What Now

Chapter Three

What Now

 

Save The Harbor

Thorbjorn Sigurgeirsson meant to stop the lava. As the entire nation watched on television, a small crew with fire hoses squirted the front of the lava, producing billows of steam.

This battle in early 1973. Quickly, the cooling of the lava became a national joke. While having his faults, Magnus was a “git-er-dun” kind of guy. And doing nothing was not an option.

He worked alongside Thorbjorn, as did others. The small band grew as the effort appeared to be having a small effect. Soon it was not a small band, and it was no joke!

Night and day, more and more equipment poured seawater on the lava to cool it, with the hope of hardening the advancing front to damn that which followed.

Atop the lava were many pumps, and pipes, and even some Bulldozers clearing a path for the advance of the pumping equipment.

And of course, people moving through the steam, or marching on the spot to keep their boots from melting.

In the end, though the town was in bad shape, the harbor was saved.

 

 

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Reclaim, Rebuild, Resume

After the saving of the harbor, the effort of the local folk refocused on repairing and rebuilding the town on Heimaey Island. The Karlsson home, while covered in ash, was not among the worst damaged. It was soon once again habitable.

With the Karlssons able to move home, Magnus’s sights moved to his neighbors, then on to his factory. Farther from the volcano, the ash was less, but the factory was much bigger.

The relationships with, and assistance given to the others soon paid off. Val and his friends, and some of their families assisted in clearing the ash off the factory.

Finally, the re-opening celebration came and went.

It was such an encouragement for the whole town but especially former employees who were able to resume their jobs.

Life began to get back to normal, just in time to change forever.

 

 

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Hope of Influence

It was Val’s final year in high school. Though the peace was somewhat shaky between Val and his technology teachers, they could not escape giving him full marks for his efforts that far exceeded their requirements.

It was decided Val would attend university in Canada. Magnus and Dora had met there, and her parents still lived on a country property on the edge of a small town not far from Toronto. They agreed to board Valdec during his time in their area.

This arrangement pleased Dora to no end, as her folks would be the exact influence on Valdec she desired. While Magnus had reservations, he certainly saw the financial benefit. Val loved his grandparents but also knew the freedom many rejoiced in would not be as complete in their home. He knew he would be required to attend their meetings while living in their home. It was known as “the agreement.”

Dora had not been able to break through Valdec’s interest in technology long enough to get him to consider Spiritual things seriously.

The small Baptist church she attended made every effort to get through to Valdec in the time they had with him. However, as he got older, his attendance waned. Time at church took away time that could further his projects.

Dora could not count on the strong hand of his father to back up her requests that Valdec accompany her to the meetings.

She knew her folk’s faith was deep, and completely permeated their life. She hoped it would overflow Valdec’s resistance; show him there was indeed something more important than technology; hardware, software, information.

She had seen a glimmer of hope when a friend from the church gave him some Bible software, but after the initial excitement he was more interested in the software than the Bible it was meant to explore and teach.

He modified it to explore any other book he could scan or download. Dora

countered by getting him all the commentaries, lexicons, and even Christian novels she could source. She could lead him to water, but could not make him drink.

 

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Unequal Yoke

Magnus, while a kind, and caring man, did not share his wife’s faith, or that of her parents. He still bore some resentment for the label “unequal yoke” Dora’s folks had attached to their marriage.

He had to admit, however, he respected them and appreciated that they never mentioned it again after the marriage; no “I told you so” even when he, himself saw instances where they could have.

They also supported their daughter and her family whenever needed, and it was certainly needed during the time his factory was out of production.

 

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New Eyes

Graduation finally came, and with it, the dance to which so many looked forward. Until now there had been cursory looks and brief interactions with fellow students as they posed or answered questions, or passed in the hall. All this now gave way to final, more focused beholding. Many of these folks would never again be so much part of each other’s lives. Add to this the maturity nature was infusing into each, the careful adornment, and some people took on a whole new aura.

Val, the geek, was none the less impressive to look at in his suit, and some were noticing. But he was noticing Helen. The braces were gone from her teeth. The Orthodontist had done well. But the God who was mixing in womanhood where a child had been was excelling any expectations he may have had. Looking was easy, looking away was tough. Val’s focus on technology had left him wanting in some social skills. He did, however, manage one clumsy dance which he feared did more harm than good. The night ended, and they went their separate ways, but her image was permanently engraved on his mind. Plus her voice; not the high pitched voice of her youth, but lower, and lower than many of the other girls. Not too low, just right in Val’s mind. Over and over it played on his mind. “Good Bye Val, I hope it goes well in Canada.” And the way she said “Canada” had its own enchantment. Not the way his mother did, having lived there for years. Not the way he or his dad did, having used it so many times. Just, well, her special way. He knew their separation would be long; it might be permanent. Her mom’s parents lived in the USA, and she would be going there for her continuing studies. Oh well, life goes on.

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