The morning was crisp and cool as we packed the car. My mother brought the cooler filled with the food for the camp out. The trunk of the car was full with camping supplies and gear. My father announced that it was time for us to begin our trip.
The camp site was in another state and it would take several hours to reach it. My brother and I were fighting in the back seat as the car pulled into the rest stop. Mom was not amused and told us to cool off during this break. She pulled out the picnic lunch supplies and handed us a ball to toss around till the meal was ready.
During lunch Mom mentioned that she was trying to make candle holders and the glass on top of electric poles would make a nice holder. Dad told her that it was dangerous to climb a pole and get one but that he knew of an abandoned electric pole near the rest stop that may still have one.
We finished lunch and packed the car. It was not long before we came to the abandoned electric pole. It sat alone beside a railroad track surrounded by a steep hill. There were no wires connected to the pole since it had been long since abandoned.
My brother and I stood near the car as my father began walking toward the abandoned pole. It was a short distance away from where we stood on a hill and surrounded by tall grass. Dad climbed the pole as Mom shouted to be careful and not fall.
The steep pole contained many splinters from the brush surrounding it. Dad wore a pair of gloves for protection and soon acquired the glass from the top of the pole. He was on the ground ready to return to the car when the train blew its horn.
Dad was startled as he realized that the only option was to run toward the car. He began to scamper quickly as the train approached loudly blowing the horn. We screamed in terror as Dad ran and the train approached.
It seemed like an eternity before Dad reached an open place and rolled down the hill to safety. We were all relieved that Dad was not injured. The glass for the candle holder had somehow survived unharmed as Dad presented the gift to my mother.
Mom hugged my father tightly and thanked him for the glass. She told him that this would be a special candle holder because there would never be anything worth him risking life and limb to acquire. The glass was carefully wrapped and deposited into the car.
The rest of our trip was fun and soon it was time to return home. Mom made the candle holder and placed it on the fireplace mantle between two toy trains. For many years after the story of that candle holder was told at all family reunions. My father would embellish the story about the train and everyone present would marvel at his story.
The candle holder disappeared years ago but the story lives on. I still have the small toy trains that surrounded the candle holder on my mantle. It is a precious memory.
My father has been gone for many years. Each time a train passes and blows its horn I can still picture my father running down that hill. I am thankful that my father survived to tell his story. It makes me smile to remember that candle holder and my soul is renewed.
copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce