By L. Ray Born
On the back cover of While Waiting by L. Ray Born, I read, “He’s having fun writing these stories and hopes someone, somewhere will find them enjoyable.” Well, this author found that someone with me! I was smiling while I read the majority of these stories, pausing only once in awhile to decide whether this story or that one was true or not! I admit I’m still not sure about some of them! But I am sure that was part of the fun for the author. While Waiting was “mostly written so that his Grandchildren and/or Great-Grandchildren might have something to remember Grandpa by.” What a wonderful goal for any book!
Most of the stories are short and, as intended by the title, can be read While Waiting—for an appointment with your doctor, while riding the bus, or just, like I did, to stop for a cup of tea and enjoy. The stories reminded me of those that would be told in my family, about this person or that doing something that was funny or that should be remembered and carried forward for all family members to enjoy. In fact, I felt like I was hearing the author tell these stories, sitting around a large fire, and roasting the marshmallows, just liked he shared was the best way to do it!
While each of the stories provided a tale to be enjoyed, I especially liked the following ones:
· Fred and the Summer of ’37. Now the interesting part of this for me was taking us back to a time when two young boys, on bikes, could safely go off on their own, to have an adventure, to visit with relatives. I may not have traveled as far as these boys, but I remember many days in my youth when I would take off by myself, maybe carrying something for a lunch, and I would go sit by the river nearby, or on a huge rock somewhere amongst the trees...just to glory in God’s beauty and the silence of exploration. Thanks to this story, I was able to relive some of my own memories!
· Cliff. Now this was one of the stories I wasn’t sure was true...but I wanted to believe it! You see Cliff became a hero, I think... Cliff had been left at home while his family went on a camping trip, much to his disappointment—he needed to be where his family was in order to protect them. Nevertheless, the family went off without him. They were having a wonderful time while camping, until a mountain lion came visiting! As the big cat sprang, mid-air, a reddish-gold flash hit the lion and took it quickly to the ground. Cliff downed that cat, whimpered to ask if the family was all right and then was gone. Was it a dream? Did he really travel to save the family? You’ll have to decide for yourself!
· Real Men Don’t Scream. Or do they, if your new house is haunted? Have you ever wondered if someone or something is there, watching you sleep? I especially liked this one...and, yes, men do scream...sometimes!
· What a Man Has To Do. And then there was the man--no, this one is very special and you’ll just have to read it! I’ll give you a couple of hints, model trains, a special love for them and a desire to spend your life driving those engines every day! Can you even guess?
· Sunset. Did you ever spend a night—in a cabin that wasn’t there? Or have you had a delicious meal—in a restaurant that had burned down? Now, this one, I thought, was probably a very good ghost story, made up by a wonderful man who wanted to share a story with his family. I think...
Hey, this neat little book, with a beautiful scenic cover can fit in your pocket or purse and will certainly keep you entertained While Waiting any time you just want to stop, relax, and smile from a memory or a good tale. And, if you need a good story to tell the kids, pick this one up for a family-oriented ghost story! You’ll love it!