Settled in their cabin on their first night home, Montana concluded his story: “I learned a thousand uses for peaches—and saw a thousand ways of God’s provision.” Montana brought out a stovepipe hat and placed it on his head. “This is the souvenir Cream insisted I purchase. On winter evenings, we both worked on memorizing Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The gift shop at the train depot sold the hats, along with copies of Lincoln’s speech. I had the long train ride home to polish my memory.” Montana proudly finished reciting the address. Susanna rewarded him with a piece of fresh apple pie, placed on a dessert plate they had received as a wedding gift.
“Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.”
—Nehemiah 9:21 KJV
“I saved one of my best memories ‘til last. As we gathered in the orchard for vespers, a flock of tundra swans flew overhead. Their honking sounded like trumpets as our quartet sang.” Montana stretched his arms toward the sky. “Only one more day on the trail, and we’ll be stargazing on our home slice of heaven.”
“Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”
—Psalm 42:8 KJV
“During the winter, our family read the book of Nehemiah for worship. We saw many parallels to our own lives. Cream reminded us that our story had also started with troublesome news from a family member; she remembered bringing Jeb a piece of peach pie late one night, hoping he would share.”
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
—Hebrews 10:24, 25 KJV
“Jeb and I helped build the rock wall that would surround a planned community garden. We gathered some rocks from the battlefields. We felt encouraged to work with Farmer Jones, the mayor and others in the community, and dreaming of what we would plant in the spring gave us hope.”
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”
—Deuteronomy 32:4, 7 KJV
“When Cream’s school hired a substitute teacher, Cream saw the peaceful effect of lovingly enforced rules. On the teacher’s first day, Bully Fred caused so much chaos that the substitute teacher sentenced him to teaching multiplication tables. Bully Fred surprised everyone by becoming the class math whiz.”
“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
—1 Corinthians 14:26, 33 KJV
“I received a surprise package from Sarah Winnemucca. She enclosed a signed watercolor of shell ginger and told of plans to travel north to teach Paiute children. She also enclosed several rhizomes for us to plant. I didn’t think they would survive the Pennsylvania winter, but Cream insisted, so we planted a few in the woods, and potted a few inside near a window.”
“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.
And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.”
—Zechariah 10:6, 12 KJV