Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Too Close for Comfort by Pat Simmons

This past weekend, my husband, two sisters-in-law and niece headed to Branson for a family reunion, a four-hour scenic ride from St. Louis. Of course, drivers have to make a pit stop at Redmon Candy Factory in Phillipsburg, Missouri, next to the World’s Largest Gift Shop. If you like sweets, then you will be a kid in a candy store, literally.
Branson is Vegas of the Midwest with its shows, shopping, Silver Dollar City (great activities for children), and Ride the Ducks boat excursions—a popular tourist attraction.
More than twenty years ago, my husband and I took the excursion with our then small children during a summer vacation. The ride is a Branson “must do,” and the Simmons did it. It was an amazing experience to be in this big armor vehicle driving on land one moment, then heading into the water the next, as if it were going for a swim. It really was a “Wow” thrill.
Last week, the Duck ride became a horrific wow.  Watching the video of the doomed excursion, I couldn’t help but think what if that accident had happened while my family of four had been riding inside? Thank the Lord, we will able to walk away and say it was fun. Unfortunately, after last week’s accident, many families won’t share those same sentiments, including Tia Coleman who lost nine family members—her baby, husband, in-laws, and others.
While our reunion was celebrating family, others were mourning their loss. Here we are gathered around the fountain at our hotel, lighting candles to remember our loved ones who are gone.

Let us continue to pray for the healing, comfort, and good memories for the survivors and families of the Ride the Duck tragedy. 
Pat Simmons has penned more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit her at www.patsimmons.net.


  1. I saw the story of the accident on the news. It's so tragic and so hard to believe that so many members of the same family were suddenly gone. Only God can help that kind of pain.

  2. Thanks for reminding us to pray for those who have lost loved ones.

  3. Beautiful and timely post, Pat. Thanks for reminding us to pray.

  4. Continuing to pray for all affected by this tragedy. I know God is holding the survivors in His arms as they face each day.

  5. Praying for the families affected. My son thought the same you did about the Duck boat ride.

  6. Praying for the families. Thank you for your timely post, Pat.