The air was heavy with humidity. That in itself was unusual. And the wind was blowing hard, as always. Summer was definitely here to stay as the thermometer went up a bit every day. It was a nice, windy, hot day in the Central Plains small town.
Since the school shut down two years ago, all of the kids were now being bused eleven miles to west. So the little town was even quieter than usual for that time of year…the end of May, when graduations were being celebrated all over the nation, grade school children bolted out of school buildings like freed inmates, vacation Bible schools would be revving up to help keep bored kids occupied for at least the mornings and swimming pools were being cleaned and filled all over the country to fill their afternoons.
The farmers were out testing the wheat fields, wondering if this year’s drought would clamp down on what they had hoped would be an above average harvest. Gardens were tilled and partially planted, for the early veggie crops were just popping up with the warmer weather enticing their growth. Fruit trees bloomed in abundance with that so very slight aroma of flowers surrounding the green leaves busting out of the branches. Maybe there would be peaches this year after all, even if a hail storm had pounded them earlier. But there were no late freezes to stunt their growth, so there was still a chance of later fruit.
The Post Office was still teetering on the brink of being shut down with the entire town holding its collective breath wondering if trips eleven miles west might be the only way mail could be collected. But it was nice to see that the old school grounds were being tended to and a the new city park was sparkling with new play equipment and newly planted trees. Maybe it was all going to work out after all. Small towns all across the midwest were shrinking and losing schools and post offices and the old folks all sat shaking their heads in grief that things were indeed…changing.
But wait. What was that truck that just pulled through Main Street? And another. Then another. Several vans and rental cars followed closely behind with huge clouds of dust following as the town had one paved road…the rest were dirt.
What was happening? Maybe it was a family reunion. A very large family reunion. Or could it be some kind of construction? Well the only way to find out was to stop in at the local parts store and ask. The owner always knew the scoop on everything in town. Or in the county for that matter! Surely, an explanation could be found for all of the traffic.
The caravan seemed to be headed down to the south part of town. Even stranger was the fact the town stopped there….no through streets at all. The destination was obviously somewhere on that edge of the small town that bragged of 300 folks, counting all of the country people. What on earth could be happening?
Living up to the reputation that small towns have, people watched closely, eyeing the vans as they unloaded. “What the heck is THAT thing?” was heard more than once. Huge lights, boxes of equipment were pulled out, one after another. Mostly young people, maybe 25-35 were unloading cars, trucks, trailers on that south side of town. More than one inhabitant, who had lived in the small town for years, wondered how in the world were all those people going to find food? Where would they stay? How long would they be here? And more importantly, what in the Sam Hill were they doing here? Were we being invaded by hippies or perhaps oil industry workers?
Small children were snatched up by their worried mothers as more and more vehicles pulled into town. Kids out mowing lawns quickly finished their chores and headed home to see if their moms knew what was going on. Little old ladies stood behind closed curtains and peeked out to see what new happenings were going on down the street. Phone calls were zooming from one end of town to the other…which wasn’t far…with neighbors asking neighbors what was happening. All the town was aflutter.
Strange occurences and sightings were hitting the community like sudden spring thunderstorms and no one knew from whence they came…..Rabid Love had introduced itself to the little town but the question was: Was there a cure??? Would the town survive?
To be continued…. 😀