"" Writer's Wanderings: July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Police Officer Remembered

We have had a rash it seems of police officers being killed. Just recently another young husband and father lost his life in a senseless shooting while only doing the job he was hired to do. I heard the following poem read by another police officer and it touched my heart:

Judgement Day for a Police Officer
. . .author unknown
The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?"
The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry badges
Can't always be a Saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my work was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.
But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep,
I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was silence all around the Throne
Where the Saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, policeman,
You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.

After reading the poem, this patrol man left to do traffic stops--the same kind of job being done by his fellow officer who was gunned down.

Pray for them. Every siren you hear, pray for them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Flight of the Bumble Bee

Outside in the cool refreshing morning air, I sipped my second cup of coffee and finished my devotional reading. Instead of getting right up and going inside to my computer, I took a few minutes to take in my surroundings.

We have a beautiful backyard full of trees with a lake that sits on property behind us. The sun was filtering through the trees casting its bright and dark green patterns on the grass. The flowers I have in pots on the deck (to keep them out of the reach of our neighborhood deer) were lifting their dewy faces to the morning sun. And in one pot, there was a bumble bee already busily at work.

This was not a honey bee, so I knew it wasn't gathering pollen for manufacture. It was going from blossom to blossom doing the job God gave it--pollinating, spreading the pollen from one flower to another to insure that there would be more blooms in the plant's future.

God has given believers a job as well. Like the bumble bee, He wants us to spread His love, His word, His plan, His grace. Like the bumble bee, He has given us many blossoms in our flight path. So, don't just stop to smell the roses, do a little pollinating too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Walker Lookout, Blue Ridge Mountains

Big Walker Lookout is the starting point for the Toland's Raid Civil War Trail that ends in Wytheville, VA. It's about 20-25 minutes from Wytheville along Rte 52. We arrived at the Lookout just in time to watch a glorious sunset behind the mountains across the valley.

The Lookout is situated on an outcropping that allows you to view one valley to the west and another, the one where the raiders entered the town, to the east. There is a Country Store there that sells all sorts of handcrafted items and the literature says there are artisan and craft demonstrations scheduled periodically. We arrived too late to shop. There is also a 100 foot tower for those not afraid of heights and stair climbing (a $5 charge, so be sure you're up to it).

On our way back to Wytheville after our stay in Raleigh, we took a little side trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway. We exited at Meadows of Dan and found a country store and a rustic restaurant. Our policy is always to choose a place that has plenty of cars in the parking lot and this lot was almost full. Inside was a bustling lunch crowd--a mixture of locals and tourists I'm sure.

We paused for a moment when we entered and looked around. A lady standing at the cash register to pay her lunch ticket smiled at us, waved a hand toward the tables and booths and said, "Y'all find yersef a place." I love Southern hospitality. We relished homemade chili and hamburgers to die for. No wonder the parking lot was full. If you're ever in that area, it's on Route 58 just off the Parkway. Y'all pull up a chair and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wytheville, Virginia

On our way to Raleigh, NC, last weekend, we stopped for the night in a small town called Wytheville, VA (pronounced, we learned, as with-ville). We were very impressed. So much so that we canceled one night in Raleigh and spent another night in Wytheville on our return trip. And made reservations to eat at the Log House Restaurant which had a distinctive Williamsburg flair to its menu.

Besides the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the town has a fascinating history. The Battle of Wytheville, or Toland's Raid as it is also known, took place along Tazewell Street in town. Toland took 872 Union soldiers into the town to destroy the railroad bridge and disrupt the flow of Confederate supplies. He was shot and killed in the raid.

Wythe County is named in honor of George Wythe, the famous Virginia lawyer and signer of the Declaration of Independence. The town was originally called Evansham but the name was changed in 1839 to Wytheville because it was the county seat.

Wytheville is very proud of its history. There are blocks of homes that all sport an historical placard out front--most of which date back to the days of the Civil War. The homes appear to have been restored at least on the outside and are private residences. It is a beautiful walk or drive as we did it because of the heat.

In the downtown area, there are several placards and signs describing significant landmarks in the little town. The Millwald Theatre was built in 1928. The basement of the building was a bomb shelter in the 1950's. The other more recent historical building is the one pictured with Skeeter's hot dogs on it. Originally it was the law offices and upper residence of the Bolling family. Edith Bolling was born in the upstairs flat and later became the wife of Woodrow Wilson and one of our country's first ladies.

The giant pencil is not historical (I don't believe) but I did think it was. . .unique.

(Coming next: Sunset at Big Walker lookout)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Second Star on the Right

This weekend we traveled to Raleigh, NC, to see our niece, Tracy Wholf (Morr) as Tiger Lily in the musical, Peter Pan. It was a great time and worth the long drive. Nine members of the family made the drive and her new husband, Eddie, flew in from NYC for the show. We had dinner before the show in a place called The Pit specializing in BBQ but as the hotel concierge put it "an upscale BBQ."

The theater complex in Raleigh is beautiful and sits near the convention center. They have a wonderful venue to showcase their productions. One of the perks to being related to someone in the show is the backstage tour. The scenery was amazing. It's actually see-through but from the audience you would never guess that. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law, Shelly, was a little disappointed she wasn't allowed any pixie dust to try out her wings with the flying mechanism.

Captain Hook (Ira David Wood III) was still in costume as we toured and posed with Tracy (who was still in her war paint) for a picture. He is a local favorite in Raleigh and is the founder and executive director of Raleigh's Theatre in the Park.

The production was classic Peter Pan and the star, Gail Bianchi, came with lots of experience for the part. She was the understudy to Cathy Rigby on the national tour of Peter Pan.

Along the way to Raleigh, we discovered a wonderful little town called Wytheville in the mountains of Virginia. But more on that later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Children's Chatter

(Apparently when I copied and pasted this little essay into my JOURNEYS newsletter this month the puntuation marks got all skewed with other characters. So for those who had a difficult time reading it, here it is again.)


When the door of the van slid closed and the last wave goodbye to anxious parents was finished, our three young grandchildren began to chatter as we headed off to Put-In-Bay, OH, with them.
“Are we going to the butterfly house?”

“Will we ride the ferry?”

“I have big girl pants!”

It was music to an empty-nester’s ears. Once the kids leave home and begin their own lives and start their own families, the nest they came from can get pretty quiet. We have two sons who regularly check in with us. One is Donny, who knows that Wednesday is his laundry and home-cooked meal day and calls to be sure we haven’t forgotten. It’s a welcome call since Don is developmentally handicapped and it is another opportunity for us to know all is well with him.

The other son is Rob who calls almost weekly on Friday. It’s a habit he established at his mother’s request when he went off to school in Miami, Florida, more than fifteen years ago. While it is more likely he will talk to his father (Bob has the toll free line), it is still good to hear news of what is happening in his life. And now that he has children too, it keeps us informed of our grandchildren’s development.

When our kids were young, they were eager to tell us of how their day went at school, what kind of problems they may have encountered, and what their plans were for the next day. We could discuss their activities, lend support and encouragement for the difficult days, and rejoice with them in their triumphs.

It’s not too different now that they are grown but on occasion, we have to initiate the conversation. Lives become busy, schedules are filled, and agendas beg for attention. When that happens, we have to contact them—get their attention—to find out how things are going.
Now, after two and a half fun filled days, the house is quiet again. The grandkids are home eagerly chattering to their parents about their trip with Grandma and Grandpa and experiencing the wonderful communication that bonds child to parent—the communication every parent longs for.

All of this is a reminder to me. When was the last time I made contact with my heavenly Father? When did I last chatter on about the exciting things in my life and thank Him for them? Will He somehow have to get my attention for me to communicate with Him, or will I cultivate the good habit of talking to Him daily?

God, as Father, longs to hear from his children. He has sent us out into the world but He longs to know how things are going from our perspective and then He’ll share His if we’ll listen. Have you chatted with your heavenly Father lately?

“And this is the prayer he taught them: "Father, may your name be honored for its holiness…” Luke 11:2 (TLB)

©Karen Robbins 2006

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weeding the Garden

When we built this house and landscaped a little over 6 years ago, I was gung-ho to have lots of flower beds to plant beautiful flowers and flowering bushes. Yes, the saying, "be careful what you wish for," applies here.

I spent the day outside pulling weeds from all those lovely flower beds. No matter how much the flowers grow and how many I plant, the weeds still find room to fit in. Worse even is the fact that the weeds are at times like a chameleon. They seem to take on the color and shape of whatever they grow beside. If you don't look carefully, you miss the weed while it's small and then before you know it, it's grown to enormous proportions and is even harder to pull out.

I don't think it's any accident that God/Jesus used gardens so often in the stories of the Bible. When you use the analogy of weeds and sin, you can understand how the little sins of our lives can take hold and grow out of proportion if we don't take care to garden our lives and pull out the weeds.

Well, maybe there was a reason God allowed me all these flower beds. It gives me lots of time to think, to pray, to examine, while I garden my yard and my life.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Remember

Funny how things sometimes just pop into your mind for no apparent reason at all. It happened to me Sunday morning in church. I don't know what triggered the memory chips but I suddenly remembered a customer I used to have when I owned a flower shop.

The gentleman was in his 70s maybe early 80s and was a retired dentist. At first when he came in for what became his weekly visits, he would only choose a small bouquet of flowers or a small arrangement. I imagined he was courting someone. He would say things like, "She likes yellow flowers," or "She'll like the smell of these."

As time went by, some personal information was exchanged. That's how I learned he had been a dentist. It was in March when we were talking that I learned the truth about his lady. It was his wife. We shared a birthday--St. Patrick's Day.

One day he phoned to say he was not going to be able to make it into the store to pick up his flowers. I don't remember the reason. I believe he might have been ill. He asked if we would deliver them. I was excited to think I would finally meet this lady who was so adored she received a weekly bouquet of flowers. When he gave the address, my heart stood still a moment. It was a home for Alzheimer's patients.

The secret out, he said sadly, "She won't know who they are from even with my name on them, but I know she will enjoy them."

There is probably a wonderful love story there but I think Nicholas Sparks may have written one already--The Notebook. I fondly remember the dentist. May God richly bless those whose love goes beyond what life may cruelly hand to them.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...