Grandfather's Bible—and a promise kept

EACH SUMMER WHEN I WAS A BOY, there was nothing I looked forward to more than spending a couple of weeks with my grandparents. They lived in what today is called "old Florida," and their house was at the end of a short dirt road, shaded by several fine oak trees. The Spanish moss hung so low from those great, old oaks that even a small boy could jump up and tug the long gray beards.

And then there was the river. My brother and I slept on the back screened porch, where just a few yards from the porch steps, the Alafia River ran toward Tampa Bay. At night we could hear all the river sounds, punctuated now and then by the rolling hum of long-distance eighteen-wheelers as the big trucks passed over the Highway 301 bridge just downstream. We fished in the river with cane poles, searched for arrowheads along its banks, skipped stones on its surface. It was just exactly what a 12-year-old boy would have dreamed of.

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SENTINEL WATCH
Prayer for refugees
August 4, 2003
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