You don’t have to like it, but you will

You don’t have to like it.

That’s the way it is with parental decisions. You may not agree with Mom and Dad and you can argue all you want. You don’t have to like it but, as in “Two Roads” by Joseph Bruchac, the path they set for you is in your best interests.

There was a certain code of ethics that “knights of the road” followed.

“I take care of you, you take care of me” was the one etched most firmly in Cal Black’s heart. Twelve-year-old Cal and his Pop followed that rule faithfully, after having lost their farm to the bank and Cal ’s mother to illness. It was 1932, they were riding the rails, and they didn’t have much but they had one another.

For Cal , that was key. Pop taught him everything there was to know: how to act, how to be respectful, how to find a safe place to sleep, how to track man or dinner. And in the middle of Kansas , Pop taught Cal something about himself.

Pop was a veteran of World War I, and Cal knew that his father’s service was a big point of pride. Cal had heard battle-stories, and they gave him nightmares but what he’d never known until that day on a boxcar heading north, was that Pop wasn’t the white man he’d led Cal to believe.

Pop was a “full-blood” Creek Indian, and that made Cal a half-blood.

Cal wasn’t sure what to think. There was no shame in being an Indian; while growing up, Pop told him stories of Indian bravery and wisdom and Cal knew history. But now it was his history and he’d have to adjust to thinking of himself in a whole new way.

There was little time for it, though. Pop needed to join his fellow soldiers on a Bonus Army march to Washington , to get President Hoover to release much-needed money. To do this, he had to leave Cal behind.

An Oklahoma “Indian School,” Pop figured, was the perfect place.

But would a half-blood, English-speaking boy ever fit in there?

In life, there are times when you pick a path, and there are times when a path is chosen for you. Same with books, and “Two Roads” is the way to go.

Based gently on actual historical events and a few real people, this is one of those books that can yank a kid back nearly a hundred years in time, to a reality they might only know from schoolbooks. To do that, author Joseph Bruchac lends no romance to anything in his book: people die in “Two Roads,” racism is harsh, poverty happens, and folks go hungry. That won’t scare kids, so much as it’ll put Depression-era life into a perspective they can understand while they’re reading an absolutely fine coming-of-age story.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reading over the shoulder of your 10-to-14-year-old because this is a book neither of you should miss. You don’t have to like “Two Roads”… but you will.

More in Life

What we can learn from Canada’s new food guidelines

Drink more water, eat more plants and cook more at home, says… Continue reading

Green River College offers workshops, lectures for free

Community members in the Covington area are welcome to attend workshops at the library or for-credit courses at Kentwood High School.

It’s not even curtains on our marriage

My hairdresser had been on maternity leave, so of course I had… Continue reading

To the dark side and back

There was a point after I shed a bunch of weight to… Continue reading

Talk to a Doc: Cannabis use while pregnant and breastfeeding | Public Health Insider

Doctors are recommending women do not use marijuana, even lotions or edibles that contain little THC, while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Submitted photo from city of Maple Valley
Crews, schools worked hard to keep all safe

Due to snow and unpredictable weather, crews in Maple Valley and Covington worked day and night to keep roads safe.

Lighting ninja

We’ve been doing a lot of work in our new house. It… Continue reading

Food bank opens pop up during snow storm

The idea was to make food more accessible to those who needed it.

For whodunit lovers, this short story is a gleefully-dark delight

Growing older is a very good thing. First of all, there’s a… Continue reading

Not your average dumplings

Alaska N Dumplings is a newer restaurant in Maple Valley that serves Russian dumplings.

Photos courtesy city of Covington’s Facebook page
                                The Covington Youth Council attended Youth Action Days in Olympia Jan. 27 and 28. The teens attended various workshops and learned how to effectively meet with legislators and lobby issues. The youth council were able to meet with representatives from the 47th district — Pat Sullivan, Mona Das and Debra Entenman.
Youth council: Building leaders

Youth in Covington are gaining a voice

Someone should be having fun

I don’t know about you, but out here in BFE (bum f—-… Continue reading