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The 12:15 United Flight from Seattle to Des Moines: The Story Continues

Updated on January 8, 2016

Thanks for Returning

I’m glad you are still with me. William Dale and Sarah with an “h” are in Olympia, Washington, trying to learn more about agritourism in order to save the family farm back in Iowa. When the last chapter ended, they had arrived at the farm owned by Sheila and Bill Hollis, and they were a bit surprised to learn that their hosts knew quite a bit more about them than was possible to know.

Shall we continue?

A whole lot of learning going on
A whole lot of learning going on | Source

When the Impossible Becomes Reality

It really wasn’t possible for Sheila to know the names of my mother, my sister and our unborn child. Oh sure, we live in the Internet Age, and with a little research Sheila might have discovered the names of Mom and Jeannie, but our child? We settled on the name “Heather” during the train trip from Iowa to Olympia and we had told no one. So how, exactly, did Sheila know? I asked her that very question.

“I realize, William Dale, Sarah, that it seems impossible for me to know the name of your child, but trust me when I tell you it is not impossible at all because, well, love alters reality. We have known about you for quite some time now, and we’ve been looking forward to your visit. It really was just a matter of time. You’ve been struggling on that farm of yours, what with the dropping corn prices and governmental regulations that are strangling the life out of you, so looking at alternatives was your next logical step. Once Sarah saw that magazine article about our farm while sitting in the “Cut and Tuck” getting her hair done, it was just a matter of time before you visited us.”

“But you didn’t answer my question, Sheila,” I said. “How could you possibly know any of that?”

“William Dale, I did answer your question, but perhaps you were not listening closely. Love alters reality. Now come, both of you. Let’s eat a meal together. Our extended family is waiting in the dining room and we have a lovely meal of foods from our farm. Come, let us get to know each other better.”

A meal with new friends
A meal with new friends | Source

The Meal

We followed our hosts into the old farmhouse. Seated at the table in the dining room were five people. They all smiled and rose from their seats as we entered. Sheila handled introductions.

“William Dale, Sarah, from left to right may I introduce you to our daughter, Astarte, our granddaughter, Hope, our dear friends, Pauline and Tweetie and Tweetie’s daughter, Bij-Ari. All of you, please say hello to our new best friends from Iowa, William Dale and Sarah and of course, their soon-to-be daughter, Heather.”

We were greeted with hugs from all, a welcoming, really, unlike any I had experienced. There was no hesitation, no awkwardness, none of the social restraints usually associated with a first-meeting. It was as though we were known intimately by our hosts, cherished members of a family we did not know. Astarte and Hope were stunning in their beauty and both exhibited the same gentleness of spirit as Sheila. Tweetie was six-foot, five-inches at least, a scarecrow of a man with purple hair wearing a kilt, and his smile was infectious. Pauline had pink hair, a fireplug of a woman with a cherub’s face, and Bij-Ari a statuesque beauty covered in tats of various animals, the most prominent of which was an eagle on her chest with wings spread across her bare shoulders.

We learned about them all and Sheila told us if we needed to know more we could read the book her husband, Bill, wrote entitled “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today.”

“I think you’ll find the book fascinating,” she said. “But you aren’t here to read books. You’re here to learn how to change your farm into a thriving enterprise. Eat up and then we’ll go for a walking tour of our acreage.”

Sheila
Sheila | Source

After the Meal

The meal was delicious and the company entertaining, to say the least. Tweetie held court with a rambling discussion of global warming and saving the environment. His arguments and proofs, including testimony about the mating rituals of the African Chickadee, were bizarre but also spellbinding. We learned that Bill Hollis had, at one time, been a United States Senator and that Hope, a budding young woman of fourteen, was gaining a sizable following for her new church-slash-religion based upon the principle of Love. By the time the meal had ended I was spinning intellectually and emotionally, and I sensed the same of Sarah.

“Leave the dishes,” Sheila told us. “Let’s go for a walkabout.”

Their farm was a feast for the eyes and imagination. There were four greenhouses, wind-turbines, solar panels, fruit stands for the public, classrooms in the two barns, a residential building where visiting writers and other artists could stay, a petting zoo for children and of course, many acres of plowed fields awaiting planting.

“We are completely self-sustaining here,” Bill Hollis told us. “Our carbon footprint is practically non-existent, and all surplus that is not sold is donated to various homeless shelters in the area. Using techniques developed by Tweetie and Pauline, we were making a modest profit after the first year. Now, well, we do quite well.”

“And so shall you,” chimed in Sheila. She held a ladybug in her palm and held it up for us to see.

“This little lady is Delilah,” Sheila continued. “She’s been with us for several years now and really, she symbolizes our philosophy on the farm, namely that all living things are important and all have value in the grand circle of life. We can teach you the X’s and O’s of agritourism, but the most important lesson you need to leave here with is that with love, all things are possible. And that is why, William and Sarah, you will do well in Iowa. There is love in your family, and as long as that love remains, you will never fail. Now, William, why don’t you walk around with Tweetie, Bill and Pauline. They will teach you what you need to know. Sarah, I want you to come with me. You and I shall talk about your daughter Heather.”

The classroom where love rules supreme
The classroom where love rules supreme | Source

The Final Lesson

Sheila took Sarah by the hand and together they walked to a small pond several hundred yards from the farmhouse. There they both sat upon the sandy shoreline. For several moments Sheila looked deeply into Sarah’s eyes.

“Sarah,” she began. “Your daughter, as her name suggests, will grow well among barren and rocky soil. She will be a woman of principles and simplicity. She will not tolerate deceit or pretence. She will be most comfortable in nature and will love spending time with animals, which she will see as the most honest creatures on the planet.

“Do not worry about her, Sarah. She will be surrounded by your love and that is all she will need. Give her free rein and allow her to run with the wind. She is the future of your family and she will make you proud, but she is also, in a very real sense, the symbol of our next generation.”

Sarah squeezed Sheila’s hand. “How do you know this?”

“It is not important, Sarah. One day I will tell you all about it. Yes, we will see each other again. Our grandchild, Hope, will eventually become Heather’s mentor. They both have important work to do, so in a couple years you can expect us to pay you a visit in Iowa. Until then, raise your child with love. That is all that is important, my dear. Raise her with love.”

Two Days Later

At 12:15 on a Wednesday in January our flight lifted off from SeaTac Airport heading east for Iowa. As we settled in for the three hours flight, Sarah took my hand and placed it on her stomach.

“She’s kicking, Sugar. She wants out badly. She wants to run with the wind and embrace all that life has to offer. And we’re going to support her every step of the way and love the shit out of this child. Do you hear me William Dale?”

As an exclamation point, Heather kicked my hand. I looked at Sarah, a woman perfect in her imperfections, the mother of our child and the love of my previously meaningless life.

I kissed her.

“I hear you, Sarah.”

To Be Continued

I hope you don’t mind, but I feel a few more chapters in me, so stay tuned and William, Sarah, and all the other characters will return soon.

I love the freedom fiction gives me. It seemed only natural that William Dale and Sarah would meet characters from my very first novel. I hope you approve of my choice.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • word55 profile image

      Word 18 months ago from Chicago

      Great story here Bill, sharp pics and videos. I enjoyed it all!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Word....greatly appreciate it!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 18 months ago from london

      Continues to be an interesting tale. This William Dale and Sarah with an 'H' story. Love of farming, nature ...intriguing.

      I wonder how Sheila knew the name? A bit of a psychic, perhaps. A sweet and charming story which shows great diversity here. Excellent touch!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. Those who read my first novel understand what is happening. For the rest of you, all shall be revealed in time. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 18 months ago from london

      He he. (chuckle) When you find some time, check the one I wrote for you and Bev. Some say it's quite charming! But what do I know? (smile)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 18 months ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful story still and truly am enjoying all the new layers in this latest chapter. Happy Friday Bill an wishing you a great weekend ahead now! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, how did I miss it, Manatita. I'll go look now and in advance I thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Janine. After all the killing in my other short story, I figured we all needed something soothing. :) Happy Weekend my friend.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 18 months ago from Iowa

      I just found this story, and now I have to go back and look for the earlier chapters! How many installments have I missed?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Quite a few, Deb....they all have a departure time on them....gosh, there might be eight of these at least. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 18 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I feel as if I've come home. Sheila, Bill, Tweetie, and Delilah are old friends I grew to love several years ago. Delilah brought a genuine smile to my face.

      I'm looking forward to the Dale/Hollis union. It will be interesting, to say the least. Now that Hope is 14 and will be mentoring Heather, you may want to consider a sequel to 12/59.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...it's already been started, Sha! Great minds think alike, do they not?

      Thank you dear friend and Happy Weekend to you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 18 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very beautiful story. I appreciate your talents in making it so wonderful. Sheila knowing the child's name and predicting her future is superb. Waiting for next instalment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, Venkatachari M. I am so happy you are enjoying this.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Simply Spellbinding.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 18 months ago from Europe

      Love the way you said: "Love alters reality." I enjoyed this very relaxed story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I'll settle for spellbinding any old day. Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Buildreps. "Love alters reality" was a phrase I coined four years ago in my first novel and I happen to love it too.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 18 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Excellent introduction to your next novel. Very enjoyable story. Definitely looking forward to many more installments. Love the concepts and premise. Keep them coming. ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will indeed, Bill. Thank you so much and Happy Weekend to you.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 18 months ago from Nibiru

      “Sarah,” she began. “Your daughter, as her name suggests, will grow well among barren and rocky soil. She will be a woman of principles and simplicity. She will not tolerate deceit or pretence. She will be most comfortable in nature and will love spending time with animals, which she will see as the most honest creatures on the planet.

      “Do not worry about her, Sarah. She will be surrounded by your love and that is all she will need. Give her free rein and allow her to run with the wind. She is the future of your family and she will make you proud, but she is also, in a very real sense, the symbol of our next generation.”

      by Billy Holland.

      Simply beautiful

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Clive, I am humbled. Thank you sincerely!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 18 months ago from The Beautiful South

      I very serene read Bill as I am sure it will continue to be!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, for sure, it will continue to be a serene read. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 18 months ago from sunny Florida

      O bill, I can never tire of this journey....keep it going...hoping all is good with you and yours....Angels are once again heading your way ps

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 18 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I was simply enjoying this story (I LOVE the characters) until I got to the section that speaks of Hope and Heather together. That gave me chills (the good kind!). I my goodness, you certainly know how to weave a tale and keep us spellbound. Good job my friend.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 18 months ago

      Hail to a writer leading the world to the point of seeing behind the horizon where the faith hope and love dwell together.

      Hello my friend, your best is on the increase..

      Peace and blessing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you so much. I have to keep it going. I have a sequel of my first book in the works, and this is part of it. It's all weaving together, my friend.

      blessings and hugs heading east

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, Linda! I just had to bring my original characters back and let them play in this story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MIchael my friend, I will never grow tired of writing about faith, hope and love.

      blessings to you always

      bill

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 18 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You made the story perfect and so interesting.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 18 months ago from United Kingdom

      A few more chapters? Well, if you must. (hee-hee)

      Seriously, I'm looking forward to reading more about this promising family and their new friends.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, DDE! Thank you!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 18 months ago from Texas

      I can't wait the hear how Shelia knew Heather's name.

      Is there a book “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today.” If so I want to read it.

      I very much enjoyed this, it is a reminder of living on the farm with my grandparents.

      Blessings my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I'm practicing with this story because there is a sequel to my first novel in the planning stage. :) I appreciate you following along and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, that was my very first book, written four years ago....I'll have it available online in about a month.

      Thank you and blessings always

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 18 months ago from New England

      If you have more to write about this family, I will gladly read it.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, you certainly spread your wing's with this one. Completely different and a joy to read. Thank you again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do indeed, Mama, and you'll have more in a week. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! That means a lot to me.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 18 months ago from United Kingdom

      Cool!!! Please let us know as soon as it's available. Can you pre-order on Kindle?

      Oh...and did Sheila and Bill take a plane ride to, perhaps Iowa, prior to William and Sarah's contacting them? Yes? Maybe?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will let you know, Zulma and no, you can't pre-order right now.....did Sheila and Bill take a plane ride? You'll just have to wait and see, my friend, but thanks for playing along.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This just keeps getting better and better. Bring on the next chapter. Well done Bill.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 18 months ago from SW England

      Great to include those characters, bill. And why not - they're your characters!

      It's good to have 'feel-good' stories.

      Ann

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 18 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Just love taking this journey with you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! It's a struggle for me writing about normal people without a bunch of angst. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is good to have them, Ann. I figured it was about time I wrote something that didn't involve mass murders. :)

      I hope you are having a superb Sunday.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma! I'm glad we saved you a seat.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 18 months ago from south Florida

      Excellent and imaginative fiction of a different sort, Bill. You ARE talented! But you already know that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, drbj...do I know that? Doubtful. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 18 months ago from Shelton

      I like the realism and how you put out a perfect story, thank you for sharing the adventure ..:)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Frank. Thank you very much.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There are interesting connections in this installment of the story! I'm looking forward to seeing how the tale progresses.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      So am I, Alicia. As soon as my muse tells me I will pass it along to you. Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I can't wait to read more!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 18 months ago from Oklahoma

      I was born a ramblin' man:-) Great read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb. My characters will be telling me more tomorrow, and I'll share with you on Friday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, I'm pretty fond of the ramblers in this world. Thank you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 18 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I totally enjoy this series. It gives me the same feeling I had while reading the 12/59.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Marlene. I do love these characters. I have the feeling you'll be hearing from them again in about six months. :)

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