Standing at the edge of the grassy lot, I squinted my eyes in the predawn darkness and envisioned the future. Construction hadn’t even started yet, but I had pictured this place so many times in my mind that it was nearly real to me already, from the sweep of the roofline to the span of the side walls to the stretch of the covered walkway that would connect it to the barn. Once completed, the remodeled building wouldn’t be fancy or showy, but it would be big—twice as big, in fact, as what we had now.
The expansion of Zook’s Feed and Tack, my family’s store, was set to begin in just two hours, not a minute too soon as far as I was concerned. My parents didn’t exactly see it that way, but in the end it had been my decision. They would come around eventually—at least I hoped they would—but I didn’t have time to wait. If I was going to save this company, I had to keep things moving forward. God had blessed us with some exciting opportunities, but taking advantage of them meant first doubling our space and our inventory.
God willing, we’d end up doubling our revenue as well.
Such a thought should have left me feeling excited and eager to get started. Instead, my emotions were mixed. On the one hand, I was thrilled to be breaking ground today and confident this expansion was the right move for us to take. On the other hand, I was frustrated with my father, with how he could not—would not—understand or embrace my vision. He and I had always gotten on so well, and he was a kind and godly man, but this situation had created a rift between us I feared we’d never be able to mend.
To make matters worse, a deep ache of loss had been rising up inside of me for days. That feeling came from the knowledge that my beloved grandfather—my kindred spirit in so many ways—wasn’t here to share in this day with me. At least Grossdaadi had been in on the early planning, I told myself as I began walking across the dewy grass. He’d known and approved of my intentions before he died—and that was some consolation.
Then again, he had passed away more than three months ago, before the final plans were drawn up, before the crew was hired, before we were even certain we’d be able to pull this off. Now that it was finally happening, I missed him with an intensity that hadn’t felt so piercing since the day of his funeral.
© 2015 Copyright Harvest House Publishers. Used with permission.
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her latest book is The Amish Clockmaker, written with Susan Meissner. It is the third installment in The Men of Lancaster County series.
Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals.
A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.
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Susan Meissner is the award-winning author of sixteen novels, including A Fall of Marigolds, which was named to BookList’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction for 2014. Her latest book which released February 1st, The Amish Clockmaker, co-written with Mindy Starns Clark, is the third installment in The Men of Lancaster County series. A RITA and Christy award finalist, Susan is also a speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. She is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not writing novels, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church.
Purchase Susan’s books here.