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Sizzling Summer

by Marijo Phelps  
7/23/2009 / Short Stories

"Come on, let's try it!" my sister was visiting for the summer from Minnesota and had never experienced Stockton at its hottest.

"You need to try to fry an egg on the blacktop? I just got some blisters running across it barefoot"
The elder sister's wisdom coming through in my voice, but the egg actually cooked. No wonder my feet had.

We shared an upstairs apartment and the window air conditioning unit had gone out. The landlord wasn't returning our calls. I am not sure why it didn't occur to us to withhold our rent check to see if that would prompt any action. But we were young then.

So, there we were trying to sleep on a double hide-a-way couch. Sticky hardly began to describe how we felt.

I was working to establish residence to get back to college. Nursing was my chosen major of the moment. Colette was babysitting for three kids of a friend of mine from work. They spent their days in the swimming pool at the college across the street.

The blue skies, with never a puffy white cloud and no hint of rain, were our umbrella. It was a time of innocence and adventure. We played penny ante poker with others in the apartment complex, had times of grilling together and rafting.

Still the landlord didn't fix the air conditioner. The nights were long and hot and, well, somewhat sleepless.

It was so hot during the day that when you blew your breath out of your mouth it felt cool on your lips. 114 degrees in the shade at 4PM for 5 days in a row. We thought about melting and I was so glad I worked in air conditioning. In our part of California it didn't rain from April through October, nary a cloud in the sky. Must be why it was known to be the fruit producer for our nation, that and irrigation changed our desert into a most productive area.

Without the irrigation, it would have been a wasteland. Neither of us knew the Lord then. Our lives were sort of a wasteland. We worked, paid our rent, played poker, ate great food and lived for the weekend parties and time off.

Colette was going back to college in the fall as sophomore music major. I was still changing majors so it was a good thing I took a year off to work and find out what that part of life was all about.

We were blind. No one that I remember even mentioned Jesus to us, well, unless you count what came out of their mouths when they lost at poker.
After the insufferably hot summer was over I discovered, quite by accident, that the window air conditioner had a fan button. We could have brought in the cool air of the evening all night long had we but pushed that little button.

Not unlike how we could have both called out to Jesus to take over our lives and save us. Save us from ourselves. Save us from making more bad choices that scarred us and our friends, save us from sinning and ruining that innocence we'd been given by our creator.

I am so thankful that both of us, years later, finally called upon His most incredible name and were set free.

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About Self

Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news

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