The Story behind the Story
Why did you write about that?
Do you ever wonder where an author gets his/her ideas? There is an interesting story behind Restoration at River's Edge.
My husband and I have a group of friends who ride bikes. We call ourselves OOFPA, which stands for Ornery Old Folks Peddling Along. Our slogan is "We bike to eat" and we often bike to an eating place or picnic after a ride. The group also vacations together and ride bike trails around the country.
One of our favorite places to go is the KATY trail in Missouri. It meanders the width of the state, following an old railroad bed. Although it is not paved, the crushed limestone is easy to pedal on and the trail is flat and well maintained.
Several years ago, we were on our second trip on the KATY trail, riding the portion from Jefferson City to Hartsburg. We stopped for a lunch at a small winery, and one of our group, Paul, couldn't resist buying a couple bottles of wine to go. They wrapped them carefully, he put them in his rear fender saddlebags, and off we went, heading back to our cars.
We had not gone far when--clunk, clunk, clunk. The wine bottles had weighted the saddlebags down, they had tangled in the derailer and damaged it. Our pleasant ride ground to a halt. Two of the men took off knowing they could go faster, get the cars, and return for the rest of us.
Two of us rode more slowly, and Paul and his wife walked their bikes. When they passed a small restaurant along the trail, they stopped, hoping to locate a bike repair shop and call ahead to let them know they were coming. The restaurant wasn't open for business, they only served dinner, but the owner was there, and immediately was ready to help.
"Just take my truck," he told Paul. Now who in the world loans his truck to a complete stranger?
But this man did, and after they learned the bike shop would be closed if they continued to just walk, Paul took him up on his offer, loaded his and his wife's bikes, and headed to the shop. The rest of our group met them there. They were able to repair the derailer and Paul returned the truck.
We went as a group to the restaurant for dinner that night and had a delicious meal of fried chicken and all the sides, served family style. We were not surprised to learn that the restaurant owners were believers in Jesus Christ. They had certainly exemplified his teachings that day!
And I got to thinking--what if a man bought a house on a bike trail and planned to restore it and open a restaurant? Restoration at River's Edge was born. It went through a name change and many drafts on the path to publication. But it all started with a heavy wine bottle, a broken bike, and a man with a caring heart.
Proverbs 22:9 He who is generous will be blessed.
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Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.