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COUNTRY ECHOES

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BRANDON WISCONSIN RR-2 53919

We are traveling along a highway going north toward Iron Mountain, Michigan, as I begin writing. Our mission up north is not a happy one. Sometimes one wonders about all the people one meets upon these highways. What is their story? Where are they going?

As for us, we are on our way to visit my husband's sister who was struck down by a car three weeks ago. How seldom we stop to consider what we might do to another human being when we get behind the steering wheel of our metal machines and drive hither and yon. This is our second trip to see her.

What started out to be a pleasure trip to view the beautiful autumn scenery our Wisconsin produces, ended up in six fractures to her body, and the loss of her right thumb. My dear sister-in-law is seventy years of age, which isn't in her favor. How little we know of what a day can bring. But we arrived safely.

It is now the next day as I take this up again. Iron Mountain, Mitch, boasts the 'World's Highest Ski Jump.' They claim a drop of 340 feet. On our first visit here we went out to see it while the nurses were getting Mildred readied for the day. With a pelvis broken on both sides, and one leg in traction, this is no small matter. The two of us, and her husband, drove out to look at this sport's structure. After having seen, the day before, what an accident can do to a human body, I stood there in wonderment. How could any person risk their bones in such a fashion, I asked myself? How?

And yet we had been on a busy highway traveling 170 miles, one way, with cars and big trucks behind us, before us, beside us, and we take it for granted, 'Nothing is going to happen to us!' But the law of averages says 'It MAY happen to YOU.' This is the first really bad accident in our family for years. Now it has come home, to us.

As you steam men tend your boilers under such terrific pressure do you ever ask yourselves, 'What if there is a weak spot somewhere? The inspector might have missed something.'

These two trips have been eye openers to us. 'Take care,' the miles seem to say. 'Your bones may never be the same again.' It surely should be a reminder to us that 'we are fearfully and wonderfully made.' The unusual song tells us about the knee bone connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone connected to the hip bone, and even mentions the ankle bone, I believe. The story of the coming together of the dry bones is in Ezekiel, Chap. 37.

Somehow, we have become very aware of how our bones are functioning, along with our muscles, and how much we have to be thankful for.

The lady sharing Mildred's room is seventy-five and she was brought in with a broken hip which can't be set because of her physical condition. She cannot stand the strain of the needful setting, pinning, etc. On our last visit, when we walked out of their shared room, she called after us, 'Now you take care of your bones, hear? You can't get new ones just like that.'

We thanked her and assured her we would, but necessarily we had to go right back into that melee of traffic and risk our bones all over again. When Mother Shipton made her prophecy so many years ago, and said, 'Horseless carriages will go, and accidents fill the world with woe,' she knew what she was talking about.

But there was a funny side to our day, as well. There were two young teen-age boys sharing broken legs and a room. They were surely livening up Dickinson Hospital. They spent part of their day recovering in wheel chairs. One day, when they thought no one was looking, they started drag racing down the corridor in their wheel chairs. I was just coming out of the room door, and a nurse was emerging from another room. Needless to say, their adventure didn't last very long, but they surely were trying to make things interesting around there. Mildred even laughed about it. She was much better this last time we were up there.

The incident reminded me of the resiliency of a true Christian, who, no matter what may befall him, can pick himself up again, and go on in faith.

In one of our recent Sunday School lessons we were reminded that 'trust in the Lord is health to our navel and marrow to our bones.' What down to earth word illustrations are given us in our Bibles. We need our Source, we need our muscles, but we also need our bones to hold us up. Oh dear! I almost fell over the Sauer kraut crock last night! Then I promptly carried it to the basement. Yes, we made Sauer kraut for the first time in our 42 years of married life. Six gallons of it! Ecology, you know, and beating inflation. It's good.

So, I will leave you with the succinct advice of our elderly lady with the broken hip. 'Now you take care of your bones, hear? You can't get new ones just like that.'