Rays of Hope: Chapter 12

Today I’m on an Amtrak train heading to Michigan to visit Mom. I working from an app, rather than my desktop computer, so things seem a little strange. Plus, I must keep my mask on at all times, except when eating. I feel a little like I’m getting into character as Marl and Ray visit Trummel.

An update on May His Tribe Increase: I’m about to find out what Ephraim did during WWII and a little of his experience in Chicago. I’m at about 40,000 words now. Maybe that’s half way. Maybe not. It seems Ephraim, Dallas, and Eldie have a lot of catching up to do. Plus, there’s Rita and Lettie.

If you’re interested in starting at Rays of Hope at Chapter 1, click here.

Chapter 12

“Well, hello to you, too,” said Trumble.

If Ray cold draw a picture for the Visual Dictionary of what it looked like for someone to be knocked back on his heels, it would be the way Trumble looked when she blurted out, “We saw a dandy lion,” as soon as he opened the door.

“It’s true,” said Marla. “Just a couple of leaves. No sign of a blossom, but definitely alive.”

Ray was sure Trumble rocked back on this heels and almost stumbled. He’s eyes grew large and his mouth dropped open, just before his palm wiped from top to bottom, almost as if he were rubbing the expression right off his face.

“Well, it got there somehow. There had to be a seed.”

“How did it get there?” Ray had tired of holding questions and a series of them burst out. “Why is Raincoat Man always on the Pedalabout? Why is he looking for sparrows? Why are dandy lions secret? Why did you step on it.”

Marla and Trumble spoke over each other.

“It’s not a dandy lion. It’s a dandelion.”

“You stepped on it?”

“No, I didn’t step on it. I just covered it, so no one would notice.”

Marla turned to Ray. “Your mother made tea out of the leaves.”

“My dad said they made a wonderful salad,” said Trumble. His face looked soft, and even though his forehead had three deep vertical lines between his eyebrows, his eyes under them looked like a boy’s.

“How did it get there?” Ray had to skip to catch up to the two adults already heading to Trumble’s work bench.

“You know what life likes to do,” Said Trumble.


“It likes to live.”

Trumble clamped his hands and arched his eyebrows up. The three vertical likes turned into four parallel horizontal lines squiggling like broken down streets running across his forehead.

Marla threw her head back and laughed out loud. She laughed so hard she had to sit down. It was the kind of laugh that makes anyone with a heart join right in, even if she doesn’t know what’s funny. And Ray didn’t know. Still, it felt good to laugh like that.

“Ray,” Trumble said, turning his full attention to her. “I haven’t seem any birds, but I did find this.”

He pulled out a drawing he made with a #2 pencil.”

It was Marla’s turn to be knocked back on her heels.

“I think the sulfuric acid is converting to water and sulfur.” He said.

“Did you check the pH?” Marla clamped her lips together in a straight line.

“Of course. Not neutral. But better than the drops you brought me the last time you were here.”

Marla let out a long low whistle before she covered her mouth with wide eyes looking straight into Trumbles.

Until next Friday, when we’ll both learn more.