Warning – Travelogue Ahead!
Since we visited last, I’ve made two trips a week-longer to Texas and a 36-hour-shorter to Macon, GA and back. Both were profitable and enjoyable.
Halfway during the flight to Texas, I broke the conversational ice across the empty seat between me and my several-year senior female row-mate, “I’m trying to decide whether to sleep or read” – having already done both.
“Yeah, I have that problem also sometimes.”
“Are you from Nashville?” I asked.
“No, I live in Tulsa; I’m returning from visiting with one of my sons in Columbia (TN).”
“Oh, I live in Brentwood.”
“I know where that is; my husband and I used to live in Nashville. He went to school there and then to school in Fort Worth.”
“I went to school in Fort Worth also – Southwestern Seminary.”
“He did, too!”
It turns out that she – Bev Tresch – used to work at what was once the Baptist Sunday School Board. I told her of my time at First Baptist Church Nashville, and she spoke fondly of Dr. Franklin Paschall who was pastor when we came to FBC. Later she reported having won a Speakers Tournament at our church when she was a teenager. She, Honey, and my now deceased long-time friend, Gayle Oldham, raised their kids at the same time. We talked about and celebrated Gayle’s husband, John, recent remarriage.
From there, we began talking about our deceased spouses, and Bev reported that she and her high school boyfriend had reconnected in recent years.
“Do you get to see him often?”
“Maybe once a year. He lives in Tullahoma (TN) and sometimes we see one another when I come to visit my son. It’s nothing serious and we certainly don’t plan to get married. He’s a very nice gentleman and it’s good to connect again.”
“But no marriage plans, huh?” picking at her a little.
“No, you know what they say – ‘purse or nurse!’”
We had a good laugh. I hadn’t heard that one before and apparently she wants a part of neither. We continued back and forth. As we parted ways, I suggested that she add a couple more rhyming words to her adage – “curse and hearse.”
I looked in on our 90-year-old Dad who is not have a good time at all in assisted living. He’s ready to “change his address” as he says, meaning to die. It would be merciful, indeed. He’s in pretty good shape for his age; my siblings and I only wish he could redirect some focus toward positive things rather than spending most of every day stewing over the dark side of everything. One day I loaded him up and took him down the hill a half-block to his former independent living spot for lunch with his former table mates. It was a grand time to be with Milton and Martha Smith and Eloise Fluth. He’s a “rock star” down there. Entering the place, the office folks came out to make over him. Other residents were so glad to see him, every dining hall waitress all gave him a big hug and even the kitchen crew made it a point to come out and see Mr. Edwards. Lunch was interrupted several times by people coming to greet him. Getting back in the car, it was back to the dark side rather than a grateful afterglow of what had been a delightful couple of hours. Too bad. I hope I can remember not to repeat such.
Brother Randy and I spent of a lot of quality time together, some of it traveling some 400 miles west to meet our cousin Tim and wife way west in Ft. Davis. It is serene and beautiful there and we had a great time in the same manner as last October.
From San Antonio to a night as sis Judy’s place – a great intermediate stop/visit/food midway toward Dallas. Beside blood-line, Judy and I share the loss of our spouses in 2015. Not a good year at either house.
Friday with Fort Worth friends – extended lunch with college roommate Royce and wife Patti, then overnight with the Springfield clan in Azle. The Springfields hosted Honey on weekends before we married. Their daughter Christy was 11 year old at that time; now she has a grandchild – which makes me 82, I’m sure of it. Yikes!
Before catching my return flight Saturday, I was able to have brunch with Honey’s high school friend/college roommate/wedding attendant Virginia. Virginia lost her husband unexpectedly last month. Fortunately, she has strong faith, a supportive faith family, and daughters nearby. She’s a strong gal and is going to make it, but right now is a tough time. To hear her bear witness to God’s work in her life through this unexpected tragedy is a blessing indeed.
Thinking about the people seen and places experienced in the last couple of weeks reminds me of this opening stanza of Psalm 24:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
And close behind that thought is this old gospel song refrain that I love:
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow but God give a song
in the night season and all the day long.”