At sixty miles per hour, cold pummeled my face. The mountain air continued its assault as Cody, Wyoming receded back of me to the south. I had left before Seven a.m.  My destination this Labor Day Sunday was Billings, Montana. To lessen my discomfort I dialed the throttle back a notch with my right hand. I was shivering.

This was ranch-land in the raw. Clusters of sheep – like huddling athletes in white jerseys – congregated in tight groups.  My bike took me past similar groupings of cattle in the open range. An occasional head rose among them, nostrils emitting puffs of steam.

I crossed the state line. Minutes into Big Sky Country I slowed. Surveying the quiet main street of small-town Belfry I hoped for an open diner with hot food.  I must dismount this bike and catch a break from this cold.

Ah. Seems like a cozy cafe. Indeed, and at my journeys’ half-way point – a refuge. I requested my standard. . . two eggs over-easy, bacon, toast – black coffee. I smacked my gloved palms together and circled in short steps before a wood-burning stove. Beyond the effects of frigid conditions common to most people, my polio episodes seemed to hinder blood flow still more. Despite attempts at thawing my fingers, once my food came another two minutes passed before they held a fork with any ease.

It’ll be nice seeing Brother Fred and his family again. My thoughts anticipated Montana’s largest city as I spread strawberry jam on my toast.

Fred. The third man of the Creason brothers intersecting my world. I suppose I should have let them know I would come see them today.

The waitress extended a navy blue coffee pot – steam levitating above its spout. More coffee? I nodded gratefully.

Fred Creason, his German wife Erica and their two young boys, had till recently lived in my home town, Okmulgee. They were part of our church family. Fred, in the insurance business, moved his family to Billings on what could be thought by some, a whim. But a mystery dream, believed to be God-sent,  played a role.

An thought interrupted my reflections – tightening my eyebrows.

Never one to fuss very much over planning ahead, I realized now I lacked some important information. Quite important.

I had no Billings address for the Creason family. Nor a Creason telephone number. Further, I only assumed they knew that I now resided in Cody – a hundred miles near.

Wow. They could be off someplace on vacation for all I know. And, the Creasons are my only reason for visiting Billings. I don’t know another soul in all Montana. Wow. Well – something will work out I guess. . .

Stretching, I pushed back from the breakfast table and reviewed my road map. Then took up my wool coat, thick scarf and rabbit-hair gloves. I glanced at a wall clock. It was just past 8:00 a.m. when I stepped from the diner.

My first breakfast in Montana. Nice, I mused, cinching my helmet strap.  I eyed the northward highway and wondered of the town called Billings. And the Creason family’s whereabouts.

Something lay before me I could have never foreseen. Within hours I would meet someone. From this another journey would spring.  A larger, life-impacting one.

Of callings. Of dreams. Of covenant.

©2015 Jerry Lout






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