God and Man
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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: November 7, 2020      Views: 84
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BethShelby is retired from the printing and commercial art field. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband presently live in Tennessee.

Painting, photography, and writing are her passion. She has ha - more...

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #13 spot on the rankings.

She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #24 spot on this years rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #13 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 76 of the book Remembering Yesterday
Continuing memories of the family life.
"More of Life in the Seventies" by BethShelby

1978 continues for the Shelby family. Don is attending an academy in Arkansas, Carol is graduating high school. Connie is in preschool and has her sixth birthday. Christi is interested in boys.

For new readers, who may not have read my author notes. this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

In November of 1978, there was a news story that had everyone glued to their TV. A murder-suicide occurred in Guyana. Jim Jones, an ordained minister and doomsday cult leader, had taken several hundred followers from San Francisco to Guyana and built Peoples Temple, as an agricultural community, which was called Jonestown. The members were taught to believe the day might come when they would have to die for their faith. They practiced a ritual in which everyone drank Kool-Aid, knowing one day they might be required to drink it when it contained poison. 

On November 18, a U.S. congressman and others, who had heard rumors of abuse, flew there on a fact-finding trip. When they confronted Jones, some of his group opened fire, and the congressman and five others were killed on the runway. Jones returned to the group and gave orders that the Kool Aid be poisoned and served to the people. A few members realized what was happening and managed to escape. 909 people died from the poison, and Jim Jones shot himself to death. 

For those who might be too young to remember, this is what it means if someone tells you that, "you drank the Kool-Aid." In other words, you've believed something to be true that was false and will do you harm.

Another story that made the news that year happened earlier in England. The first test-tube baby was born. In vitro fertilization was something that opened a way for people, who had been unable to have a child by natural means, to be able to conceive. It was like a miracle for many childless couples, but it was a controversial procedure for those who believed that man should not 'mess with' nature.

In our own family there were more pressing things for us personally. One thing concerned the dog Carol had persuaded us to allow her to have. She had taken care of the food and water, but the dog was never taken out and walked. Carol was an unhappy pet owner, and she tried to ignore poor Bimbo, as he chewed away in frustration on the legs of her furniture. The dog had grown from a curry-haired pup to a scraggly dog with hair so sparse that it resembled the hair of a pig.

“Carol, we have to get rid of that dog,” you told her. “He doesn’t look healthy. He’s likely to give you some kind of disease.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t know what to do with him. I shouldn’t have gotten him. Do what you need to do.”

Thankfully, you knew someone, who lived near our place in the country, who never said “no” to taking in a dog, no matter how ugly. So Bimbo got a new home. I have a feeling that being in the open air and having the opportunity to run free, was a blessing for him as well as us. Sadly, none of us had paid enough attention to the poor dog, so I doubt if he grieved having to leave our home. For a long time, Carol didn’t want to be around any pets with a lot of hair. One day in the future, she would become a very responsible pet owner, but at this time in her life, it wasn’t her thing.

Christmas that year was special because we had our son back home. This time he managed to make it home without missing the bus. He had a lot to talk about. One thing was the girl named Lenora, who was his first girlfriend. He had gone rock climbing and he’d learned how to rappel. He’d also been caving several times and he loved both sports. His supervisor had praised his ability to do construction, but lately the project was on hold because there was a lot of snow. Now he was having to shovel snow, which was hard labor.

Christi was thrilled to have her twin back. It was tradition for them to have a picture made with both of them holding their birthday cake on the seventeenth of December. Before we left to go visit our parents, as we always did for the holidays, a group of boys from our church came by, singing Christmas carols. There were four young guys and Christi had a crush on two of them. She was really starting to be interested in boys. She had me take a picture of her with them. Less than a week after New Year, Don left us again. He went on the bus with the other students, taking with him a lot of new school clothes which he had gotten for Christmas.

Connie seemed to like her school, and she had become very fond of my neighbor, Diane, who kept her after school until we came home from work. Diane’s daughter, Lesley was a year younger than Connie but she and Connie became best friends. I was a little hurt when I found out that Connie liked people to believe that Diane was her mother. Diane was quite a bit younger than me, but at forty, I didn’t think I looked old enough "to be put out to pasture.' You, on the other hand, would be fifty in another year. She didn't seem to mind calling you Dad.

When Connie’s birthday came around in June, I made out invitations for her to hand out at preschool. Since I didn’t know the other kids' mothers, I couldn’t invite them personally. I’m not sure Connie passed them out. We did invite the kids around us, but the party was on Sunday afternoon and everyone had other outings planned. I had the den decorated and cake, punch and party favors and games arranged. Still I had no idea how many would come.

Diane showed up and brought Lesley, but time passed and no one else came. I was embarrassed that only one child was there and I was afraid that Connie would be hurt. Diane made an excuse to leave, telling me she would be back soon.  In a little while, she returned with a half a dozen kids I’d never seen before. She had gone to her neighbors' and brought those kids. Later some of the other kids who lived around came also. They had returned from whatever they had been doing, so we had a good group after all. Connie was a bit of a brat, though, because she made a scene when she didn’t win the “Pin the Tail on the Donkey" prize. 

The book continues with A Shrinking Household. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.

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