelyn is through, she saves the page then sends it to the printer. “I will have mom put it in the yellow folder for me.”

~~~~~~

Her mother returns a few hours later and gives her the memory disk, then retrieves the paper from the printer for Jocelyn. She reads it while Jocelyn is finding out what the other paper says.

Jocelyn inserts the memory disk into the computer, and copies then paste the words into the translator. She weeps as she reads what the paper says. She tells her mother, “It is a letter from a Doctor.”

Jocelyn reads the words written by the doctor to her mother.

 

 

Warsaw June 14, 1942.

I sit at the bedside of my wife. I need to do something while I wait for the baby to arrive. I pick up my pen and write. There is something wrong with the baby. My wife is getting weaker. Because of the war raging around us, there is no medicine to ease her pain. They cut our food ration’s again last month. She has been in labour for six hours.

I have to go and check the other patients in the hospital, but without the medicine and food they need, I have little hope. I do all I can with what meager supplies we have. I pray and ask God for his help. God, please bless my wife and my unborn child. I love her and do not know what I would do without her.

Doctor Borys Powanda

 

Jocelyn’s mother holds her as they weep together. “Oh Jocelyn I couldn’t imagine having you torn from my arms, never to see you again. I still have nightmares of you falling into my arms after the shooting. I thought you were dead. I still have nightmares of that night.”

They sit and talk for a while.

Twenty minutes later Jocelyn sends the information that she translated from the papers to Inez. She opens her email account then picks up the white hat and puts it on her head. She types in Bradley’s email address, and sends him a note telling him.

 

Bradley

I am glad you are alive. I have your white hat on my head. Thank you for the pink roses. I need to stop because I have a splitting headache. I will come and see you when I feel better.

Jocelyn

 

There is a knock on the door and Isabel answers it.

Pearl is there. “This was given to me by my friend Elaine.” She puts a gift bag on the corner table beside Jocelyn, and takes out a fuchsia coloured rose.

Jocelyn says, “It is beautiful. How did she make it?

Elaine says, “She uses a small wine glass and five silk roses. She cuts off the petals and glues them to the glass. She said she always puts a bird on the bottom, to remind people that not even a sparrow can fall, without God knowing it.

Pearl opens a letter and hands it to Jocelyn.

Jocelyn reads.

Dear Jocelyn,

We have never met. I am Pearl’s friend. She stopped in to visit me and said that a robber from London shot her friend. We prayed for you, and my heart was hurting for you. I wanted to reach down and take all your pain away.

That is not what God has called me to do. He wants me to pray for you and encourage you. I want to come along side of you in your time of need and hold your hand.

I pray that you can see the rainbows in life. It is hard to see God’s beauty when you have been hurt and are in pain.

Pearl showed me Amelia’s wedding pictures. I told her I loved the colour of your dress. I went to my workshop, and returned with this friendship rose. It is the same colour.

I have always found that the beauty of a flower can help me take my mind off my problems. I am sending you this rose to remind you that you have a sister in the Lord who is praying for you.

When you look at the little bird, I want it to remind you that not even as sparrow can fall without God being aware of it.

My prayer is that God will give you the strength to go through your valley. Look towards the fresh meadow in the hills covered in green grass. Lie down beside your Shepherd Jesus, as he brushes your tears away.

With Christian Love,

Elaine

“That is beautiful Pearl. I would like to meet your friend Elaine one day.”

“I will bring her over the next time she comes to visit me. I need to go back to work. Hope you start to feel better.”

Jocelyn has overdone it. Her head begins to throb even more. She asks her mother, “Can you put my laptop away and bring me a pain pill?”

“Jocelyn, you need to take a nap after lunch.” Her mother brings her a sandwich and a bowl of soup along with her pills. “Pearl sent over a plate of goodies from the tearoom.”

After they finish eating their sandwiches and soup, Jocelyn reaches for a coconut lemon tart. She takes a bite and the gooey filling drips down her chin. “These are the best.” I will have to get Pearl’s recipe.

“Pearl gave it to me,” she hands Jocelyn an index card.

“Thanks Mother.”

“I need to take you back to your room.” She pushes Jocelyn down the hall then tucks her into bed. Jocelyn is exhausted, and shuts her eyes. She thinks of a man wearing a white hat, who has blue eyes.

She wakes when she hears Pearl talking to her mother. It is too much effort to open her eyes. She falls into a restful sleep.

~~~~~~

She wakes around four o’clock and returns to the comfortable recliner in the living room. Her two brothers start to fuss over her.

Isabel asks her sons, “Can you stay for supper? We need help to eat all the food that our friends sent.”

Drew says, “I cannot stay because I have to see a sick cow. That is the life of a vet. You are on call twenty-four hours.”

Randy agrees. “I find it a lot easier since you came to work for me Drew. I get to have more meals with my family.”

Randy pulls up a chair. He has a good appetite and empties the bowls of food. He helps clear the table. Isabel retreats into the kitchen and washes the dishes.

Randy challenges Jocelyn, “How about a game of Scrabble?”

“Sorry Randy. She holds up her hand and says, “I will be out of commission for a few more days.”

They sit and watch a video. When it is over, Randy teases Jocelyn and says, “Stay away from windows at night. Do not dig any more holes in your back yard. Remember, you can phone me at any time.” He gives his sister and mother a hug then heads out the door.

A short time later Jocelyn says, “I know it is early Mother, but can you help me get ready for bed. I think I overdid it today, and I don’t feel well.”

Her mother helps her get ready for bed, and then picks up the new book of Emily’s writings called, ‘The Fragrance of Love’. She reads,

God’s Word, Our Manna

As I was talking with my friend on the phone this morning, these thoughts came to me. We need to get up each morning and read God’s words from the Bible. We are to meditate on what we read all day.

I will often get up in the morning and listen to this TV Christian speaker, and then another one. I read from this book and then another. By the time I sit down for breakfast, my mind is so full words that there is no room left for more. I usually forgot most of what I read or heard by noon.

When I was going through a rough time, a good friend told me to try reading your Bible in the morning. When a certain verse hits home, stop and write it out. Pray about it. Meditate on it during your breaks and before your meals.

Take it out of your pocket and ask God what He is saying to you. When you go to bed at night, look back and see how God has used that verse to bless you. Wake up in the morning fresh and ready for a new word.

         Emily. Chatham

 

“Jocelyn says, I wonder if Emily and I have the same friend. I have been writing out the scriptures on index cards for years. Stella got me started the summer I worked for her. Mother, I have a scripture I wrote down that has helped this week when I questioned God. The card is on my dresser. I think it is from Psalm 34.”

Her mother searches through a stack of index cards and says, “I found it.” She reads,

“Psalm 34:17-19 paraphrased by Jocelyn, June 26, 2009.

I cry out, and the LORD hears me. He will deliver me from all my troubles. The LORD is close to me when I am broken-hearted. He saves me when I feel crushed in spirit. “Even though I try to live a righteous life, I may have many troubles, but the LORD will deliver me from all of them. (NIV)

 

“Thank you Mother, I feel much better. I was wondering why God allowed someone to shoot me. Now I know that He was in control and saved my life. Even the doctor said it was a miracle that I wasn’t killed.”

“I keep thanking God that you are still with us. You need to sleep. I will see you in the morning. I love you Jocelyn.” She turns the quiet music on then bends down and gives her daughter a kiss before leaving the room.

 

13. The Unhappy Village

Isabel enters Jocelyn’s bedroom, “I have a surprise for you. Marvel and Randal will be here in two hours to take you to their farm for a few days.” She sets a suitcase on the floor.

Jocelyn asks, “Who came up with that idea?”

“We all did. You need to get out of Erieau and take it easy. The fresh air will be good for you. The village is swarming with reporters and news hounds.”

“I do miss sitting in the swing and listening to the wind rustling the leaves Mother.”

“Everything is arranged. Pearl said that she would stay here and look after Freddy for you. I will go home and weed my garden. They are two feet tall. I need to pick my green and yellow beans and get them in the freezer.”

Jocelyn is getting excited. The past few days have been hard on her. “I would love to go to the country. I jump every time I hear a loud noise and don’t like being cooped up in the house.”

Isabel hums as she packs a suitcase with clothes that will be easy for Jocelyn to put on.

~~~~~~

Inez joins them for breakfast, “I saw Bradley yesterday. It is hard to keep a sick man in bed. I am glad I am not his sister Claudia. She will have her hands full looking after him.”

Jocelyn tells Inez, “My friend Katelyn is going to drive me to London to visit him on Tuesday, if I am up to it.”

“That is great, Jocelyn. I am glad you are escaping Erieau. There are too many unruly people in town.”

Inez goes to the window and looks out. She teases Jocelyn and says, “I need to change your identity if you want to get out of town without being followed.” Looking at Jocelyn’s left hand she says, “It won’t work. The bandages will give you away.

“Send your uncle up to see me when he arrives. We need to work out a plan on how you can get out of Erieau without anyone noticing you. I will see you later.” She looks over her shoulder at Jocelyn before heading up to the art room.

~~~~~~

Marvel and Randal arrive. Marvel asks, “Are you ready to come to our farm in the country for the weekend. We have one rule; I need to check your luggage and make sure there are no metal detectors.” They all laugh.

Jocelyn tells her uncle. “Officer Inez Beer is in the art room and wants to talk with you.”

Randal returns and tells Jocelyn what Inez’s plan is. He tells her, “Put sunglasses on and wear a large floppy sun hat so that no one will recognize you, and come with me.” They help her down the stairs to the delivery room. He drives up to the door at the back of Stella’s Antiques, and Jocelyn gets into his truck.

Marvel hugs Isabel and tells her, “Go home and relax. Come for supper tomorrow night.”

“I will.” Isabel hugs her daughter and tells her, “I love you.”

Inez’s plans work and before long, they are driving down the road towards Blenheim. They arrive at the farm, and two large dogs run out to greet her. Randal puts them on a leash so that they will not jump on Jocelyn.

Marvel says, “Toffee and Cocoa have no manners.” She helps Jocelyn get comfortable in the recliner by the window overlooking the pond.

Wild ducks and geese bob on the water looking for food. Golden and Chocolate run down and chase them, causing a big commotion causing Randal to go out and scold them. They look at Randal as if to say, ‘we weren’t going to eat them; you are no fun,’ then the beautiful dogs run back towards the house and sit under the shade tree.

Marvel brings a refreshing drink and sits with Jocelyn.

Jocelyn asks, “Could you please bring my yellow folder and notebook computer from the bedroom Marvel?”

Marvel returns and puts the small computer and yellow folder on the table beside her chair.

“Thank you.” Jocelyn takes the pictures out of the yellow folder and shows the one with the bottle to Marvel. “Have you ever seen a bottle like this? I am trying to find out what it is.”

“Yes I have Jocelyn. Leeya my roommate at Bible College was a Messianic Jew from Israel. I brought her home during the holidays on several occasions. She invited me to go to Israel and stay with her family for the summer. Her aunt and uncle raised her because her parents had been killed during the Six-Day War in 1967.

Her uncle had a store and gave me a Jewish tear bottle as a gift. Let me get it for you.”

Marvel returns with a pink tear bottle that has a gold lid and gives it to Jocelyn. Jocelyn examines it and compares it to the one in the picture. She says, “It is the same shape as the one I found. What do you know about tear bottles Marvel?”

“Leeya’s uncle told us about tear bottles and their history. I wrote all the information down so that I would not forget it.” She opens a diary and reviews her notes. “He said tear bottles are in the shape of a tear. They also call them a lachrymatory.

“He said that the first reference to collecting tears in a bottle is in the Old Testament when David prays to God.

Psalm 56:8 Paraphrased. God: number and record my restlessness; put my tears into Your bottle—are they not recorded in Your book? (NIV)

Her uncle mentioned that David wrote this passage, approximately a thousand years before the birth of Christ. These words reminded God’s people, that He keeps a record of all human pain and suffering. He understands each tear that is shed.

“I found this exciting, I underlined it. The Psalmist talks about one bottle. God mingles all our tears together. Remember we read about how Jesus wept when Lazarus died. Are His tears mingled; with yours and mine in Gods tear bottle?

“He said that tear bottles were used by the Hebrews. They would fill a bottle with their tears. If they wanted to follow a rabbi, they would pour out their tears from their tear bottle and wash his feet with them. The woman did this to Jesus in the Pharisees house before pouring perfume on Him.”

Jocelyn is excited, “I think that scripture is found in Luke seven.”

Jocelyn finds it. “Let me paraphrase it.” Jocelyn reads,

“There was a woman in the city who was a sinner. She learned that Jesus was at the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster vial of perfume. She stood at His feet weeping; she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head. She kissed Jesus’s feet and anointed them with the perfume. (NIV)

“Thank you for this information. What else did he tell you?”

Marvel reads, “In Bible days, the Jews stored their tears in a tear bottle. There was a small rim around the top. They would hold it under their eye when they cried, so that their tears would flow into the bottle through a long narrow neck. They corked the bottle and saved it.

“People often filled these bottles when they mourned a loved one. They placed the full bottles on a small shelf outside the tomb. The larger the collection of tear bottles, the more loved and missed the person was.”

Marvel asks, “Why are you interested in tear bottles?”

Jocelyn tells her aunt how Norma helped her dig up the treasure in her backyard. It is a relief that she can tell her about the treasure hunt and Bradley. It was good to talk over the things that had been happening in her life. Jocelyn’s aunt had always been a good listener.

Jocelyn says as she wipes her tears away, “I think I have cried enough in the last few days to fill this tear bottle.”

Marvel prays for her and they sit quietly thinking about Gods tear Bottle.

Marvel gets up, “It’s time for lunch.” She goes into the kitchen. Randal and her sons arrive, and they eat a sandwich.

After lunch, her cousin Curtis says. “Jocelyn, you are the first person I know who was shot.”

Bernie asks, “Can you tell us what happened?”

“She tells them, “I cannot give you any information. The police told me not to talk about it. I will tell you everything when they say I can.”

The men listen to the farm report, before going back to work.

Marvel cleans the kitchen and tells Jocelyn, “I need to go and feed my hens and work in the garden. I want you to put your feet up and relax.”

“I will after I send this email.” Jocelyn types an email to Norma, Inez and her mother, telling them about the bottle.

Jocelyn sits in the recliner and closes her eyes.

Family Fun

Jocelyn’s family arrives the next afternoon. The dogs run about all excited. They love having the children to play with.

Connor runs over and wants to see where the bullet hit her in the head. He asks, “Did it hurt Aunt Jocelyn?”

“Yes Connor, I still get headaches and have trouble walking with all these bandages.” She reaches for her bag and takes out a framed picture. “This is a photo of the bass you caught.”

“Thanks Aunt Jocelyn.” He runs off to show the picture of his five-pound bass to his brother.

Jocelyn sits by the pool and watches her brothers and cousins play water polo with the children. Her mother and Marvel join her.

Jocelyn says, “It is peaceful here in the country.”

The women agree. They sit around and chat about how the children are growing. They talk about how the crops are doing and how the cost of food is getting higher.

They cook barbecued spare ribs and hamburgers. Later in the evening, they sit around the campfire. The children perform a few skits and they sing several of their favorite camp songs. Once the embers are low enough, they put marshmallows on sticks and make Smores. After it is dark, the children run about trying to catch fireflies and put them into a bottle. The adults sit around the fire visiting.

Isabel says, “I need to go home; it is getting late.”

The family gathers around the dying embers and hold hands while Randal prays; thanking God that Jocelyn was not hurt badly. He also asks Gods help to get Erieau back to normal.


 

 

14. A Visit with Bradley Hornsby

Marvelhelps Jocelyn pack on Tuesday before making lunch. “It has been fun having you with us Jocelyn. I hope you have a good time in London. Come back for a visit any time.”

“I will, Aunt Marvel. That was good advice you gave me when you said, to close the yellow folder, turn off my computer, sit back and take a break. I feel a lot better.

“Thank you for the information you gave me about the tear bottle. I will do more research later in the week when I have more time and energy.”

Jocelyn sits by the window waiting for Katelyn to arrive. She is a little nervous about visiting Bradley. She doesn’t even know him.

Katelyn is punctual and pulls into the driveway at two. It is hard for her to walk far because of the bulky bandage on her knee. Marvel helps Jocelyn out to the car while Katelyn gets the suitcases.

“I can’t believe you talked me into driving to the hospital Jocelyn. You know that I always get lost when I drive in London.”

Katelyn drives east on Highway 401. They make good time. She says, “Benny and Katy are all excited because they get to spend the day with their grandparents. Mom and dad are in for a real adventure. I hope my children behave.”

“They will be good. Ben and Kim will be all right with your children. They raised you, didn’t they?”

“I know Jocelyn, but I have never been away from my children before. There is no need to go out much. Mike is always away on business trips. His company wants him to move us to Singapore for three years. If he says no he might lose his job.”

“That will be a hard decision for your husband to make Katelyn. There aren’t many jobs available anymore.”

“I want him to change jobs and spend more time with his family, but he says that we need the money to buy a larger house. Our house in Edmonton is bigger than my parents’ home in Erieau. It is all I need. I would rather have him at home with us more.

“He had an interview with a local car restoration place near here. They said that he could work for them and start in October. He would have to travel, but not as much. His salary will not be as large. We will manage because the cost of living is less in Erieau.”

Jocelyn says, “My friend Norma works there. She loves her job. I hope Mike takes it.”

“Dad said we could buy his sister’s cottage. She stopped coming to Erieau after her husband died. It has three bedrooms. Mike has to let them know next week if he wants to take the job. They will even pay to move us. I won’t have to return to Edmonton.”

“We need to pray about it Katelyn.”

Jocelyn prays for her friend and family and that Mike would make the right decision.

They drive in silence for a while. Jocelyn is deep in thought. What am I going to say to Bradley? I don’t know anything about him. He is a stranger. I can’t put the kindness I saw in his blue eyes the first time I met him, out of my mind. Their colour is like the deep-blue ocean. I feel they might swallow me up if I get too close.

They stop at a red light. Jocelyn moves her hand around on the pillow to make it more comfortable, “I see the hospital. Drop me off at the front door. I will phone you at your sisters when I am ready for you to pick me up. We can go to the Mandarin Restaurant for supper.”

“Brad’s sister, Claudia said that she be holding the same pink roses that Bradley sent me. She will be waiting outside the front door.”

Jocelyn looks around and sees a woman sitting on a bench, with a pink rose. Katelyn gets out of the car and walks over to her. “You must be Claudia; I am Katelyn, Jocelyn’s friend.”

“Thanks for bringing Jocelyn to London.”

Claudia pushes the wheelchair over to the car. “Thank you for coming Jocelyn.”

Katelyn holds the flower while Claudia helps Jocelyn into the wheelchair.

“I will phone you when I am ready to leave.”

Claudia pushes Jocelyn through the halls to an elevator. They get off at the surgery ward. Claudia smiles as she enters the hospital room.

She places the flower in a vase on the window ledge, before giving her brother a kiss on the cheek. Turning to Jocelyn, she says, “I want to introduce you to my brother Bradley Hornsby. Bradley Hornsby this is Jocelyn Brooks.”

Jocelyn is a bit shy as she speaks. “I am glad to meet you, Officer Bradley Hornsby. How are you feeling?”

Bradley says. “I would feel a lot better if the thief had not been such a good shot.” He chuckles and the ice is broken. “Call me Bradley. Officer Bradley Hornsby is a mouthful.”

Claudia helps Jocelyn over to a comfortable chair by the bed. “I am going to visit my friends. I took my nurses training in this hospital. See you later Bradley. Jocelyn, make sure that Brad stays in bed.”

Jocelyn has several questions to ask Bradley, but he is still a stranger.

Bradley starts, “I walked out of your life at the wedding. I didn’t know who you were. I was looking through my binoculars as I sat at the beach, and you walked towards me. I wanted to get up and run to you, but I couldn’t because I was doing an investigation.”

Jocelyn looks into his blue eyes and says, “I thought you might be one of the thieves Bradley. I didn’t know what to do when you walked towards me as I sat on my friend’s balcony. It was even harder when you walked over to the cottage across the road from me. You opened the door and walked in. I thought I had a thief for a neighbour!”

“I walked over to you that day Jocelyn because I wanted to see if it was really you. No way was I going to lose you again. You should have seen the look on Inez’s face when I entered the cottage and told her that I found the woman I met at the wedding. That she was Jocelyn, the woman who found the treasure in Erieau.”

“Inez?”

“Yes Inez. She was dressed as the short man, with the green hat and dark glasses. Inez was the police officer staying at the cottage with me that night. She told me that she was impressed with you.”

Jocelyn shakes her head in disbelief and says, “That is why the man in the green hat smiled at me; it was Inez. It is starting to make sense now. “I like Inez also.”

“Inez had a real chuckle when you brought her the picture of me the night of the barbecue. She didn’t want to blow my cover, so she couldn’t say who I was. By the way, you do take a good picture. Inez sent it to me.” He takes it from the tray and gives it to her.

Jocelyn looks at it before putting it in her pocket. “Thank you. I really thought you were one of the bad guys.”

“It was hard for me not to tell you who I was at the treasure hunt. At least, I had your address and planned to come and visit you after we solved the case.

“You knocked my glasses off. After seeing the shocked look on your face, I knew you recognized me from the wedding. I told you I was the police, but I don’t think you believed me. I couldn’t say anything more because people were coming out of their houses to watch us.”

Jocelyn says, “I was shocked when I recognized your blue eyes. I would recognize them anywhere.” She blushes. “You disappeared before I could talk with you.”

“I tried to get you alone, except there were too many people crowded around you.”

 

The nurse interrupts to checks Bradley’s vitals.

When she leaves Jocelyn says, “I am having a hard time typing on the computer. It takes me forever. I can only type with one hand.”

“It looks like we have the same problem Jocelyn. The doctor was in this morning to talk with me. He said that I would be in the hospital for over a week. It will be months before I can go back to work. I might end up working at a desk job. My right arm and leg are in bad shape. There is extensive damage to the bone and muscles. It is too early to know how they will heal. I am right handed.”

“That’s too bad Bradley. The doctor said I might be pulling shards of glass out of my body for a few years. There is no permanent damage.”

“Inez said it was a miracle that you weren’t killed Jocelyn.”

“My doctor in Chatham told me the same thing.”

“I am curious Jocelyn, why did you go to the art room that night?”

“I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about a man with blue eyes and a white hat. I always go up to the art room when I am restless. I looked out the window and saw a shadow in the garden by the hedge.”

“That was me Jocelyn. Inez and the other police were further down the beach.”

“There was no moon. I left the backyard spot light on because I was afraid that the robbers might return. I had a good view of the lake and saw two people get out of the boat. I watched as they dug up the hidden treasure.

“I heard the fishing boat come from the marina and thought they were escaping. That is when I decided to phoned Inez. She told me to move away from the window. It was too late. The bullet hit me and I fell to the floor.

“My mother called me and I made my way to her. I never even felt the glass cutting me as I crawled towards her voice. Mother said that she thought I was dead when I fell into her arms. I guess I fainted. I can’t remember much after that.”

“That happens a lot Jocelyn. I didn’t even know that I had been shot until I put my hand up and felt the blood.” He touches his ribs. “My chest is tender where the bullets hit my bulletproof vest. Without it, I would have been dead.”

“I am glad you are not dead,” Jocelyn smiles as she looks at him. He is handsome. I love the colour of his eyes and his cute dimple when he smiles.

They chat and get to know each other. The food server arrives with Bradley’s supper and removes all the lids then pours two creams and two sugars into his coffee, before stirring it. She asks Jocelyn if she would like a cup of tea. Jocelyn tells her yes.

Bradley points to a container of cookies on the windowsill and asks the server to open it for him. She sets them beside Jocelyn. Bradley says, “Have a cookie Jocelyn. My mother made them.”

Jocelyn sips her tea while Bradley eats his supper.

When Bradley is finished eating he says, “My pastor and his wife were at the hospital waiting for me to arrive by helicopter, the night I was shot. They prayed over me before the staff rushed me into the operating room.

“My parents phoned most of the families in my church along with their friends and asked them to pray for me.”

“I have been praying for you also Bradley. How long have you been a Christian?”

“My parents took me to church all my life. I decided I wanted to serve Jesus when I was twelve years old. I have been a follower of Christ ever since then.”

Claudia enters the room and sits in the other chair.

Bradley continues, “I pray before I go on duty, asking God to help me be a good police officer and for protection. I pray when I go off duty and thank Him for keeping me safe.”

His sister asks, “What do you say about the shooting Brad? Most of my friends tell me, that if you are a Christian nothing bad should happen to you.”

“I disagree with them Claudia. God is in control. Jocelyn and I could have been killed. I thank God that we were spared, even if we had died that night, we would have been safe in the arms of Jesus.”

Claudia joins the conversation. “I am a widow Jocelyn. My husband and my three-year-old daughter died in a car accident two years ago. We were on our way to Windsor. We were about five miles past Tilbury when the fog came in. It happened so fast that no one could see anything.”

Jocelyn reaches over and squeezes her hand, “I am sorry about your loss Claudia.”

“Thanks.” Claudia continues. “I could have remained bitter, but I learned that it was better to forgive. I kept active helping people and moved on with my life. That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss my daughter Amber and husband George. I still have two daughters. I feel blessed. God did not cause the tragedy to happen to our family. It truly was an accident.”

Claudia turns to Bradley, “I have made arrangements to have a leave of absence from the hospital. The girls and I will move to Erieau for the rest of the summer. I will be able to take care of you when you get out of the hospital.

“I have arranged for us to move into the rented cottage that is across the road from Jocelyn’s place. It has a large bedroom on the first floor overlooking the lake. Our friends are making it wheelchair accessible”

“That is good news Sis. Now we will be able to get to know Jocelyn.” He winks at Jocelyn and gives her a big smile. “I don’t want to be a burden to you and the girls though.”

“You! A burden, Bradley? Never! I am family and what good is an older sister if she can’t boss her younger brother around?”

“You are only four years older than I am, sis.”

Claudia says, “It is time for you to lay back and take a nap.”

Jocelyn says, “I look forward to getting to know you both when you move to Erieau. I need to leave.” She phones Katelyn and tells her, “I will be at the front door in ten minutes.”

Where are we

It is late when Katelyn pulls into the hospital drop off area. “Sorry I kept you waiting Jocelyn. Three cousins that I have not seen in years stopped by to visit my sister. They arrived as I was going out the door. I forgot to get your cell phone number when I dropped you off, so I couldn’t phone.”

“That is alright, Katelyn.”

Katelyn helps Jocelyn into the car and takes the wheelchair back into the hospital. The Chinese Restaurant is packed, and they have to wait for about twenty minutes.

The food is good and Jocelyn has a lot to tell Katelyn. They forget about the time. It is after nine when they head for home.

“I don’t like driving on Highway 401 after dark Jocelyn.” She pulls out a scrap of paper from her purse. “Dad wrote the instructions for me. I need to stay on Commissioners Road until I reach Oxford Street. Oxford, turns into Glendon Drive, which is County Road 14. We will take it all the way to Glencoe where we will turn south to Highway 2, and follow it to Highway 40.”

“You have me lost already Katelyn, do you have a map?”

“Dad always keeps a book of maps in the car. I checked the pockets behind the seats, and it is not there.”

It starts to drizzle. Katelyn puts on the wipers. “I see a sign saying County Road 14. Good, we made it.”

The driving rain is coming down hard. Norma has to pull over to the side of the road. It finally lets up and they head back to Erieau.

 

15. Reward for Finding Lost Treasure

Isabel shuts the bedroom door to prevent Freddy from disturbing her daughter. She did not arrive home until late because Katelyn had to stop for a downpour. By the time Jocelyn told her mother all the exciting news about Bradley, it was past midnight.

There is not much to do around the house, so Isabel decides to go for a walk. She looks up and down the once quiet street. People carrying shovels, metal detectors and backpacks rush towards the beach. What is going on? Where did they all come from?

She stops in to see Ben and Kim and asks, “Do you know what is going on in Erieau? Why are all the people carrying shovels?”

“Didn’t you watch the evening news, Isabel?”

“No, I was tired and was in bed when Jocelyn arrived home. Freddy did not wake me up this morning. I was running late and I didn’t listen to the morning news either.”

“You need to hear this.” Ben goes over and turns the television on. “I saved last night’s six o’clock news on DVD.”

They sit and listen to the six o’clock news.

 

“This is Dudley Shard, with You See It, We Report It, Cable Television, bringing you the six o’clock news. It is Tuesday July 14.

“An Officer, who doesn’t want to be named, gave me this information. One of the thieves told the police that they were going to dig the treasure up on July the 6th, after dark. The police were waiting for them. The police told them to stop. One of the robbers fired his gun several times. That is when Officer Bradley Hornsby was shot.”

He holds up a picture of Bradley Hornsby in full-dress uniform.

“A bullet went through an upstairs window, shattering the glass, in the house beside Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom in Erieau. The bullet missed killing Jocelyn Brooks by a fraction of an inch. She will have a scar in her hairline to remind her of the shooting. Brooks is the president of the metal detecting club and found a blue tarp containing treasure on her property, June 30.”

He shows a picture of Jocelyn standing in front of Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom.

“The officer told me that all the treasure would be given back to its rightful owners. If you have had a robbery in the last five years, go to the police station and talk with them. If you reported it, they will look up your file.

“You will need to bring a complete description of what was stolen, along with receipts for the items, identification numbers and or pictures.

“The officer said, ‘We found eight tarps with treasure in them. The one with number six on it is still missing. It contains the contents from several London jewelry store robberies that took place in April.’

“An insurance company has estimated the tarp contains several million dollars in gold, silver, and jewels. They are offering a five thousand dollar reward, to anyone finding the lost treasure. Remember; do not try to keep the treasure yourself. You could go to jail.

“This is Dudley Shard, with; You See It, We Report It, Cable Television from London.”

 

“Isabel, this is another report I recorded.” Ben hits play.

 

“It is 9:00 PM, Tuesday July 14. This is Dudley Shard with; You See It, We Report It Cable Television from London.

“We have been granted an exclusive interview with the first person arrested from the group of jewel thieves.

“The courts have agreed to a plea bargain if he gives them all the information he has. He does not know the name of his boss. He said that he would cooperate with authorities but only if they allow him to tell his story to me first.

“This documentary was done earlier in the day and edited by the police.”

“The prisoner’s name cannot be released, and his voice and features have been disguised to protect him. I asked Daren, not his real name to tell us his story.”

“Daren, can you tell me how you began a life of crime?”

“Yes, I am thirty-five years old. I started shoplifting when I was old enough to go to the store by myself. By the age of sixteen, the police busted me five times. I have spent a few years in prison.”

“What about the robberies in London?”

“We were a part of a large gang. We all had code names to protect our identities. Only the boss and his partner had our real names and cell phone numbers, never an address.”

“How did they contact you?”

“We would be sent a text telling us where to meet the day of the robbery. We used disguises and different names. That way no one in the group knew who we were.”

“How do you know the treasure is buried in Erieau?”

“Our boss and his partner took me with them when he drove to Shrewsbury after a robbery. He had several large fishing tackle boxes and hid what we stole under the tackle. We put the tackle boxes in his boat and fish around Seagull Island.”

“When it got dark, we set a tent up in the middle of the island to prevent us from being seen. Our boss, we all called him Mr. Boss, took pictures of everything we stole. Mr. Boss would divide it into small leather pouches and put it back into the tackle boxes. He always numbered the tackle boxes before locking them. He also sprayed a number on a blue tarp.”

“What did you do next?”

“When it was dark enough, I rowed the boat over to Erieau. We would fish in the area for a while then pull the boat onto the beach. People never got suspicious because a lot of people had bonfires on the beach at night during the summer.”

“What did you do after you beached the boat?”

“I sat in the boat facing out into the lake while they buried the treasure. Mr. Boss and his partner Scar had a gun and told me if I turned my head, they would blow it off and feed me to the fish. They did not trust me.”

“Thank you Daren.”

The reporter says, “A police officer, that does not want to be identified, told me that they recovered eight stashes of hidden treasure from Erieau. It was worth millions of dollars. The stash with number six on it is still missing.”

“An insurance company is offering a five thousand dollar reward to anyone finding the lost treasure. They said it came from several jewelry store robberies near London. Remember; do not try to keep the treasure for yourself. You could go to jail.

“This is Dudley Shard with; You See It, We Report It Cable Television, from London.”

 

“Ben you need to show this to Jocelyn when she gets up. She is still sleeping.”

“Sure.”

“Thanks.”

Ben shakes his head and says, “We will need to keep our guard up. You never know what kind of people will be coming to Erieau in the next few days. My suggestion is to close the antique part of the store until they find the treasure and keep your sheds, cars and doors locked. If it is not nailed down, put it under lock and key.”

Kim sighs, “Erieau will never be the same.”

Ben stands up and looks out the window at a stream of cars racing down Mariners Road, into their once quiet Village. “I disagree with you, Kim. Yes, the Village will change for a while. Eventually, somebody will find the treasure and the terrible people that are searching for it will leave.”

“Isabel says, “I hope they do soon, I can’t take much more of this.”

Ben walks over and puts his hand on her shoulder. “Remember the tornado that ripped through Erieau a few years ago? Neighbours helped neighbours. We cut up the broken limbs and fallen trees. We even helped repair several damaged homes and sheds in our village.”

Kim agrees, “The Villagers came to help us build The Erieau Historical Collectors Guilds new building last year. Look at the picture windows. We even have a kitchen and a meeting room.”

Ben smiles, “Our Village is strong. We have our own treasure in Erieau. They are the people who live here that love and support each other. We need to ask God to help us.”

Kim says, “You are right Ben. Without God’s help, all this is utterly impossible.”

Isabel says. “There are more than two people who are praying Christians living in the Village of Erieau, and three of them are right here.”

Ben and Kim give her a reassuring hug. Ben says, “You are right Isabel. We need to ask God to intervene. We are strong because we have each other and the promises of God.”

They hold hands while Ben prays. “Father, we ask that You will bless the people who live in Erieau. Keep them safe from the intruders who have come to look for treasure. We know that the real treasure in Erieau is not gold, jewels and silver, but the love we have for our brothers and sisters.”

“Take care of yourself Isabel. If you need anything, please let us know.”

“Thank You, I will.”

~~~~~~

Isabel goes out to the back yard and looks at the litter-strewn beach. She cannot believe her eyes. People have dug holes in the grass. The beach area is swarming with treasure hunters. The village is abuzz.

Isabel walks over to the outbuildings and notices that all the shovels are gone; someone even stole Amelia’s metal detector. She locks all the storage sheds and enters Stella’s Antiques through the back door.

She tells the customers, “You all have to leave. I am locking the doors. We will be closed till further notice.”

She walks over to a man whose coat is bulging and tells him, “Remove everything you stole and put it on the table, or I will phone the police and have you arrested.” She takes out her cell phone and starts dialing.

The man opens up his coat and lets the stolen silver fall to the floor before running out the door.

Isabel locks all the doors and puts the closed sign up. She holds Lois and Fern in her arms as they weep.

Lois says, “It all happened so fast. I opened the door at nine. By nine thirty, crowds filled the store. We tried to stop them from stealing, but they wouldn’t listen to us.”

Isabel watches as Fern picks up a figurine of a Golden Retriever from the floor. She searches for a while and finds the tail. She tries to put it back on the dog, but it is no use.

Isabel puts her hand gently on Fern’s shoulder and whispers, “The piece is not worth anything now Fern.” She gets a box and says, “Fern, why don’t you put the dog and tail in this box, and I will see what I can do with it?”

Isabel walks around the room and notices that several pieces from the silver tea sets are missing. “We will have to take an inventory of all that is in the store.”

She looks down at the pile of silver on the floor. She tells Lois and Fern, “This reminds me of the report I saw on Television last month. The reporter was telling about the looting that happened after a hurricane hit his small village. God, help us! I think we just had a hurricane of disruptive people arrive in the Village of Erieau.”

Lois says. “It happens all the time now. When we were younger, we never had to lock our cars or house. We trusted our neighbours. What is this world coming to?”

“I don’t know Lois. We need to find out what is happening in the tearoom. We can clean this mess up later.” Isabel shakes her head as she locks the door behind them.

The place is extra busy. Lois helps cook while Fern helps with the dishes. People are complaining because of the slow service. Isabel starts clearing tables and filling the customer’s empty cups.

She looks into the eyes of the strangers she is serving. Most of them are blank and if they show any emotion, it is anger. A chill goes up her spine.

After she fills the empty cups, she phones Pearl and Sharon, two of the Summer sisters and asks them if they will help.

Twenty minutes later, Pearl and Sharon arrive. Isabel goes home to tell the sad news to Jocelyn.

What Happened to Erieau

Jocelyn climbs out of bed. She is unaware of what is happening in Erieau. She gets ready for the day, and then goes into the kitchen. The cat is waiting for a bit of attention. She picks him up and says, “I know you are upset Freddy. The past week has been hard on all of us. I guess mother has gone for a walk.”

Jocelyn starts to open the drapes to see the lake, but stops when her mother rushes into the house. She looks into her eyes. Something must be wrong. Her facial features have changed; it is as if she aged ten years.

Isabel goes over and holds her daughter in her arms. Jocelyn asks, “Mom! What’s wrong?”

She sobs, “The Village of Erieau… ... has been hit by a hurricane… of disruptive people… nothing will be safe in Erieau until all the rowdy people leave…”

“Jocelyn hands her mother a tissue. Calm down and take a deep breath. You aren’t making any sense.”

Isabel wipes away her tears and sits on the couch, then says, “Look out your window, and you will see why I am upset.”

Jocelyn opens the drapes. The beach is crowded with strangers. Some men are digging holes in the grass by the sycamore tree. Jocelyn shuts the drapes and locks her window.

“What is going on, mother?”

“I will show you.” She turns on the PVR player.

Jocelyn watches it. She says, “This can’t be happening. I don’t believe it.”

“I am sorry to say that it is taking place.” Her mother replays part of it again.

The reporter says, “A police officer, that does not want to be identified, told me that they recovered eight stashes of hidden treasure from Erieau. It was worth millions of dollars. The stash with number six on it is still missing.

“An insurance company is offering a five thousand dollar reward to anyone finding the lost treasure. They said it came from several jewelry store robberies near London.”

They get to their feet and hold each other while they pray.

Jocelyn puts a music CD on. “Mother this might help to calm us.” Praise you in this storm starts to play.

They sit and listen to the music while they think of ways to save the village that they love.

“Mom I have an idea. I heard Casting Crowns sing the song; ‘Praise You in This Storm’ after Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the southeastern USA. Hundreds of families lost their homes and their loved ones.

“We are going to face more difficulties in the days ahead. Katelyn and I were in a horrible storm last night. It was so bad that we had to pull over to the side of the road for twenty minutes until it finally stopped.

“It seems like we have been having a downpour since I dug up the treasure in Erieau. I keep asking, God when it will all end? I want to have peace in Erieau once more.”

Jocelyn continues, “The chorus, the singers repeat is from Psalm 121:1and 2.” She opens her Bible and reads,

I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)

Isabel says, “We need to remember that our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

“I know God will help us mother.”

Jocelyn and her mother listen to the song once more as they eat breakfast.

Music is playing quietly in the background when Ben and Kim come over at ten.

Isabel puts the kettle on and says, “There is nothing better than a cup of tea when you are faced with problems.”

Kim tells them, “We decided to close the Guild. Some of the people were stealing from our historical displays. There was no stopping them.”

Isabel pours the tea and sets a plate of muffins with a jar of jam on the table. “We had to do the same at the antique store. We will have to take inventory and spend a day cleaning up the broken china. The crooks stole quite a bit of the silver.”

Ben tells them, “I have called an emergency meeting for the residents of Erieau at the library tomorrow at four o’clock.”

Isabel says, “I have to drive Jocelyn to Chatham to see the doctor tomorrow. We will come if we make it back in time.”

When they are finished drinking their tea Kim says, “I need to go home and check on Katelyn.”

Ben tells them, “I have a meeting with the police this afternoon. I will let you know if there is any new information.”

Kim and Ben leave.

Isabel walks around the house and makes sure all the windows and doors are secure, before pulling the blinds.

“I need to check on your cottage Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn gives her the keys for both places.

Isabel goes out the front door. Coffee cups, candy wrappers and junk litter the streets. She steps in a wad of gum and has to find a stick to scrape it off her shoe. A rude teenager drives down the sidewalk on a skateboard and just about knocks her off her feet. He shouts, ‘Get out of my way.’

“I think I will drive over to Jocelyn’s place.”

When Isabel arrives, she notices that the shed has been broken into and several tools, along with the metal detectors are missing. Sugar Baby, Norma’s dog is running around in circles in the back yard barking at all the commotion.

Isabel goes over and quietly talks to the dog before hooking the leash to her collar. Sugar Baby follows her up to Norma’s loft apartment. She gives her two doggy treats. The small dog goes over to her rug and lies down. Isabel tells her, “Guard the place until Norma gets home.”

She goes down to Jocelyn’s place, and takes out a large suitcase, and packs what she thinks is valuable. I will take it back to Amelia’s with me.

Isabel drives back to Amelia’s place and talks with several of the residents of Erieau. They are not happy about what is going on. She tells them about the town meeting at four the next day. They assure her that they will be there.

 

16. Town Meeting

Isabel stops at her house in Cedar Springs on Thursday after lunch. The doctor has removed Jocelyn’s stitches in his office in Chatham. She waters the houseplants then prepares a cup of tea.

“It is wonderful to sit and relax without any worry’s Mom.”

“Why don’t you spend a few days here? It is hectic with all the strangers in Erieau.”

“I am tempted; we could bring Freddy here and lock up Amelia’s place. I don’t feel safe living in Erieau anymore. We need to see what they are planning at the meeting before we decide. It is at four, so we should leave by three.”

Her mother packs a suitcase with more clothes, just in case they decide to stay in Erieau.

~~~~~~

They arrive at the library early. Pearl is there and asks, “Jocelyn how are you feeling?”

Jocelyn tells her, “The doctor took the stitches out and removed the heavy bandages from my hand and knee. I still cannot walk far, and get headaches if I overdo it. I need to take it easy.”

Ben goes to the podium and says, “We have called this meeting because several unruly characters have come to Erieau. They have no respect for anyone and only think about getting rich. They have been destroying private property and smashing the windows of cottages and sheds. They took what they wanted.

“Officer Winkler and Officer Taylor from Chatham have come to listen to your concerns. The meeting is now open.”

A man says, “A stranger tried to pick up my teenage daughter. He followed her down the road and made disgusting suggestions. She refuses to leave the house without someone going with her.”

A woman tells them, “We live on our boat in the marina all summer. I saw some men stealing the fishing gear and motor from a boat last night. My husband is moving our boat to a new marina, until Erieau is safe.”

Ben says, “The police met with the volunteer fire department yesterday. They had several good ideas to help us protect the people in Erieau. Let us listen to them.”

Officer Winkler goes to the podium and says, “We are doing everything we can. You can help by boarding up the windows of your garages and sheds to keep the bad people out. A lumber company has donated plywood, and they are sending two volunteers to help.

“Make arrangements for adults to stay with the children, and teenagers to keep them safe. One of my officers will put tape around the children’s play area today. There will be a plain-clothes officer patrolling the area.

“Ben and the volunteer fire department will take turns driving up and down the streets and around the marina at night, watching for looters. They all have police radios so that we can keep in touch.”

When the police officer is finished Ben says, “Please do not take any chances. The volunteer fire department will help protect the people in Erieau.”

Officer Winkler hands out business cards and says, “This is an emergency cell phone number. Call us immediately if you notice anything unusual.”

When the meeting is over, the crowds gather in small groups and talk about their concerns. Jocelyn overhears a man say, “There is only one way into and out of Erieau. If this keeps up, we should make a road block. We could kick the riff-raff out of Erieau, and only let the people come in if they have boats and homes here.”

Jocelyn listens to several more people complain, “Litter covers our streets. The beach is a mess. The intruders dug holes in our backyard.”

Pearl tells them, “We need to pray and ask God to help us find a solution.”

Ben says, “That is a good idea Pearl. We will have another town meeting on Monday if there are any more problems. Keep safe and remember to lock your doors.”

Isabel drops Jocelyn off. “I won’t be long. I need to water the plants at your cottage.”

 

Isabel lets Sugar Baby out for a run. The dog is upset and barks at trespassers intruding on her territory.

Someone dug up most of the roses along Jocelyn’s fence line and they are dying in the hot sun. Isabel puts them back into the ground and pushes the dirt around them.

She turns the garden hose on and gives the plants a good watering. When she is through, she takes the dog back to Norma’s then returns to Jocelyn’s cottage.

There is a knock at the door.

Isabel looks out the window. A young woman, whom she has never seen before, is standing there. Isabel warily opens the door and asks, “What do you want?”

Inez’s voice comes from the stranger and says, “It is Inez. I am undercover. Let me in.”

Isabel opens the door and the young woman enters.

“We need your help Isabel?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I need to become your niece, and move into Amelia’s art room for a few days with my partner.”

“That is alright with me.”

“Good, let me tell you what is going on. A window repair company will come in the morning to repair the broken window. They will bring the equipment we need for the investigation.

“I asked Ben to have several people he trusts meet us in the art room at Amelia’s tomorrow afternoon at three. They will come and visit you at different times.”

“I will be in the tearoom at three and have a dirty nap sack on my back. Don’t be surprised if you see me with a young man who has several tattoos.”

“I will help you all I can, Inez.”

“My partner and I need you to arrange to have our meals brought over from the tearoom.”

Isabel lets Inez out the door then collapses into the sofa chair. It has been a tiring week and the upheaval in Erieau bothers her. What next is going to happen in Erieau?

~~~~~~

When Isabel gets back to Amelia’s place, Jocelyn has a bowl of soup, along with a ham sandwich waiting for her.

Isabel tells Jocelyn, “I was talking with Inez; she asked if she could move into the art room tomorrow. I gave her permission. I might as well unpack my suitcase. She wants me to stay in Erieau with you for a while.”

Jocelyn says, “Our life is becoming even more complicated.”

“I know Jocelyn. We will have to be on our guard at all times. Do not leave the house without me. The town of Erieau is not a safe place like it used to be.”

“I will be cautious Mother.”

~~~~~~

A loud noise wakes Jocelyn during the night. The sirens of police cars blare as they race to a call down by the marina. She glances at her clock; it is two in the morning.

“God, when is this all going to end? The village of Erieau used to be a peaceful safe place to live. Now look at it, and it is my fault. I wish I had never dug up the buried treasure.” She starts to weep, and a familiar song comes to her mind. She begins to hum the tune softly.

She thinks of a verse from Matthew 11 that she had paraphrased and pondered in her heart a few days before.

“Come to me Your God, when you are deeply troubled, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)

Jocelyn prays, “My heart is heavy. I do not know what to do. Please, protect the police and keep my family and friends safe. Help them to think of a way to rid Erieau of these unwelcome hoodlums. I need a good night’s sleep…”

Jocelyn gets into bed and turns out her light. She hums a few favorite tunes, and feels at peace.

 

17. Friends United

Isabel puts the breakfast dishes away and joins Jocelyn in the living room. They are both tired from lack of sleep.

Jocelyn reaches down and picks up one of Emily’s books. A title in the index catches her attention. She glances at a few paragraphs. “Mother, this writing by Emily describes how I have been feeling. Listen to this.”

Killer Bees

It was horrible. I felt that I was under attack by a swarm of killer bees. My family moved into a large house that winter. It had a room where I could work on my crafts.

My dream for my ministry finally came true. A group of women arrived to help me. We spent the day working together. We laughed and even took time to break bread.

When we were through, we took pictures and cleaned up the mess. I did not have to put the craft supplies away; all I had to do was shut the door. My life was perfect, or so I thought.

Then the attacks began.

I received a call the following day from my doctor. When I saw him in his office, he said the words, ‘Breast cancer: it looks nasty! You will need an operation. My nurse has booked you an appointment to see a surgeon on Monday.’

I have a lot of faith, but the word cancer is a word that brings fear. I don’t care how strong you are when you leave the doctor’s office, after hearing the word cancer you begin to tremble.

The next day, one of my friends did something to hurt my feelings. It is not important what they did or said. It is how I reacted to the situation. I allowed this incident to take over my thought life. It was as if a swarm of killer bees was attacking me.

I had one negative thought after another. Soon, all I could think and talk about was cancer and this incident. My poor friends and family, they were bombarded with this swarm of killer bees also.

My friends never gave up on me. They brought a can of God’s Bug Spray, ‘PRAYER’. They took me aside, and taught me how to pray for and forgive the people who hurt me, including myself. They sat beside me as I prayed for the situation, asking for God’s help. My joy returned. I had peace and hope once more.

The killer bees began to die. I started to stand tall and knew that God would walk beside me in the days ahead.

Thank you for your prayers my friends. You know who you are.

P.S. No radiation or chemo needed, God is good!

Emily

 

Prayer, God’s Bug Spray

What is bugging you? Is it something someone did or said that hurt your feelings? Is it what happened to you when you were younger? Is it the way you look? Is it the way your mother, father, sister, brother, child, friend, teacher, pastor, or a person at church treated you?

We cannot go through a day without someone or something bugging us. In the Bible, we are told to turn the other cheek, or walk a mile with the people who have hurt (bug) us. ‘Easier said than done.’

I have found that the best way to correct a situation like this is to use God’s Bug Spray, prayer. I need to read the instructions on the can of bug spray before I use it. To get rid of a hornet’s nest, the can of bug spray says; stand back and spray the nest until saturated at night or early in the morning, when all the hornets are in the nest, resting.

I need to pray for what is bothering me, in the morning and at night to get rid of what is bugging me. I need to keep this routine up until it is safe to handle the situation.

I have tried this method several times. The deeper you are hurt, the more you will need to apply God’s Bug Spray, prayer.

Emily

 

Jocelyn closes the book and ponders what she has read. “God I did unleash a hornet’s nest. I know that you have a weapon stronger than bug spray and it is prayer.”

Isabel agrees with her, “Prayer can stop the intruders from destroying Erieau, and all the people who live here. The Bible says, I think it is in Isaiah 34, no weapon formed against you shall prosper. I am going to take you at your word God and turn my concerns over to you.”

They sit and pray for God’s protection. Isabel says, “God will take care of the situation for us. I know He will.”

The window technicians arrive to fix the broken window and set up the equipment for Inez.

~~~~~~

Isabel is working in the tearoom when she sees the woman with a dirty backpack on her back. She is hanging with a fella who has several tattoos and is wearing a black hooded jacket. He is the kind of person you would not want to meet in a dark alley at night.

He slurs out the words. “Hey lady, we want a coffee. Yes, I am talking to you.”

Isabel walks over with a cup of coffee, and even though she knows it is Inez’s partner, her hand shakes.”

The man asks, “How much do I owe you?”

Isabel says, “Four dollars.”

He says, “Here is a fiver. Keep the change.”

Isabel takes the bill to the cash register and sees a piece of paper folded in the bill. The note says. Go to the art room and we will follow when we finish our coffee. Inez.

 

Isabel unlocks the door into the art room. Jocelyn is resting. Ben and Kim sit in front the coffee table.The other people that Ben chose to help are looking out the window.

Isabel waits at the door connected to the tearoom. There is a quiet knocking and Isabel opens the door. Inez and her friend enter. Isabel locks the door then goes over and sits in the recliner. I am not as young as I use to be.

Jocelyn catches her breath. A scrawny youth in his late twenties is standing in the doorway looking at her. He has several tattoos on his body. A dirty black cap covers his shoulder-length hair. He is Allen, the man I met at the treasure hunt. He walks over to Jocelyn and says, “Hi Jocelyn, do you recognize me?”

Jocelyn is speechless. Allen is Officer Sam Dryer! The Police Officer I met at the police station in Chatham.

The people in the room stare at him.

Isabel says, “This is Officer Inez Beer from London. Inez, you will have to introduce your partner.”

Inez says, “My partner is Officer Sam Dryer from Chatham.”

Officer Sam Dryer says, “I can truthfully say if my brothers and sisters saw me today, they would not recognize me. Even my own mother would turn away from me with disgust.”

Everyone laughs at his joke and it removes a bit of the tension from the room.

Sam says, “Inez is a professional disguise artist. Most of the time when I have the privilege of working with her, I look into the mirror and jump. I don’t recognize myself. Inez and I are working together in a Joint investigation with the Chatham and London police.”

Sam talks into his phone. He goes over to the window and says, “The treasure is going to be found within the next ten minutes. If you want to see the action, look out of the windows facing the beach.”

They stand in front of the two large windows that have a special blind so people cannot see in.

Officer Sam Dryer tells the group, “You should have your town back by tomorrow.”

Inez warns them to be quiet before she opens a window. They hear a noise coming from outside. The crowds of people run up the beach. A man jumps up and down all excited yelling, “Me Parecio, me Parecio.” A blue tarp sits on the ground by his feet. The police open it and it contains four large tackle boxes.

The police carry the tackle boxes to the Brinks Truck. The armed guard puts them where they will be safe and locks the doors. The media are there with their cameras rolling. Inez shuts the window.

Sam turns on the television. “We interrupt this program for breaking news. A man found the buried treasure in Erieau. The police removed four large tackle boxes from a tarp with number six on it and took them to the Brinks Truck.

“They are talking to the man who found the treasure now.”

A police officer asks, “What is your name?”

There is a blank look on the man’s face. A police officer that speaks Spanish talks to the man.

A short time later the police officer tells the reporter, “The man is a migrant worker from Mexico and does not speak English. His name is Rollo Sanchez.”

They sit and watch the special news report for a while. The Brinks truck leaves and the crowds of people at the beach start to go to their vehicles.

Jocelyn sighs with relief and says, “At last! It is over.”

Ben says, “Good, the blue tarp has been found and the intruders will leave Erieau.”

Inez says, “I am sorry to tell you that it’s not over yet; the real treasure hunt is about to begin. The man who found the treasure this afternoon is one of our police officers.”

Jocelyn looks puzzled. “What do you mean Inez? We saw the man who dug it up.”

Inez says, “The tarp, with the four fishing tackle boxes you saw dug up, were buried by the police last night. They were empty. We had to think about a way to clear the intruders out of Erieau.”

Sam Dryer says, “Thank you for coming. The police need your help. We caught several thieves along with their leader Floyd Balsky, who planned the robberies. He planned them for the thrill of it. He did not need the money. He kept all the details with time, places and even a map of where he buried the treasures in his notebook computer. We found it in his car in Shrewsbury after we arrested him.”

Inez says, “We have had professional people with sensitive equipment searching all along the beaches, and they have found nothing. We double-checked every place marked on the map from their computer. The place where Floyd Balsky and his partner buried the blue tarp with number six on it has already been dug up.”

Sam says, “We have reason to believe that Floyd Balsky’s partner double crossed him, by digging up one of the tarps. We think he buried it somewhere else in Erieau. We had to get rid of the crowds, who were looking for the treasure on the beach, so we could flush Bernard Claeren out of hiding.”

Officer Sam gives everyone a photo of a man, “We found this picture of Bernard Claeren on Floyd’s computer. We have no address, and he has no police record. He has a scar on his right cheek, and a thumb missing on his left hand. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.”

Inez says. “We will lend you special police phones. If you see Bernard Claeren anywhere, phone and tell us where you are. Do not go near him. We will phone if we need you out of the area.

“We have a command post set up here, and in the loft, at The Sunshine Bed and Breakfast. Remember to keep your phone charged, and never leave home without it.”

Inez speaks with Jocelyn. “Bradley’s doctor told the police force that they wanted him to have as much rest as possible. They want you to be careful with everything you tell him. Do not talk about what you are doing to help us.”

“I haven’t told him anything. It is hard not to talk about it. I will be extra careful Inez.” Jocelyn excuses herself, “Mom and I need to go next door and close up for the night.”

~~~~~~

Several customers stand at the window watching the action on the beach. They overhear two men dressed in dirty clothes with long messy hair say, “We might as well head back to Toronto, there is no treasure left in Erieau.”

Jocelyn whispers to her mother, “If only they knew the truth. They don’t realize that the loving hearts of the families that live in Erieau are the real treasure.”

“I agree Jocelyn.” Isabel pulls the shades while Jocelyn goes over to the office and takes care of the paperwork. Her mother helps count the money. They make a float for the next day and put it into the safe.

Jocelyn checks all the doors and windows when she gets home. She tells her mother, “You can never be too careful with thieves in the area.”

She feeds Freddy then helps her mother to prepare supper.

Isabel phones Inez, and asks her to join them.

Inez sits at the table and enjoys the salads. When she is finished eating her dessert, they chat for a while.

Jocelyn tells her about the cherry festival in Blenheim. She promises to bring her back a small cherry pie.

Inez tells them about how she misses her family. “My brother grew the largest watermelon, and I had the biggest tomato at the Port Elgin Pumpkinfest when we were in 4-H.”

“You spit cherry pits and we spit pumpkin seeds. Maybe when this investigation is all over I will have time to go to the Pumpkinfest once more.

“I miss working with Bradley. He is like a big brother to me. Life is not the same without him.” She sighs.

Isabel puts her hand on her shoulder and says, “Life is hard Inez. You have to be strong because you are in the police force. Talk to someone. Do not carry all your burdens alone. I will be praying for you.”

“Thanks Isabel. My mother and father pray for me all the time. It is good to know that the two of you care.”

When Inez is through drinking her tea, she heads back to the art room. Isabel and Jocelyn talk about what has been going on in Erieau. It is late so they decide to go to bed.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn is uptight and cannot get comfortable. All kinds of negative thoughts keep going through her mind. Where is the blue tarp with number six on it hidden? Where is Bernard Claeren? Will the rowdy people come back if they find out that the buried treasure is still buried somewhere in Erieau?

Jocelyn finally gets out of bed and prays, “God please help me. My mind is on overdrive and I cannot rest.”

She picks up one of Amelia’s books and opens it. She turns the pages, and stops at the one that says Rest. She reads,

Rest

The words, Come unto Me, all those who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. This keeps going over and over in my mind.

Come to Jesus and Jesus will give you rest.

I get so tired of going and going. I am so busy, go, go, go… I am busy all the time; there is so much to do. This person needs help. She needs prayer. Cooking, shopping, housework, go, go, go…

Wait a minute, Jesus says Come to Me, all those who are heavy burdened and He will give you rest.

I go to bed at night and my mind is spinning. The thoughts keep coming. How am I going to pay my bills? What should I buy for my mother’s birthday gift? How will I get all the packing done? Is this move really Your will God?

It is morning already and I haven’t even rested. Jesus says, Come to Me, all those who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.

Jesus, I am coming. I am tired. I sure could do with a little rest. The weight of just living is causing my back to bend. Jesus Help me! I can’t go on the way I am. It is lonely sometimes. What is it that You want me to do? I will try to do a good Job. I do love You Jesus.

Come to Me, all those who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.

You want me to lean on You. To let You come along side and help me. I need to stop and listen to your voice whisper I love You! I love You! I love You.

I hear You! You want me to rest in Your everlasting love. None of my burdens are too heavy for You to carry. You carried the weight of the cross on Your back for me so that I could be set free.

Yes Lord I will allow You to take care of all my money and health needs. I will share the concerns I have for my future with You. I will go forward leaning on You, allowing You to gently watch over me and take care of me.

Yes Lord, I will enter into Your rest. It is night, and You care for me day and night.

Thank you Jesus, I will come to You with all my earthly burdens and enter into Your rest. I will whisper of my love for You. I love You Jesus. I love You Lord. I love You.

Paraphrased from Matthew 11:28

 

Jocelyn says, “Thank You God, I will give all that has happened and will happen in the future over to You. I need a good night’s sleep. Please be with Inez and help her.”

Jocelyn gets into bed once more and turns the light off. She finally is at peace and able to sleep.

 

18. Blenheim Cherry Fest

Jocelyn wakes up rested. She picks up the writing she read the night before and rereads it. “You are right God, I need to give everything to You and ask for Your help. Thank You for the good night’s sleep.”

Freddy is pouting when Jocelyn opens the door. She locked him out of her bedroom the night before. “I am sorry, but until my hand and knee heal, you cannot sleep on my bed. You might jump on me and hurt me.” She goes to the kitchen and gives Freddy some food, but he will not eat it because he is upset.

Her mother hugs her, “Good morning Jocelyn. I have breakfast ready.”

Jocelyn sips her tea, “Mother, I had trouble sleeping last night. I finally got up and read this writing.” She reads it to her.

When she is finished her mother says, “Can you make a copy for me Jocelyn? I tossed and turned all night. I am too old for all this excitement.”

Jocelyn goes over to the photocopier, and prints out a copy and gives it to her and then they sit and talk.

“God wants us to rest in Him and stop worrying about the future.”

“I agree Jocelyn; it is easy to talk about, but hard to do.” She looks at her watch, “I have to go and help Marvel sell pies at the Cherry festival. Ben phoned and said he would pick you up around ten. See you when you get there. I love you.” She puts the writing in her purse and gives Jocelyn a hug.

“Save a piece of cherry pie for Inez.”

“I will Jocelyn.”

~~~~~~

Ben picks Jocelyn up at ten. Katelyn is in the back with her children.

Benny asks, “Where are we going Mother?”

“We are going to Blenheim, for the Cherry Festival. We will have fun and go on rides at the midway and eat cherry pie and cotton candy.”

Ben says, “Katelyn, I have a spare set of keys for you. I have put extra lawn chairs in the back of the truck in case you or the children need to have a break. You can go home anytime you want. I will get a ride with Kim.”

“Thanks Dad.”

Jocelyn gets out of the truck and gathers up her purse and knapsack. It contains her hat, camera and sunscreen along with a few treats for the children.

Ben removes a tandem stroller and helps Katelyn put the children in it. He says, “It’s lucky that we kept our old stroller. Kim wanted to sell it at her yard sale several times, and I said, ‘No, we will need it for the grandchildren.’ She said she never thought that we would use it again. I put it away. It will come in handy today for Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn puts her knapsack in the back of the stroller. “Thanks Ben, this really helps me. It takes the pressure off my knee. We need to hurry if we want to see the cherry spitting contest.”

They take a seat in the lower bleachers while they wait for the contest to begin. Several people come by and talk to Katelyn and Jocelyn. They ask how long Katelyn will be in the area. Katelyn gets several phone numbers from her friends. They invite her to bring her children for a visit.

A few people stop and inquire how Jocelyn is feeling. The announcer speaks. “Will all the people who qualified for the Cherry Pit Spit, please check in with the judges? The contest will start in ten minutes.”

The children get restless so Jocelyn takes them to see the Parrot display. When she gets back, the contest is over. The contestant winners will return the next day to see who wins the Cherry Pit Spitting contest.

They walk over and get a hot dog for the children and then a piece of cherry pie. Katelyn has to change Benny because of the mess on the front of his shirt.

Ben offers to take him on the rides. Jocelyn and Katelyn head back to the truck to relax. Jocelyn says, “Katelyn why don’t you go and see the cherry festival. My knee is hurting, and I would be more than happy to watch Katy, while she has her afternoon nap.”

“Thanks Jocelyn. I wanted to take a few pictures of the horticulture contest.”

Jocelyn sits and tries to relax, but she is edgy. It has been a long week and she is still a bit sore. Her mind keeps thinking about what happened, Bradley, the treasure, the gunshots.

A car backfires. Jocelyn jumps up and falls off the lawn chair. Her hand and knee hurt from hitting the ground. She picks herself up and wipes a few tears away. “How long am I going to be nervous God? I have been jittery since the night I was shot.”

She reaches into her bag and pulls out one of Emily’s booklets. She flips it open and stops at a title, The Virus Protector of Your Mind.

That is what I need God, something to protect my mind. She starts reading.

The Virus Protector of Your Mind

Allow the Holy Spirit to become the virus protector of your mind.

Everyone who uses the Internet needs to have a good virus protector on their computer to prevent bugs, spam and viruses from damaging or destroying their hard drive.

Evil people are out there trying to destroy the computer world by sending new viruses over the Internet daily. We have to update our virus protection regularly, or it is of no worth. These viruses also like to attach themselves to our correspondence and infect other people’s computers.

What about our minds, if only we could buy a virus protector so that our minds could be protected from all the evil thoughts that are tormenting us.

That is impossible.

There are several words written in a book that can help protect you from the evil thoughts around you. It is the Word of God, the Bible.

There is someone else who can help you. God sent us the Holy Spirit. Once we give our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is available to help us with our thought life. The Holy Spirit will help protect our minds.

We need to add new protection in the morning by reading our Bible and listening to good music. Ask Jesus to help you.

Do not forget to get some virus protection for your mind today. Remember, God has a good supply and will give us all we need. Heaven’s storehouse never runs dry. All we have to do is ask.

Written By Emily

 

Jocelyn sits and ponders the words she just read. Emily is right God; I know you will protect my mind. I have had a lot happen in my life the past few weeks. I am spending more time depending on You. Thank You for all my blessings. Please God give me your peace and allow me to relax once more.

Jocelyn closes her eyes and wakes to children’s laughter. Katelyn is sitting on the ground playing with her children.

Jocelyn looks at her watch and it is after four. “Why didn’t you wake me Katelyn?”

“You were sleeping peacefully Jocelyn and I know you needed to relax.”

They get in the car and go home. It has been a long day and the children are worn-out.

 

19. Sunday

Jocelyn gets up before her mother on Sunday. After taking care of Freddy’s needs, they go to the Eau-Buoy Galley in Erieau, for breakfast.

Several people from Erieau stop by their table and ask Jocelyn how she is feeling. A man who owns a summer cottage says, “I am thankful that we can walk around Erieau and finally feel safe.”

Other customers agree.

Jocelyn and Isabel leave when they are finished eating. Jocelyn likes to get to church early when she is doing an object lesson.

A tune comes to Jocelyn’s mind, and she sings it softly as she walks down the boulevard in Erieau with her mother. “Oh what a beautiful morning: oh what a beautiful day.”

Her mother says, “I haven’t heard that song since your father died. We went to see the play Oklahoma before you were born. After that, your father sang it to the cows while he did the milking. You’re right Jocelyn; it is going to be a beautiful day.”

Pastor Dale greets Jocelyn and her mother. He says, “It is good to have you back with us. Robin and I have been praying for you.”

Jocelyn talks to several people as they enter the church. They agree to help her with the object lesson.

Pastor Dale gets up to welcome everyone, “Today is children’s day and there will be no sermon. We are having a sandwich lunch, followed by games after church. You are welcomed to stay and join us.

“We will start the service by singing, Jesus loves the little children.”

They stand and sing,

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight…

When they are finished pastor Dale prays, “Thank You God for protecting the village of Erieau. We also thank You that Jocelyn is well enough to be with us again today…

Amen

“It is good to have Jocelyn back with us. I know that God has answered our prayers and the rough people, who tried to ruin our quiet village, have all left. Jocelyn has a story for us.”

Jocelyn goes to the front and asks the boys and girls to come and sit with her while she tells them a story.

“Long, long ago, the Bible talks about a shepherd boy named David. He spent his youth looking after his father’s sheep. David would walk up into the hills in the spring and check the pathway, to see if it was safe.

“Sheep will eat everything that is in front of them. The shepherd always carried a little spade with him, and whenever he saw a poisonous weed, he would dig it up and bury it.

“David piled rocks up to make a safe pool in the stream so that the sheep could drink. Sheep cannot swim and if they fall into the water, they will drown. They will only drink from still water. After the shepherd makes a pool with rocks, he goes back to the corral that holds all his sheep. He would call his sheep and only the sheep that recognize His voice would follow Him.

“The shepherd would keep the sheep near while they followed him through the dark valley. Danger lurked behind every rock. David held his long shepherd’s crook in his hand. He was always ready to use it to fight bears and other wild animals.

“When the sheep reached the green pastures, they could rest and eat all the grass they wanted. If David saw any danger, he would call the sheep and they would come to him.

“We, like the sheep in the story, need to listen to our shepherd who is Jesus. He calls us by name and if we listen, we will recognize his voice.

“John 10:27 says, My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. This means that if you know Jesus, you will recognize His voice. When was the last time you heard Jesus’ voice? Did you recognize His voice? Did you follow? Why or why not?

“We learn to recognize Jesus’s voice by faithfully listening to Him as He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. A good place to start is by reading the gospel of John.

“I will demonstrate this to you. While I was telling you this story, several of your parents went behind this screen. I have asked them to speak one at a time. They will not say your name, but will say a word. If you recognize their voice, let me know.”

“Number one you can speak.”

“It is a beautiful sunny day.”

Jim and Edna jump to their feet and shout with excitement, “That’s our Mother.”

Their mother comes out and gives them a hug.

Jocelyn says, “Thanks for your help. I have a bag with real sheep’s wool for you to take home. I put a sticker with a picture of Jesus surrounded by sheep on it. Below the picture, I wrote, Remember to listen to the voice of Jesus calling you.”

The parents and children go back to their seats.

The pastor says, “Thank You Jocelyn, I know that whenever I read the 23rd Psalm, I will remember how important it is to listen to Jesus’s voice.”

When the service is over, Jocelyn sits with the pastor and his wife. Robin reaches in her bag and gives Jocelyn a book full of object lessons. “I found this helpful when I was in charge of children’s church.”

Jocelyn fans through the book before putting it in her bag, “Thank you for the book Robin. I know that I will use it often.”

The families play several team games. The best one is when the team leader empties a can of shaving cream on a table. Each team builds a snowman. When they are finished, they try to hit the target with a snowball.

Pastor Dale uses a garden hose wash away the imitation snow.

Jocelyn and her mother are tired, so they excuse themselves and go back to Amelia’s place.

After spending the afternoon relaxing, they take their supper out to the side-by-side swing. Isabel says, “It has been a strenuous few weeks. I think how the different people reacted when all those treasure hunters came into the village. Everybody had their own idea on how to get rid of them.”

“I know Mother. I heard one man say that he had a gun and if anyone tried to enter his house he would shoot them.”

Isabel says, “We all reacted differently. Having this happen is scary.”

They sit and talk for a while. It is relaxing sitting by the lake and watching the children play. The sun reflects on the billowing white clouds and as it sets in the west changes their colour to pink and mauve.

Isabel swats at a mosquito, “I am getting bitten. We should move to the screened porch.”

“That is a good idea mother.”

They go to the porch and as Isabel closes the door behind them as Jocelyn picks up one of Emily’s books. “I think I will phone Emily and invite her to come and visit me. I would like to meet her.”

“Her writings have blessed me also Jocelyn. What are you going to read tonight?”

“This one is good, Mother,” she starts reading.

Seeing a Tree Differently

A few women were attending a Bible study in my home. We were discussing a difficult scripture. Three of the women started to argue about it. Their voices were getting louder as they tried to prove they were right.

I asked my friends to stop arguing. I prayed for God to help us. I thought about what I had learned in a nature course earlier in the year that might help defuse the situation.

I gave the women each a pencil and paper and asked them come with me. I said, ‘I want you to describe this flowering almond tree in one sentence.’

After a few minutes, we crossed the road and listened to the person describe the tree. She said that the tree was tall with pink blossoms. Her description of the tree is what we all saw.

We went over and looked at the trunk of the tree, while another person read her paper. She described small rough brown pieces of wood that overlapped each other covering a round cylinder like the shingles on a house. We saw what she saw.

The same happened when another person reads her paper about the branch of blossoms. She reads, ‘A branch covered in pink and white flowers with honeybees flickering in and out of them.’

We all lay on the lawn as my friend described long slender branches with the blue sky being visible through clusters of pink blossoms.

Everyone wrote a different description about the same tree.

We returned to the house. I told them, ‘All of your descriptions described the flowering almond tree on my front lawn. We need to stop and think the next time we discuss the scriptures. Our understanding is a lot like what happened when we saw the tree. We will all have a different viewpoint.’

I said, ‘If you went to church all your life and had a good Christian Sunday school class, you will describe what you know from the knowledge you have gathered over the years.

If you are a new Christian, you will see it from where you are in your walk with the Lord.

I suggested, ‘If you are ever with a group of friends and find the heat is growing in disagreement over an interpretation of scripture, stop the discussion. Pray and ask God to let His Holy Spirit teach you, then take your friends outside and have each of them all describe a tree.

Emily October 16, 2003

 

“Emily has a lot of wisdom Jocelyn. I can remember some heated discussions at church in the past. I need to remember to pray for God’s help, and listen to other people more.”

“This idea could be used to defuse a few arguments. We are unique. We all see things differently. I think I will get ready for bed. See you in the morning.”

They pray then Jocelyn goes down the hall to her room.

 

20. Peace in Erieau

Jocelyn gets ready for another day. On her way to the kitchen, she knocks on her mother’s bedroom door and tells her, “I will make breakfast today.”

She makes a pot of mint tea and puts two English muffins into the toaster. When they pop up, she tops them with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese.

Isabel sits at the table.

Jocelyn serves her the egg sandwich, a bowl of fresh fruit and pours the tea. They bite into the sandwich and the warm cheese oozes out of the sides.

“It is going to be a lovely day mother. The cuts on my hand have healed. I type better now. My knee is still tender.”

“I notice that you are not limping as much.” Isabel gets up and clears the dishes away. As she washes them, she sings, “Count your many blessings, count them one by one. Count your many blessings; see what God has done.”

When she is through, she opens all the windows and curtains. She goes outside and looks up and down the street. It is quiet. A young boy clutches a kite.

Isabel waves at several friends who are sweeping the sidewalk. She shuts the door and sits on the chair across from Jocelyn. She says. “The trouble makers have left and Erieau has weathered another storm, with the help of God, and the prayers of friends.”

“Having faith and praying is important, Mom. God wants us to trust in Him and not doubt. It is hard to do.” Jocelyn goes over to the table and picks up her devotion then reads the title.

Our Praying Friends Hold Us Up When We Cannot Stand On Our Own

“This one is good, Mother.”

Jocelyn takes out a white card and hands it to her mother. “I try to paraphrase the highlights from the scriptures that I read in the morning. It helps me to remember them. Stella taught me to do this when I worked for her. This is how I do it.” She reads as she writes.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

I will rejoice in the Lord always.

I will try to show God’s gentle spirit to all the people that I meet today; by the way I treat them.

I will remember that the Lord is near me.

I will be anxious for nothing because I know God will provide all my needs.

I will give thanks to God as I pray.

God’s peace will surpass all my understanding.

God will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am going to start doing this Jocelyn. This way when I am having a rough time, I can pull the card out and read it. I like the line that says; ‘I will be anxious for nothing.”

“We have a lot to be thankful for Mother. We need to remember that the Lord is near us. I read an article in Emily’s book last week that I thought was good.” She reads,

Psalm 40:1-3a I waited patiently for the LORD. At last, he looked; finally, he listened. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He stood me up on a solid rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. (NIV)

Sinking Sand

So often, when people have hurt us, either physically or emotionally, we can get caught in sinking sand.

The more we struggle to get out, the deeper we sink. Only when a person stretches out their hand and asks someone to help them from the safety of shore, can they be pulled out.

I read that is just about impossible to rescue people once they are caught in tidal sinking sand because of the pull. A man discovered that if a person sent a blast of air through a hose beside and under a person who is caught in tidal sinking sand, they could be pulled out.

Prayers are like the blast of air through a hose given on our behalf to help pull us out of whatever is grasping on to us.

Sometimes we need that kind of force to pull us out of the clutches of others and Satan. We have that power. When we reach out to God and say ‘help’, no matter how deep we are buried in sinking sand, He is able to hold on to our hand and pull us out.

Do you feel like the force of sinking sand is sucking you in? I know I do sometimes. I have found that when I take the time to pray and ask God for help, He sets me free. He places my feet on solid ground. I still have the effects of the sinking sand in my life. You cannot tell me that a person who is pulled out of sinking sand doesn’t need a shower.

It takes time to heal all the hurts in your life. You need to make sure that you and your friends continue to pray over the situation and ask God to help you. He has prepared a safe path for you to follow. If you start to take steps backward or step off the path, you will find yourselves mired in muck all over again.

Reach out your hand to God right now and ask Him for His help. He will grasp your hand and the feelings of sinking will be gone. You will be standing on the Solid Rock. How Firm a Foundation we have, when we have the power of God within us lifting us up.

Emily

 

“It is working already Jocelyn. I know that our God will guard our hearts during the storms, while we are going through them.”

Jocelyn gets to her feet and says, “We have a lot of work to do today, if the antique store is going to open tomorrow.”

Jocelyn and her mother put the index cards into their pockets and go next door.

~~~~~~

Marvel and Fern are sweeping up the broken dinner wear that fell in the aisles. They are just about finished so Jocelyn goes to the office. She sits in the swivel chair and looks up and down the beach.

She says with relief, “It is finally over. The intruders all left Erieau and we are free to live in peace once again.”

She watches through the window, and sees her neighbours working in their yards. They have started to repair the broken windows. Several people are filling in the hundreds of holes left by the treasure hunters. Children with oversized work gloves are running up and down the beach picking up the litter.

She gets up and looks out the other window. Groups of men and women are sweeping and raking the garbage from the boulevard that runs down the center of the village.

They are working at removing the evidence from the hurricane of disruptive people who had invaded the loving quiet village of Erieau. Erieau was strong enough to withstand the storm. It had in the past and would in the future.

The disorderly strangers have left and the families in Erieau are free to live in peace once again. It is finally over, or is it? Where did the thief hide the treasure?

~~~~~~

Jocelyn takes a walk along the beach. She is sick of being cooped up in the house because of the injury to her knee.

It was good to be able to go to church yesterday. I had fun with Katelyn and her children at the Blenheim CherryFest on Saturday. Erieau is getting back to normal.

Her friend Katelyn joins her. “How are you feeling Jocelyn?”

“Better now that I can walk better. How are your parents adjusting to having their grandchildren home?”

“They are having a ball, Jocelyn. I am glad the awful people have gone. I was scared to go out. One foul-mouthed old man said some dirty suggestive things to me. That is why I never came to visit you. I was afraid to leave the safety of my parent’s house.”

Katelyn holds Jocelyn’s arm as they stroll slowly down to the beach. Katelyn stops and picks up a long slender piece of driftwood. “You can use this as a walking stick Jocelyn; it even has a curved place for your hand.”

Jocelyn tries it out. “Thank you Katelyn. This will help.”

Jocelyn stops to take a break. She digs in the sand with the piece of driftwood.

Katelyn sees a piece of clear blue glass in the sand. She bends down and picks it up. She says, “When you look at the sun through a coloured piece of glass, it changes its colour.”

“I know Katelyn. It reminds me of how God can take the dark things of this world, and make them beautiful after they are exposed to His light.”

“That would make a good object lesson Jocelyn. I worked in the photo shop one summer. Several times a month, someone would come in with an unexposed film. When we developed it, the film was all black.

“We need to have our life exposed to God’s Son, Jesus. When we do this, the people all around us will see our true beauty.”

“Thank you Katelyn. I needed to hear those words. Look at what is happening after all that our village has gone through. The people are out laughing and getting rid of all traces of what happened. They are helping each other. You are right; it would make a good object lesson.

“I know the scripture that will go with it.” Jocelyn reaches into her pocket and pulls out a stack of cards. “Let me see. Yes here it is.”

John 3:20, 21 (NIV) Paraphrased.

For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

But he, who practices the truth, comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested (made visible) as having been created in God.

Katelyn sighs, “That is so true.” They walk for a while longer.

Jocelyn says, “I need to go home and sit down Katelyn.”

Katelyn walks Jocelyn home, and helps her get comfortable in the big easy chair. She brings her a cold drink.

“Thank you for your company Jocelyn. I like the idea about writing out the scriptures on index cards. I don’t have much time for reading my Bible now. The kids keep me busy.”

“Give it a try Katelyn. You can even cut and paste them, from one of the free Bibles on the computer.”

“I will try. I had better go and help mom with the children. They are a handful.”

Jocelyn smiles, “I have an idea that will help you Katelyn. Go over to the desk and get the stack of white index cards that are in the corner, near my Bible. Take them with you. They are the ones I have written scriptures on for the past few years.

“I pray they will help you with your walk with God, as you read them.You need to change my name on some of them.”

“Thanks Jocelyn, I will use them. You have always been such a special friend. Are you coming to my father’s retirement party on Saturday night?”

“I plan on coming Katelyn. I forgot to tell Ben that our metal detecting club found the wedding ring he lost.” She goes over to the desk and removes it from a box. “Here it is. It has an inscription on the inside.” She reads, “Ben and Kim Rose, 1952.”

“I will give it to dad, Jocelyn. I know he will be pleased.”

Jocelyn asks, “Do you want me to bring anything to the party?”

“Since no one brought deviled eggs for Canada Day, you could bring some. I like deviled eggs, Jocelyn.”

The friends give each other a hug then Katelyn goes next door to give her father the ring.

 

21. Bohdana and the Bottle

Several days have passed since the disruptive people swarmed into Erieau. Jocelyn is feeling better.

Isabel tells Jocelyn “I am going home to get some much-needed sleep. Only phone me if it is an emergency. Who would think that a daughter of mine could stir up such a hornet’s nest in such a short time? I always thought you to be a quiet child, how wrong I was.”

“Oh Mother.”

“I love you Jocelyn and I will always be there for you. I thank God that you weren’t killed.” She gives her daughter a hug and puts her suitcase into the car, then drives away.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn walks over to the tearoom and goes to the office. Her aunt Marvel joins her with a tray of sandwiches and a pot of tea.

“I am hungry Jocelyn, how about you?”

“Yes, I suddenly have an appetite.”

“How much do you estimate was stolen from the antique store Jocelyn? The insurance company and police want you to make a report.”

“Not as much as I thought. It would have been worse if I had not stopped the man with his coat filled with the Sterling Silver. It was worth hundreds of dollars.”

Marvel tells her, “Randal, Bernie and Curtis will be in later today to build Amelia two glass display cases. They will have a lock and be big enough to hold all the valuable pieces.”

“That will help. We never had to do this before.” Jocelyn takes a drink of her tea and settles back in the comfortable office chair.

“My own mother just told me, and I quote her exact words, ‘who would think a daughter of mine, could stir up such a hornet’s nest in such a short time. And I always thought you to be a quiet child, how wrong I was.’ What do you think of that?”

“She is right Jocelyn. You did change the life of the village of Erieau. Our world is changing. Have you heard anything new from Inez?”

“Yes, “Inez told me it would likely be a few days before Bernard comes to town. She said that he would know it was a trap, but the greed of money would bring him back to dig up the buried treasure. I hope she is right.

“Police are in Erieau looking for him. Inez is good at changing her disguise. Sam and Inez are in and out of the art room several times a day. They say that they are mingling with the tourist coming to Erieau.”

Marvel says, “They are doing more than that. Officer Sam Dryer (alias Allen) just about got himself arrested this morning.”

“Why would they arrest a police officer?”

“By eating muffins and drinking milk at Stella’s Tearoom before it is open for business.”

“This should be a good one. Nothing that happens here in Erieau will surprise me again. Tell me what happened.”

Marvel starts to laugh. Pearl pokes her head in, “What’s so funny?”

“Pearl, do you have a few minutes? I would like to hear the story of this morning’s activity from your point of view.”

“Do you mean about Officer Sam Dryer?”

“Yes,” Marvel tells her, “I never thought to tell you and the other staff about the Police officers staying in the art room.”

Pearl tells them, “I came to work a half hour ahead of schedule because my father was going out on the lake fishing. I panicked when I saw this hoodlum sitting at the table eating a muffin and drinking a glass of milk.

“I was afraid to move, what if he saw me? I ever so slowly edged myself behind the big brown cupboard so I would be out of sight. I stood quietly. The burglar walked into the storage room. I ran over and slammed the door behind him. I turned the key in the lock and put a chair under the handle, so that he could not get out. That is when you walked in, Marvel.”

“It is lucky I came to work early. Pearl was standing there jumping up and down pointing to the storage room. She said, ‘uh, uh, burglar locked in the storage room. Call the police.’”

“I asked her to describe the burglar, and she described Sam.

“I had to do some fast explaining. I told Pearl that Sam was the police.”

Pearl says, “I didn’t believe you at first. I thought you had gone bonkers. I let Sam out of the storage room. He showed me his badge. The funny part of the story is; I went to school with Officer Sam Dryer. He used to pull my pigtails when I was five.”

Jocelyn says, “You have to be kidding.”

Pearl says, “I tried to apologize. He told me that I could make it up by going out to lunch with him when the police solved the case.”

Jocelyn laughs, “Now we have another story to add to our archives. What should we call this one, “The adventures in Erieau, or the tale of the pulled pigtails?” That one is a tall tale if you ask me.”

They all laugh. Pearl sits and joins them for a cup of tea.

Marvel tells Jocelyn, “I have taken the staff over to the art room, and introduced them to Sam and Inez. I know they can be trusted. Now we have more eyes looking for the man with the scar and no left thumb. I think it is going to be an interesting weekend.”

Pearl tells them, “I look at the face and left hand of all the men I see.” She takes the dirty dishes and heads for the kitchen.

Marvel asks, “Have you been able to translate any more of the papers, or find out anything more about the bottle on your computer Jocelyn?”

“No, this week has been like a whirlwind. I hope to find time this afternoon. You saved me a lot of time by giving me the information about the bottle being a Jewish tear bottle. I told mom, Norma and Inez what you told me about the tear bottles.”

Keep me informed Jocelyn. I have to get back to work.”

Jocelyn returns to Amelia’s place. She is tired so she has a nap.

~~~~~~

When Jocelyn gets up, she types an email to Bradley, and tells him about the mix up between Pearl and his partner Sam. She tells him that Erieau is not the quiet place that she remembered as a little girl.

Jocelyn sits back and thinks about all that had taken place in the past few weeks. “I thank You God for blessing me with a loving mother and family. Thank You for all my friends.”

She opens up the yellow folder and types some words into the Polish translator. This is what she gets back.

 

The nurse said she would hide my baby in a container strapped under the stretcher in an ambulance tomorrow. I get to hold you one more night Bohdana. The liquid you see in this tear bottle are the tears I have wept tonight. They mingle with the tears I wept when the soldiers took your grandfather and father out and shot them. You are all I have left. Why God, Why? You called us your chosen people, and we are all dying. I might never see you again my daughter. I love you Bohdana.

 

Jocelyn weeps. She says to herself as she holds up the picture of the tear bottle on the paper. I think I could fill the tear bottle myself.

She decides to read some more from the doctor. She types some words from the yellow pages into the Polish translator.

 

Warsaw June 15 1942

I delivered a stillborn baby this morning. I have delivered many stillborn babies, but this was different. This was my daughter. My wife does not know that the baby that was growing inside her has died. She is still sleeping. How will I tell her that the evidence of our love is dead?

My nurse told me that she was part of a network that smuggled children out of the ghettoes of the Jewish settlement. She would be riding in the ambulance that was bringing a Jewish baby girl from the ghettos that afternoon. She said that she would wash the baby and dress her in the clothes my wife made for our baby. She said to me, ‘When your wife wakes, she will be holding a baby in her arms. She will never know it is not her baby. Go home and bury your daughter.’

I went home and buried my daughter under the oak tree in our backyard. No one except the nurse and I will ever know the truth about the unmarked grave. The nurse said that the baby’s mother called her Bohdana. I like the name and to honour the birth mother, I will keep it.

 

Warsaw November 13 1944

There was an air raid last night and my nurse is dead. Only God and I share the secret that my baby girl died. When will this war end? I do not hate the Jews. I never have. Some of my closest friends were Jews.

Hitler and his evil ideas poisoned the hearts and souls of the German people. Most of my Jewish friends are dead or in consecration camps. A friend told me that Dawid Troki and his father in-law are dead.

I wipe the tears from my face. I hold a glass chess player made by Dawid. I would go and play chess with Dawid on Mondays. Why God, he was such a gifted man when it came to glass blowing. He was my friend.

My daughter Bohdana, the little Jewish baby who replaced my deceased daughter, is Dawid Troki’s daughter. I love Bohdana. I will raise her as my own.

My wife loves Bohdana. She calls her Dana for short.

 

Jocelyn cries enough to fill two tear bottles. This is harder than I thought. I know mom said not to phone unless it was an emergency. This is an emergency.

I will drive out to her place. I need to feel the arms of my mother, the woman who carried me under her heart for nine months, to be reassured that everything will be all right.

Jocelyn gets into her van and drives to her mother’s home. She falls into Isabel’s arms. She reads the papers that Jocelyn hands to her. They both weep.

Isabel makes some sandwiches for supper then pours two cups of strong tea. They sit and talk about what went on during the war.

Her mother tells her, “I have heard stories from my friends whose parents were in Europe during the Second World War. The people went through so much. Some of them cannot talk about it.

“It will be hard to find Bohdana. I read where people changed their names when they arrived in Canada. They did not want people to know where they came from. Sometimes the clerks doing the paperwork wrote out the name like it sounded and made a mistake in the spelling.”

“I agree. I feel God wants me to find baby Bohdanaand if possible, her mother also. I want to return the silver box, tear bottle and the last letters that her mother wrote to her.

“God knows where she is. The Bible says that God knits us together in our mother’s womb. If He knitted Bohdana in her mother’s womb, He knows her address today.

“God please help me find Bohdana. I know it will have to be a miracle. You know where she is…”

“I will pray for you to find Bohdana, Jocelyn. It is getting late, and the doctor said you should take it easy for a few more days.”

Jocelyn gives her mother a hug. “I love you. Thank you for coming and taking care of me when I needed you.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn is listening to her CD on her way home. When the Song, I Believe comes on, she pulls over at the side of the road by McGeachy Pond. Fresh tears begin to pour down her cheeks.

When the song is finished and the tears are wiped away, Jocelyn says, “I believe that God heard Bohdana when she cried as a baby. I read about how her mother felt, and saw the bottle of tears she cried after she gave her baby to the nurse. I cannot imagine the suffering Bohdana’s mother went through after the loss of her baby.”

Jocelyn looks out on the water to see if there are any blue heron. A beautiful white bird stands graciously in the water not more than twenty feet away. Its long slender neck points up to heaven. It is a great white egret. “Instead of sending me a blue heron God, you sent me a white egret.”

“Thank You God. I have been going through a rough time the past few weeks. Today was extra hard. I read the story about what happened to baby Bohdana and her mother. My heart is breaking.

“I feel that you are asking me to find Bohdana, but I do not know where to begin. I have been praying for You to help me. You not only sent me a blue heron in my times of need today when I needed extra encouragement, You sent me a white heron, an egret.”

Jocelyn snaps several pictures. Without warning, the graceful bird tucks its black legs close to its body, and soars into the heavens. She watches the bird until it becomes a white dot on the horizon.

An inner peace returns to Jocelyn. She will be able to carry on with the assignment that she feels God has given her. Find Bohdana and give her back her mother’s notes and tears. If possible, find Bohdana’s mother.

 

22. The Estate Auction

Jocelyn adds a cupful of Epson salts to her bath to help her cuts heal. She turns up the volume of the CD player and allows the soothing music to take away some of the stress from the past few weeks. She gets into the tub and relaxes.

“God, please help Erieau to heal from the damage done by the people that came to destroy the peace and harmony of this quiet restful village…”

Refiner’s Fire starts to play, and Jocelyn sings along with the words.

When the song is through, she says, “I desire to be more holy.” Jocelyn lies back in the tub and relaxes. “I have read about how pure gold is made. I want to have a pure heart, but sometimes, like last week, the heat becomes too hot. I want to serve You and become more like Jesus.

“I feel I have been in the refiner’s fire this week. Help me to look at myself through Your eyes and see what it is You want me to change in my life. I want You to see the reflection of Your Son smiling back at You when you search my heart. I love You God.”

The bath water starts to cool, so she gets out and dries her hair. She removes several little pieces of glass from her scalp. “I guess I will have this scar on my head and hand to remind me of the day the bullet came through the window.

“Jesus has two scars in His hands to remind me of how He sacrificed His life for me. Not many people are lucky enough to say they were shot in the head with a bullet and lived to tell the story.”

Jocelyn goes to the kitchen and makes a light breakfast. She tells Freddy “I will not be home until late because I am going to an estate auction in Dresden.”

Her friends, Pearl and Nettie arrive.

Pearl asks, “How are you feeling Jocelyn?”

“I am getting better. I love auctions. There is always so much excitement. No one knows how much anything will cost. It is as if there is electricity in the room once the bidding starts. Do I hear a hundred dollars, a hundred and one, a hundred and five? Do I hear a hundred and twenty six? Going once, going twice.” Jocelyn laughs, “Sold to the man wearing the green hat, holding number seventy five.”

Nettie says, “You must be feeling better Jocelyn. It is good to hear you laugh again.”

Jocelyn says, “We have had so many unpleasant things happen in the past few weeks. I jump every time I hear a loud noise. The cuts have healed, and I am not getting any more headaches. I have tried to think about the good in people.”

Pearl says, “It will take time for you to get over the fear. My brother was home on leave for a month. He dove under the table several times when there was a loud noise. It was a natural reaction after spending months dodging bullets in Afghanistan.”

Nettie says, “We did have something wonderful happen. My brother Stanley and Amelia were married two weeks ago, and it was a beautiful wedding.”

They all agree.

Nettie stops at a red light and says, “I heard from Amelia and Stanley. The email said their group taught fifty people; from twenty-five different villages how to build Keyhole gardens at a church conference. They gave out bags of top soil and several varieties of heirloom seeds.”

Pearl asks, “Why do they need to use heirloom seeds?”

Jocelyn answers, “Bernie told me when he helped me build my garden, that if the seed was hybrid, I would not be able to save them to plant the following year. Most, if not all hybrid plants, if regrown will not be the same as the original plant. The people in poor countries would not have enough money to buy more seeds so they would want to save their seeds from year to year.”

Pearl is excited. “My mother plants her potatoes from seed potatoes. She told me that the original potatoes came over with her great grandparents from Ireland before the potato blight in 1835. She always puts aside a potato sack filled with small potatoes in the fall. After they start to sprout eyes in the spring, she cuts them up and plants them. She also has some beans, corn, peas and other vegetable seeds that she dries in the fall to plant in the spring.”

Nettie says, “Amelia told me that the people they train, will go back to teach their village and some of the surrounding villages how to grow food for their starving families. Think of all the good that is going on in the world. In a few months, hundreds of villages in the mountain area of Ecuador will have all the food they need. That is what I call a miracle.”

Pearl asks, “What are you planning to buy at the auction Jocelyn?”

Jocelyn says, “The advertisement said that they had an all-wood farmhouse rocking chair. It did not say what kind of wood it was, or what shape it was in.”

They arrive at the auction in plenty of time to get their number and walk around the room. Jocelyn sees that the rocking chair is in pieces, from neglect. Her friends help her tip the seat of the chair over so she can find the markings. Jocelyn looks at the sticker and reads.

Victorian Yorkshire

Oak farmhouse rocking chair

40 inches tall

22 inches across

She opens a dirty old envelope in the bottom of the box and reads the paper inside. It has a black-and-white drawing of the rocking chair and the original bill of sale. The number on the side of the box is 65. She reads some words in small print.

All the Parts Are In the Box

Nothing Is Broken

Jocelyn tells her friends. “I want to buy this rocking chair for my mother’s birthday.”

They shake their heads. Nettie says, “It is a piece of junk.”

Pearl says, “I would love to see it when it is cleaned and put back together.”

“I will invite the two of you over when I am finished restoring it. I have to buy it first.”

Nettie says, “Don’t worry; no one will be bidding against you.”

The women continue to walk around the room. Jocelyn sees other pieces that she would like to bid on, if the price is right. Pearl and Nellie say that they will hold a seat for her. Jocelyn thanks them before going over to speak with several antique dealers.

The auctioneer comes to the podium and announces, “The auction will be starting in five minutes.”

Jocelyn is the highest bidder for some of the articles she wants. The auctioneer comes to box number 65. He has his helper hold up some of the parts of the old rocking chair.

Not too many people bid on the chair because it is in pieces and dirty. It doesn’t look like it is worth anything. Jocelyn, who repairs antique furniture, knows better and is pleased when she has the highest bid for the chair.

Jocelyn tells Pearl and Nellie, “Now I have a rocking chair that I can refinish for my mother’s birthday.”

When the auction is over, they pay for what they have bought and head back to Erieau.

Nellie says, “I am looking forward to the Summer Sisters picnic at Seagull Island on August eighth. Amelia and Stanley will be back.”

Pearl tells them, “I will take anyone to the island in Fishful Thinking that wants to go. Some of the men will take families over in their boats also.”

Nettie turns towards Jocelyn. “Are we going to have a treasure hunt this year?”

Jocelyn says, “No, I have prepared a fun family activity for the afternoon already. It will have nothing to do with metal detectors. No more treasure hunts for me. My last treasure hunt nearly cost me my life.

“I go for the good food and to visit with my family and friends. They are all the treasure I ever want.”

Nettie says, “That is a wise choice Jocelyn. You sure opened up a can of worms when you dug up that pile of treasure.” She backs up to the shop behind Stella’s store. Nettie and Pearl remove Jocelyn’s boxes and places them on a table in the corner.

Pearl looks in the box and picks up an arm of the rocker, “I hope you know what you are doing Jocelyn. The rocking chair looks like a pile of junk to me.”

Jocelyn smiles, “That is because you can’t see beneath the grime. When I am finished, this pile of what you call junk will be worth three times what I paid for it. I will let you know when the true beauty is revealed, so you can come and admire it.”

Nettie shakes her head and says, “I will believe it when I see it.”

Pearl agrees, “If it doesn’t work you can always use it for firewood. I will bring the marshmallows.”

Pearl and Nettie get into the van, and Nettie says, “See you later; it has been a fun day.” She heads for the marina to drop Pearl off at her houseboat, Fishful Thinking.

 

23. Bottles of Gods Tear Drops

The village of Erieau is quiet once more. Jocelyn goes and talks to Inez.

Inez tells her, “Nothing new is happening with the investigation. Sometimes we spend weeks helping with a joint investigation like this one. It is hard when we have to give up without solving the case.

“We have to have a lot of patience and having a good book to read helps.”

Jocelyn tells her, “Amelia has several good books written by her friend Emily. You will find them on the end table in the art room. She writes inspirational stories.”

Inez replies, “I am not much for religious stuff. I went to church when I was younger, but got nothing out of it. I quit when I went off to college. My family are all Christians. Mom keeps telling me that my family prays for me every day.

“I prayed for you and Bradley the night you were shot. I felt something special that night, like a peace came over me. It could have been from the shock of what was going on. I will have to think about it.”

“This is different Inez, Emily writes from her heart. They are true-life experiences. I read one the other day called Treasures in Heaven. I can truthfully say that I used several tissues to wipe away my tears.”

“I might pick one up and read it Jocelyn. I have a lot of time on my hands.”

Jocelyn gets up, “I need to go to work for a few hours. I will be praying for you.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn prays for Inez on her way to the antique store. “God, please touch Inez’s heart and help her feel Your love. Teach her the truth about Jesus…”

She chats with the new girl who they hired through Community Living. “Sorry about what happened last week Fern. The village of Erieau is not usually like that. How do you like your job?”

“I love it,” Fern picks up a Royal Doulton figurine of a ballet dancer and wipes away the dust, before setting it on the freshly waxed end table.

Jocelyn takes Lois into the office and asks her, “How is Fern doing?”

“She is a hard worker. She is good with numbers and knows how to run the cash register and give the correct change. She is a bit nervous when a new customer comes in. What do you expect, after what happened last Wednesday?”

“That is good to know. Keep me informed if there are any changes. Thank you for all your help while I was hurt.”

Jocelyn chats with her staff. Sharon tells her, “I sent for Fern several times. She clears the tables and even waits on customers. That was a good idea you had when you hired her.”

“My friend from Chatham told me about JOBWORX, a program that works with employers who hire individuals that have an intellectual disability.

“Fern is a perfect match for us because she lives in Erieau.” Jocelyn gets a glass of apple juice and a morning glory muffin.

“I have a lot of paper work to do Sharon, and will be working in the office if anyone needs me. I am behind in the bookkeeping, because of my injuries.”

Jocelyn finishes the payroll and faxes the information to the bookkeeper. It is more complicated because of all the extra help they needed during the crisis.

She grabs some lunch and goes out to sit in the side-by-side swing. When she is finished eating, she takes the dishes back to the kitchen and returns to her office. She spends a few more hours bringing the invoices up to date. When she is through, she decides to find out more about Bohdana Troki.

Jocelyn starts to type when the phone rings. It is the bookkeeper. She says, “I need the social security numbers for some of the people who came to help you last week. I cannot send them a pay check without this information.”

“I will phone them and get back to you.”

Jocelyn phones her friends and they do not want to be paid. Jocelyn finally gives up and phones her bookkeeper. They agree to talk to Amelia about sending the wages to a charity.

It is too late to work on the computer, so Jocelyn goes home. I will go for a walk. Maybe Norma would like to come with me.

Jocelyn phones, “Is that you Norma.”

“Yes.”

“I am going for a walk along the beach. Do you and Sugar Baby want to go?”

“We would love to come.”

“Good, I will be there in ten minutes. We can grab a hot dog on the way and maybe have an ice cream cone later.”

Fifteen minutes later, Norma and Jocelyn are trying to eat a loaded hotdog without wearing it down the fronts of their blouses. The man that served them says, “I dropped a hot dog on the ground. Would your dog like it?”

“Thanks, she loves hotdogs.”

Sugar Baby’s tail is wagging as she eats the hot dog. When they are finished, they walk to the beach. It is a beautiful evening. Norma and Jocelyn take their sandals off and splash in the water along the beach.

Mothers and fathers sit on towels watching their children wade in the shallow water by the shore. A group of teenagers play beach volleyball. Several older children jump in the gentle waves. A sailboat glides through the clear blue water. A sandpiper runs along the beach.

Norma has to take a tighter grip on her dog’s leash when they pass some children playing with a beach ball. “No Sugar Baby, I will give you a ball to play with when we get home.”

The gentle waves splash on their suntanned legs. Norma and Jocelyn laugh as they talk about their memories.

They stop and skip a few stones. Norma wins as usual when hers bounces off the surface of the water five times. As they get closer to the pier, they sit on an old log and dry their feet.

Jocelyn says, “I found an engagement ring near here last year.”

“You never told me about it.”

“It must have slipped my mind. A woman phoned and said she had lost a ring on the beach. Our metal detecting club walked up and down the beach for several hours. We were about ready to quit when my detector went off.”

“I always like the thrill I get when my detector goes off Jocelyn?”

“I get the same feeling. I sifted the sand through my shifter and saw a gold diamond ring. I took out my magnifying glass and read the words, “Jim and Glenine, 1974.” I remember jumping up and down shouting with excitement, “I have found the ring.”

“A real diamond ring? That must have been exciting Jocelyn!”

“It was. I was so happy when I gave it back to the owner.” Gerry was our leader at the time. He brought a woman over and said, “This is Glenine Patrick the women who lost her ring.”

“I had tears in my eyes as I told her, “This is your ring Glenine. It says Jim and Glenine 1974.”

“Glenine could not stop crying. She told me that she had the ring on her finger for 36 years. Her husband died the year before and her ring had a lifetime of memories. She offered me a reward.”

“I remember the feeling I had after I told her that my reward was to look into her eyes and see such joy.”

Norma stops and looks around. They walk over and talk to an older man sitting in a lawn chair.

Jocelyn says, “It is a beautiful evening Mr. Russell.”

“That it is, Jocelyn. When will Amelia and her husband be home?”

“I am expecting them on the fourth of August.”

He says, “I love to sit here and watch my grandchildren play in the sand and see the boats go by.”

A boy and a girl run up to him, “Grandpa, grandpa we found a red coloured rock.”

They give it to the older man. He looks at it and tells them, “This is a piece of orange glass. This is the first time I have seen Gods tear drops in orange. Let me see, yes it looks like a tail light from a boat or car. See, some of the lines haven’t been worn off it with time.”

Jocelyn asks him, “Why do you call it Gods tear drops Mr. Russell?”

“My mother used to tell us whenever we found a piece of beach glass, that they were Gods tear drops. Her mother did the same. It is something that has been handed down from generation to generation.”

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a purple piece of glass. “I found this purple glass on the day that my mother died. I have kept it with me for twenty years.”

He hands the beautiful piece of beach glass to Jocelyn, and she holds it up to the sun then passes it to Norma.

Mr. Russell says. “God is so good. He always knows what it is we need to bless us. For me, it was this piece of purple beach glass. For someone else it might be the promise of a rainbow.

“Our family keeps several large clear wine bottles on a shelf in the window of our summer cottage. Each bottle holds the same coloured glass. When the sunlight shines through the coloured glass, it sends a rainbow of colours into the room.

Whenever we come home from the beach, we drop more of glass into the bottles. Each bottle contains years of memories. Some are happy. Some are sad. They are our family’s treasure.”

He takes out a piece of paper and writes an address on it. “Come over some time and I will show you the bottles of God’s tear drops.” He gives the orange beach glass back to his grandchildren before putting the purple one into his pocket. Turning to the children he says, “We need to leave, your mother will be waiting for you.”

The girls say good-bye and watch the children walk beside their grandfather. They walk to the shelter and talk for a while reflecting on what Mr. Russell told them about Gods teardrops.

“Norma it has been a strenuous few weeks. The village of Erieau changed. Unruly people, who only wanted the reward for the buried treasure, invaded our quiet village. They only thought of themselves and did a lot of damage to people’s property.”

“I know, Jocelyn. Most of the sheds were broken into along the beachfront. It was as if everything the intruders saw belonged to them, instead of the rightful owners.”

“I wonder what happens to change people so fast Norma? I spent some time reading what the people did during the Second World War in Poland. It was too emotional so I had to stop reading the documentaries. My heart was broken. A friend turned against their neighbours, families against families. People ended up not being able to trust anyone.”

The girls get up and walk along the road. Jocelyn stops and introduces Norma to some of her friends. They ask Jocelyn how she is feeling.

She tells them, “My head still hurts once in a while where the bullet hit it. My hand and knee have healed.”

One of the women tells her, “It is good to have the peace and quiet back in Erieau.”

A friend tells her. “Jocelyn, if you ever find a stash of buried treasure in Erieau again, you need to bury it right away. Forget where it is. The price we paid when we were invaded by the treasure hunters last week is not worth it.”

“I agree with you. The thought of something for nothing brought out the worst in people. I am sorry for the damage it caused in the village of Erieau. One thing we did learn is; the people who live in Erieau are willing to stand and fight for what they believe is right. A group of us met and prayed asking God to give us peace in Erieau once more and He answered our prayers.”

They drop Sugar Baby off at Norma’s place before walking to the ice cream shop. Norma orders butterscotch ripple, and Jocelyn has moose tracks.

Amelia’s cat is waiting in the hedge for an ice cream cone to fall on the ground. Jocelyn asks the owner, “Has Freddy the Freeloader had any luck today?”

The owner says, “No, most of the parents are ordering ice cream in a cup for their children now.”

“Can I have an extra small vanilla cone please?” Jocelyn gives it to Freddy, “Now are you happy,” she teases. She goes over and sits on the bench with Norma.

They finish their ice cream then walk back to Amelia’s place.

Norma takes a seat in the kitchen and says, “Jocelyn you said you had some more information for me.”

“I do, let me get the yellow folder with the papers, and I will show you.”

The women sit while Jocelyn opens the yellow folder. This is the translation of the mother’s last letter to her daughter.” She hands the piece of paper to Norma.

Norma reads it while Jocelyn goes to her bedroom. When Jocelyn returns, Norma reads some of it aloud.

“Why God, Why? You called us your chosen people, and we are all dying. I might never see you again my daughter. I love you Bohdana.

 

Jocelyn and Norma ponder the last words of love written by the mother to her daughter. They wipe their tears away with a tissue.

“This is so sad Jocelyn. It is hard to believe that this actually happened.”

“It did. I spent a few days looking up what happened to the Jews during the Second World War, in Warsaw. I remember reading about God putting our tears into a bottle. She looks at her notes. It is in Psalm 56:8” Jocelyn opens her Bible.

“Here it is,” she reads,

“You have taken account of my wanderings and put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? (NIV)

“Now I know what God meant, by putting our tears into a bottle Norma. God keeps a record of all our pain and suffering. He understands each tear we shed. He felt the pain of Bohdana’s mother as she cried for the loss of her husband and father with all the other Jews who were starving in the Jewish ghettoes where she lived. She watched her family and friends leave the ghetto when the Germans sent them out to be shot, or to the death camps.”

Jocelyn whispers as tears run down her cheeks, “God, I heard Bohdana’s anguish in her writings. I felt her pain as she wept; God Why did this have to happen?”

The friends sit quietly and talk about what happened to the Jews. Their emotions are heavy. Jocelyn gets up and returns with two glasses of water.

“You have given me a lot of information to think about Jocelyn. I cannot figure out how people can be so cruel. Look at how Erieau changed when someone offered a reward for the lost treasure. Has Inez told you any more about what is going on?”

“She told me not to talk about it Norma.”

“I understand Jocelyn.”

“I have something more for you to read. I translated these two letters from the papers in the envelope. It is from a doctor.”

Norma finishes reading one of the letters from the doctor. She says, “This is sad Jocelyn. This doctor replaces his dead daughter with a baby from the Jewish Ghetto. Only he and his nurse know the truth.

“When his wife wakes, she is holding baby Bohdana in her arms, and she will never know it is not her baby. The father went home and buried his daughter. I wonder what the doctor named this Jewish baby that was not his.”

Jocelyn hands Norma the second paper. She reads about how the nurse died and how the doctor called his baby, Bohdana.

They sit in silence thinking about two mothers. One mother had her baby die while the other mother gave her baby away to save her baby’s life. Norma asks, “Where is baby Bohdana now? What is her name?”

“That is one question that I hope to answer someday, Norma.”

Norma looks at her watch, “I have to get up early for work tomorrow. Come for supper around six on Wednesday and maybe we can go for another walk on the beach.”

“I will do that Norma. See you tomorrow when you get home. I will tell you if I find out anything new.”

“Have a good night.”

Norma leaves, and Jocelyn goes back and gets ready for bed. She picks up Emily’s book and reads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Is God

Today as you draw closer to me, remember, “I am God.” I have heard the cries of the bruised and broken hearted. You, My precious children will have many more trials and tribulations to go through. Your tears are so precious to Me. Each tear is accounted for.

Come to Me each morning before the dew is dry. Pour out your heart. I hear every word that comes from your mouth, even before it is spoken.

My heart feels every hurt before you tell Me about it. I am your father. Just as a loving earthly father picks up his child when they fall, I have sent the arms of My Holy Spirit to hold you.

I sent Jesus my Son to earth for you. The Comforter, My Holy Spirit yearns for you to have inner peace, love and joy. Go to your quiet place. Wrap yourself with a warm comforter and allow the healing power of My Holy Spirit to flow through you.

Raise your voice and declare, “GOD IS GOD”

When the heavy burdens have been removed from your shoulders, your joy will be restored. Peace will be in your heart.

Friday September 2, 2005

Emily

 

Jocelyn gets into bed and wraps herself in her warm comforter. She talks to God about all that has been happening in her life. She feels much better when she turns out the light.

 

24. Removing the Grime of Time

Jocelyn rereads some of the writings from the night before. I sent Jesus my Son to earth for you. The Comforter, My Holy Spirit yearns for you to have inner peace, love and joy. Go to your quiet place. Sit and wrap yourself with a warm comforter and allow the healing power of My Holy Spirit to flow through you.

Thank You Lord for what I read last night. It has helped me feel better.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn goes to the kitchen and feeds Freddy before making her breakfast. When she is through eating, she checks her calendar. It is Friday. She reads a notation, Ben’s retirement party at five o’clock Saturday July 25. That is tomorrow. Where has the week gone?

She slips her phone into her pocket then goes out to the workshop. She looks at the dirty grimy piles of the dismantled rocking chair in the box. She picks up the arm and feels the wood. She tries to visualize in her mind, what it will look like when she is finished cleaning it and putting all the parts together.

“This rocking chair is what mother always wanted. It will be a perfect addition to her new sunroom.”

I will have to pace myself so that I will not get tired. Her cell phone rings. Jocelyn picks it up.

A man’s voice says, “Hello. Is Jocelyn Brooks there?”

“This is Jocelyn. Who is it?”

“This is Bradley. I moved into the cottage around the corner yesterday.”

“How are you feeling Bradley?”

“My arm and leg are hurting. My sister is worse than my officers were while I was in police training. Brad sit, Brad no, Brad do this. Brad, take your pills. Her two daughters are echoing her. I have three women bossing me around. I need to escape.”

“I have an idea Bradley. Let me talk to Claudia please.”

Jocelyn talks for a few minutes and shares her plan. “I will have to check with Kim first and get back to you.”

“Do you think it will work Jocelyn?”

“We can give it a try.”

Twenty minutes later, Kim enters the workshop with Ben. They have carried over one of the comfortable overstuffed lawn recliners from the sunroom.

Ben asks, “Where do you want us to put the recliner Jocelyn?”

“Over by the window would be good. Thank you for helping me.”

Ben says, “I have to get back to work.” He walks over to the Guild’s building joined to Stella’s place and enters through the back door.

Kim asks, “How are you feeling Jocelyn? I hope you are not going to overdo it.”

“My hand is healed; I am fine. I will put a piece of rocker in the wood clamp and only use my good hand while I work. I plan on stopping when I get tired.”

A red van with a wheelchair lift backs into the driveway and stops in front of the work shed behind Stella’s Antiques. Claudia gets out and gives Jocelyn a hug.

Jocelyn introduces Kim. “Claudia this is Kim, and as I mentioned earlier, Kim is a retired registered nurse and will be at the Guild if we need her.” Jocelyn points to the building behind her.

“It is nice to meet you Kim. It gives me great pleasure to turn my brother, Officer Bradley Hornsby, Brad for short over to your care.” She winks at Jocelyn. “Maybe the two of you can get him to lay back and take it easy since I can’t.”

Kim says, “Brad will be good for me. My staff all called me a drill sergeant behind my back in the army hospital. I was the matron responsible for all the nurses in training. My life changed when I married Ben. I will threaten to send for my recruits if he doesn’t obey.”

The three of them start to laugh. “Thanks for helping Kim. This should be a fun morning. Wait until I tell mother about you. It will give me time to run the girls into Chatham and visit their grandparents. Here is my cell phone number if you need me.”

The women are laughing when they go to the van and get Bradley. He asks, “What is so funny?”

His sister teases. “I would like to introduce you to your nurse for the afternoon, and you think I was bossy. This is Retired Drill Sergeant, Kim Rose.”

Brad tries to join in the laughter then puts his hand to his ribs. He is tender from having two bullets hit his bulletproof vest.

The women help Bradley out of the wheelchair and settle in the reclining lawn chair. His sister helps him put his arm on a pillow, and covers him with a light throw with a picture of a dog on it. “Now be good Bradley if you want to come again,” she teases. She gives him an affectionate peck on his cheek.

Kim says, “We are having a surprise retirement party on Saturday for my husband Ben, the Erieau Fire Chief. Claudia, you and Bradley are invited if you want to come.”

Claudia says, “I would love to come.”

“Good. I am looking forward to seeing you there. I will have someone bring this chair over so Bradley will have a comfortable place to sit.”

Kim goes back to work as the van pulls out of the driveway.

~~~~~~

“That was cute Jocelyn. Retired Drill Sergeant Kim?”

“Kim wasn’t kidding Bradley. She was a Matron in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and worked in a veteran’s hospital at one time. Her staff used to call her a drill sergeant behind her back.”

Jocelyn and Bradley talk about how God spared their lives.

“God has been good to the both of us Jocelyn. Our families could have gone to our funerals. I keep thanking God for being with us.”

“I feel the same way Bradley. I prayed, read my devotions and went to church on Sundays before someone shot me. It is different now. I have become closer to God. I want to learn more about His love.”

“I have similar feelings Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn pulls a white index card out of her pocket. “I started to paraphrase a scripture during my devotion in the morning. I write it on these index cards and put them in my pocket. When I think about the scripture, I pull it out and reread it. This way, I can ponder the words in my heart.”

Jocelyn looks at the white index card she is holding and reads.

Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the LORD, and He listened to me and heard my cry.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay and he set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. (NIV)

Brad says, “That is a promise that we both need to remember. The two of us were in the miry pit of destruction when the bullets were shot at us.”

“That’s true Bradley. It was a narrow escape for both of us. God has other plans for our lives. I need to start working. The preparation of Amelia and Stanley’s wedding, along with being laid up for a few days, has put me behind. We can talk while I work.”

Jocelyn puts a rubber glove on her good hand and an old work glove on her injured hand to protect them. She sits on a stool, next to the rocking chair. “Watch what happens when I pour some of this orange oil on a cloth and rub the wood with it.”

The scent of orange oil fills the air as she starts to rub the back of the chair. Soon the place she is rubbing looks as new as the day the original owner bought it.

“Why do you use orange oil Jocelyn?”

“It enhances the depth and beauty of the wood grain and does not dry out the wood as I clean it. As I remove the grime, you will see the true sheen of the wood shining through. This rocking chair has been neglected in someone’s attic for years.”

“Jocelyn, you are right when you said it is old and neglected. It is just a box of scrap wood pieces. Several of the spindles have come loose and are missing.”

“It is more than that to me Bradley. All the pieces are in the box. Nothing is missing and they are not broken. I will glue them all together when I am finished with the cleaning. While I work, I think about the mother who rocked her crying baby to sleep in the rocking chair.I always wonder about the history of the furniture I buy. If only some of the pieces I own could speak and tell me about the life of their previous owners.”

“That is an unusual way of thinking about it, Jocelyn.” Brad sits back and relaxes. The shop has lots of windows and a skylight, so Jocelyn can see the sun reflecting on her work. She has to be careful with her left hand as she moves the piece of wood around.

Brad smiles as he watches. She has a passion and love for her work.

Jocelyn grins, “I remember what my friend and I were talking about the other day. I cannot get the words out of my mind, ‘Removing the Grime of Time’. We were comparing the words, removing the grime from furniture with orange oil and healing our past using prayers.

“Let me show you what I mean Bradley. Look at the arm of this old rocking chair. Most people only see grime and dirt.”

“It is dirty Jocelyn.”

“Yes it is. Watch what happens when I rub orange oil into the wood. As you notice it brings the piece of wood back to life.”

“When people look at someone who is downtrodden, all they see is the sin in their lives. If we start to help that person by praying for them and teaching them about the love of God, Jesus will be able to start to shine in them. In time, their light will start to shine into a hurting world.”

“That’s an amazing concept Jocelyn. Sometimes, when I am investigating a crime scene, all I can see is the grime. I never thought to pray for the bad person, only the victim of the crime.”

“It takes a lot of work to refinish a soiled piece of furniture Bradley. I will spend hours sanding it with fine steel wool and rubbing the grime from this rocking chair with soft rags. I will throw away the dirty rags. It says in the Bible that our lives are like filthy rags. God wants to remove our filthy rags so people can see our beauty.”

Brad says, “I remember reading in Revelations; I think it was in chapter three, where it says that everyone who overcomes will be clothed in white garments; and that Jesus will not erase their name from the book of life. Jesus will confess their name before His Father God and God’s angels.”

“It is Jesus, who removes our dirty rags, Bradley. He washes us clean in his shed blood. When we are ready, He will clothe us in a new white garment.”

Soon the room fills with not only the scent of the sweet orange oil, but the sweet, sweet Spirit of God. Their hearts begin to heal.

Jocelyn stops working. She goes over to the radio and turns it up, so she can hear the words. “This is one of my favorite songs. She starts to sing, Here I Am to Worship.

When the song is over Bradley says, “That is the same way I feel when I listen to one of my favorite songs. Sometimes when the song is over, I have to turn the radio off and pray.”

Bradley pauses as thoughts of what took place in the past few days overwhelms him, and he begins to cry.

Jocelyn removes her gloves and gently puts her hand on his shoulder. “Do you want to talk about it Bradley?” She grabs a clean rag from the shelf and hands it to him.

“Yes Jocelyn. When the robber shot me, I felt the presence of God as I lay on the sandy beach badly wounded. My blood was seeping out of me and dripping into the sand.

“I was gasping for breath. Two bullets hit my bulletproof vest. I felt like several ribs were broken. I started to panic. Then I remembered some of the scriptures my Sunday school teacher had taught us. She would have us recite new scriptures every week

“Several different lines from scriptures kept going through my mind.

“My teacher printed the words and laminated them on a card, so they would fit into our pockets. It is about The Full Armour of God, from Ephesians 6: I memorized it.”

He gives the card to Jocelyn and she reads it.

Protection from your Protector

Put the full armour of God on and never take it off.

Always be covered with the helmet of salvation. People are always whispering lies, and this helmet will protect your mind.

The breastplate of righteous living will do you no good if you take it off when you want to go and sin.

 

Bradley interrupts, “I remembered how my drill sergeant said; always wear your bulletproof vest every time you leave the police station. I know it is cumbersome and is uncomfortable when you are sitting in the hot sun, but it might save your life someday.”

“I am glad you were wearing it the day you got shot.” Jocelyn continues reading,

When you talk to someone, have the shoes of peace on your feet so you are not tempted to kick them when their back is turned. I am talking about gossip.

When you speak, remember the belt of truth. Your heavenly father does have eyes in the back of his head and can even hear when you whisper a lie.

Remember, Jesus is your shield of faith and that He will protect you from all that the enemy throws at you. Jesus will extinguish the fiery darts sent your way. They cannot hurt you.

You have one more powerful weapon. Use it wisely my friend. It is the Sword of the Spirit. Always keep it sharp by reading my words from the scriptures and listen to good spiritual uplifting music. Take the letter S from the word sword, and you have word. When you sharpen the edge of the word, with scripture, my word becomes sharper.

 

“That is beautiful Bradley. Could you make me a copy of it? I would like to give it to my Sunday school class.”

“You teach Sunday school?”

“Yes, and I love it. I like to use object lessons with the children. I teach eight and nine-year-old boys.”

“Protection from your Protector would make a good object lesson Jocelyn. I can picture you, coming into your Sunday school class wearing a football helmet with a baseball catcher’s vest. Let me see, you could use golf shoes. My nephews have swords they bought at the dollar store. You likely have a belt, and you could make a shield out of cardboard and foil.”

“I might just do that Bradley.”

Jocelyn walks over to the bench and picks up a scrap of old maple wood that is even dirtier than the rocking chair. “I plan on using this dirty piece of wood for an object lesson someday.

“I like to buy old center extensions to antique tables that people are throwing out. I cut them up and turn them into all kinds of toys.”

She picks up a maple yo-yo from a shelf. “My cousins Amelia and Stan took several of these yo-yos to the orphanage, where they went for their honeymoon.

“I make a new toy for all the boys in my class for Christmas. You can have this maple yo-yo Bradley.”

She hands it to Brad, and he puts it in his pocket. “Thanks, I will treasure it.”

“I have to get back to work. The rocking chair is for my mother’s birthday. She always wanted one.”

The sun is high in the sky when Pearl brings them a tray of sandwiches and something to drink. “I have been helping Kim make food for Ben’s surprise retirement party.”

Jocelyn introduces Pearl to Bradley. They talk about what happened to Erieau.

Pearl excuses herself, “I have to get back to work. I will see the two of you tomorrow at the party.”

Claudia returns and takes Bradley home. Jocelyn locks the shed and goes to Amelia’s place. She is tired, so she takes a shower and lays down on the recliner in the sunroom.

 

25. Surprise, Surprise

Kim calls her husband into the house. “Ben I need some groceries from Blenheim. Would you be so kind and drive Katelyn and the children to the store for me?” She gives him an extra-long grocery list. “Thank you.”

Ben looks at the list and shakes his head.

Kim reassures him, “It is alright. I plan to have a few friends over for supper. It is summer, and we never know who will be dropping in to visit.”

Ben and Katelyn load the children into the car. Katelyn runs back into the house to get the grocery bags. “What time do you want me to bring Dad home, Mother?”

“Try to keep him away until five fifteen. I am having the guest park at the marina and down on Mariners Road by the beach so Ben won’t see their cars.”

As soon as the car is out of sight, Kim rushes over to the fire hall. She need not have worried. The planning committee has everything under control. The tables are set up in the back of the building out of sight. The coolers full of food are sitting on a table in the shade.

Kim walks around greeting her friends and family. The specially invited guests start to show up around four thirty. She sends them into the library to talk with the head of the planning committee. For once in her life, she can sit back and let other people do the work.

Randal brings the special chair for Officer Bradley and puts it under a tree in the shade. Bradley arrives, and Jocelyn joins him.

“I enjoyed myself yesterday Jocelyn, and if I promise to be good, will you invite me back to watch you work?”

“I would like that Bradley. I will phone you the next time I work on the chair.”

“They are getting me an electric mobility scooter to use when I am stronger. I will be able to get around better.”

They sit and talk about their family and friends. The Chatham Police Chief stops by and talks with Bradley.

Shortly after five, Kim’s phone rings. “Mother, we are turning onto Erieau road. I wanted to let you know that we will be home in ten minutes.”

Kim tells the guest, “That was my daughter on the phone. Ben is on his way.”

The crowds of people hide in the fire station. Everyone waits with anticipation for the arrival of Ben. A car pulls into the driveway.

“Dad, could you take some of this ice cream into the fire hall and put it into the freezer for mother. Your freezer at home is full.”

Ben gets out of the car, grabs the bag and heads for the fire hall. He opens the door, to shouts of “Surprise Ben, Happy Retirement.”

All the firefighters have dressed in their uniforms. They take him to the back room where his dress uniform is on a hanger, waiting for him to put on.

When he is ready, they escort Ben to the reception line. The Chief of Police and Fire Chief from Chatham await him. Representatives from the local, provincial, and federal government shake his hand. Several newspapers along with television stations are taking pictures.

This is Ben’s big day. After fifty years of volunteering as a firefighter, he will retire. He will not have to get up when the fire alarm sounds. He can try to go back to sleep… fat chance of that happening. Ben might not be able to fight the fires or rescue people, however he can still watch his friends and pray for them.

After the barbecue is over, the speeches begin. Dedrick says, “The volunteer fire department from Erieau went out in a bad storm last year. They save my wife and nephew and your friend Amelia’s life. My boat was about to sink. We were ready to jump overboard with our raft when you arrived.”

The villagers thank Ben’s wife Kim for the endless days and nights she anxiously waited for Ben to come home. For all the meals, she had to throw in the garbage, and all the parties she had to go to alone too. They give her some airplane tickets so they can take a well-deserved trip.

Kim gets up and tells one of her stories. “We were on our way to a party near Blenheim, and I had an Earthquake Cake on my lap. It had a gooey pecan pie filling in the middle. The recipe said that when you serve a slice of cake, it would shake on the plate like an earthquake.

“Ben’s phone rang when we were on Erieau road, near the pond. He told me, ‘There is a fire reported just a few miles away. The fire trucks will meet me there. Hold on to your cake.’

“He forgot to tell me about the curves let alone the speed. When we finally arrived at the party, the guests were clearing the table. I smelt like smoke. The earthquake cake, need I say more. The pudding cake did taste good.”

They all stand and applaud Kim for the years she spent in service and sacrifice to Ben and the village of Erieau.

The new Fire Chief reads a letter from Amelia’s husband, Stanley.

 

Dear Ben,

I am sorry that I could not be there to give this speech in person but I thought my honeymoon more important. If it were not for you Ben, I would not have lived to go on a honeymoon. I would have died in a fire. You risked your life to save me.

When I was nine years old, you dragged me out of a burning cottage. Your good friend Oliver perished in the fire while he tried to rescue me. My younger brother Kirk died in the fire that night also. You stayed at my side pouring healing solutions on my body to stop the pain until the ambulance and helicopter arrived.

I can remember you praying for me with tears running down your face. Your last words to me before they lifted me into the helicopter were; Jesus loves you, and that you would keep praying for me. You gave me your whistle and told me to hold on to it through all the pain. You even visited me in the hospital on several occasions and brought me a firefighter’s hat.

I still wear the whistle around my neck to remind me of you and your love. I blew the whistle while I was going through agonizing pain in the burn unit. The nurses stuffed it with cotton if I blew it too loud. Your firefighter’s hat hangs on the wall in my office to remind me of your love.

Thank You Ben

Stanley Vander Woerd

 

Stacks of other letters sit on a corner table. Ben and Kim promise to read them when they get home.

Several guests talk to Ben and share their personal stories with him, “You might not remember me, but you saved my life.”

“It was twenty years ago, and I had given up hope and you came and talked with me.”

The party is over and the cleanup crew starts to put everything away.

Jocelyn says good-bye to Bradley and promises to get together with him soon.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn has a good laugh with her mother on the way home. “Mom, they ended up with five plates of deviled eggs. Wait until I tell Amelia. I guess no one wanted to take a chance of us not having any. No one brought deviled eggs to the Canada Day celebration.”

Inez greets them when they get home.

Isabel excuses herself and says, “I will see you at church in the morning Jocelyn. I am getting tired.” She gets in her carand drives away.

Inez tells Jocelyn, “Erieau has been quiet tonight.”

Jocelyn tells her. “It wasn’t quiet at Ben’s Retirement Party. Most of the people had a good cry when they heard the gut-wrenching stories of how Ben’s kindness saved their lives, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. He would go and visit them in the hospital and pray with them.

“A drunk driver, who hit a tree, told how Ben came to the hospital and encouraged him to join AA and get his life in order. He was eighteen at the time.

“On his second visit Ben brought two young men from AA with him to talk with him. The man said that he never took another drink. It was forty-five years ago. He is a grandfather and a principal at a school.”

Inez wipes a tear away. “That was my grandfather. I have known Ben all my life, but could not let on because of working undercover. Ben saved my grandfather from alcohol addiction that night. His father and most of his relations ended up being alcoholics. Only God knows how many people Ben has helped.”

Jocelyn and Inez talk for a while. Inez’s phone rings, so she goes to the art room where she can talk in private.

Jocelyn gives Freddy a scoop of food and some fresh water then goes back to her bedroom and gets ready for bed. Her knee is hurting. It is tender where the doctor removed the stitches. She runs her fingers down where the scar is and feels something sharp. She gets a pair of tweezers and removes a sliver of glass. “That feels better. The doctor did say that I would find glass for a while.”

Jocelyn thinks about how her friends, Ben and Kim, have set such a good example to their family and all the people in Erieau and around the surrounding area. She opens her Bible and reads Proverbs 3. She thinks of the words, and tears flow down her face.

Jocelyn writes in her Journal.

Trusting in the Lord

Proverbs 3:1-4 paraphrased

Jocelyn, never forget what I have taught you.

Store my commands in your heart.

If you do this Jocelyn, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you Jocelyn!

Tie them around your neck as a reminder.

Write them deep within your heart.

Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. (NIV)

 

“God we celebrated the life of a special man today. I also know we celebrated the life of the woman who loves that man.

“Ben sacrificed his life on more than one occasion to rescue someone from a fire, car accident or drowning in a storm when a boat was going to sink. Your Son Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross so that we might live.

“God, Ben and Kim are happy and well-loved because they found wisdom and understanding. They never were dishonest, but lived for You Jesus.

“They touched the lives and hearts of the people they befriended. It is better than any profit they could get in the bank. It is worth more than all the gold, jewels and silver that is buried somewhere here in Erieau.

“This is the kind of treasure which they can take to heaven when they die. God, You look at them and smile, when You say, well done my good and faithful servant.

“Thank You God for watching over me all my life and sending me such a wonderful mother and friends.

“I haven’t forgotten Bohdana. God, You know where she is today. Please bless her.”

Jocelyn turns her CD player on and listens to some quiet music, as she falls asleep.

 

26 Faith is the Opposite of Fear

Freddy wakes Jocelyn up at eight o’clock on Sunday morning and Jocelyn put the pillow over her head. She tells the cat, “I have lots of time, let me sleep for fifteen more minutes.” It is no use so she has a quick shower and gets ready for church.

She feeds the cat then walks over to the Eau-Buoy Galley in Erieau where Sharon and Nettie sit at the table waiting for her. They order breakfast and talk about Ben’s surprise party the day before.

Jocelyn looks at her watch and realizes she needs to get to church early. Jocelyn hums softly as she walks down the boulevard in Erieau with her friends. It is going to be a good day.

The piano player plays softly while the people take their seats. Jocelyn notices an older woman sitting at the back of the church and goes over to talk to her. Robin stops to ask her some questions and when she is through talking, Pastor Dale is ready to start the service.

Pastor Dale says,

“Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd, is one of my favorite Bible scriptures. I read it to people in the hospital when they are sick and have included those precious words in several sermons. Let us sing, The Lord’s my Shepherd together.”

Everyone sings.

The Lord’s my Shepherd,

I’ll not want;

He makes me down to lie.

In pastures green; He leadeth me

The quiet waters by…

When they are finished singing, the pastor prays then says, “My talk for today is about how faith is the opposite of fear. We are going to study some scriptures in the Bible about faith and fear. I will talk about them. Please open your Bible to Psalm 23 verse 4.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

“Most of us will recognize these words, Jocelyn has a story for you that will help us. The children can come to the front.”

Jocelyn sits on a chair and says, “My Sunday school teacher told this story to us when I was a young girl. This is about a man that had to depend on God to help him stay calm.”

A Man Named Jim

Jim was fishing on the banks of a river. He was tired, so he put his head on his backpack and fell asleep.

When Jim awoke, he saw a rattlesnake curled up on his chest. The snake had mistaken him for a rock, and its head was only a few inches from Jim’s face. He knew he had to remain calm. If the snake sensed his fear, it would strike out at him.

Jim started to recite the twenty-third Psalm in his mind. He had learned it as a boy at church.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

The snake woke up, and its tongue was hissing at him.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

The snake’s head started to move.

He restores my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

The snake was staring him in the eye.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

The snake began to move.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

The body of the snake started to slither over the man’s face.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

The snake slid across Jim’s face and disappeared into the long grass.

 

Jocelyn says, “I had a fear of snakes after I heard that story. My father took me by the hand and walked me down to our pond. He picked up a garter snake and encouraged me to touch it. He explained that there are no rattlesnakes in our area. It took a few years but I was able to give my fear of snakes over to God and He removed it. You children may go back to your seats.”

“My other scripture is from,

Isaiah 41:10. (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“Jim, the man Jocelyn told you about, had to overcome fear and relax, or he might have been bitten by the snake.

“God tells several people in the Bible, not to fear. Jocelyn gave me a copy of a booklet she uses.” He opens it and reads. “You can find the words; fear not, 365 times in the Bible. There is one for every day of the year. God says He would be with them. He also says in the verse that I just read that He will strengthen you.

“God will also uphold you with his righteous right hand. Uphold means support. God will support us so that we do not have to fear.

“Faith is the opposite of fear. Let me pray that we will have a strong faith in all situations. We need to overcome our fear. I pray that our faith in God will become stronger.”

When the pastor had finished with his sermon he says, “I pray that you will reach out and hold onto the hand, that God has outstretched to you. Allow Him to walk beside you in all situations. We will close the service by singing; I’ve Got Peace Like a River.”

The congregation gets to their feet and sing.

I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got love like an ocean.

I’ve got joy like a fountain in my soul.

 

After the last verse, the pastor prays and the service is over. Pastor Dale tells them, “Jocelyn told me about the story she was going to use today. When I was walking in my garden last night, I caught a garter snake. Come with me and I will show it to you.”

Jocelyn looks around to see if the older woman is there, but she had left. She follows the children and some of the adults around the side of the church. Pastor Dale has a long, brown snake in a pail. He takes it out and holds its head, while the children touch it.

One girl says, “I thought snakes would be slimy like earthworms, but their skin is dry with small scales.”

When everyone is through touching the snake, Pastor Dale says, “I will take it home and let it go in my garden.”

A Visit with Pearl

Jocelyn says, “I can’t keep up with my garden, Pearl. It is growing too fast. Do you need any vegetables?”

“Yes. I love fresh vegetables Jocelyn.”

“We can stop at my place before going to your boat.”

They fill a basket with vegetables then walk to Pearl’s boat. After they climb aboard Fishful Thinking, Pearl says, “Give me a few minutes, and I will have lunch ready.”

“Can I help?”

“Yes. You can get the cold juice and set the table.”

Ten minutes later Jocelyn is trying the cold tomato cucumber soup and a flour tortilla rollup, stuffed with lettuce, ham and cheese.

“This soup is delicious Pearl. I like cold soup in the summer.”

“Do you want the recipe Jocelyn?”

“I would love to have it.”

Pearl goes to the kitchen, returns with a recipe card, and gives it to Jocelyn.

“Thank you Pearl. I will have to try it.

Pearl says, “Pastor Dale’s talk about fear and how it affects our life got me to thinking. Dad said that he was going to move the boat somewhere else because of what was going on.

“I was so happy when I heard on the radio that a man found the buried treasure and that the people who had done all the damage in Erieau had left town.”

Jocelyn says, “I was also,” If Pearl only knew the truth, that the treasure might still be buried in Erieau. I cannot say anything about it to her. Changing the subject, she asks, “Have you done much fishing this year Pearl?”

“Not as much as I used to, Jocelyn. The gas price is too high so we try to go out only when most of the family can go with us. It is not the same with my brother Mark in Afghanistan. His tour of duty will be over in August.”

“What will he do then?”

“He plans to take over the family farm. He is a mechanic and works on tanks. He wrote that he wanted to be able to smell the grass and help life grow, instead of being around death and mayhem all the time.

“The soldiers are in constant fear of dying. He has already lost a few friends. I am afraid it will take a lot of time for Mark’s emotional wounds to heal.”

Jocelyn says, “It must be hard on your family.”

“It is, Jocelyn. It is getting late. I have to drive back to the farm today.” She walks Jocelyn to the road.

Jocelyn goes back to Amelia’s place and has a swim, then takes a shower. She dresses in comfortable shorts and top, and then takes a snack up to Inez. “God, I know you have heard my prayers. I ask that your will be done.”

 

27 Divine Love

Inez calls out, “Come in,” when Jocelyn knocks. The police officer is looking out of the window through her binoculars.

“It must be lonely working undercover Inez.”

“It is, but it has its rewards. I am not married so a husband and children are not waiting for me at home. I get to do a lot of reading. I picked up one of Emily’s books as you suggested. Her story Divine Love really blessed me.”

Jocelyn says, “I don’t think I have read that one.”

“Do you mind if I read it to you Jocelyn?”

“I would like to hear it.”

Divine Love

I wanted to write something new about love for Valentine’s Day. It was the first week of January and the Christmas season was over for another year.

We spent days remembering the birth of Gods’ only Son, Jesus Christ. My family went to church together to see a special program. We sang praises to our Heavenly Father thanking Him for the gift of His Son Jesus. Our family gathered beside the Christmas tree to open special gifts.

Our friends and family came for Boxing Day. It was so good to just sit and relax. We served leftovers for supper, and played new board games. Families reminisced as they turned the pages of old photo albums and shared their memories.

The following week we gathered with friends to wait for the stroke of twelve. We counted nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Year, and then everyone started to hug. People were given a chance of a new beginning.

It was January and the snow was deep. Christmas cards and letters were starting to collect dust on the shelf. Holiday lunches with friends and family were just memories.

The next holiday would be Valentine’s Day. People would send cards, candy or flowers to their special loved ones. I wanted a special writing about the love of God to send to my friends for Valentine’s Day. I prayed about it for a few days and asked God for his help. The following writing is about how God answered my prayer.

Divine Love

Please stop what you are doing and sit down with me for a few minutes. If it is winter, go and get a warm comforter or blanket and wrap yourself in it. Sit by your fireplace if you have one. Think about all the people God has put in your life to love you. If you want, get a pen and paper, or better yet a notebook. Make a list of their names in it! Take a moment to recall an incident where they hugged you and said I love you (_______). (Put your name in the blank!)

I am still adding names. After you finish your list, read it over and add to it all the people who have died, that have loved you. Remember one or more occasion in your life when you shared a hug with them. Now take the time to think about all the new people that you will call friends in the future who will love you and give you a hug. Since I wrote this, I have added several new names to this list. One special friend brought me a meal in my time of need.

Now it is time to feel the touch of God’s Divine Love. Try to feel what it would be like if all these people were giving you a hug at the same time.

I did that morning in January. It was as if a power surge went through my whole body. It was the love of God, as I had never felt it before. I felt the hugs and love from everyone who had loved me in my past and present at the same time. I felt the love and hugs of all the people, who will hold and love me in my future. It was so powerful that I am unable to explain it with words. It was Divine Love! It was so powerful, that I still choke up when I think about it.

God, our Father up in heaven through His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, wants to love us more than anyone has ever loved us. The love God has for us is so powerful that it could light every light bulb in the whole world. It is more powerful than all the electricity that is being created in the whole world right now. His love for us is so awesome. It is an everlasting love. No words can explain it.

You cannot see love but you see and feel the evidence of it every day. How can you look at the beauty of a rainbow or into the eyes of a newborn baby without seeing the evidence of it? How can you sit in the warmth of a sunbeam, or hear the water of a rushing stream falling over a mountain cliff without feeling and hearing the power of God’s love? How can you look at a snowflake under a microscope without seeing the diversity of God’s love? Every snowflake that has ever fallen is different. No two are the same.

God never intended us to be clones. He created you and me, and-even identical twins-differently. God says in Genesis, that we were created in His (God’s) image. What a thought! All the people who have ever loved me and have given me a hug were created in God’s image. When we accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour, God sends His Son Jesus and the Comforter (The Holy Spirit) to live inside of us. We became a church family, sisters and brothers in Christ.

The meaning of what happened is coming clearer. Every time someone who is a Christian gave me a hug, God was surrounding me with His arms. God lives inside of them. He gave people arms so they could hold me and love me for Him.

The picture is getting clearer. What I felt this morning lying in bed was the remembrance of His love flowing through them into me. When we love someone, (I mean really love someone,) we are sharing the Love God has for that person with them. When I take the time to pray for a person, they are surrounded with the loving arms of God. When I cry with a friend, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit inside of me cry along with me. When I am giving a friend a hug, I share the joy with God. When I share in a happy moment with a friend, the love of God is overflowing from inside me.

A light bulb just came on. We represent God and His Son Jesus. You gave us arms to hold the widow who just lost her husband. You gave us a smile and laughter to share so that when we feel so good inside we cannot contain it. You gave us eyes to see the flight of a butterfly. You gave us a heart to feel the love of a special friend. You gave us ears to hear the words of a dear friend say I love you.

It was Your arms God, I felt this morning. You shared with me the love of all the people who have and will ever love me.

Thank You God!

I pray you will take the time to remember all the people who have ever loved you and given you a hug. Remember that at that very moment our Divine Heavenly Father God up in heaven loved you. He sent you into their life for that very moment so that you might feel His love.

By Emily

Tuesday, May 11, 2009

I know now that God gave me this special experience and writing to bless me. Just four months after I wrote Divine Love, the Doctors told me I had breast cancer. I am cancer free. When I just reread this writing, I see how much I was blessed all through my time with cancer. It was the love and prayers of my friends and people who I will never know, which gave me the courage and strength to go through the four operations. I never needed any radiation or chemotherapy.

Thank you, Emily

 

Jocelyn and Inez sit and think of the powerful words that Emily wrote. The room is silent.

Inez gets up, and looking out the window dabs her eyes with a tissue. Everything is quiet outside. Turning towards Jocelyn she says, “I felt the love of God when I read Divine Love.

“I phoned my mother and read it to her. I asked her to forgive me for the angry words I said when she asked me to go to church with the family last Christmas. I rebelled and turned away from God. She told me that she forgave me and loved me. We cried and prayed together over the phone. I feel so much better.”

“Your mother must be so happy Inez. I know it is special when I pray with my mother. We read scriptures and talk about how we can use them in our life.”

“It was special Jocelyn. Mom suggested that I read the Gospel of John. I told her that I didn’t have a Bible. She sent me an email program to help me called, ‘The 21-Day Bible Reading Challenge.’ It is easy to do. I read one chapter of John a day and then read the key words and insights. I also download the Bible on the Internet at Bible Gateway.com.”

“This is exciting Inez. I have done the 21-day challenge, and learned so much. Mom and I have been praying for you.”

“I felt your love and prayers Jocelyn. I know that Bradley and his family have been praying for me also. I feel bad now. Every time he tried to talk about God and Jesus, I shut him out.

“It was different the night of the shooting. I saw my partner lying on the ground bleeding. I could do nothing to save him. I phoned your house after I heard the window glass shatter. Your mother said a bullet had hit you in the head.

“I started to panic. I took a deep breath and prayed to God for help. I put a tourniquet on Bradley’s arm to stop the bleeding and another police officer put one on his leg. We worked as a team to save his life. It seemed like an eternity before the ambulance arrived.”

She starts to weep. “I have to appear strong because I am a police officer. It is hard sometimes. I felt the peace of The Holy Spirit surrounding me. I did not know what it was on the night of the shooting, but now I know it was the love of God.

“I read John 6 this morning. I even went to church. I was dressed in my old lady disguise so you didn’t recognize me.” She laughs, “No way would you get me to touch a snake.”

“Inez, I have an extra Bible in my bag if you want it.”

“Thanks, I was planning to buy one.”

Jocelyn runs down and returns with the new study Bible.

Inez thanks her and says, “I stay in touch with my family by computer. This way they never need to know where I am.

“I decided to change the look of Sam. He didn’t blend in.” Inez shows Jocelyn Sam’s new picture.

“He looks like a fisherman now Inez.”

“It was Brenda’s suggestion. She told me she had a room similar to this one down by the marina. Sam has a room at the Sunrise Bed and Breakfast. It has a wonderful view of the area. He has a job at the marina. This way, he can mingle with the men who are going out on their fishing boats.”

The women spend the evening sitting and talking. Jocelyn starts to yawn, so excuses herself.

She gets ready for bed but is not able to relax. So much to think about; tears in a bottle, God’s tear drops, Bradley, Baby Bohdana, shots in the night and now Inez becoming a Christian.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring. God you are in control.

 

28. Mrs. Gomer’s Story

Stella’s Antiques is not open on Monday, so Jocelyn works on her mother’s rocking chair in the morning.

She leaves around eleven to have lunch with Mrs. Gomer at the senior residence. Jocelyn is early so they walk around the grounds admiring the flowers.

After the bell rings, Mrs. Gomer takes Jocelyn to a table set for two.

The server is all smiles as she asks Jocelyn what she would like. Jocelyn orders the soup and an egg salad sandwich.

Jocelyn says a prayer before trying the soup. “It is delicious.”

Mrs. Gomer says, “I agree.”

When they are through eating, Mrs. Gomer says, “We are going to Colasanti’s Gardens near Leamington for lunch tomorrow.”

“That is great Mrs. Gomer. I love their beautiful flowers and sometimes even have a game of miniature golf when I go.”

“I do not think I will play golf Jocelyn. Do you want to see my room? Kim and Brenda helped me set it up.”

“I would love to. I also brought some pictures of Amelia’s wedding.”

Jocelyn follows her down the hall. She takes her key out of her pocket and opens the door to a one-bedroom apartment.

Jocelyn sets her notebook computer on the table and they look at a slide show. Jocelyn has included pictures of Stella and other people that Mrs. Gomer would know.

I put some copies of these pictures on a CD for you to play in your DVD player.”

Mrs. Gomer takes it over and puts it on a shelf. She says. “The wall unit holds an assortment of my treasures from my past. It was so hard to choose what to bring and what to sell. Amelia bought everything I couldn’t bring with me.”

“It was hard to sell my memories. Every trinket had a special meaning. My husband and I traveled when we were younger. He was a retired minister and we spent twenty years as missionaries in Africa. My daughter Anabelle returned to Africa last week.”

“I will make us a cup of tea.”

Jocelyn gets up and looks at the collection on the shelves. She stops when she sees a bottle with turquoise flowers on it. She picks it up and examines it closely. It has clear liquid in it. The bottle looks exactly like the one I dug up in my back yard. How did Mrs. Gomer get the bottle from the police?

She turns to Mrs. Gomer. Jocelyn cradles the precious bottle in her hands afraid she will drop it. Mrs. Gomer rushes over and takes Jocelyn’s arm.

“Come and sit down Jocelyn. You look as if you have seen a ghost.”

Mrs. Gomer goes to the kitchen for a glass of water. When she returns she sees the bottle in Jocelyn’s hands. Jocelyn gives it to her and accepts the glass of water. She takes a big sip and tries to calm her nerves. What is going on God?

Jocelyn sets the glass on a coaster and watches, as Mrs. Gomer gently strokes the tear bottle. She asks, “Jocelyn do you know what this is?”

Jocelyn says, “Yes it is a tear bottle.”

“Where did you learn about tear bottles Jocelyn?”

“I found out about them from my aunt and from doing research on my computer.”

“Do you want to hear the sad story about my tear bottle?”

“I would.”

“Dawid Troki worked for my father who was a famous Jewish glass blower. My father’s company shipped glassware all around the world. Dawid and I were married in 1938.

“Our life was good. We lived in a beautiful house with a gardener to tend the gardens and a cook to prepare our meals.

“That all changed when Germany invaded Poland in late 1939. They move the Jews to the Warsaw Ghettos in 1940.

“We heard rumors about what was going to happen. My father and husband took me with them when they went out into the forest one night. They buried our family treasures in several different places. They put all the important papers in special glass jars then wrapped them in oilskins to keep them dry.”

“The Germans confiscated our house and we were forced to move into one room in the Warsaw Ghettos in the summer of 1941. They rationed our food. My husband and father would sneak out through the sewers at night and take food from the trees and gardens so we could survive. Some of our Christian friends would stash food in a hiding place for us.

“I found I was with child, in the fall of 1942. In early April, they gathered a group of men at the gates of the ghetto. They marched them out of the camp.

“We heard gunfire. Later that day my friends told me that I was a widow. I found out the next day that the Germans had shot my husband and father. I was all alone in the world except for the baby that grew within my womb.

“The next week I gave birth to a baby girl and called her.”

“Bohdana… Jocelyn tells her, “Your baby’s name is Bohdana Troki.”

Mrs. Gomer faints and Jocelyn buzzes for the nurse. When she is well enough to sit up she asks, “How do you know that my baby was called Bohdana Troki, Jocelyn? I have never told anyone in this area about my past.”

“I found the information on the papers you wrote to your daughter Bohdana. I thought baby Bohdana Troki’s mother, was dead; that she must have died at Treblinka. I will bring a police officer with me tomorrow after lunch, and we will tell you what we have discovered.”

The nurse tells Jocelyn, “Mrs. Gomer’s blood pressure is high. I need to call for the doctor. You need to go.”

Jocelyn says a prayer for Mrs. Gomer before leaving.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn has so many thoughts going through her mind. She stops at the park to think things through. Where is Mrs. Gomer’s lost daughter? Where is baby Bohdana today? I cannot believe I found the original owner of the bottle. Mrs. Gomer is the mother of baby Bohdana.

God, you are answering so many of my prayers. Now I can talk to Inez about You because she is a believer. Thank You.”

~~~~~~

When Jocelyn gets home, she feeds Freddy then goes up to the art room and knocks on the door. Inez is relaxing in the recliner. It has been a long week.

Jocelyn is excited. “I found her! Mrs. Gomer wrote the letters in the silver box. She is the mother of baby Bohdana.”

“Slow down Jocelyn you aren’t making any sense. Who is Mrs. Gomer and where is she. I will need to talk with her.”

“She is in a seniors residence.” Reaching into her pocket, she pulls out a business card. “I have arranged for you to meet her tomorrow after lunch.”

Jocelyn sits and tells Inez all about Mrs. Gomer. “I have been praying and asking God to help me find Baby Bohdana and her mother.

“God answered my prayer. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the tear bottle on her bookcase. It is identical to the one I dug up in my backyard.”

“Jocelyn if you had told me this a few weeks ago I would have thought you to be a nut case. Now I believe you. Look what God is doing in my life.

“We still have to be careful who we talk to. I do not want you to tell anyone, except your mother about this for a few days. The media would have a field day if they learned about Mrs. Gomer.”

Jocelyn looks at her watch and gets up, “It is getting late.”

“Thanks for all your help Jocelyn. You should think about becoming a detective. You are good. Sam and I will meet you at the nursing home at one o’clock on Tuesday. Wait in your van and I will come over and talk to you. We will be dressed differently.”

“I will be waiting for you.”

 

Jocelyn makes a pot of tea and has a few cookies. When she is finished, she goes to her bedroom and gets ready for bed. It will be tomorrow before I know it.

She reads her Bible then goes to bed. Jocelyn is unable to sleep. She gets up and sits in her chair. She picks up one of Emily’s books and looks through it. She stops when she sees something interesting.

Tomorrow Your Today Will Be Yesterday

God has always blessed me. The words ‘Tomorrow, Your Today will be Yesterday,’ kept going through my mind. I thought that they would make an interesting subject to write about.

God, You were there for me yesterday. You are here for me today. I have faith that You will be here for me tomorrow.

I was shocked when the doctor told me I had cancer and that it looked nasty. I do not care who you are; when the doctor says you have Cancer, fear will hit you like a bulldozer. It hit me.

I sat in my car and the tears flowed. Tears are good! I tried to tune into the Christian radio station without any luck. I put a new cassette tape into the tape player.

This would change my Tomorrow’s forever. I sat mesmerized while I listened to Heavenly music. I felt that God was telling me through the music that I was to look to the Good Shepherd. Our Shepherd is Jesus. Six women were singing songs in harmony. The music gave me comfort.

God said in John 16:7, that He would send us His Comforter in our time of need and He did.

I went to see a dear friend and she held me as we wept. God also uses the arms of our friends, to bring us comfort.

Friends and strangers prayed that God would heal me. I had several operations, but never needed radiation or chemo. God is good.

Emily

 

Jocelyn thinks about Mrs. Gomer and what she went through. She sees her outstretched arms and hears her crying for her baby, ‘Bohdana, Bohdana, Bohdana… My baby, where are you?’ What will tomorrow bring? Where is baby Bohdana? God you know. Help me find her.

 

29. The Rest of the Story

Jocelyn drives into Blenheim and heads to the seniors residence. She waits in her van for Inez and Sam. They arrive at one o’clock. Jocelyn opens the door and gets her bag with the notebook computer along with the yellow folder.

Inez says, “You have already met SamDryer.”

Sam is dressed in a suit and is actually wearing a tie. He had combed his blond hair and has no tattoos. He shakes her hand. “Inez told me that you have someone for us to meet that might help us with the investigation.”

“I do. I want you to meet Mrs. Gomer.”

Entering the senior residence, they see Mrs. Gomer is sitting near the front door waiting for them.

Jocelyn gives her a hug and says, “This is Officer Inez Beer and Officer Sam Dryer, Mrs. Gomer. We need to go to your apartment so we can talk in private.”

When they get there, Mrs. Gomer pours them a cold drink and they sit around the kitchen table.

Inez and Sam pull out their police badges and show them to Mrs. Gomer.

Sam says, “We are from London and are investigating several robberies. Jocelyn and her friend found some stolen articles from London buried in her back yard near the beach in Erieau last month. If you don’t mind we would like you to tell us your story and record it for our records.”

“I have some questions to ask Jocelyn first.”

Jocelyn takes out the photocopies of the pieces of paper she copied and hands them to Mrs. Gomer. “As I said on Monday, I thought you were dead; that you must have died at Treblinka.”

Mrs. Gomer weeps as she reads the words. “Where did you get this information Jocelyn?”

Jocelyn pulls out the pictures of the silver box, the necklace and the tear bottle with turquoise flowers and shows them to her. She tells about how she found them while looking for treasure in her backyard with her metal detector.

Mrs. Gomer says, “They are mine. This is too much. I gave up hope years ago of ever finding my Daughter Bohdana.”

Jocelyn says, “I read your letters Mrs. Gomer. What happened to you after you gave Bohdana to the nurse?”

Jocelyn, Inez and Sam sit back and listen while Mrs. Gomer shares her story.

“I felt my life was not worth living after the Germans shot my husband and father. It was even worse after my baby was born. I had no way of getting milk for her. Our food rations were not enough to keep us healthy.

“A nurse from the hospital came to see me. She told me, that my baby was starving and that she would be back the next day. If I wanted, she would take my baby out of the ghettoes of Warsaw and find her a home.”

“I had no choice. I wrapped my daughter in a blanket, and gave her to the nurse the following day. I never saw my baby Bohdana again. All I had left was this locket with my wedding picture and a curl of Bohdana’s hair.”

Mrs. Gomer shows the cameo locket to Jocelyn. She opens it, revealing a picture of a handsome couple and some blonde curls.

“I had nothing to keep me in the ghettoes so I escaped through the underground sewers, under the Warsaw Ghettos. I hid in the forest and joined the Polish Resistance Movement. We fought in the Warsaw Uprising later in the year.

“I had traveled extensively with my father on business trips to Berlin to get orders for our glassware before the war. He taught me to speak several languages.

“In early 1944, I went to see my father’s friend Mr. Gomer who was a polish Christian. I had heard that he hid Jews. I asked if he could help me get some papers, so that I could escape.

“He told me that his daughter Ana had died the week before. His other daughter Olga had come to visit them and was returning to Berlin the following week. She needed help with her three children. Her nanny refused to return with her because of the bombings.

“Mr. Gomer told me to become Olga’s sister, and go back to Berlin with her. He said that no one would recognize me there. Olga’s husband has not been told of Ana’s death, and he has never met Ana.” He gave me his daughter’s identification papers and I became Ana Gomer.

“My father’s friend gave me a large old battered suitcase. We went at night and dug up some of my family’s treasures. He changed some of my husbands and fathers hidden gold into German money. I dressed in his daughter’s clothes.

“I sewed most of the money into the lining of the coat that I wore. I concealed the jewels and gold in a false compartment of my suitcase.

“We left occupied Poland and traveled by train to Berlin, on Easter Sunday 1944. I helped Olga with her baby and young children. We had no problems with inspections because Olga had special papers. Her husband was a German officer.

“I spoke German, so I used Ana’s identity for the duration of the war. I stayed with Olga’s family after the war ended.

“Olga’s brother Peter Gomer came to live with her when the war was over. Peter and I were married in 1948. I did not have to change my name because Ana Gomer became Ana Gomer. We showed the minister my real birth papers, so that he would perform the marriage for us.

“Peter was a Christian. He wanted to be a minister, so we moved to Canada.

“Poland became a free country in 1991. My husband Peter and I went back to the forest where my father hid our family treasure a few years later and dug up what was left of it.”

Inez opens her briefcase and pulls out several evidence bags. They contain a silver box, a blue sapphire necklace, along with a tear bottle and several brown papers.”

Mrs. Gomer is excited. She says, “That is thesapphire necklace my husband Dawid Troki gave me for a wedding gift in 1938. The silver Etrog box was a gift from my mother when I married Dawid. My father made me the tear bottlewith turquoise flowers for my fifteenth birthday. It is identical to the one he made for my mother. I wrapped it in a cloth before putting it in the Etrog box. I also placed the sapphire necklace, along with some notes I wrote in the silver box. I sent it with the nurse when she took my Baby Bohdana from the ghettos of Warsaw. I never saw my baby again.”

Mrs. Gomer reaches into her apron and pulls out a glass bottle. Holding up the bottle with the turquoise flowers, Mrs. Gomer says, “This was my mother’s tear bottle that my father made for her. It is the same as the one in the bag. She hands the bottle to Inez and says, “If you look at the bottom of the tear bottle, you will see the initials, D. P.”

Inez takes out her magnifying glass and examines the two bottles. She says, “You are right Mrs. Gomer, they both have the initials D. P., on the bottom.”

Inez gives the bottle back to Mrs. Gomer. She clutches it to her heart then grabs several tissues, and wipes her tears away. After she catches her breath and has a sip of iced tea, she says, “I have spent a lifetime trying to find my baby. I know that Bohdana is out there somewhere.”

Inez tells her, “I have several people searching for your daughter Bohdana. Maybe with this new information, we will be able to find her.”

“Thank you.” She looks at her watch. “This has been too much for me. I need to rest. You can call me Bohdana. I named my baby after my mother and myself. All three of us are Bohdana, which means ‘Gift of God.’ Come back again and we can talk.”

“Thanks Bohdana, I will.”

Jocelyn talks privately with Inez in the parking lot.

Inez says, “Do not to let anyone know about Mrs. Gomer. We will do all we can to find her daughterBohdana. After today, I know that our God does answer prayer. I am going to join you Jocelyn and pray for a miracle.”

“Inez, it will take a miracle for us to find Baby Bohdana.”

They arrange to talk and pray together the next day.

Jocelyn gets in her van and thinks about Mrs. Gomer. She prays, “Thank You God for helping me find Bohdana, who is Mrs. Gomer. Help us find her Daughter for her…”

30. Supper with Norma

Jocelyn has a quick shower. It was hectic at work. Tourists were coming to the tearoom to ask her about the treasure she found. Most of them had never heard about the small village of Erieau before the story of the shooting hit the news.

She takes the short cut to her cottage and gets Sugar Baby from the fenced backyard .then walks across the road with the dog to visit Bradley. He is sitting in a comfortable lawn chair in the screened-in porch that overlooks the lake.

“To what do I owe this visit, Jocelyn? I have been good. My sister keeps threatening to send for your friend, Drill Sergeant Kim Rose if I do not behave.” He laughs.

Jocelyn says, “I finished cleaning the rocking chair and started to glue it together.”

“That is good; I can’t wait to see it.”

“I hope to finish it this week Bradley. Come for lunch on Saturday, at one o’clock and I will show it to you.”

“I will be there.”

Claudia pulls into the driveway with her daughters. The girls get out of the van and run over to see Sugar Baby. Bradley introduces his two nieces. “The older one with the red hair is Lynne and the one with blond hair and freckles is Dana. Jocelyn asks, “Do you have a large soft ball?”

“Yes,” Lynne says, “I will get it.”

Jocelyn calls Sugar Baby over and throws the ball to her. The small black dog runs around the yard bouncing the ball with her nose.

Bradley says, “She would make a good soccer player.” Lynne and Dana chase after the dog screaming with joy. They have fun running around the yard.

“I’ll ask Norma if it is okay for the girls to go over and play with Sugar Baby. I know she must get lonely with Norma at work all day.”

Claudia sets some tall glasses of juice on the end tables. “The girls need to have more to do. Playing with the dog will be a big help.”

Bradley reaches down and pats Sugar Baby’s head.

Claudia puts a dish of cold water on the ground. Sugar Baby drinks before rolling over and falling asleep.

Jocelyn says, “My friends are having a summer picnic on Seagull Island on August the eighth. Bradley, I would like you to come with Claudia and the girls.”

“We would love to come. How will we get there?”

“My friend Pearl has a house boat with a ramp. The men will help with your scooter. We will meet at the marina at ten.”

“That sounds good.”

“Norma will be home soon and I promised to have a salad made. Claudia, you can help yourself to the vegetables in my keyhole garden. I am not able to eat all the vegetables I grow.”

“Thanks Jocelyn.”

“You can come over now if you want and pick some for your supper?”

Claudia gets a basket and follows Jocelyn across the road.

“Take anything you want. The beans and peas are ready.”

The women fill their baskets, and Jocelyn shows Claudia where to put the waste vegetable scraps.

Jocelyn takes her basket into her cottage. I will be glad when Amelia gets home, so I can move back to my place.

I need to start the spinach and raspberry salad. She puts the fresh spinach leaves in a bowl of ice water and lets it sit on the counter.

She puts some brown sugar and butter into a frying pan and adds a half cup of pecans. She stirs them on medium for ten minutes then puts them on a plate lined with parchment paper to let them cool. Jocelyn removes the spinach from the ice water and spins it until it is dry. She cuts two thin slices from a large red onion and breaks them apart. She mixes up the dressing.

When she is finished, she divides the spinach between two plates and tops it with the onions and nuts along with a handful of fresh raspberries. I will serve the dressing on the side so that the vegetables will not wilt.

Jocelyn types in the last letter from Bohdana’s father.

It comes up on the screen.

Norma pokes her head in, “I am home.”

“Come in, I want to read this letter from the father to you”

 

“Warsaw Poland

Bohdana you are ten years old now. The war is over, and I have decided to move to Canada. I will have to go back to school so I can practice medicine in Ontario. I start my training in Toronto in the fall. My friends say that I will need to change my name to a Canadian name.

I have been working on it.

I told your mother about you not being our child. My nurse died in an air-raid attack so I am the only one who knows the truth. I thought it would break my wife’s heart if I told her so I had planned to take the secret to the grave.

My wife said that my nurse told her the truth about you not being her baby. She loved you as if you were born from her womb. Someday, when you are older Dana, we will share the truth with you.

“Bohdana, if you are reading this, I want you to know I loved you all my life. I have put these writings from your mother along with the tear bottle, and sapphire necklace into the silver Etrog box. I wrapped them in the blanket she sent with you, when you were a baby. I tried to find your mother after the war but there was no record of her. I presumed that she died in the camps.

Your loving Father,

Doctor Borys Powanda

 

Jocelyn types in the name Doctor Borys Powanda into her computer and it comes up with a blank. He must have changed his name. She sits and talks to Norma for a while then sends a copy of the letter to her mother and Inez.

Norma gets up, “I need to check our supper.”

 

Twenty minutes later, the friends are eating barbecued spare ribs, along with steamed rice and fresh green beans.

“I love this salad, Jocelyn. The dressing is delicious.” She takes another bite.

They eat a bowl of fresh mixed fruit. Norma asks, “Where do you want to go tonight?”

“We could go to the Erie Marsh Trail? Maybe Claudia and her daughters would like to come. They had so much fun playing with Sugar Baby this afternoon. Claudia said she wouldn’t mind having them play with her more often.”

“That is a good idea Jocelyn. We can take Sugar Baby with us if she is on a leash.” She laughs, “We will leave the metal detectors home.”

“What metal detectors, they were all stolen when the treasure hunters came to town.”

They stop in and Norma tells Claudia, “The girls can play with Sugar Baby any time they want as long as Sugar Baby is kept on the leash when she is out of the yard.”

Jocelyn takes Claudia aside and asks, “Would you and the girls like to go to the Erieau Marsh Trail for a walk?”

“We would love to go.”

When Lynne and Dana hear the news, they jump up and down with excitement.

They get into Norma’s van and drive to where the trail begins. The girls get out with Sugar Baby and stand in front of the sign while Jocelyn takes pictures.

They see several red wing blackbirds and monarch butterflies. Farther down the trail, they see where some people have started to build a viewing stand overlooking the Rondeau Bay and a marsh.

Jocelyn tells them about the trail. “Look over there and you can see the tops of the tracks where the dirt has washed away. The trail itself is on the old Erieau Coal tracks. They left the tracks in place to prevent erosion of the trail, and buried them with some dirt.”

The girls run along the trail with Norma and Claudia while Jocelyn returns to the van to relax. It has been a long day.

 

31. Fun in Erieau

Norma meets Jocelyn for supper at OJs restaurant after work on Thursday. They sit and chat while sipping a glass of iced tea. Their waiter returns with a basket of fresh homemade oatmeal nut bread.

Norma says a blessing over the food then cuts the bread. Jocelyn spreads her piece with butter and takes a bite. “I love this bread. My friend Ethel in Chatham brought me a loaf of bread with her recipe last month. I will have to make it.”

The server sets a plate of perch, green beans and baked baby potatoes in front of the women. Norma takes a bite of the fish. “Wow! There is nothing like fresh fish. This is tasty.”

The women finish their supper and decide not to have dessert. Jocelyn says, “We can get an ice cream cone later.”

They walk down the hall and pause to look at the pictures on the wall. A few friends stop to ask how Jocelyn is feeling.

“Do you want to go for a walk Norma? We could go to the lighthouse and then talk with the people fishing by the tree near the sand piles. My friend Ethel usually has an extra fishing rod that she lends me.”

“I need a good walk Jocelyn. Today I sat in front of a machine cleaning rusty nuts and bolts that I removed from an antique car. We should stop and give Sugar Baby something to eat on our way.”

They open the gate and Sugar Baby is excited to see Norma and Jocelyn. Norma says, “I am afraid you have to stay home tonight. You might get a fish hook in your paw.” The small dog sulks and goes to hide in her doghouse.

Norma and Jocelyn walk over to the beach where Jocelyn bends down and picks up a piece of green beach glass, then holds it up to the sun. Jocelyn talks to her friend’s daughters who are wading in the water. “Jane and Sandra, this is my friend Norma. She has moved to Erieau. Norma, this is Jane and Sandra. You will meet their mother Ethel later.”

“Are you having any luck Jane?”

“Yes Jocelyn. I found this fossil and a piece of blue glass.”

“Mr. Russell, a man who lives in Erieau, told me that he called the coloured glass, ‘Gods Tear Drops.’”

Jane says, “I like that Jocelyn. I will go home and write, ‘Gods tear Drops,’ on my glass jar collection of coloured glass.”

Norma says, “It is nice meeting you girls.”

Jocelyn smiles and says, “I will see you later girls. Have fun.”

Jocelyn and Norma remove their sandals and walk along the water’s edge feeling the cool sand between their toes. The sky is a bright blue and several sailboats skim through the waves. It is the perfect evening for a stroll.

When they reach the pier, they brush the damp sand from their feet and put their sandals back on. Jocelyn sits for a while. She says, “My knee is still a bit tender Norma.”

After Jocelyn has rested, they walk towards the lighthouse. They stop and talk with the families that sit along the ledge fishing. Norma asks a young boy who is wearing a life jacket, “How many fish have you caught?”

He reaches into his bucket and pulls out a three-inch sunfish. The boy holds the small fish up as a pro fisherman holds his trophy bass.

She asks his parents if she can take his picture and promises to send them a copy.

They sit on the ledge at the end of the pier in the shade of the lighthouse. Several seagulls sit on the wharf across from them. Two loons dive for fish. When they surface, you can hear them call to each other.

Norma looks at her watch. “We should be going.”

“You’re right. I forget about time when I sit by the water listening to the waves.”

When they arrive at the shade tree in the gravel pit, Jocelyn sees the usual men and women. It is a bit early for the crappy fish to start biting.

Jocelyn walks over to the two older men at the corner and asks them, “How is the fishing tonight? Are the crappy running?”

The man with a gray beard who is sitting in an old rickety kitchen chair says, “They haven’t been biting for past three nights.”

She says, “Then I wish you luck.”

Jocelyn’s friend from Chatham is sitting in the shade of the tree. Jocelyn asks, “Ethel, are you having any luck?”

“No, but I love to come to Erieau. I enjoy watching the people around me fish.”

“I saw your daughters looking for coloured glass on the beach. This is my friend Norma. She just moved to Erieau.”

“My dream is to live in Erieau, maybe someday. I have a whole bucket of minnows if you want to fish, Jocelyn. Do you have your fishing license with you?”

“Yes it is always in my beach bag.”

“What about you Norma.”

“I will get one now that I live in Erieau.”

“You can sit and watch us fish.” Ethel goes to her old gray car and gets an extra rod and two chairs.

Jocelyn and Norma take a seat and soon Jocelyn has a minnow on her line.

They are sitting and relaxing in the warm sun when a chocolate mink pokes her head in the minnow pail and runs away with a mouth full of minnows.

Ethel scolds, “Chocolate if you keep that up, I will turn you into a mink stole.” She laughs.

Jocelyn says, “She must have some babies in the rock pile.

Ethel replies. “Yes she does. Chocolate is always trying to steal my minnows. Earlier today, Jane caught a perch. Before I had a chance to remove the hook, chocolate had the fish in her mouth and was running away with it. It was funny to watch.

“Have you ever had a tug a war with a mink on the end of your fishing line? I didn’t mind the mink winning, but I didn’t want chocolate to eat a fishhook. Finally, Jane won the battle. I removed the hook from the mangled fish and gave it to the chocolate mink.

Norma says,” I wish I had been there with a movie camera. It must have been exciting.”

“It was! Chocolate is becoming a bit to bold. I just about fell off my lawn chair last week when she ran in front of me.”

Jocelyn takes a few pitchers of Chocolate as she tries to steal more minnows.

Norma asks, “What is the biggest fish you ever caught Ethel?”

“It was a thirty six inch blue dolphin fish. I caught it while I was fishing in Jamaica. I did catch a two hundred dollar fish once.”

Jocelyn says, “You have to be kidding.”

“No, my youngest daughter tried to hit a fly when we were fishing north of Wallaceburg. She missed the fly and ended up knocking her new eyeglasses into the water. I could see them but did not have anything long enough to get them.

“I went back the next day and duct taped the broom handle to the fish net, but had no luck. I decided to try it again on our way home from fishing in another spot.

“I told the girls and my friend about how in 2 Kings 6: 4-6 it tells a story of how Elisha went with some men to the Jordan to cut down trees. When one of the men was cutting a tree, the head of his ax fell into the water. He cried out, ‘what will my master say to me? I borrowed the ax.’

“Elisha asked him where it fell. The man showed him. Elisha, the man of God, cut off a stick and threw it into the water, and made the iron ax head float.”

Ethel continues, “I told my friend and our daughters that if God could have an ax head float, that He could help me catch my daughter’s glasses.

“We held hands and said a prayer asking God for help. I put on a heavy Dare Devil lure, with two sinkers and cast them out into the deep water. When I pulled my line in, the glasses were dangling from the Dare Devil lure.”

Something jerks at Jocelyn’s line and she pulls in a large perch. A boy comes over and helps her take it off the hook. She asks him, “What is your name?”

“I am Jimmy.”

“Jimmy you can have the fish if you want.”

He runs over and says, “Grandma.” He holds up a ten-inch perch. “Look what the woman gave me.”

The boy’s grandmother comes over and says, “Thanks for the fish Ethel.”

Ethel introduces her friend Paula to Jocelyn and Norma.

Paula asks them, “Do you write?”

Jocelyn says. “No, I do not have time. I used to when I was younger.”

She tells them about IMAGINATION INK and hands them a business card. “You can go to our web page at, imagination ink.cfsites.org for more information.” She smiles and says, “If your life is worth living, your life is worth recording.”

She goes back and helps Jimmy who has snagged something. He pulls up a minnow net. It is in good condition, so she helps him fold it up and put it into a garbage bag.

Ethel’s friend Paula returns and tells them, “We caught a lot of perch by the Water Works near Erie Beach this morning. The fish were biting so fast, that I could not take them off the hook fast enough. I sent the bucket of fish home with Jimmy for his father to clean.”

The women sit and talk about other fishing stories from the past. The fish have stopped biting, and the sun is getting lower in the west.

Ethel says,” The crappy should start biting soon.”

Who is He

A man in an old van backs up to the empty parking spot by the fence, and gets out. He grabs his lawn chair and sets it up by the fence then returns with a ten-foot fishing rod, along with a new tackle box. He sets a pail of minnows on the ground beside him.

Jocelyn watches him. I have never seen him before, but he looks familiar. Who is he?

The man has a hard time tying a hook on his line. It is as if this was his first-time fishing. He drops about five wiggling minnows on the ground. After several tries, he finally hooks one through the tail.

He casts his line and the hook snatches Jocelyn’s hat from her head. The man curses under his breath, then reels the wet soggy hat in. He has trouble removing the hook, so he cuts the line and throws the hat over his shoulder and it lands on the ground behind him.

The man sets up his line again. This time he has better luck and the red and white bobber lands in the water ten feet from the dock.

Jimmy runs over and picks up Jocelyn’s muddy hat. He hands it to her and says, “That man is not nice.”

Ethel agrees. “He has no manners. Let me get you something to put your wet hat into Jocelyn.” She reaches into her food basket and gives her a plastic bag. “I hope it isn’t ruined.”

Jocelyn is fuming. She says, “The hat was a special gift from my friend Bradley.” She continues to watch the stranger. There is something wrong. He does not know how to fish. He seems like a fish out of water. I have an idea. She asks, “Jimmy, do you want your picture taken with your fish?”

“Yes,” He gets the fish.

Jocelyn asks him. “Stand over there, and hold it up so I can get a good picture.”

It is hard to take the picture, because the bright evening sun is shining in her eyes. She sets her camera to panorama and takes a picture of the boy, along with a good clear picture of the man who caught her hat.

She says, “Jimmy, hold your fish closer to me and it will look bigger.” She presses zoom, and takes several pictures. She notices that the man behind Jimmy has one thumb missing on his left hand. There is also a deep scar on his right cheek. A shiver of fear goes up her spine. He must be Bernard Claeren, the man the police are looking for.

The man’s bobber keeps going up and down, but he does not pull the fish in.

Jimmy runs over all excited. He yells to the man, “You have a fish. Pull it in or it will get away.”

The startled man reaches into his jacket, and looks around.

Jocelyn whispers to Norma, “We need to go.” She talks to Ethel. You and your friend Paula need to get out of here as soon as you can. Do not ask questions. You are in danger.”

“I will.”

Ethel walks over to Paula and Jimmy and asks, “How would you like to go for an ice cream cone? I don’t think the fish are biting anymore.”

Jimmy jumps up and down with excitement. “I love ice cream. Can we go grandma, please?”

“Yes, but help me put the chairs and fishing tackle in the car first.”

Jocelyn goes over to Ethel’s car. The palms of her hands are clammy. “I will help you with the chairs.” She whispers, “Ethel, Pick up your daughters, and get out of Erieau. Tell your friend to do the same. Do not stop for an ice cream.” She hands her a business card with her phone number on it. “Phone me when you get home, and I will tell you more.”

Norma asks, “What are you up to Jocelyn?”

“I have no time to talk. I will tell you after I talk with Inez.”

She walks towards the road with Norma. She gets the phone out of her pocket and phones Inez. “This is Jocelyn. I saw Bernard Claeren. He is the man with the ten-foot pole, fishing by the fence near the tree, in the corner of the gravel pit. He is wearing an old Red Socks hat. I think he has a gun. I am on my way to Amelia’s place.”

Jocelyn turns to Norma. “We need to get out of here. I will tell you what is happening when we are safe.”

Norma and Jocelyn pick up Sugar Baby. They stop to see Bradley. Jocelyn tells him what she knows. Bradley asks his sister and niece to go into the house and lock all the doors.

Turning to Jocelyn he says, “You both should go to Amelia’s place. Inez is there.”

When they arrive at Amelia’s place, Freddie gets upset with Sugar Baby and tries to scratch her nose. Jocelyn scolds him then puts him in her bedroom and shuts the door. She returns to the living room and says, “Come with me Norma.” They walk up the stairs. Inez greets them.

Jocelyn pulls out her camera and says. “I took several pictures of Bernard.”

Inez takes the camera and plugs it into her notebook computer. She compares the man in the red fishing hat, with the man on the poster in front of her. She says, “It looks like Bernard to me.” She talks into the police phone. “I am sending a picture of Bernard Claeren to you. He is sitting by the fence, at the Johnson Sand and Gravel, fishing. Here is Jocelyn. She has more information.”

The voice on the line says, “I am Officer Winkler. Are you sure the man is Bernard Claeren?”

“Yes I am sure it is Bernard. I talk to the people fishing in the gravel pits a few times a week. The two men in the corner under the shade tree leave for home around ten or eleven. The people from Michigan, who usually spend the night, are not there tonight. I told my friends that were fishing with me to go home. There is no one else fishing.

“I noticed the man reach his hand to his jacket when the boy startled him. I think he was reaching for a gun.”

“Thank you for your help Jocelyn.”

Inez takes the phone and says, “I will be right there.” She turns off the phone and tells Jocelyn, “I want you and Norma to go down stairs. Pull all your drapes, and stay away from your windows. I will let you know when it is safe.”

She goes over to the window and makes several more phone calls. Before she leaves, Inez tells them, “I have phoned Ben the Fire Chief. He is on his way over with his wife. Kim will stay with you tonight.”

Ten minutes later, Ben and Kim knock on the back door. Inez lets them in.

Inez says, “Kim, you can sleep upstairs. All you have to do is pull my bedroll off the bed. I never sleep under the sheets when I am on duty. Ben you will be needed at the fire hall.” Inez slips out the back door.

Thirty minutes later, the phone rings. It is Ethel.

Jocelyn says, “I cannot tell you much but the man in the corner, that caught my white hat, is wanted by the police. I will let you know when I hear anything more.” She gets Ethel’s phone number and hangs up.

Jocelyn goes to the laundry room and tries to wash the hat. Tears run down her face. It is no use. The hat is ruined. The blue ink has run into the white cloth.

Norma pulls the shades and checks all the doors.

Kim enters the room, “I have the kettle on. I think we all need a hot cup of tea. Jocelyn, could you go to the tearoom and get a plate of goodies for us to snack on?”

~~~~~~

When Jocelyn returns, they sit around the table and sip the refreshing tea with some delicious cookies.

Jocelyn begins to relax. “Sorry I did not go into details earlier Norma. We were in danger and I needed to phone the police and get the pictures to Inez.”

She explains, “Some of the people from Erieau have been helping the police by watching for a man with his left thumb missing and a scar on his right cheek.

“I became suspicious when the man beside the fence started to get his fishing pole ready. He did not know how to tie a hook on the fishing line. He had even more problems when it came to putting a live wiggling minnow on his hook. I knew something was wrong when he caught my hat. By the way, my new white hat is ruined.”

Norma says, “You can always buy a new one.”

“No I can’t. It was a special gift from Bradley.”

Jocelyn continues. “I didn’t want the man to get a look at my face because I had been on TV and in the papers. I decided to take a picture of Paula’s grandson. I held the camera in front of my face. I decided to use the zoom lens to get a close-up shot.

“The man had no left thumb and a jagged scar on his right cheek. He is the man who the police are looking for. I noticed him reach his hand to his jacket when Jimmy told him about the fish. I think he was reaching for a gun.

“I tried to stay calm and not show how nervous I was. I did not want Ethel and her friends to get hurt, so I told them to leave right away and not to ask any questions.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you Norma, there is still buried treasure in Erieau and this man Bernard is the only person who knows where it is.”

“Are you telling me that the treasure is still buried in Erieau?”

Jocelyn nods her head, “Yes Norma. While you were at work the other day, something exciting happened in Erieau.”

Kim says, “I will tell you what only a few of us know. The police staged everything you saw on television when they found the lost treasure. A Hispanic police officer acted as if he found the treasure. I think he did a good job. The police wanted to get the treasure seekers out of Erieau.

“We were upstairs in the art room watching it all through the special one way glass.”

Norma asks, “What happened to the pile of rocks that the police buried in the hole where we dug up the jewels?”

Jocelyn tells her, “Bradley told me that they dug up the blue tarp and filled the tackle boxes with some fake jewels and silver then buried it in the original tarp. The thieves would get suspicious if they found rocks.”

Norma sighs, “This is getting more complicated. I think I will stick to making nuts and bolts for cars.”

Jocelyn tells Kim, “Norma works at a car restoration place near Blenheim. What are you working on now Norma?”

“They brought in a 1953 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe last month. It is a light blue with white top. It was stored in someone’s garage for twenty years and is in good condition. I help custom make some of the parts that need to be replaced.”

Kim says, “I think we need to get some sleep. I will wake you if anything happens. I have my police radio with me.” She takes it out and listens for a while. “Nothing is happening. We need to pray for protection for the police and anyone else involved tonight.”

They spend some time praying for God’s protection. When they are finished, Jocelyn takes Norma back to the guest bedroom and gets out some pajamas for her to wear. She says, “It is going to be another long sleepless night.”

Jocelyn and Norma both shut their doors behind them so that Freddy and Sugar Baby do not fight during the night.

Jocelyn tosses and turns. So much has happened since Norma and I dug up the blue tarp. Mother is right. I stirred up a hornets nest. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

She cannot sleep so she puts in her favourite CD and listens to several songs. The first one is, ‘The heart of worship.’ “God, I need to remember that it is not about me, but You my Father. Help me to learn how to worship You.”

She hums along as they sing, how can I keep from singing?

“God you are good. I want to shout it from the mountaintops that I love You. I will praise Your Holy name.

“Shouting it from the mountain top reminds me of a campfire song I sang when I was younger. It only takes a spark to get a fire burning. I started a fire in Erieau when I dug up the buried treasure and the fire is still burning out of control.

“Help the police find the treasure and remove it from our village once and for all. I want everything to return to normal and the once peaceful village of Erieau back. We always helped our neighbours when they had a need.”

Jocelyn ponders all that happened to her. “God, my head is still a bit sore. You did spare my life. Help me to serve You. I think of all the people I talk with in a day. You even enabled Ethel, the fisher woman, to catch her daughter’s glasses. You are into the fine details and nothing is too small for us to take to You in prayer.

“My Sunday-School teacher always told us, ‘If your problem is big enough to worry about, it is big enough to take to God in prayer. God does a better job with our problems, and He has the whole world in His hands’. My father used to say, ‘If you ever read about God worrying in the Bible, let me know where.’ God, my Sunday-School teacher and father were right. I need my rest. I need to trust in You.”

Jocelyn is finally able to relax and falls asleep.

The Big Splash

Inez and Sam talk with Officer Taylor and Officer Winkler who have a command post set up in the upper room of the Sunshine Bed and Breakfast. The room has four windows overlooking the area. Sam sits watching Bernard Claeren fishing.

Inez says, “I have called for backup.” Officer Taylor monitors the cameras that they set up. She can see the marina in Erieau, all the traffic on Vidler Ave and any vehicles driving down Mariners Road. The cameras also show all the traffic coming into Erieau and heading out of Erieau on Ross Road. Officer Winkler watches the boats on Rondeau Bay.

They gather around a map and talk about their strategy. “There are only two ways out of Erieau. Bernard Claeren could use a boat or drive. We have both escape routes covered.”

Inez gets up. They put on their bulletproof vest and hook their night goggles to their belt.

Sam opens the door. “It is time to go.”

Inez and the men leave the upstairs lookout and go to their vehicles. Sam drives along Mariners Road and tries not to make any noise. He parks behind the old fish store. They stay in the shadow as they walk along the pier to the rock pile.

They see Bernard Claeren sitting in his lawn chair fishing. The other people that were there have left. He is unaware that the police are all around him.

Bernard gets up and puts his fishing equipment back into the van. He dumps the minnows out on the ground and puts the pail away. He drives over to where the abandoned buildings are and gets out of his van.

He picks up a flashlight, and takes his gun out of its holster then walks around the area to see if anyone is there. When he is satisfied that the way is clear, he returns the gun to its holster, goes back to the van and gets a shovel.

He walks across to the old deserted buildings near where the feral cats live, moves some old boards and starts to dig. Bernard takes out a knife and cuts a string. He carries four heavy boxes to his van.

Inez and Sam jump out and say, “Put your hands up Bernard. You are under arrest.” Bernard drops the two boxes and reaches for his gun. He is going to shoot but changes his mind. He runs towards the pier as several police boats and vehicles arrive. They shine their spotlights on him. He panics, throws his gun into the water then jumps. He cannot swim and starts to sink.

Two police officers jump over the side of their boat and pull Bernard out of the water. He is dripping wet, angry and shouts several curse words.

Ines and Sam instruct the police to put tape around the crime scene then take the blue tarp and four tackle boxes to the van. They drive it to the fire station.

The police chief from Chatham is having a coffee with Ben.

Inez says, “I think this is what you have been waiting for.”

They all watch as Sam takes a bolt cutter and open the first tackle box. He dumps the contents out onto the table.

“ROCKS”! Inez says, “Someone has double-crossed Bernard.”

All four-tackle boxes contain fishing tackle and rocks. Inez and Sam talk as they wait for the police boat to arrive. Officer Taylor and Winkler help a wet and angry handcuffed Bernard onto the dock.

Sam says, “Bernard Claeren, you are under arrest.”

Ben hands some blankets to the police. Officer Winkler wraps Bernard in one before taking him to the police car.

Inez tells Sam, “We cannot charge Bernard for digging up a tarp and tackle boxes full of rocks because it is not a crime to have rocks in your possession.”

Sam says, “I saw him throw what looked like a gun into the water when he jumped from the dock. The police divers will come and search for it tomorrow.”

Inez asks, “Where is the hidden treasure? Who watched Bernard bury it and dug it up?

Sam says, “Floyd’s accurate notes and the pictures on his computer show that the tarp with number six on it contained four tackle boxes with several million dollars’ worth of money along with jewels, gold and silver.”

Inez is puzzled. Is Floyd the organizer of the jewel thieves lying? Did he steal the treasure? We might never find out.

 

32. A New Day

When Jocelyn wakes, she sees Freddy looking her in the eye as if to say, ‘get out of bed you sleepy head. I want my breakfast.’ Jocelyn tries putting a pillow over her head and catching a few more winks but Freddy has a different idea. He lets out one ear splitting MEOW.

She jumps out of bed but is too late to catch Freddy. He heads for the kitchen. Jocelyn shakes her head and follows him, then tenderly rubs him behind the ear. “I am going to lock you in the laundry room tonight if you do not stop your antics. I am glad that Amelia will be back soon, you big lump of fur.”

Kim laughs, “Is Freddy up to his old tricks again? I fed Norma and she dropped her dog off at her place before going to work.

“Ben phoned and said that he would be here with Inez in thirty minutes. I invited them for breakfast. I do not have enough pancakes for them. Why don’t you get dressed, Jocelyn and come and make another batch for me?”

Jocelyn returns to her room after a quick shower and dresses in work clothes. God it is a new day. Help me to know how to pray. I hope this is soon over and that they found all the stolen treasure. I want Erieau back to normal when Amelia comes home. What is she going to think of all the havoc I have caused in the few weeks she was away?

Jocelyn returns to the kitchen and starts making another batch of pancakes. She gets out a bowl and puts in, 2 cups of flour. 1-tablespoon baking powder, 1/4-teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons white sugar and mixes it all together. She gets another bowl and adds 1½-cups of milk, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla along with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. She stirs it with a fork and pours the wet ingredients into the dry only mixing it until the dry is wet. When the batter is ready, she pours four small scoops of batter onto the hot grill. When the pancakes bubble, she flips them. After they are cooked, she puts them in the oven with the bacon to keep warm.

Ten minutes later, Inez follows Ben into the kitchen. Inez says, “It smells good in here.”

Ben gives Kim a warm hug and says, “Pancakes, my favorite. I am hungry.”

Kim tells them, “Breakfast is ready.”

They sit down to a heaping plate of homemade pancakes with a platter of scrambled eggs and fried Canadian bacon. Kim puts a warm jug of real maple syrup on the table near the butter. She returns with a fresh brewed pot of coffee. “Help yourself.”

Ben prays. “Thank You God for the food and for keeping us all safe last night…”

After her first bite Inez says, “These pancakes are good. Can you give me the recipe?”

“I will email it to you. How did it go last night?”

“Not as we planned. We have bad news. The blue tarp with number six on it was full of rocks.”

Jocelyn chokes on a mouthful of pancake and gasps for air. After swallowing several sips of water, she asks, “Did I hear you say, ROCKS?”

“Yes, there were rocks in the tackle boxes that Bernard Claeren dug up.”

Jocelyn drops her head and sighs, “Rocks! I thought you found the jewels and that the hunt for the treasure was over.”

Inez looks at Jocelyn. With concern in her voice, she says, “So did I Jocelyn! Floyd Balsky, or someone else in the group, double-crossed Bernard. We do not have any idea where the jewels, gold and silver are, or whether the treasure is still buried in Erieau.”

Kim asks, “What are we going to do now Inez? We do not want the crowds to come back. Nobody felt safe in his or her own homes. Katelyn, Ben’s daughter was propositioned in front of her house by one of the rowdies that invaded Erieau.”

Inez shakes her head, “I have a handful of reports that tell about the activities that happened in Erieau in the past few weeks. What I tell you has to stay in this room. If the news media get wind of this information, I am afraid that you would have a worse invasion. The treasure could be hidden anywhere in the village of Erieau.”

Ben agrees, “The volunteer fire department and the other people involved will continue to keep their eyes open. We are supposed to report any suspicious activity to the police.”

Inez tells them, “We will still keep our command post at the Sunshine Bed and Breakfast. A new police officer from the Joint Investigation Team has joined Sam.”

Brenda is inviting the three of you to have lunch at the Sunshine Bed and Breakfast at twelve, so you can meet her.”

Jocelyn hangs her head and is disappointed. “I was praying that it would be over and you could close the case. Now we have a bigger mystery. Where is the treasure? Is it still buried in Erieau or is it somewhere else?”

Inez says, “We have no clues to where it could be. Bernard was as surprised as we were. He has no idea where it is. He did mention that he never took time to open the tarp after he moved it because he was in a hurry and didn’t want to get caught.”

Jocelyn asks, “What are you going to do now, Inez?”

“I will send my reports to Chatham and London then sleep for a while. I will meet you at Brenda’s at noon. I have been working with the Joint Investigation Team without any time off for several weeks.

“I plan to visit my parents. We have a lot to talk about now that I am a Christian. I am looking forward to going to church with my family on Sunday.”

When breakfast is over, Inez goes up to the art room to write her reports.

~~~~~~

Inez comes downstairs with a bedroll and backpack around eleven. She tells Jocelyn “Thanks for all your prayers and sharing Emily’s books with me. I have been reading her writings on her Web Page. Someone will be in on Monday to remove the police equipment. I will see you at Brenda’s for lunch.” She gives Jocelyn a hug and heads out the door.

~~~~~~

Inez is waiting for Jocelyn at The Sunshine Bed and Breakfast. She introduces Jocelyn and the other helpers to the new Joint Investigation Officer.

Inez takes Jocelyn aside and tells her, “You can send me any information you discovers about Bohdana’s Daughter.

I stopped in to see Bradley before I came here and told him about the rocks we found last night. Please do not talk to about the tear bottle and Bohdana. He was happy when I told him I was going back to church.

“I will miss you and your mother Jocelyn. I think I put on some weight with all your good cooking. I will stop in to visit if ever I am in Erieau.”

“I will miss you also Inez. I will be careful and not go on any more treasure hunts. Once in a lifetime is enough for me.”

They hug each other and Inez heads to her green van and drives out of Erieau. She will never be the same.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn heads for home, the people in Erieau could be in danger again. What about the treasure, how are we going to find it and rid Erieau of this mess?

She phones her mother and tells her, “The tarp was filled with rocks.”

Isabel answers her, “Kim told me.”

They talk for a while, about Inez becoming a Christian and all the prayers God had answered.

Jocelyn goes out and works on the rocking chair. She rubs it down once more with orange oil and smiles. “I knew it would be beautiful under all that grime.”

When Jocelyn is finished cleaning up, she notices the Royal Doulton Golden Retriever in the box. Her mother had asked her if she could fix it and give it to Fern. She finds the tail and opens up a tube of special glue. She holds the tail in place until the glue sets.

“Good, it worked. Fern will be surprised when I give it to her. You can hardly see where the tail fell off.” Jocelyn puts the dog back in the box and sets it on a shelf where it will not get broken.

 

33. The Rocking Chair

Jocelyn goes to the workshop on Saturday morning to finish the rocking chair. She sets up the picnic table for lunch.

When she is finished, she carries a small box with the Doulton dog over to the Antique store. Fern is dusting a cherry Chippendale china cabinet. “I have something for you Fern.” Jocelyn sets the box on a table and Fern comes over and looks inside.

“Fern, my Mother Isabel asked me to repair the Golden Retriever dog for you. We cannot sell it because it has been broken, so I am giving it to you. I have put a letter in the box for you to show your parents. You can hardly see where I repaired the tail.”

“Thank you Jocelyn. I will always treasure this dog.”

Jocelyn goes in to see Pearl. “Remember you are invited for lunch today.”

“I am coming Jocelyn. I will be off work at one.”

Good, could you please bring the plate of sandwiches I ordered along with some cold drinks with you? I have made the dessert.”

“I will.”

Jocelyn sits in the side-by-side swing while she waits for her friends to arrive. She had already arranged earlier in the week for Nettie and Bradley to come.

~~~~~~

Nettie arrives for lunch first and asks Jocelyn, “What is going on, no more buried treasures I hope?”

“Only one, I will show it to you after we eat lunch.”

Bradley arrives on his scooter.

Pearl brings the food, and pours them each a cold drink and passes around the platter of sandwiches. They sit and eat their lunch.

They help themselves to the Chocolate Marshmallow Cookie Bars.

Pearl takes a bite and says, “These are so good Jocelyn.”

Everyone agrees.

When they are finished Jocelyn says, “I want to show you the treasure you get, when you remove the grime of time with orange oil.”

She takes them over to the workshop, and shows them the rocking chair. The wood is a light oak without any blemishes. It is as if it was brand new sitting in a show room window.

Brad is the first one to say anything. “It is beautiful Jocelyn. I cannot believe it is the same piece of wood that you were cleaning last week.”

Norma says, “That can’t be the rocking chair you bought at the Estate Auction Jocelyn. It was just a box of scrap wood.”

“Yes it is. I spent hours rubbing the wood with orange oil and fine steel wool. I glued it all back together, and everything fit. I wanted to show it to you before I gave it to my mother for her birthday tomorrow.

“I can’t stay long because I have to work in the store this afternoon.”

Bradley and Norma leave for home while Pearl helps her take everything back to the tearoom kitchen.

 

34. I Will Miss You Freddy

When Jocelyn gets up, she thinks about the fun day she had with her family the day before. Her brother Randy took the rocking chair to her mother’s house in Cedar Springs while they were at church. The family all gathered for lunch in the back room of OJs Restaurant for lunch.

Jocelyn starts to pack. She will move back to her cottage the next day. Norma and Gerry help her load her van with her belongings and take several loads over to her cottage. They make the last trip at seven o’clock.

When they are finished Gerry says, “The police phoned. We are sending them a list of the serial numbers from our metal detectors, and if the numbers match the ones they found we can get them back.”

“That is good Gerry. Are you going to the picnic at Seagull Island on August eighth?”

“I plan on going. I will be taking Norma with me this year. He turns and smiles at Norma.”

“The boats will be leaving the marina at ten o’clock. Pearl will be taking some of us. I always like going for a boat ride in Fishful Thinking.”

Jocelyn wants to go back to Amelia’s and take a shower, but Bradley calls to her, “Jocelyn, do you want some iced tea?”

“Yes Bradley, I am thirsty.”

“Claudia and the girls are visiting my mother in Chatham. She left a cooler with food on the counter so I could reach it.”

“Jocelyn goes over and gets the cooler. It contains a jug of ice tea, some sandwiches and cookies. Jocelyn pours two tall glasses of iced tea and puts the sandwiches and cookies on the table beside Bradley.

“Help yourself Jocelyn. Claudia always makes more food than I need. I am not as hungry now that I am sitting in a chair all day.”

“Thanks, I didn’t take time for supper. I was busy moving. We will be neighbours tomorrow.”

“That is good. I will be able to see you more. How did your mother like her rocking chair?”

“My brother took it to her house while we were at church yesterday so that I could surprise her. It is the right size for her sunroom. Mother went out to her sunroom and saw the rocking chair. She loved it.” Jocelyn smiles at the memory of her mother’s excitement.

“The rocking chair was the best gift I could have given her.”

“You did a wonderful job with the restoration Jocelyn. It looked nothing like the grimy parts that I saw in the box.”

Jocelyn says, “I hope my mother will spend more time relaxing in it. I love her so much. I do not know what I would have done without her help and support the past few weeks.” She rubs her hand over the scar on her temple. She looked after me this summer and was there for my every need. She lost a lot of sleep worrying.”

Bradley says. “I was talking to Inez on the phone today. I didn’t think you would mind, so I invited her to come to the picnic at Seagull Island with me. She will be off work for a few more days.”

We have so much more in common now that she is a Christian. She was so excited about going to church with her family. I know that I spent many an hour praying that she would find the love of Christ.

Jocelyn says. “I don’t mind. I have to get home. I am moving back to my cottage tomorrow.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn walks over to her van and drives back to Amelia’s. After having a shower, she gets ready for bed. Freddy comes in and jumps on her lap. Jocelyn shares her heart with Freddy.

“This will be our last night together. Amelia and Stanley will be back tomorrow. I am going to miss your company even though you wake me up at eight every morning.

“I visited with Bradley tonight. I am not sure if Bradley is interested in Inez. They could be friends. I like Bradley. I will have to wait and see what happens.

“I am still puzzled about what happened to the lost treasure. Where is it? I don’t know what to do anymore Freddy.”

Jocelyn reaches picks up one of Emily’s books and reads.

God Hears Your Thoughts

Ask yourself this question, “Who do I talk to the most every day?” If you are honest, you will say-- Yourself. We spend most of our time in self-dialogue. What will I wear? She hurt my feelings. I am angry with him. I do not have enough money. How will I pay my bills? Etc… etc… etc.

God Hears Your Thoughts so why not give them to Him in Prayer. Stop hashing your problems over and over and over in your mind.

Stop right now and write down everything that is bothering you, and then read the list to God. He hears you and wants to answer your prayers. Remember, if it is BIG enough to WORRY about, it is BIG enough to PRAY ABOUT.

Emily

 

Jocelyn starts to cry. “God I need to give everything that is bothering me over to you.” She gets out a pen, and writes a list on one of her index cards then puts it on her nightstand. She takes out her do not fear devotional and reads. Isaiah 41:13. She paraphrases the precious words on an index card.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand Jocelyn. I do not want you to fear; You know that I will help you. (NIV)

Thank You God.”

Jocelyn turns out her light and has a peaceful sleep.

 

35. Amelia and Stanley Return

Jocelyn spends the morning puttering around the house. She has everything ready when Randal and Marvel arrive with Amelia and Stanley.

Randal helps Stanley carry the suitcases down the hall. Jocelyn follows Amelia back to her bedroom to help her unpack.

Amelia says, “Jocelyn I need to talk to you. I leave you in charge of the store and you cause mayhem in Erieau. What is this I hear about you finding buried treasure and some bad guys shooting you?” She puts her arms around her cousin and gives her a hug. “I am so glad that the bullet only grazed your temple and you are not dead. Let me see the scar.”

Jocelyn lifts the hair away from where the cut is and shows Amelia the place where the bullet grazed her head.

Amelia shakes her head, “That was too close for comfort. I love you.”

“I am sorry Amelia. I was just having some fun with my friend Norma and the metal detector went off. It all started to happen at once.”

“I want you to tell me everything that happened in Erieau since Stan and I left for our honeymoon Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn says. “I don’t have time right now; I need to go to work.”

She follows Amelia down the hall. Jocelyn says, “Come for supper and I will tell you and Stanley everything. There are some reports on DVD’s and several newspapers at my place.”

Stanley Says, “I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures Jocelyn.”

Jocelyn laughs, “I have a surprise for the two of you tonight.”

Amelia says, “I hope it isn’t buried treasure.”

“No, this surprise is alive.”

~~~~~~

Stanley and Amelia arrive at Jocelyn’s around four thirty.

A man is sitting in the sunroom with his leg propped up on a pillow and his arm in a sling. There is a scooter in the corner. Stanley’s jaw drops. What is his friend Bradley doing at Jocelyn’s cottage?

Jocelyn has a twinkle in her eye as she says, “This is Officer Bradley Hornsby, Stanley. I think you have met.”

Amelia looks from Stanley to Bradley and Jocelyn with a puzzled look on her face, “Who is Officer Bradley Hornsby and why does he have a cast on his arm and leg?”

Officer Bradley Hornsby answers, “I was doing a joint investigation with the Chatham police. One of the robbers shot me. Jocelyn was shot with a bullet from the same gun.”

Amelia says, “I think I met you.”

“You did. I was at your wedding. My sister Nettie and I went to church and school with Bradley, before his family moved to London. We have always kept in touch.”

Stan asks, “How did you meet Jocelyn, Bradley?”

“I talked to her for a few minutes at your wedding, but had to rush off for an assignment and didn’t think to get her name.

“I was surprised, when I found out Jocelyn was the lady who found the buried treasure in Erieau. I was working on the investigation so I was not able to let her know that I was a police officer.

“Jocelyn knocked my hat and glasses off one night during our adventure. I still wonder if it was an accident or did she want to see the colour of my eyes,” he teases. “She just about blew my cover. My partner Inez told me that Jocelyn didn’t believe me and still thought I was one of the thieves.”

Jocelyn says, “Can you blame me, I didn’t know who I could trust, not when it came to buried treasure.”

Bradley says, “My partner Inez and I were staking out the beach. We were hiding behind the hedge in your backyard Amelia. Someone started shooting. I ended up having a helicopter ride to London, while Jocelyn rode in an ambulance to Chatham. Sam, one of the other police officers, shot the robber. He will have a scar on his right hand where the bullet grazed it.

“It was by the grace of God that Jocelyn and I are still alive. Two bullets hit my bulletproof vest near my heart bruising my ribs. The other bullets shattered the bones in my right arm and right leg. I will have to spend the rest of my career doing light work.”

They talk for a while then the oven buzzer goes off. Jocelyn says, “Supper is ready. Amelia can you help me bring it out to the sunroom?”

Amelia follows Jocelyn to the kitchen and says, “Bradley sure has blue eyes. You should have told me about him this afternoon.”

Jocelyn laughs. “And spoil my fun! The look on Stanley’s face when he saw Bradley at my place was worth all my planning. I told your parents not to say anything to the two of you about Bradley when they picked you up at the airport.”

Amelia pushes the wheeled teacart with the food and Jocelyn follows with the plates and glasses.

~~~~~

After supper, they sit and watch the national news report that Jocelyn recorded.

“We interrupt this program to bring you this report. The police have recovered eight stashes of buried treasure in Erieau. They say that a blue tarp containing millions of dollars with number six on it is missing.”

“We talked to an insurance company, and they are offering a five thousand dollar reward to anyone finding the lost treasure. They said it came from several jewelry store robberies near London in the spring. The police say that you should inform them if you find it. Do not try to keep the treasure for yourself. You will be arrested for having stolen goods and could go to jail.”

Jocelyn gets up, and removes the DVD.

Amelia shakes her head. “Jocelyn, I leave you in charge of Stella’s Antique’s for a month, and look what happens. I still can’t believe that you were on the national news and turned the whole village of Erieau into one giant treasure hunt.”

Jocelyn muses, as she pulls the newspaper clippings out of her bag, “It was no fun. I couldn’t even poke my head out the front door without newspaper reporters swamping me for information. A morning television show wanted to interview me on live TV, but I said no. I do have a stack of newspaper clippings.” She gets up and removes a blue folder from her bookcase then gives it to Amelia.

“You can read them while I do the dishes.”

Jocelyn pushes the teacart to the kitchen. Amelia takes out a clipping, and starts to read. It has a picture of Bradley.

Police Officer Bradley Hornsby

From London Ontario

Shot in Erieau

Officer Hornsby was shot while working in Erieau. He was taken by helicopter to London, where he is undergoing emergency surgery to repair extensive damage to his arm and leg. The police say that they will hold a news conference as soon as more information is available.

 

Stanley takes another clipping and his voice chokes up as he reads it.

Jocelyn Brooks of Erieau Shot

Someone shot a bullet through the upstairs window of Amelia Jean Wilber’s art room. The bullet grazed Brooks head and she cut hand and knee with shards of glass. An ambulance transported Brooks to the Chatham hospital. They released her today.

Brook’s cousin, Amelia, is the owner of Stella’s Antiques and Tearoom. She is on her honeymoon in Ecuador with her husband Stanley Vander Woerd.

 

Stanley reads another one.

Officer Hornsby Update

The surgeons say that Hornsby is out of danger and is in recovery. Only time will tell if he will regain the use of his arm and leg. We will give you an up to date report on his condition as soon as it is available. Ballistic reports confirm that the bullets that hit Officer Hornsby and Jocelyn came from the same gun.

 

Amelia says, “This one is interesting.

 

Five Thousand Dollar Reward

The police in Erieau recovered eight packets of treasure worth more than three million dollars a few days ago. Some of the thieves have been arrested. A blue tarp filled with gold, silver and jewels with the number six on it, is still missing.

An insurance company is offering a five thousand dollar reward to anyone who finds the buried treasure on the beach of Lake Erie in Erieau. The police have a roadblock set up and will search all the vehicles leaving Erieau Do not try to keep the treasure if you find it.

 

Stanly reaches into the pile and looks at other clipping.

What Happened to the Quiet Village of Erieau?

Treasure Still Not Found

Reward Offered to

Anyone Finding Hidden Treasure

In Erieau

People from all over Ontario, and a few from the United States, have descended on the quiet picturesque village of Erieau. There have been reports of thievery. The stores have had to shut their doors.

One person said and I quote, ‘It is like a hurricane of disruptive people arrived in the Village of Erieau. Nothing is safe. Even our children can’t play on the beaches without being accosted by strangers.’

She said, ‘I will be glad when the treasure is finally found so that we can have our peaceful loving village back. No amount of money is worth what we have had to endure in the past few days. My family has lived in Erieau for forty years. Nothing like this has happened before. Erieau has always been a great place to live. We all care for each other.’

 

Jocelyn returns and searches through the clippings and says, “This one changed everything for us.”

Hidden Treasure Found

Police confirm that a migrant worker from Mexico found a blue tarp containing the buried treasure on Tuesday the 14 of June.

 

Amelia says, “It is hard to believe that this could happen to our quiet village of Erieau. It is more like what you see on TV or at the show. Jocelyn, I would not believe it if it weren’t for the DVD’s and newspaper reports.”

“Let me see,” Stanley picks up some of the clippings.

Stolen Treasure

Stolen treasure worth over three million dollars was hidden somewhere on the beach of Lake Erie in Erieau. The insurance company is offering a five thousand dollar reward to anyone finding it.

 

He says, “What can happen next?”

Jocelyn says, “I hope nothing; I like Erieau the way it is now. The community is kind and friendly. I was relieved when the nasty people left Erieau and it became safe to go to the beach. We were able to open the stores once more.” If only I could tell Amelia the rest of the story… that the tarp with number six on it is still missing, and the police have no idea where it is.

She looks at Bradley and smiles. I do like his blue eyes. He whispers as she puts a glass of iced tea in front of him, “I talked with my supervisor and he told me that we can tell Amelia and Stanley the rest of the story.”

“That’s good because I hate not being able to tell Amelia everything.”

Bradley asks, “Amelia and Stanley, do you want to hear the rest of the story?” He proceeds to tell them about the blue tarp full of rocks and how there is a packet of treasure still buried in Erieau.

They sit and chat for several hours trying to figure out where someone could bury the treasure.

Amelia says, “It is getting late. Why don’t the two of you come for supper tomorrow night and we can talk more? Stanley will show you some slides from our trip.”

 

36. Ecuador Adventure

Jocelyn and Amelia finish making supper while Stanley and Brad sit in the sunroom and share what is happening in their lives.

Stanley hangs his head and says, “I saw my surgeon today and he said that I will never be an active police officer again. The damage to my leg will leave me with a limp and my arm will always be weak.”

Stan gives him a hug. “I know how much this means to you Brad. When we were children, you always played the cop and I was the robber. You joined the Police Cadets when you finished college. This will be hard on you.”

“I talked to the London Police Chief. He suggested several other kinds of police work that I can do. I will need to go for training. If my arm is not strong enough, I could become an instructor for a training unit.”

Amelia goes out and tells the men that supper is ready. They sit around the table and chat while they eat a delicious chicken dinner with roast potatoes and fresh green beans.

Amelia brings out a cake for dessert. With laughter in her voice, she says, “I made this especially for you Jocelyn. I call it The Erieau Treasure Cake.”

Jocelyn takes a bite. “I like it.

“It is so easy to make. I wrote out the recipe”

Jocelyn takes the card and looks at it.

Erieau Gold Treasure Cake

Ingredients

1-box yellow cake mix

3-eggs

8-oz. of cream cheese, softened

½-cup butter, melted

4-cups icing sugar

1-cup each of coconut and pecans

Preheat oven to 300. Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to make a soft dough. Press into the bottom of a greased 9 by 13-glass dish. Sprinkle with coconut and pecans. Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth. Pour on top of crust. Bake at 300 for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.

When they are finished eating, the women go to the kitchen and clean up.

 

After they return, Stanley plugs his computer into the TV and show some slides.

He says, “We arrived in Quito Ecuador and spent a week touring the city and surrounding areas.” He shows several pictures.

“We traveled south for three hours by bus to an oasis in the high desert of the Andes Mountains. We shared the bus with crates of chickens and even some wiener pigs. What an adventure. We helped in an orphanage for two weeks.”

He hands Jocelyn a brochure, “This was given to us before we started work.”

Jocelyn reads,

“Matthew 18: 1-5. At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said; “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. (NIV)

Stanley continues, “Amelia taught the older children how to make simple wooden crafts that they could sell while I helped with the construction of a much-needed bathhouse. The wiring in the old one was dangerous. I am surprised that nobody got a shock when they took a shower.”

Amelia says, “From there we were taken to a small mission in a village up in the Andes Mountains. My brothers sent a DVD with instructions on how to make a Keyhole-Garden.”

Stanley shows them the slide show of the village building the gardens. He says, “The ground where the people live in the Andes is rocky. Not much vegetation will grow. It is hot during the day and cool at night.”

“The missionary we visited arranged for the villagers in the surrounding area to come and help us build two Gardens behind the school. We sent a list ahead telling them what we would need.

“There were piles of rock that the students had gathered. We used two old piece of chicken wire in the compost container. We built the walls with rocks then filled it with old tin cans, cardboard, sticks, ashes, chicken manure and vegetation.

“We finished by dumping several bags of good top soil on top of the garden. I dumped several cans of compost-earthworms that I bought in Quito into each garden. We planted tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beans, and several other heirloom seeds.”

Stan says, “These gardens will help provide vegetables for the missionary and the students. We taught them how to recycle all their water by pouring it into the compost so the soil would be kept moist.”

Amelia and Stan talk about several other places they visited. It is getting late so Bradley and Jocelyn leave.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn walks beside Bradley’s Scooter back to her place. It is a lovely night so they take their time and talk about the picnic at Seagull Island that they will be going on the next day.

Gerry and Norma pull into the driveway. Jocelyn cannot believe her eyes. Norma looks wonderful. Her hair is short and she is wearing a dress.

Jocelyn has a chuckle when she introduces Bradley to Gerry. Gerry has a hard time believing that Bradley is Wayne, the man in the white hat who came to the picnic. Bradley shows him his police badge.

They sit and chat for a while.

Jocelyn drags Norma into her place so they can talk. Jocelyn looks at her friend and smiles, “What happened to you?

“The place where I work had dinner at the Retro Suites in Chatham tonight. It was a suit and tie affair. Some movie stars from Hollywood were there. They told me that I could bring a friend, so I invited Garry. As you know, I didn’t own anything except tee shirts and blue Jeans.”

“You’re right Norma. I have never seen you all dressed up before. You are beautiful and I love your short-cropped hair. Where did you buy your dress?”

Norma blushes, it isn’t easy to change. “One of my friends from work took me to the Glass House Nursery. They have a clothing store called the Betuila Boutique. I fell in love with this dress. Since I didn’t own any fancy shoes, I bought these comfortable sandals and a purse to match. She holds out her hands. My friend painted my toes and fingernails for me.”

“She took me to her hair stylist. He asked me if I wanted a complete makeover. I said yes, without thinking.”

“The man said, ‘no more ponytails for you.’ Before I knew what he was doing, my long ponytail was in a plastic bag. You can donate it to the Cancer Society who will make it into a wig.”

“It took a little while to get used to, but now I like it. I plan to go on a shopping spree and buy some more clothes. Do you want to come with me?”

“I would love to. What will your mother say?”

“Gerry is taking me to my church in Wallaceburg on Sunday. I will find out when I see her there.”

The friends talk for a while then Norma goes up to her place and lets Sugar Baby out.

 

37. Picnic at Seagull Island

The Secret Sisters, along with some of their families and friends are having a picnic at Seagull Island. Jocelyn will meet Pearl at the boat at nine o’clock. She is going early with Nettie and her husband Tim. Nettie’s brother Stanley and Amelia will come at ten so they can help Bradley get on the boat with his scooter.

Jocelyn gets up and looks out her window. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. It is going to be a fun day. Jocelyn picks up her devotional and reads for a while.

After having a light breakfast, she takes several baskets out to her van. I know they will like this fun activity. It took me months to prepare it.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn stands on the beach when all the boats arrive at the island. The men set up the tables, lawn chairs and coolers in the shade of two large trees.

Jocelyn tells everyone, “If you want to go on a fun adventure, meet me at three thirty under this tree.”

Fishful Thinking arrives and the men help Bradley ashore. They put several sheets of plywood on the ground, so he can move around in his scooter. He is still not able to walk. They also have his special lounge chair if he gets tired.

Pearl takes Fishful Thinking back to the marina to get another group of people. It returns with Officer Inez Beer, Officer Sam Dryer, Gerry and Norma

Inez walks over and gives Bradley a hug. She sits beside him, and they begin to laugh as they talk.

Jocelyn has to collect her thoughts. She likes Bradley, but she hardly knows him. Are Bradley and Inez more than working partners?

Pearl and Sam are holding hands. Pearl told me that Sam took her to dinner and the movies in Chatham.

Norma and Gerry have spent a lot of evenings walking with Sugar Baby on the beach. I love her hair. It will take some time for me to get used to seeing her in anything but blue jeans. The colour of her blue sundress suits her.

The women set the tables for lunch. Amelia sets two platters of deviled eggs in the center of the table. Bowls of salads join the eggs. Baskets of buns sit in the middle of the table with an assortment of sliced cheese and meats. Jocelyn blows the whistle announcing lunch.

She asks them to bow their heads while she blesses the food. They sit around in groups enjoying each other’s company.

Jocelyn joins Katelyn and several other summer sisters.

Katelyn says, “I had mom and dad watch Benny and Katy for me today. I never have much time to myself anymore.”

Nettie says, “My parents are watching my children also. It is hard to relax when you have a toddler underfoot.”

Lois says, “Thanks for bringing your famous deviled eggs Amelia. No one thought to make any for the first of July picnic this year.”

The friends talk about what is happening in their lives while they eat their lunch.

When they are finished eating, the women put the leftovers away while the men pick up the garbage.

Jocelyn looks around at the families. She says, “Everyone is having a great time. This is the first year that we have all been together for our summer sisters picnic since you were married Katelyn.”

Katelyn tells them, with tears in her eyes, “It is, and I won’t be missing any more if I can help it. Mike has decided to move back to Erieau and take a job with the restoration company near Blenheim. An older man from his Bible study invited him for lunch a few weeks ago. The story he told my husband changed his life.”

The women gather around and give her a hug.

“Mike sent me a copy of this man’s life-changing story if you want to read it.”

Sharon says, “We have time now. We won’t be going swimming until two.”

Lois takes the email and starts to read.

“Hello, my name is Tom and this is my story. I pray that you will be blessed by it and realize before it is too late, that your family is a treasure given to you by God. Always put them before work. I was not there for my children when they were growing up and I regret it. I missed so much.

The Purple Pearl

I had everything, a beautiful loving wife and five-year-old twins. I enjoyed playing games with Roy and Rose in the evening. We owned a home in a subdivision north of Toronto and spent a lot of time at our cottage in the summer.

I went to Edmonton to buy jewels for the store that I worked at. I said good-bye to my family that day and returned home a different person.

The information said that the owner and his wife were eating some clams while on their honeymoon in Florida. He bit into a rare purple pearl. When he returned home, he changed the name of his jewelry store to ‘The Purple Pearl’. The owner died and his widow arranged to auction off the business.

My heart started racing when I saw the lavender purple pearl with rainbows dancing through it in the window of the store. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted it.

The information in the flyer said, ‘A purple pearl is a qauja (pronounced KO-hog) pearl. It is rare and only one in two million people find one. They cannot be cultured, but are produced by the saltwater clam whose habitat is the Atlantic coastline of North America.’

I decided to buy the business with the purple pearl. Why not, I was not getting any younger. I wanted the rare purple pearl.

I did not talk it over with my wife. I cashed in my life insurance and bank certificates and arranged for a mortgage. I could hardly wait for the auction to begin.

The auctioneer said, ‘The building along with the business and rare purple pearl will be sold together. I hear $200,000, who will give me, 250,000; I have 250,000, who will give me 300,000…?’

I ended up being the highest bidder and owned the business along with the rare purple pearl. I was so excited that I could hardly wait to get home. I told my wife. I bought a business in Edmonton and we are moving next month.

I never figured out why Jill was upset. She said, ‘You put us in debt and never even asked me if I wanted to move. You forgot to buy the gifts you promised the twins!’

I told her it was not important. I would buy them something another day.

I sold the house and the cottage and moved my family to an apartment in Edmonton.

I see now that I let greed take over. I owed so much money that I had to work long hours and on weekends to pay the bills.

Little Roy and Rose never did get their gift. They were in bed when I left in the morning and when I came home at night. Jill had to go to work to put food on the table. She never complained when she took the twins to the daycare each morning.

Years went by. Jill attended all Roy’s baseball games and Rose’s piano recitals. Jill was at home most of the time alone. She was shy and missed her family in Ontario.

Two men broke into my jewelry store late one night. They thought the store was empty. They panicked when I surprised them and shot me.

The doctor told me how lucky I was. He said if the bullet had hit me one-half inch to the left, I would have died.

My children came to see me at the hospital, but I did not recognize them. They were teenagers now. I had a hard time talking with them. It was even worse when Jill came to visit. We had grown apart.

I returned home. My daughter Rose cried softly by my bed when she thought I was sleeping. Sometimes I woke and heard her playing the piano. I never knew that she had taken lessons.

My wife Jill changed my bandages for me. She rubbed my back ever so gently with soothing creams to help me relax.

My son Roy spent several hours showing me how to work his laptop computer. I pressed all kinds of wrong buttons at first. One morning I turned on the computer and the words I love You Dad, floated across the screen.

I could not stop crying. I whispered, God, what have I done? What have I done? Oh God, please forgive me. Help me change. I have wasted so many years and missed so much.

The purple pearl is beautiful, however, it can never replace the loving touch of my wife or compare to the beauty of my daughter’s tears or replace the words; I love you Dad.

I asked Jill and my children to forgive me for what I had done. I thanked Roy for his message.

I arranged with an auction company to sell the business. It sold at auction for more than I paid for it. It took years and a lot of prayer for my family to heal. God is so good. He spared my life that day and gave me a second chance to make things right with them.

I had the purple pearl made into a necklace and gave it to my daughter on her wedding day. I saw the true beauty of the purple pearl, as it hung from her neck.

By Tom Harper

Edmonton

 

Sharon gives the paper back to Katelyn and wipes her tears away.

Katelyn tells them the other good news. “I won’t have to go back to Edmonton. Mike has hired a moving company, and some of our friends from church will help him with the packing. He even sold the house to Tom’s son Roy, who is getting married in October.

“It is all happening so fast. I will be moving into my aunt’s house, near the marina next month.”

“That is good news.” Jocelyn gives Katelyn a hug. “I am so excited for you. God answered our prayers. We prayed and asked Him to send a Godly man to talk with Mike and he sent Tom Harper.”

Claudia says, “It is going to be hard for us to move home when school starts in August. My leave of absence from work ends in three weeks. Where did the time go? We love Erieau and plan to return next year for a month.”

Jocelyn says, “Erieau has been busy this summer. The exposure we had from the national news, put us on the map. One of our American visitors told me they saw Bradley’s and my story on the news. They had never heard of Erieau so they sailed their boat over to check us out. They said they loved the village, especially the friendly people. They plan to come back next year.”

Claudia’s daughters come over and talk with their mother. She says, “I have to go; I promised Lynne and Dana that I would take them swimming.”

Jocelyn says, “Nettie and Tom are our lifeguards. I will put on my sunscreen and get my towel and walk with you.”

She glances over at Bradley and sees that he is still talking with Inez. Jocelyn says, “Inez, we are going swimming if you want to come.”

Inez replies, “I never liked swimming. I think I will stay and talk with Bradley.”

Jocelyn says, “See you later, I have to go.” She joins the group of people walking to the other side of the island where the water is safer.

~~~~~~

When she returns from swimming, Jocelyn takes her heavy basket over to where Bradley and Inez are sitting.

Inez takes Jocelyn aside.

Jocelyn tells her. “The water was refreshing.”

Inez says, “Would you believe that I have a fear of water. I had to learn to swim when I was in police training, but I avoid it whenever I can.

“Thank you for praying for me Jocelyn. It felt so right to go to church with my family. Mother and I read our Bibles together as we always did before I left home and turned my back on religion. My mother said to give you a big hug from her.

“I met a friend that I dated in high school. I turned my back on him, because he was going to be a minister and I did not want anything to do with God or Jesus.

“He is the youth minister at my parent’s church, and wants to see more of me. I gave my notice at work. When we solve this case, I will get out of special investigations, and go into regular police work. I need to have more time off if I am going to start going with Trevor. It won’t ever be the same without my partner Bradley.”

Jocelyn says, “I am glad that you met someone and it all worked it out for you, Inez. I have some wonderful memories talking to my mother about God and Jesus. Mom and I will continue to pray for you.” Jocelyn looks at her watch. It is time me to start the Easter egg hunt. Everyone is going to have fun, with this activity.”

Jocelyn gets up and blows her whistle.

Easter-Egg Hunt in August

The boys and girls along with their parents wait eagerly for Jocelyn to tell them what is in her mysterious basket.

One girl says, “I can hardly wait. Jocelyn always has a fun activity for us.

Jocelyn pulls a coloured clay ball decorated like an Easter egg out of her basket. She asks them, “What do you think of going on an Easter egg hunt in August. I know these are only clay balls. We spent several hours painting them to look like Easter Eggs.”

“I came up with the idea when I read this story. Nobody knows who wrote it, or if it is true. What is important is the life lesson that we can learn from it.”

 

 

Clay Balls

A man was exploring a cave by the seashore and found a bag with several clay balls.

They did not look like much, but they intrigued the man so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he threw several clay balls out into the ocean.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls, and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful precious jewel!

The man was excited so started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars’ worth of jewels in the twenty clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.

He was on the beach a long time. He threw maybe fifty or sixty of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he threw it away!

It is like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.

We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. We do not take the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each one of us. We need to take the time to get to know the people around us who are hurting. We can ask God to show us how He sees them. By doing this, the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem within will begin to shine forth.

I hope we do not come to the end of our lives, and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships. The new people we meet might be gems still covered in bits of clay. I pray that we will see the people in our world as God sees them.

 

“I thank God for your friendship, and pray that we never prevent anyone from joining our group because we think they are only a clay ball. You have blessed me. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel. You all helped me after I was shot.”

“Today we will break up into groups of three. My uncle came over to the island early this morning and hid enough clay balls for you to keep two each. When your group finds six balls, bring them back and I will explain what to do with them.

“Do not turn over rocks, dead branches, or damage any vegetation. All the clay balls are in plain sight. Form into groups and when you are ready, sit on the ground.”

They sit in groups of three waiting for instructions. Inez teams up with Bradley’s nieces, Lynne and Dana.

Jocelyn tells them, “You have thirty minutes. Have fun. When I blow my whistle, you can start. When you hear it blow two times, come back to where Bradley is sitting. Good luck.”

She blows the whistle. The groups run around the island looking for the hidden clay balls. Jocelyn grabs the basket and walks over to Bradley. She sits on a lawn chair facing him, and says, “I know that you like an adventure and a mystery so I painted these two clay balls for you.”

Bradley examines them. “You went to a lot of work.”

“My aunt and mother helped me. We did most of the work in the winter, when we weren’t busy.”

He puts them in his scooter basket. “Thank you for inviting me today. I am having a good time. I was glad I could spend time with Inez. We have been partners for five years. I prayed for her every day. I found it difficult talking about my love of Jesus with her. It was hard sometimes.”

“That has changed since you came into her life. She told me that she felt the love of God and Jesus by the way you and your mother treated her. She reads the Bible every day now.”

“I am so glad Bradley. Mom and I prayed for her. God changed her.”

“I am going to miss being an active police officer. The doctor told me that I would likely end up with a desk job.”

“That must be hard Brad.

“It is Jocelyn.”

I am meeting Mrs. Gomer for lunch after church tomorrow Bradley. Do you want to come with me?”

“Yes I would. You will have to switch vehicles with my sister so that I can use the lift. Who is Mrs. Gomer?”

“You will find out tomorrow.”

“We are having an anniversary party for my parent’s tomorrow afternoon, if you want to come, Jocelyn. I would like you to meet my family.”

“I would love to go with you Bradley. Can I help for you?”

“I need to move to the lounge chair? I should lie down for a while. It is time for my pills.”

Jocelyn helps him to the chair. Bradley grimaces as he moves. She notices that he is looking pale.

“That’s better. Thank you for helping me, Jocelyn.”

“I am glad to be of help. We both survived a shooting. I will think of you whenever I brush my hair and see the scar.”

“Jocelyn, we have known each other for only a few weeks. It is as if I have known you for years. Would you like to start dating?”

“Yes Bradley. I thought you were special the night I looked into your blue eyes at the wedding. You left early and I never got your name. I asked everyone, but now one knew who you were. Amelia and Stanley left so I was going to have to wait until they got home to find out who you were.”

“It was even worse for me Jocelyn. You started walking down the beach towards me in Erieau. I wanted to jump up and say, ‘Hi, it’s me, Bradley,’ but I couldn’t. I was working undercover.”

They sit and talk about their feelings towards each other.

Twenty minutes later, her Brother Randy, returns with his sons. They have two clay balls in their hands.

Connor says, “Look what I found Aunt Jocelyn.”

“Good for you. Randy, take the boys over to the tarp. Use the hammer to split one of the clay balls. I want you to take the other clay ball home and put it on your shelf to remind you of the clay ball story. I have printed several copies of the story.” She reaches in her bag and pulls a green folder.

They each take a clay ball and smash it open. Randy gets an old coin, Connor is excited with the piece of blue beach glass and Mickey starts playing with the small wooden yo-yo that Jocelyn made.

Randy gets the writing and gives his sister a hug. “We had a lot of fun as usual, Jocelyn.”

Sam and Pearl arrive with Claudia and they smash their clay balls. They find a whistle, a toy car and a ring.

Dana comes running over to Jocelyn. “Inez sent me to get Officer Sam. Lynne and I found something.”

“Sam comes over with Pearl following behind him, “What is this all about, I heard my name.”

Dana says, “Inez wants you to come with me.”

They follow Dana and find Inez and Lynne sitting on the ground beside a big white rock.

Inez tells Sam, “The girls saw something blue poking out of the sand by this big rock. It is a blue tarp.”

Pearl says, “I have a shovel back at the boat. I will get it.”

Sam tells her, “That won’t be necessary Pearl. I need to phone for reinforcements.” He takes out his phone and talks to the Joint Investigation team.

They tell him, “We are on our way. You and Inez need to secure the area.”

Sam says, “This is a crime scene. You all need to go back to the beach. Try not to disturb anything. Pack up your belongings and get ready to go home. The Easter egg hunt is over. I think Inez, Lynne and Dana found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

The people start back to where Bradley is waiting. Jocelyn tells him, “It is over. The girls found the blue tarp. We have been ordered off the island.”

Brad says, “Have everyone gather their belongings and get ready to head for the marina. The island will be swarming with police in a few minutes.”

The words are no sooner out of his mouth, when a police boat arrives. Two police officers come ashore. They talk with Bradley. One of them takes out his phone and makes a call.

The police tell them, “Go to the fire station after you get to the marina. A police officer will want to ask you questions.”

Sam arrives before the boat returns and tells Bradley and Jocelyn, “The girls hit the jackpot. The tarp has the number six on it. We opened it up and found several tackle boxes full of gold, silver and jewels. It is the blue tarp that we have been looking for.”

Jocelyn says, “That is good news. Now I will be able to sleep at night and not jump every time I hear a noise.”

Sam laughs, “I have some other news for you. The reward is still on. The insurance company will be giving the girls a check for finding the buried treasure.”

~~~~~~

Jocelyn joins her friends at the fire station. A police officer interviews her and takes a statement.

She walks over to the pier when they are finished and sits with her friends. A police helicopter lands on Seagull Island and crowds of curious people sit in lawn chairs along the pier watching all the excitement.

Only Jocelyn, along with her friends and family that were on Seagull Island know what is going on. After they signed the statement, the police told them not to tell what happened.

Inez stops by to see Jocelyn later in the evening. She says, “I have been called back to work. My holiday is over. The case is finished except for the paperwork. The police took the blue tarp and its contents to London by helicopter.

“We think that Floyd Balsky double-crossed his partner Bernard Claeren. He did a switch in his tent and hid the tarp with real stolen goods beside the rock where the tent was. It would be easy to do. He could have hidden the tarp with the tackle boxes full of stones and switched it at any time.”

After Inez leaves, Jocelyn sighs in relief. She phones her mother. Isabel rejoices with her at the news.

Jocelyn is tired so she has a shower and gets ready for bed.

She spends time thinking about what had taken place in the past few weeks. “Thank You God. It is finally over. The only buried treasure left in Erieau is what is hidden in the people’s hearts.”

 

38. Where is Pastor Dale?

Jocelyn walks beside Bradley as his scooter bumps over the cracks in the sidewalk. She had enjoyed the early breakfast of baby quiche and fresh strawberries she had with Bradley’s sister and nieces.

Jocelyn is in no hurry because Robin the pastor’s wife is doing a special object lesson that morning.

The men help Bradley get his scooter into the church. They wait for the pastor and his wife. It is not like them to be late.

It does not take long before a small crowd gathers. They talk about the police and the helicopter that landed on Seagull Island.

An elder of the church answers his cell phone. He says, “That was PastorDale. He said that his brother has suffered a heart attack. He is on his way to the hospital by air ambulance. He is driving Robin and his sister in-law to London. He won’t be at church this morning.”

Jocelyn asks, “What are we going to do about the sermon?

They all sit and talk for a while.

Kim says, “The planning committee has the songs all picked.”

Bradley tells them, “I can help by doing the object lesson.”

Jocelyn looks in her bag. She pulls out a book by Emily. “I have some poems I can read.”

Ben tells them, “That would be a big help.”

Bradley phones his sister, and lets her know what he needs.

~~~~~~

Ten minutes later, Brad’s sister hands a heavy box to Ben. He takes everything out of the box and puts it on the table.

The piano player announces the first song. After the prayer, Jocelyn gets up and reads a poem.

 

 

Diamond

My Dear Friend

You are worth more than a million dollars, to this world.

How much is God worth?

How much is Jesus worth?

How much is the Holy Spirit worth?

How much is your Spirit worth?

How much is your body worth?

If you went to the store,

You would not be able to buy the above.

They are priceless.

They have been given to you and your friends from God.

God, who lives inside of your heart, owns everything in the world.

All the money in the world

Every diamond and precious stone ever cut.

So how can you put a price on yourself?

You have been created in God’s image as a special gift from God above.

So remember that you are worth more than

All the diamonds in the world.

All the gold ever mined.

You are worth everything to God.

When you look in the mirror today

Look for God’s reflection.

Remember that you have more than a Million dollar body.

You are a treasure from heaven, given to us from God.

God loves you.

Dedicated to all God’s Children.

For my sister Jane

March 3, 1998

By Emily

 

Bradley says, “I will need you to help me Jocelyn. No one, except God knew that Jocelyn and I would be sharing with you today. Jocelyn read a poem about diamonds and I brought my old rock polisher with me. God is good. Jocelyn can you pour the bag of rocks into this basket for me please?”

Jocelyn empties the bag of rocks into the basket.

“My parents bought this rock polisher for me when I was a little boy. I gave it to my nieces a few weeks ago. I used it to polish all these rocks.” He holds up a jar with beautifully polished rocks. “There are all sorts of colours and sizes. Some are more precious to me than others are. Take these two rocks for instance. What one would you prefer to have? This one is all shiny and this one is just an ordinary rock.”

A little girl says, “I like the colour of the blue polished one the best.”

Bradley smiles at her and says, “Would you believe that these two rocks are the same? I took a small rock and broke it in half so that it would fit into my rock tumbler. I put one-half into the tumbler and the other on the shelf.

“I added some water and grit and turned on the tumbler. It took weeks and finally I pulled out this beautiful blue polished rock.

“Have you ever found a smooth pebble in a fast-flowing stream or on the beach? The water running over the pebbles in a stream causes the pebbles to turn and rub against the sand and each other. When the waves break on shore, they cause all the stones to tumble in the sand, and they become smooth.”

“God makes life a little rocky for us also. He is not trying to grind us into dust, but to polish us into a brilliant gem! Can you think of anything in your life that comes between you and God? He wants us to change, except we are stubborn and want to keep doing everything in our own way.

“The next thing we know, we are having problems in our lives. Most people blame God when this happens even though people have caused the problems by their own decisions. They stopped following God’s instructions.

“That is when God sends some grit into our lives to polish the rough edges away from us. The rocks in my tumbler take weeks to turn into beautiful smooth polished stones. I have to wash all the grit from the stones and out of the tumbler, and change the grit to a finer size. If one speck of old grit remains in the tumbler, it will destroy the finished product. God spends a lifetime polishing us and changing us so that we will become a beautiful gem.

“I hope that after all these years of polishing that I am beginning to shine a bit more. I know I still have some rough edges that God is removing.”

Ben gets up and says, “Thank you Jocelyn and Bradley for helping us today.

“Let us close our service by singing, Shine Jesus Shine.”

Everyone stands and sings.

Lord the light of Your…

… Shine on me. Shine on me.

Ben prays,

“God please be with Pastor Dale’s brother. You have brought peace back to Erieau once more. Lord, you are searching us and removing some of our rough edges, and it hurts. I pray that your light will shine on us. Please let our friends and neighbours see Jesus in the way we live.

Amen”

Bradley says, “I have a basket of polished rocks if you want to take one. Thank you for coming to church today.”

They thank Bradley for helping. The children examine the rocks and choose one.

Bradley Meets Mrs. Gomer

Jocelyn and Bradley stop and have a light lunch before going to the senior’s residence in Blenheim.

Jocelyn introduces him to Mrs. Gomer. Bradley takes a closer look at her. She looks so familiar. I think I have met her before.

Bradley rides his Scooter down the hall. Jocelyn holds the door open, and he stops his scooter beside a large bookcase. He examines the shelves, and the colour drains from his face. What is Mrs. Gomer doing with my grandfather’s tear bottle?

He asks, “Mrs. Gomer, can I see your tear bottle?”

How do you know that it is a tear bottle Bradley?

Brad says, “My grandfather has one that is identical. It is an interesting story. Do you want to hear it?”

Jocelyn and Mrs. Gomer say, “Yes” in unison. They pass a strange look between themselves.

Bradley tells the story word for word that his grandfather had shared with him.

“My grandfather was a doctor at a hospital in Warsaw during the Second World War. His wife was nine months pregnant and having difficulty delivering the baby. He did all he could, but his daughter died.

“His nurse said that she could get a baby for him. She was on her way to the Warsaw ghettos to rescue a Jewish baby girl. She would make a switch and his wife would never know. His nurse told him to go home and bury his daughter. Tell no one… When your wife wakes up, she will have her baby in her arms.”

Jocelyn holds Mrs. Gomer, and they cry together.

Mrs. Gomer wipes away the tears. “Tell us the rest of the story Bradley.”

“My grandfather told me that he spent a lifetime trying to find his daughters mother. The Red Cross kept telling him that she was dead.

“He told his wife the truth. When my mother was old enough to understand, he told her about her birth mother. Grandpa would take out a silver box, and blue sapphire necklace along with a tear bottle, whenever my sister and I visited him. He read the scraps of paper and told us how his daughter’s father was his friend before the war.”

“He said that he named his baby daughter Bohdana, the name she was born with. He nicknamed her Dana.”

Mrs. Gomer says, “Bradley, I am Bohdana. I am your mother’s mother. I have searched for my daughter Bohdana ever since I handed her to the nurse in May 1942.”

Bradley says, “Now I know why you look so familiar. You look like my mother, only your hair is gray. You are my grandmother.” He gives her a hug, and they talk for a while.

Brad looks at his watch. We have to leave soon if we do not want to be late for my parents’ party. Grandma, come with us and meet your daughter.”

“I have had enough excitement today. I am not as young as I used to be.It would be best for me to meet her tomorrow.”

Bradley says, “You can come to her house in Chatham tomorrow. I will talk to my parent and see what they say. I will phone you tonight after I make the arrangements.”

He hugs Mrs. Gomer. “I forgot that I have a picture of my mother in my wallet.” He takes it out and gives it to his grandmother.

She sees the face of her daughter for the first time in over sixty years. She whispers, “Bohdana I never stopped loving you.”

Jocelyn wipes her tears away. Thank You God for answering my prayers.

They say goodbye.

Jocelyn asks the nurse to check in on Mrs. Gomer because she had received shocking news.

 

~~~~~~

Bradley uses the wheelchair lift to get his scooter into the van. Jocelyn says, “Before we go to Chatham, I want you to see this.” She takes out the yellow folder.

Bradley looks at the pictures and the photocopies of the yellowed pages of paper. “This tear bottle, sapphire necklace and silver box belong to my grandfather. Where did you get the pictures from?”

“The tear bottle, sapphire necklace and silver box were in the blue tarp that Norma and I dug up. I took pictures and photocopied all the papers.”

Bradley asks Jocelyn, “Why didn’t you tell me about the silver box and tear bottle?”

“Inez said that you were too sick, and if you had a mystery to solve you would never rest.”

“She is right. If anyone knows me better than my mother, it is Inez.”

“I have spent the whole month trying to find baby Bohdana. I solved the mystery of her mother’s whereabouts over a week ago. Today I will get to meet baby Bohdana in person.”

Bradley says, “I think we should wait until after the party to say anything.”

“That’s a good idea.” Jocelyn starts the van, and they head to Chatham.

The Anniversary Party

Jocelyn parks the handicap van in the driveway. Bradley’s sister, Claudia is waiting for them. “Dad took mother to a play in Windsor last night, Bradley. They will not be home until around three o’clock. The guests are parking across the road in the school parking lot. Come around back and wait.”

“I will, but I promised to give my gal a special pink rose first.” Bradley drives his scooter over to the rose bush by the door and cuts a bud that is just beginning to open. Looking Jocelyn in the eye, he says, “I think this matches the dress that you were wearing the day we first met.”

“Thank you Bradley.”

Jocelyn follows Bradley around back. Several friends and relations come up to meet her. Bradley introduces her “This is my girlfriend Jocelyn Brooks.”

The words seem so right. Bradley likes me and wants to spend more time with me. He introduced me as his girlfriend.

Bradley excuses himself. “I want Jocelyn to meet someone special.”

Jocelyn follows him and sits in a chair under a Japanese maple. An older man is sitting in the shade of the tree across from her. Bradley says. “Grandpa this is my girlfriend Jocelyn Brooks. Jocelyn, this is Doctor Borys Powell my mother’s father.

Jocelyn chokes, and someone brings her a cold drink. She catches her breath. He is still alive. Doctor Borys Powell must be Doctor Borys Powanda. He must have changed his last name when he moved his family to Canada. No wonder I could not find his name in the computer.

They sit and talk for a little while. It is hard for Jocelyn not to tell the doctor about finding the tear bottle and silver box.

Bradley’s mother and father arrive. The guests shout “Surprise.” Bradley’s mother is the person who bought the grandfather clock for her husband.

Bradley introduces his mother and father to Jocelyn. His mother says, “I will always treasure it. I already met Jocelyn. I will not say any more and spoil my surprise.”

Bradley’s father says. “I met Jocelyn in Erieau at the Antique Store.”

Just before four, Bradley’s mother invites the guest to go into the hall and have some punch. On the way in the door, Jocelyn hears the grandfather clock chime.

Bradley’s mother tells her husband, “I bought the clock for you because you told me how much you loved it.”

He tells her, “I went back to the store to buy the clock for you. I was disappointed because it had a sold sign on it.”

The family return to the yard and the caterers bring the food out to the tented area.

~~~~~~

After the guests go home Bradley says, “I have something to tell you. This is unbelievable. Mother, I met your mother today. She is living in a senior’s residence in Blenheim.”

“You must be mistaken Bradley; my mother died last year.”

“No Mother, I am talking about your birth mother, Bohdana Troki. Jocelyn has been helping the police with an investigation and knows the whole story.”

The family gathers around the table to wait for Jocelyn to tell what she knows. Jocelyn pulls out the yellow folder. Turning to Bradley’s grandfather she says, “You are Doctor Borys Powanda. I think you lost something.”

Borys’s jaw drops wide open in shock. How do you know my polish name? No one except my family knows it.”

“Look in this folder and you will see how I know your name.” She hands the yellow folder to him.

He takes out the photocopies of the letters he wrote during the war. When he sees his handwriting, along with photos of the silver box, sapphire necklace and the turquoise flowered tear bottle, he asks, “Where did you get this Jocelyn?”

“I dug it up in my backyard.” Jocelyn goes on to tell how she found the blue tarp and how the police did not believe her when she reported it. She tells them that she thought Bradley was one of the thieves, and how a bullet hit her head, and she cut her knee and hand with shards of glass.

When she is nearly through she says, “All the tarps with buried treasure have been found. The silver box with the sapphire necklace is at the police station along with the tear bottle with turquoise flowers. Brad can talk with Inez and he will be able to get them back for you.

“I prayed and asked God to help me reunite baby Bohdana Troki with her mother.” Turning to Dana, Jocelyn says, “Dana, Mrs. Gomer is Bohdana Troki, your mother. She gave you to the nurse when you were only a few days old.

“I read her letters a few weeks ago and have been searching for Baby Bohdana ever since.”

Bradley’s mother and sister bring some leftover food and iced tea into the family room. Jocelyn phones Mrs. Gomer and arranges to pick her up in the morning. Jocelyn and Claudia exchange keys so Jocelyn can drive home.

~~~~~~

Jocelyn visits her mother on the way home from Chatham and tells her everything that has happened. It is late when they finish talking so Jocelyn stays the night. She gets into her old bed and falls into a deep sleep.

 

39. Together At Last

Mrs. Gomer sits beside Jocelyn on their way to Chatham. She says, “My hands are shaking. All I had were memories of my baby for over sixty years. Now I will be able to hold Bohdana in my arms.” She clutches the tear bottle tightly in her hand. “These are some of the tears I cried for my daughter.”

Claudia comes out and welcomes them to her parents’ house. She takes them into the fireplace room and says, “The family and guest are in the backyard. We have to use this room because Brad’s scooter cannot go up the stairs.

Bradley enters the living room, followed by an older man in an electric wheelchair. “Grandmother Bohdana, I would like to introduce you to my grandfather, Doctor Borys Powanda.”

The doctor’s eyes tear up as he takes Bohdana’s hands. He says, “I spent years looking for you Bohdana. The Red Cross said you must be dead. I do not know if you remember me. I came to your house every Monday night to play chess with your husband.”

“I remember you Doctor Powanda. Your wife and I were good friends. We sewed while you played chess with my husband. I helped him make the chess pieces for you. I made all the pawns. Each one had to be identical in size and shape.

The Doctor says, “I still have the chess set and every time I play I think of you and your husband. What happened to you after the war, Bohdana? How did you disappear?”

“I took on the identity of Ana Gomer, your neighbour, after she died. I escaped to Berlin with her sister Olga and married her brother Peter Gomer.”

“I didn’t know that. We will have to talk later. There is someone special that I want you to meet.”

 

A woman enters the room. She is nervous as her father says, “Dana Hornsby, I would like to introduce you to your birth mother, my friend, Bohdana Gomer. Bohdana this is your daughter, Bohdana.”

Bohdana Hornsby takes her mother gently in her arms, and they weep together. The family leaves the room, to give the mother and daughter the privacy they need.

A mother and daughter are reunited, because of much prayer and strange circumstances. God is good.

 

Epilogue December 25, 2012

Christmas music is playing quietly in the background when Stanley and Amelia arrive. Stanley takes the devilled eggs over to the kitchen then takes his twins, Oliver and Stan to the playroom. Amelia gives baby Stella to her mother Isabel to hold, while she goes to the kitchen to see if they need any help.

Katelyn and Mike sit in a corner playing dominoes with their children. Ben and Kim will not be home until January because they went on a cruise for their Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary.

Pearl and Sam Dryer arrive and tell Jocelyn and Bradley where they went on their honeymoon. Sam goes off to visit with the men, while Pearl takes her pie to the kitchen.

Norma and Gerry arrive. Norma shows them her engagement ring. “Gerry and I are getting married in June.” They take their Christmas gifts and put them under the tree.

Jocelyn looks at her watch then goes to the kitchen to help with lunch.

Dana and Anabelle sit with their mother Mrs. Gomer.

Dana says, “This is wonderful having us all together under one roof for Christmas, Mother. I teased Bradley when he added such a large addition to your old house. He kept insisting that it might not be big enough, when all his family and friends had a party. He was right.”

 

Jocelyn tells them that lunch is ready.

Families and friends gather around the big table. Bradley thanks God for the food then they start to pass the bowls.

When everyone is through eating the desserts, they put the leftovers away. The younger children go for a nap.

The adults sit in the fireplace room and talk. Mrs. Gomer says, “I am glad Jocelyn and Bradley bought my house. They furnished it with most of the furniture that I sold to Amelia. It was hard to sell everything and move to the senior’s residence. This room has so many memories. They even fixed up a special apartment next door for me.”

Anabelle says, “Mother’s apartment is big enough so I have a place to call home when I am visiting from Africa. She gives Dana’s hand a squeeze. I always wanted a sister and now I have one.” She smiles at Dana. “It has been fun getting to know my new family.”

Dana tells them, “My husband and I gave Jocelyn and Bradley most of my parents’ belongings. It will not be the same now that my mother and father are dead.”

Mrs. Gomer says, “Dana, I was blessed to get to visit with your father Borys Powell again. I can remember him coming to our home before the war. His name was Borys Powanda back then. He played chess with your father, Dawid Troki. Your mother and I were friends before the war broke out. Little did I know that when I gave you to the nurse in 1942, that she would be placing you into the arms of my dear friend Anna.”

Dana puts her hand on her mother’s shoulder, “I am blessed to have had two special mothers.”

Mrs. Gomer says, “I thank God for bringing you back into my life after sixty seven years. I never stopped praying for you Bohdana.”

Jocelyn says, “Excuse me for a minute. I will be right back.”

She returns and gives her baby to her great grandmother to hold. Mrs. Gomer cuddles the little baby in her arms and tears run down her cheeks. “This is how small you were Bohdana when I kissed you, before giving you to the nurse back in 1942. I never thought I would see you again. Now I am holding your granddaughter in my arms.”

Dana and Mrs. Gomer smile at the month-old baby. Bradley comes over with a grin on his face and puts his arm around his wife. “How are my three Bohdana’s doing?” He grins, “Jocelyn and I have decided to nickname our baby Hana so we know what Bohdana we are talking about. Now we have three Bohdana’s in our Family, our Grandmother, Ana Bohdana, our Mother, Dana Bohdana and baby Hana Bohdana.”

Inez arrives later in the afternoon with her boyfriend, Trevor. She comes over to see Bradley and Jocelyn’s baby. She says, “Hana has your chin Bradley and Jocelyn’s hair. Congratulations on becoming a Sargent Bradley.”

Bradley says, “It took two years of hard work. I had a difficult time sitting behind a desk. The doctor said my arm and leg had healed better than he expected. I passed the physical so I was able to take the promotion. I am a training unit instructor now.

“I will be able to use all the skills I learned at school and while working in the special investigations unit to train the new recruits.”

Sam tells everyone, “The police have closed the investigation called, Treasure in Erieau.”

Inez says, “A worker at a moving company was a part of Floyd Balsky’s group of thieves. When he packed and moved your grandparent’s belongings into the storage unit in London, he put a mark on the boxes with valuables in them.”

She continues, “He put his own lock on the storage unit. He rented another storage unit to get the code number for the gate. He came back at night and put the marked boxes in his truck, then replaced his lock with the owners lock. Someone phoned Crime Stoppers about him.”

Inez dressed as an older woman who was sick in the hospital. She told the moving company that she had no family.

They made arrangements to have them move some of her belongings from her apartment to a nursing home. The men were instructed to pack everything that was left and take it to a storage unit.

“The crook returned and loaded his truck with her silver tea set and coin collection. He was surprised to find Inez standing with us at the gate as he tried to exit with her belongings.”

They sit and talk about the investigation. Several guests go home.

Inez takes Jocelyn aside and says, “Thank you for all your prayers and help Jocelyn. Trevor and I will be getting married in March, and we would like you to be in the wedding party.”

Jocelyn gives her a hug and says, “I would be honoured to be in your wedding party Inez. It has been good getting to know you. Where are you working now?”

“I was able to transfer to the Saugeen Shores Police Service near Port Elgin and started working there last summer. Trevor and his father are building a house on his family’s farm for us to live in. Life is so good. His mother reminds me of your mother, Isabel.”

“I am happy for you, Inez.”

They go over and join the group.

~~~~~~

Mrs. Gomer returns from her afternoon nap. She is not steady on her feet so uses a walker. Most of the guests have gone home.

She walks over to the Christmas tree and removes one of the blown glass ornaments. She holds the little horse up to the light. Jocelyn and Bradley give her a hug. Her daughter’s Dana and Anabelle join them.

She tells them, “My father made this horse in Poland, before the Second World War.” Her eyes tear up. “Oh the joy I had the day I bought the set of twenty-four animal ornaments at an auction in Germany.” She hands the delicate horse ornament to Anabelle.

“You need to sit Mother,” Dana takes her over to the couch. Anabelle brings her mother a cup of tea.

Mrs. Gomer’s voice shakes, “The Germans came to our house and forced my family to move to the ghettos in Warsaw. They allowed us to take one suitcase and the clothes on our backs. We had been warned in advance so we put several layers of clothing on.”

“My mother’s health was bad and she died within three months. They took my husband and father along with fifty men and shot them.

“I was pregnant with you Bohdana. I gave birth the following month. I discovered I had no mother’s milk. I was starving.

“I had no choice, except to give you to a nurse. She took you away and I never saw you again until Jocelyn brought me to your house in 2009.”

 

The house is quiet after everyone has gone home. Jocelyn stands in front of the fireplace thinking about all the miracles that happened to reunite her mother-in-law and Mrs. Gomer. She moves a walnut carving of a St Bernard Dog a few inches to the left. Bradley joins her.

Jocelyn picks up the silver Etrog box, along with the tear bottle with turquoise flowers. “It was kind of your grandfather Borys to give the Etrog box to us for a wedding gift Bradley.”

“I am glad that he was strong enough to come to the wedding. Claudia said that he gave her the sapphire necklace. He also gave my mother Dana, the tear bottle. We all have something special to remember the sacrifice and love my Grandmother Bohdana had when she gave her baby to the nurse in 1947.”

“Your grandmother, Mrs. Gomer gave me her tear bottle, when baby Bohdana was born. I will always treasure these gifts. We can pass them on to our baby when she is old enough to understand.”

Bradley looks at their baby in Jocelyn’s arms and his heart swells with love.

Jocelyn smiles at her husband and says, “Who would have thought when I dug up the buried treasure in Erieau that it would end this way? Now I have a police officer for a husband and my own baby Bohdana.”

“I love you and our baby Bohdana.” Bradley holds her tight. Jocelyn sees the love in her husband’s blue eyes. “I love you also Bradley.”

They go and sit on the comfortable couch in front of the fireplace. Jocelyn says, “I finished restoring the cedar chest. I plan to give it to Bohdana when she is older. I put the white hat you gave me along with several pressed roses in it. I included the story I wrote, about what happened in the summer of 2009.”

Bradley says. “You can put all the DVD’s, newspaper clippings and photocopies about the shootings and treasure in it for her.”

“I will Brad.”

“I am glad we met at Amelia’s wedding Jocelyn.”

“I thank God that you weren’t killed when you got shot.”

Bradley lifts a lock of Jocelyn’s hair and kisses the scar. “We were both wounded when the robber fired his gun. God spared us. How many husbands and wives can say that they were shot by a bullet from the same gun?”

Jocelyn gives Bohdana to Bradley to hold. “I found this writing by Emily. I want to read it to you Bradley.” She picks up the book and reads.

The Strong Cord

In Ecclesiastes 4:12, it says that a cord of three strands cannot be easily broken. When you add all the people that have prayed for you, loved you and held you up, you will find that you are a cord made up of thousands of strands.

Add to that cord the support, love, and encouragement from God and Jesus, through their word the Bible and the whisper of the Holy Spirit in our innermost being, then you will see several ropes intertwined together. It is ever so thick and strong so that nothing Satan throws at it can cut it.

A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I want to let you know that we as Christians are one of the strands in the rope that is holding our friends up when we pray.

 

“Bradley, I have been thinking about the buried treasure I found in Erieau. I already have treasure in Erieau. It is the love of my family and friends. God has united us together and we are not only a strong cord, but we have become a rope.”

Bradley hands a gift to Jocelyn. When she opens it, she finds a new white hat with a note. ‘Please do not take me fishing. I do not like fish hooks.’

Jocelyn laughs.

Bradley holds his family in his arms, and says, “This has been a very blessed and Merry Christmas.”

 

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