Shannon here: Regina Rudd Merrick shares what happens in a small town when an aging pet gets in a pickle. Head’s up, this novella collection is one of my book babies. It’s up for preorder and releases Sept 27th. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Sept 23rd – Oct 4th to enter the drawing for a copy of Love in Any Season which includes her novella, Spring Has Sprung. Also, follow the fun scavenger hunt for another chance to win (Ends Oct 4th). Deadline for my blog giveaway: Oct 15th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Regina:
In the past year and a half, my husband, Todd, and I have had lots of starts and stops – aging parents going into facilities, selling our house of 20 years, purchasing and moving into my parents’ house, remodeling said house, and most recently, the deaths of both my mother and my father-in-law.
James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
Still trying to count it all joy, and still looking for the promised patience! I know it will come, and I know God understands.
Through all this, though, there have been some humorous situations we’ve found ourselves in. One of those was with our fifteen-year-old dog, Cedric, named after the character “Cedric Diggory” in the Harry Potter series. He was supposed to be a “Schnoodle,” but some Lab snuck in there somewhere, hence the shedding . . .
A few weeks after we moved to the new house, we let Cedric out into the backyard before bedtime and left him unsupervised for a little too long. The yard is fenced, and we’re about a half-mile out of town—but on a busy highway. Of course, there was, quite literally, one place to get out, and he found it.
When he didn’t respond to our calls, we started getting worried. We called, got our flashlights, and walked the property perimeter. Nothing.
At about 10:45, when we’d just about given up, I went out on the back deck one more time to call him.
And that’s when I heard him. He barks at everything, so we know his bark well. It sounded like he was in the creek, which we suspected. Was he caught in something? Was he simply lost in the dark and couldn’t find his way back to the house? Or had he found … the pit?
Almost as soon as we moved into the house, there started a water project that included the digging of a pit—something to do with wastewater pipes and clean water pipes having to be 10 feet apart, and the equipment needing enough room to move around – therefore, a pit on our property. It was about 20 feet deep.
When we heard Cedric barking, my husband, Todd, got in the car and drove down to the bridge crossing the creek. With the flashlight, he scanned the area, fearful of what he would find.
When Todd came back up the hill to tell me what had happened, the only thing we knew was to call 9-1-1. Understand, we live in a VERY small town. I told him, “Please, just apologize before you tell them what’s happened.”
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
“It’s not really an emergency, but our dog has fallen into the pit on the edge of town, and I can’t get him out.”
“Oh, Mr. Merrick, that’s a new one! (laughter ensues) I’ll get somebody over there right away!”
(The operator was one of my husband’s former students. Yes, everybody knows pretty much everybody.)
By 11, a policeman was on the scene (we’re outside the city limits, but he came anyway (another former student) and five minutes later, the rescue squad.
A ladder was lowered. They went back to the station for waders because they had no idea how deep the water was. When they got to the bottom of the pit, Cedric wouldn’t come to them from the other side. Was he on a high spot? Was it deeper in between?
The pictures speak for themselves. A dog who barks at every stranger he’d ever seen was more than happy to be rescued. He didn’t have a mark on him save a little scrape that left a trace of blood on the towel after his warm bath.
The only way he could have gotten down there was to fall in. There was no wandering in and walking out.
Do you remember Lassie? He was always rescuing someone. This time, the dog had to be rescued!
Small towns are amazing. I can’t imagine living anywhere else than Marion, Kentucky, where we’ve resided for over thirty years. People help you when you need help. There was no way we could have gotten the dog out of the pit, and no one minded being called out to help. That’s what they’re there for.
If you’re familiar with the way small towns work, you know that a lot of them—especially if they’re the “county seat,” have a festival of some kind. In Marion, we have a “Pumpkin Festival” in the fall, and the “Back Roads Tour” in the spring, in conjunction with the American Quilters’ Society Show in Paducah. We have a large Amish community, and car loads of people tour our small town and the surrounding area.
For the novella collection Love in Any Season, my story, “Spring Has Sprung,” focuses on a fictional town called “Spring, Kentucky.” Guess what kind of festival they have? A Daffodil Festival! (My favorite flower, having been born in March!)
The other amazing stories in the collection are:
“The Missing Piece,” by Amy R. Anguish
“A Sweet Dream Come True,” by Sarah Anne Crouch
“Sugar and Spice,” by Heather Greer
Question for Readers: If you could create a whole festival focused on something connected to your favorite season, what would it be?
About Regina: Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things fun, beachy, and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of 35-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and lives in the small town of Marion, KY. Learn more & connect:
About the Novella Collection – Love in Any Season:
Small-town main streets are the perfect place for seasonal festivals, cute mom and pop shops, and a feeling of family shared between locals. They’re a place for friends and family to come together to celebrate what makes their town unique and give everyone involved a feeling of belonging.
But sometimes the festivities don’t hold the same charm for shop owners involved in the events. Personal or professional issues can cause otherwise fun celebrations to symbolize seasons of added stress.
Can the hope of spring bring to life a love for the Dogwood Festival? Will the Watermelon Festival usher in a sense of carefree fun? Is there a possibility for fall’s Best Fest to provide direction? Or for the charm of winter’s Gingerbread Festival to sweeten hurtful memories from the past?
Come take a walk down Main Street, enjoy some fair food, and maybe even find romance in…Love in Any Season.
About Regina’s Novella – Spring Has Sprung:
Spring has sprung, the grass is riz …
Maia Pascal, Assistant City Manager of Spring, Kentucky, is tasked with organizing the town’s beloved Daffodil Festival, and she’s not happy. An allergy sufferer all her life, she dreads the season from the first Daffodil bloom in the yard to the last coat of pollen on her car. Newcomer Dr. Owen Roswell volunteers to help, and soon finds that not only does Maia need his expertise as an allergist, but help in appreciating the season she’s obligated to celebrate.
What does he want more—for Maia to fall in love with his favorite season? Or him?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Afraid you won’t win? Interested in Regina’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now!
Join the Love in Any Season Social Media Scavenger Hunt. Collect all 15 clues to complete the phrase. Submit the phrase to enter the drawing. Clue # 1 is “A good.” If you’ve missed a clue, check out my website at https://www.reginaruddmerrick.com where an updated list of clue links and the link to entry submission can be found. The contest ends at 11:59 pm on October 4th. Open to the US Only.
Come back Sept 27th for Heather Greer!