The Parks Family Chapter I

July 26, 2016

The Parks Family  Chapter I

The Parks Family is a novel I wrote while we were missionaries in Argentina. It reflects the culture and living conditions of many of the lower class in Argentina. The plan is to add a new chapter to the web page each week as they are being translated from Spanish to English. You can read each chapter on line. You may want to print each chapter and collect them in a loose leaf notebook.

It is hoped that, after reading each chapter, you will take time to browse through all the other articles and read some of them.

The Parks Family has a story to tell that will thrill your heart. It is hoped that you will identify with the Parks family, as though they were your neighbors, and share in the drama of their life experiences.

Chapter One
The Parks family consists of Paul and Mary and their two children, six year old Charlie, and four year old Priscilla. For the past five years they have been living in the town of Chilecito, near the foot hills of the Andes mountains in the province of Catamarca. Paul works in a carpenter shop. Theirs is a typical Argentine family. They struggle with financial problems as well as the usual sicknesses and discipline problems with their children.

They rent a humble little house on the outskirts of town. The man who built the house ran out of money and started renting it out before it was finished. It is made out of red bricks. The outside and inside walls were never plastered. The yard was never fenced in nor seeded to grass. The house stands about 50 yards from the road. The entrance was never paved and there is no sidewalk. At least they have a good roof over their heads and doors and windows for privacy and protection.

Every morning Paul walks the mile and a half to work. He takes a sack lunch with him to eat over the noon hour. When his boss doesn’t have work to keep him busy he lets him use the machines to build furniture for his own house. He is in the process of building a kitchen cabinet.

One afternoon Mary and Priscilla walked to the carpenter shop to inspect the cabinet Paul is building. Charlie was still in school. He goes to school in the afternoon and Priscilla goes in the morning. When they arrived at the carpenter shop they didn’t find anyone there. The door wasn’t locked, but Mary didn’t feel at ease about going in and looking around. They both sat on a bench in front of the shop to wait for the men to return. Shortly Priscilla went to play in a pile of saw dust beside the shop.

Just when Mary thought about calling Priscilla and saying “It looks like we just as well go back home,” the men came back in the old pickup that Paul’s boss drove. They had gone to a house to install some kitchen cabinets they had built.

Paul wasn’t making much progress on the cabinet for Mary. She kept giving him more suggestions about how she wanted it made. Paul’s boss almost always found something to keep him busy. When he finished his work for the day he could have stayed for a while longer to work on the cabinet, but he was too tired to work any longer. He was anxious to get home and spend time with Mary and the children.

When Mary and Priscilla got back from the carpenter ship they found a not stuck under the door. It said there was a telegram waiting for them at the post office. Getting a telegram was very unusual. Mary couldn’t remember when the last time was that they received one. Often they were the bearers of bad news. It was too late in the day for them to go to the post office. It would have to wait until tomorrow. When Paul came home Mary showed the note to him. They debated about when would be the best time to go to the post office to get the telegram. The post office was a little over two miles from their house. It would be a sacrifice for Mary to walk there and back. There was a bus that passed in front of their house about every half hour, but Paul’s wages weren’t enough to allow them to make frequent trips on the bus. Paul finally decided he could walk to the post office over the noon hour while he ate his lunch.

What message did the telegram have for them? Would it be good or bad news? Would it mean a change in the life of the parks family? You will need to read the second chapter of the story next week to find out.

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