Excerpts from Preacher's Creek
The thing about being a child is the timelessness. Christmas was yesterday, even though it was actually two months ago. Easter is today, sometime maybe around 4:00, after our naps. Our birthdays are and will always be tomorrow. Time has no line that must be followed, and memories are merged into one big grand adventure.
After Memorial Day, it was starting to be warm, and Ron was home all the time since school was over. Not all the time, but we saw him running with his friends before and after dinner. They were a blur to us, cutting through yards and past houses. We had done something terribly awful wrong on one particular day, not that that was unusual. But this one particular day, Mom had limited our movement to the immediate yard, within sight of the kitchen windows where she lived and worked.
It could have been any number of things that we had done. We were known to throw rotten tomatoes at Mrs. Kischner’s laundry, and run away laughing. We were often seen racing through the stand of day lilies by the Christian Church, tearing them up, leaving wild shrieks of joy in our wake. Who knows?Well, I’ll tell you who knew: Barb the telephone operator. Her house was almost exactly in the center of town, just a little west of the Preacher’s Creek Elementary School. In her house was a large board with holes and plugs attached to stretchy cords. She had lace curtained windows on all four sides of the upstairs that gazed out onto the street, but it was more than that. Anyone who saw us where we weren’t supposed to be could take their phone earpiece, and wind the handle that somehow sent a signal to Barb.