Just Like That

Just Like That
Peter Hoover

During the meeting at Stuart and Luella Martin's place, just before Christmas in 1976, my horse worked his tie-strap loose and found his way into the oat bin. We knew of only one cure for that (to keep him from foundering), and that was to work him. So, with another teenager, I set out for a drive. Down into southern Ontario's Grand Valley, through the covered bridge at West Montrose (stopping in at the Congregational cemetery to see the grave of my ancestor "Indian John" Weber) we took my horse, Sunny, clippity-clop along the paved road in an open steel-tyred buggy. Ploughed fields lay bare beneath a slate-grey sky, and as in a mental photograph I see a sign that reads “Tired? Dead Just like that.” along the highway, coming up from Winterbourne toward Menno Sauder's place at the Balsam Grove School.

The sign, a large bill board set up by the Plymouth Brethren (one of many hundreds across the province of Ontario) read, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, Galatians 5:7." It spoke to me that day and has never left me since.

Here in Tasmania we do not see Gospel signs anymore. But the government with their "Just like that" slogan puts out an important message, nevertheless. Other signs say, "Drowsy? Wreck your life. Just like that," and similar catchy things.

Life is fragile. It takes only a moment of carelessness to destroy it, and like on the Bass Highway, accidents keep happening.

Are you wide awake?