Click here to Download Then came heaven PDF Book by LaVyrle Spencer Language English having PDF Size 1.5 MB and No of Pages 291.
Cyril Case was making the daily run from St. Cloud to Cass Lake, sitting up high on his box seat in engine number two-eighty-two. Beside him, his fireman, Merle Ficker, rode with one arm out the window, his striped denim cap pushed clean back so the bill pointed skyward. It was a beautiful morning, sunny, the heavens deep blue, farmers out in their fields taking in the last of their crops.
Then came heaven PDF Book by LaVyrle Spencer
|Name of Book||Then came heaven|
|PDF Size||1.5 MB|
|No of Pages||291|
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Most harvesting with tractors, though down around Sauk Center they’d seen one working with a team. They’d passed a country school a couple miles back where the kids, out for recess, waved from the playground, and their teacher—a slim young thing in a yellow dress—had stopped gathering wildflowers, shaded her eyes with an arm and fanned her handful of black-eyed.
Susans over her head as she watched them pass. It was days like this that made driving a train the best job in the world—green woods, gold fields and the smell of fresh-cut alfalfa blowing straight through the cab. And beneath the men the shuug-a-shuug-a of the steam engine hauling smooth down the tracks. Cy and Merle were having another one of their friendly disagreements about politics.
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“Well, sure,” Merle was saying, “I voted for Truman, but I didn’t think he’d send our boys to Korea!” “What else you gonna do?” Cy replied. “Those Communists go in and start bombing Seoul. Can’t let ’em get by with that, can we?” “Well, maybe not, but you ain’t got a nineteen-year-old son and I do! Now Truman goes and extends the draft till next year.
Hell, I don’t want Rodney to get called up. I just don’t like how things are going.” Merle pointed. “Whistlepost up ahead.” “I see it. And don’t worry, MacArthur’ll probably clean ’em up before Rodney gets any draft notice.” Up ahead on the right, the arm of the white marker shone clear against the pure blue sky. Cy reached up and pulled the rope above his left shoulder.
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The steam whistle battered their ears in a long wail: two longs, a short and a long—the warning for a public crossing. The whistlepost flashed past and the long wail ended, leaving them in comparative quiet. “So,” Cy continued, “I suppose your boy’s gonna go to work for the railroad if he doesn’t get…” He stiffened and stared up the track. “Sweet Jesus, he ain’t gonna make it!”
A car had turned off of Highway 71 and came shooting from the left, trailing a dust cloud, trying to beat the train to the crossing. For one heartbeat the men stared, then Cy shouted, “Car on the crossing! Plug it!” Anne, the older, mothered and protected her younger sister. Last year when one of the big boys, a seventh-grader, had knocked Lucy down.
Anne ran halfway across the playground and gave him what-for, and told him that Jesus was disappointed in him, and if it happened again she’d march straight to Father Kuzdek’s house and report him. What made Anne Olczak different from the other big sisters was that she’d have done it. Lucy, the younger, reflected the care she received from Anne by demonstrating it with others in her class. Then came heaven PDF Book
Yesterday, when her classmate Jimmy Plotnik had cried because he’d put glue on the wrong side of his construction paper, she had patted his shoulder and said, “Don’t cry, Jimmy, that’s the way we learn is by our mistakes.” Lucy was dressed today in a starched yellow dress with bubble-shaped sleeves, biting her tongue and forming her oversized spelling words with.
The concentration of one who believes the only way to make it to heaven is to do exactly as she is told. Sister Regina stopped beside Lucy and leaned down to whisper, “Lucy, your father is here to talk to you and your sister. Will you come out into the hall with me?” Lucy looked up and took a beat to register this interruption, for even though her father was there every day of the week, this was unusual. “Daddy?” “Yes.
He wants to talk to you.” Lucy flashed a smile totally bereft of concern. “Yes, S’ster,” she whispered and, with an air of importance, laid her yellow pencil in the groove at the top of her desk, then slid from her seat and led the way to the door. Sister Regina opened it and followed the children out into the hall, her heart heavy with dread for them and for their poor, grief-stricken father who waited. Then came heaven PDF Book
She wondered what was proper, to linger nearby or to return to her room and give them privacy. The children —she sensed—liked her and might possibly feel comforted by her presence. As for herself, the thought of returning to her classes at this moment was insupportable. She was still so stricken that she needed time to compose herself.
Anne and Lucy, unsuspecting innocents, smiled and said, “Hi, Daddy!” going to him as if he’d come to take them out of school early on some lark. Eddie dropped to one knee and opened his arms. That night he filled the bathtub for the girls, laid out their clean nightclothes and let them bathe themselves.
Lucy got into Krystyna’s Forever Spring talcum powder and, with the help of a fluffy white puff, managed to dust not only herself, but the entire bathroom. He had to wipe it down with a wet cloth, and the scent, when dampened, intensified as if Krystyna had walked into the room. The reminder of her was almost more than he could take. Then came heaven PDF Book
When he finished cleaning up the bathroom, he found the girls in his bed. Anne was reading to Lucy from Old Mother Westwind: “Why Jimmy Skunk Wears Stripes.” It was one of their favorite books, one Krystyna had read to them nearly every night. His heart took a turn as he looked at Anne and thought, Oh, sweet little girl, you don’t have to try to fill in for your mother.
Relegating them to their own room, especially tonight, after their mother’s funeral, seemed a heartless thing to do, yet he feared their becoming too dependent and attached to him. Furthermore, he was so exhausted he needed to have his bed to himself. If he felt like crying he wanted privacy to do so.
If he felt like getting up in the middle of the night and prowling around in the moonlight, he didn’t want kids waking up. “Listen, girls, tonight I think it’s time you go back into your own room.” “Nooo!” Lucy wailed. “I like it in here!” “We want to stay with you. I don’t like it in there without Mommy.” “But Mommy didn’t stay in there with you.” “But she always tucked us in.” “I’ll come and tuck you in.” Then came heaven PDF Book
Often in the past he had done this as well, but there were certain times of the day when they missed Krystyna more, and bedtime was the worst. Anne’s lower lip began trembling and two plump tears sprouted on her lower eyelids. “I want Mommy back,” she said. Lucy, forever parroting Anne, stuck out her lower lip and said, “I want Mommy back, too.”
On Saturday night Eddie hired Dorrie Anderson to watch the girls, and he got spiffed up in a white shirt and tie, and his brown wool suit, and went to the dance at Knotty Pine. A whole slew of his sisters and brothers were there, and so was Irene, with lots of curls in her hair, straight seams in her nylons and bright-red lipstick to match her bright-red dress.
His damned brothers danced with her, one after the other, and flashed him grins from the dance floor as if to say, You’re next, Eddie, so you might as well give in. When Romaine led Irene off the floor they went right to the booth where Eddie was sitting with a bunch of others. She was warm, her face shiny as she pushed back her hair and fanned herself with one hand. Then came heaven PDF Book Download
“Hoo! Hot!” she said. “Here, sit down, Irene,” Romaine said and pointed to an empty space next to Eddie. Eddie jigged over, making a little extra space for her, and she sat down. The waitress was there taking orders and Romaine said, “Buy you a drink, Irene?” “Sure,” she said. “A Grain Belt.” “Make that two. Anybody else?” When the waitress went away the table talk continued quite loudly.
Under its cover Irene said quietly, “How’re you tonight, Eddie? You’re not dancing much.” She got out her compact, flipped it open and checked her face in the mirror. Eddie said, “What is it about girls that they can’t stand to see a man not dancing?” Irene got out a Kleenex and dabbed her forehead, then flipped some curls into place and put the compact away in her pocket.
“Advent starts tomorrow. That means no more dances till after Christmas,” she said. “Last chance for four weeks, that’s all.” “Tell you what,” he said. “If they play ‘Goodnight Irene,’ I’ll dance with you.” It was a popular song that year and you could hardly turn the radio on without hearing it. “I’ll make sure they do,” she said, flashing him a saucy smile. Then came heaven PDF Book Download
“God punishes sin, not you. And I cannot believe one of those children is better off for it. Anne, come here.” Anne dropped her hands and ran to Sister Regina’s side, flinging her arms around the nun’s hips and crying against her black clothing. “Mother Superior will hear about this!” Mary Charles promised. “Yes, Sister, she will.”
More gently, to Anne who was still sobbing with her face a mess, Sister Regina said, “Anne, please go into the bathroom and blow your nose and wait for me there.” Anne ran out, leaving the two nuns alone. Sister Regina said, in her calmest voice, “I’m very sorry, Sister, but I simply could not tolerate it anymore.
I’ve disagreed with your whipping the children ever since I came here, but it seemed to be a tradition, and everyone accepted it. Well, not me. Never me. I see no reason why the children should be sacrificed to some bitter need you have within you. It is not the children who should go to Confession, Sister, but you.” Then came heaven PDF Book Download
Sister Mary Charles had thrown her strap aside and was rolling her sleeve down, muttering, “… young progressive know-it-alls they’re turning out of the convent these days…” “What are you so bitter about, Sister?” the younger one asked quietly. “If it wasn’t for people like me those kids would be running all over us, blaspheming in the halls, skipping Mass and who knows what else!”
“Is that what Anne was doing, blaspheming in the halls? Skipping Mass? No. What was it? Running? like any healthy little fourth-grader is bound to do when she’s cooped up for eight hours a day and can’t even go outside for recess?” “You overstep your bounds, Sister, and while you’re doing it you break Holy Rule.” “Please, don’t speak to me of Holy Rule.
You might try relearning chapter six on charity, where it says teachers may not inflict corporal punishment of any kind on a pupil. What about that holy rule?” Sister Mary Charles scoffed and headed toward the door through which Anne had run. “I don’t have to stand here and take this from a nun who everyone knows plays favorites to those Olczak kids just because their dad is the janitor. Then came heaven PDF Book Download
I’m not stupid, Sister. Nor is Mother Superior. We know what’s going on!” She went out and slammed the door none too gently “So in our room Elizabeth and I played school, and she was always the student and I was always the teacher, and I’d take the wooden slat out of the bottom of a shade and use it as a pointer and tap the papered walls and pretend there were blackboards there.
And I was teaching her the alphabet. I wanted to be a teacher, and the only kind of teacher I had ever known wore a habit, so that’s the kind I wanted to be. “But I was eleven…” More softly, she repeated, “… eleven.” She glanced all around the table. Some faces were lifted, their expressions softening. “And everybody said what a wonderful nun I’d make. I should be a nun.
Grandma said so, Mother said so, the nuns at school said so. And what child of eleven isn’t going to believe the people she admires the most? Pretty soon I thought so, too. So I became one… and I was happy. For quite a long time, I was happy. So please don’t think I’m blaming you, or that I have regrets. There are no regrets here.” She crossed her wrists over her heart. Then came heaven PDF Book Free
“None at all.” The gold ring on her left hand glinted in the light and her voluminous sleeve looped down. By now most of the family members around the table were watching her, and she stood in the motionless pose for several seconds before going on. “There is so much I like about living in my religious community. There’s the wonderful sense of belonging to this worldwide family that will always be there for me.
There’s a sense of purpose to every hour of every day, of doing good, and of changing the world in important ways. When we pray together, especially during Divine Office, realizing that every other priest and nun the world over is offering up the same prayer at the same time— why, I cannot tell you how powerful and rewarding those times are.
And I love teaching… some of the children have grown very special to me, and their families, too, and the people of the town who are so good to us at Saint Joseph’s. Then came heaven PDF Book Free