Excerpt: Chapter 1 – A Leap for Love

Spring is calling.
     I hear her in the rippling waters
          Under an ice-covered stream.
     I hear her in the fluttering of the birds
          Through leafless trees.
     I hear her in the winds that blow
          Over barren fields.
Spring is calling.

—“Spring is Calling,” Berthella Whitmyer, circa 1935

Chapter 1 – A Leap for Love

“I still remember him strolling through the lovely high meadow above the little lake with my sister’s really cute girlfriend,” Mom recalled. “His shirt was off. He was all brown, mannerly, and innocent-looking. By nightfall, in the woods at the wiener roast, I maneuvered to Mick’s side and asked him why he had ignored me all afternoon.”

… Mom and Dad honeymooned at the lake where they first met. Dad rigged up a camera on a tripod to take pictures of them by pulling on a string tied to the shutter lever. In my favorite photo, sunbeams burn through the shade of the woods and alight on two lovebirds nestled together in a hammock strung between sturdy trees. Their arms are interlaced around each other’s shoulders and again across their waists, as my dad’s head lies gently on my mom’s shoulder. Their eyes are closed, with their minds seemingly dreaming of a beautiful future.

In the moment, as Dad cradled her in that hammock, neither of them realized this tender embrace which marked their genesis, would one day also mark their exodus. And Dad had no idea he would soon be forced to take another dangerous leap for Mom.

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