Thursday, May 19, 2022

I Had Questions by Merri Maywether

Close to twenty-five years ago, my husband and I were married. We eloped at the end of August and had a Vegas destination wedding in November. The wedding was fun. I’d go as far as to say life-altering (hee hee ). With that being said, other than the ceremony, the only event that stuck with me was the roller coaster ride at the MGM Grand. 

My husband’s mother, Irene, rode in the seat in front of us, and his brother and niece rode in the seat behind us. From start to finish, Irene giggled.  The sweet sound rose the minute the cars creaked on the track, remained through the looped-de-loop, and then she laughed a little harder when we were jarred through the swirls. 

Everyone else was screaming. 

My husband’s then seventy-year-old mother laughed. 

I’d always wondered what she was thinking. 

Then, last week, I had an experience that answered the question. 

Every year a team of teachers takes the senior class on a celebratory trip. This year, it was my turn. 

On a whirlwind adventure, we visited several iconic Montana destinations. My favorite stop was our stay at the Fairmont Hot Springs. 

The Fairmont Hot Springs is fed by a natural spring, and they are the temperature of bathwater. That in itself is exciting. But there’s a little more to add to the fun. At the edge of the spring, there is a swirly slide that ends with a plunge into the water. 

Of course, the kids talked me into trying it. 

I’ll be honest. At first, I was nervous. 

I had questions. 

What if I’m too big? What if I get stuck? What if I go too fast and bump into the walls? What if my bathing suit fails? What if there is a sinkhole beneath the pool and it opens up just as I land, and I plummet into uncertainty? (Hey, I’m a writer so I have a gloriously vivid imagination) 

The questions taunted me as I walked up the three flights of stairs. 

I actually thought about pretending I had to go to the bathroom and turning around. 

Then it was my turn. 

I sat at the top of the slide. A buzzer sounded, and gravity took over. 

It was almost like it tickled me. 

I started giggling. It was kind of fun. 

After the first swirl, I bounced into the air. But I landed–and the giggle grew into a laugh. 

At the next swirl, I decided I really like this. 

Somewhere after the third swirl, daylight reflected off the side. The next thing I knew, water was going up my nose, and I could hear the kids cheering. 

I gushed at how much fun it was and thanked them for talking me into taking the metaphorical leap. 

Left to my own resources, I’d have been happy soaking in the water on the edge and watching everyone else have fun. All it took was a gentle, “This is the only time we’ll be able to do this together.

As we climbed the stairs for our second foray down the slide, they said, “We heard you laughing all the way down.” 

Later that night, when all was quiet, it was like Irene whispered in my ear. “Now, you know.”


Today's a special day at the Sweet Reads Cafe.
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Merri Maywether lives with her husband in rural Montana. You can find her in the town's only coffee house listening to three generations of Montanans share their stories. Otherwise, she's in the classroom or the school library, inspiring the next generation's writers.


Brock Buchanan's homecoming starts when the summer festivities begin.

Brock made sacrifices for his military career. Love is at the top of the list. Now it’s time to build bridges he shouldn’t have burned.

Katie thought she was over Brock. When she reconnects with him at a high school reunion, she’ll need 20/20 hindsight of everything that went wrong to resist his let’s try again charm.

If that doesn't work, she has something or someone to remind her to guard her heart.

Or could that work in Brock’s favor?

There’s a reason why Brock is Home for Good. Read this heartwarming, small town, clean romance and find out why.

For a limited time, Home for Good is available for 99¢ 

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