Most of my adult life, I’ve lived a thousand miles away from my family of origin. I’ve missed family Christmases and Thanksgivings, not to mention birthdays, graduations and even a wedding or two. But physical distance doesn’t always equate to emotional distance. I count my brothers and sisters as my closest friends. I know I can count on them, whether I need a good belly laugh or a gut-wrenching cry.
A few years ago (I won’t tell you how many), I answered the door to find a floral delivery just for me. I accepted it with great excitement, though I wondered about the faint odor of paint as I carried them into the kitchen. It didn’t take long to figure out the source of the smell. I unwrapped the flowers—a dozen long-stemmed black roses in honor of my 50th birthday. The attached card held a greeting from my brothers and sisters.
The next day, another floral delivery arrived—a pretty little arrangement in a vase, along with another card from my siblings. Every day for five days, I received a gift of flowers. Five days of flowers with five birthday greetings from my five siblings, celebrating my five decades of life.
The flowers are long gone, but the memory is still fresh of the way my brothers and sisters made me feel loved and special even from a thousand miles away.
Along with her five siblings, Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp in Wisconsin much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series (ages 10 and up). Though her feet have been in Texas for most of the last forty years, a part of her heart still remains in the Midwest.
When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband have three grown children and a rescued Golden Retriever.
Taylor Dixon knew having his younger sister at camp would be a pain, but he never expected the pain to go so deep.
At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving race cars when he’s older. But Dad won’t let him get his license unless he stays out of trouble, convinced Taylor’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble.
At Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, Taylor expects the usual softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and Taylor’s dreams for the future.
Will he end up fulfilling Dad’s prediction?
Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he’s built himself?