Welcome to the Milford Creek Journals

The Raft Trip

Malachi and Jake were bored, a boredom so heavy they were at the edge of exploding.”Let;s do something Jake” Malachi suggested. “What do you want to do”? Heck I don't know, something, anything; It doesn't matter, I'm just tired of video games and YouTube junk. Don't you have any ideas?” “I've got lots of ideas, but I'm sure that mom and dad wouldn't let us do them” Jake answered. “Like what?” Well he replied, “I've been thinking about building a raft". "What's wrong with that. I don't think they'd care". "They'd care if we wanted to take it somewhere that would be fun". "Like where", Malachi asked. “I was thinking about running Milford Creek". "What's the matter with taking it to the big pond at the park"? "What kinda fun is that? We might as well just sit on it in the back yard and pretend we're doing something exciting. "Well we wouldn't have to tell them, unless of course, they asked." "You know they wouldn't let us do that." "Exactly!" Jake said. "But, they'd be awful mad." Malachi responded. "Well you can figure out what you want to do, but I'm building a raft." Malachi pondered the idea for a few seconds then said, "I'm in, I don't have anymore Ideas, let's do it."

The first stop in their odyssey was out behind the church just down the street, where there was a large pile of wooden pallets. After they'd dragged enough of them home, they started salvaging the lumber they'd need. One pallet wasn't large enough so they nailed two of them together, Then down each side they nailed a multitude of boards until it appeared to be enough for them to float. For extra buoyancy they tied a few milk jugs to each side. There was o way it could sink now.

Then a voice, “What are you doing?” It was Tobias. “Oh great thought Jake, just what we need, He would be sure to squeal on them.” “We're building a space ship.” he answered. “Doesn't look like a space ship.”Well it is. Go away.” “Your building a raft, aren't you?” “You don't know what you're talking about. “ Malachi responded. “Yes I do and I'm telling mom.” Do want to ride on it?”, asked Jake. “Can I?”, he replied. “ of course. Just don't tell mom.” “I won't if you let me go with you.” “Of course you can go. Now just go away until we're done. We'll let you know when we're ready to go.”, Jacob lied. He had no intention of letting him tag along. When they were done they'd just skip out on him. They had no life jackets so they tied a set of water wings together with twine. They;d need a place to sit and a couple of mom's wooden baskets were hastily mounted. Now they were ready to go. Using a rope they tried to drag it out the back gate. “Darn, this things too heavy” ,Malachi said. So, they lifted one end onto Tobias' wagon. It was difficult, but they finally got to the alley with it. Then, out of nowhere was Tobias again. “You're gonna leave me he said.”

“No, No”, they answered simultaneously. “We're just going to get it down to the creek and then come back for you”, Jake lied again. “No you're lying. You were gonna leave me.” “No we're not. We need to come back anyway to make you a life preserver. But we'll just do that now and then we'll all go.”

They fashioned him a life preserver and set out down the alley. Actually it was a lot easier with Tobias helping. Still it took nearly a half hour to get to the creek. Once there, they lifted one end off the wagon and slid it into the water. It floated nicely until they all got on. Then the milk jugs became a necessity. Even so, their feet were getting wet. “How are we going to steer it”, Malachi asked? We'll; use dad's shovel. You go back and get it Tobias.” “No way, one of you go get it.” Exasperated Jake went back himself and soon returned with it and a rake as well.

They all climbed aboard and shoved their way into the middle of the slow moving creek. They drifted silently along, having to shove themselves away from the bank every few minutes when the creek curved.

Things went well for about a mile and then the creek narrowed and ran much quicker. Still it was quite pleasant, even though they had to push away from some large rocks. “We shoulda brought something to eat”, Tobias said. “Watch, maybe there's some fruit trees along here.” And sure enough they soon came upon a large apple tree whose branches spread out over the creek. Jake reached up and grabbed hold of a branch while Malachi and tobias picked some apples. '

Jake then let go, but a bit too soon as Tobias wasn't quite done. He was pulling a branch down that was covered with large fruit. Next thing they knew he was hanging from it with his legs in the water. “Help”, he cried. But the water was moving too fast. Jake and Malachi tried to get to shore but they struck something under the water and both were thrown in as well. Tobias was still calling for help as they were pulled around a sharp bend, losing sight of him. They finally got to the shore and clambered up the bank. Their hearts were racing as they made their way upstream. Tobias wasn't calling out anymore which deepened their fears The brush was so thick they could no longer see the creek. “Malachi, get back to where you can see the creek if he might drift down”, Jake commanded. He did just that as Jake continued upstream. It took a few minutes, but he finally spotted the tree, His heart sank even further when he could see Tobias was not in sight. He plunged into the water and calling out for his brother and half stumbled, half swam to where he and Malachi had exited the creek. Malachi was there crying his eyes out.

“Malachi I'm going to go down stream. He could have washed by us. You stay here and keep calling out for him. He could have made it to shore. And you start praying, now.” He then jumped back in the creek and calling out for Tobias he made his way further downstream. It seemed hopeless and tears began to stream down his face. “Please God, let him be ok.”, he called out with a choked voice. He came to another bend in the creek, then another and then a sharp bend. As re rounded it, he could see the raft wedged between two large boulders. “Oh God please no”, he blurted out as he made his way to the raft.

At first he thought it was an animal, but then he realized it was someone whimpering. “Tobias, Tobias”, he called out and then he saw the little guy clinging to a rock a few yards down. He rushed over to him and swept him up in his arms, holding him ever so tightly. He comforted him as he called out for Malachi. A moment later Malachi drifted down and scrambled up to the bank' “I prayed and prayed”, he wailed, “and God heard me.”

They sat there for several minutes, clinging to one another and crying for joy. “I'm sorry, so sorry”, Jake stammered. “I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have let you come along. I shouldn't have done this at all.” I'm so glad we're all ok.” They sat there a few minutes longer trying to regain their composure. Then got to their feet and made their way through the thick brush. It was slow going , but they finally stumbled into a clearing. On the far side there was a farm house. They made their way to it and knocked on the door. An elderly man opened to the knock and said, “My golly, what have you kids been up to?” They recounted what had happened and asked if they could use his phone, “Don't have one of those darned things”, he replied. “But I can hitch up one of the horses and take you home.

It was an odd sight to all the neighborhood, as they rolled down the street in the wagon to their house. Their folks came out as they stopped at their driveway.

Jake was the first one off and ran to their arms. “Mom,Dad, I've got something to tell you.” and he burst into tears.

(There's always a Rock to cling to)

His name is Jesus