Umber (19.20 — Vera’s Story)

April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

One hot Sunday morning in July, Ervin and I sat, as usual, with the rest of our family on one of the hard wooden pews in the white church at Elm Creek.  Kate and Myrna smiled demurely at the farmers’ sons.  Grandma yanked Ervin’s collar and whispered loudly “Sit up straight.”  I was sure everyone in the church could hear her.  Grandpa’s cane stuck out into the aisle.  Papa and Delbert sat stoically, eyes fixed on the preacher, whose endless sermon was, as usual, devoted to the subject of sin and eternal damnation.  Whenever I stopped daydreaming long enough to listen, I heard plenty about abominations, righteous wrath, and wretched souls cast into perpetual fire. I was feeling more contrary than usual.  I was tired of sitting in a scratchy dress in a hard pew, being threatened with the fires of hell for something Adam did before I was even born. 


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