I love this picture. Probably one of my favorite pictures in the world actually. I look at it and see my children, and my nieces and nephew.
I remember those perfect days in that tiny little village where we grew up. 16 acres of almost heaven, complete with apple trees, cherry trees, pear trees, peach trees, chestnut trees, blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. Not to mention the endless walks in the forest where we always found hidden treasures, animal tracks, brooks, ponds and the occasional cemetery.
So many memories in that tiny little town, where no one ever stopped unless their car broke down or the roads were too dangerous to travel on. We spent many nights with strangers knocking on the door asking where the nearest hotel was….I never knew my parents to turn anyone down, and since the nearest lodging was several miles away, us girls usually got to sleep on the floor of mom and dad’s room while the weary travelers got our beds. My mom would always wake up early the next morning and make a huge breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs, gravy and biscuits before they were sent on their way.
I remember one night vividly. We were driving home from Charleston (Rt. 60), when we came across a young man with a blown out tire. My dad stopped to assist him. This handsome fella (I do remember he was pretty adorable) apparently fell asleep while driving to college and ran into a ditch completely destroying his tire. Next thing I know, dad is telling us girls to make room in the back seat of the car for him and his hamster. We were probably about 45 minutes from home, but my parents wouldn’t have it any other way, so we loaded him and “Sprocket” the hamster up and took him home with us. The next morning after filling up on mom’s country breakfast, dad drove him back to his car and helped him get back on the road. We got Christmas cards from his family for years.
One very cold and snowy night, Two elderly women were trying to get home and the roads were too bad to go any further. My dad happened to look out the window and saw them creeping up the road. He ran outside with two blankets, bundled them up and brought them in the house. What a fun night we had with them. We all sat around them while they told us stories and we even sang old hymns for them. We kissed them good night like they were our family and went to bed, except that particular night, we couldn’t find Kerri. Mom soon found her cuddled in between the ladies in their bed.
Where we lived, we didn’t get a couple of inches of snow. We got massive amounts of those glorious white flakes falling from the sky. I can still see my dad checking to see if the roads were slick…obviously, technology is different today than it was in the 70’s and 80’s. My dad used to determine if we should travel on the roads by running up and down Rt.60 in front of our house and sliding, if he slid, that meant we were to stay put because the roads were much too icy to venture out. Haha…Oh my, that brings back some good memories.
I remember a verse my mom used to tell us in Hebrews….Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
As a kid, every time we had strangers stay at our house, I always thought that they could possibly be angels that God sent down for us to entertain for the evening. Even now as an adult, I can’t pass by a person on the street that is holding a sign asking for money because they are hungry or cold without thinking, they could be angels.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had love. My parents showed us what it was like to have compassion for others in more ways than I could ever tell you. My dad worked out of town, left Sunday nights and didn’t come home until Friday evening. My mom drove a raggedy old station wagon with several kids across the mountain to give us the privilege of a Christian education. She worked as the school secretary and was at our beckoned call when it came to driving us to practices and games. They worked together to make sure their kids knew what it was like to live in a happy household. I never knew what it was like to have a broken home as so many kids have to endure these days. My parents showed us unconditional love with each other, ourselves and even complete strangers.
I’ll never regret one single moment of that quiet sleepy little village. The memories there will last a lifetime.
With the pending snowstorm, remember to help other people. whether it is shoveling a driveway, helping someone out of a ditch, picking up the mail for your elderly neighbor, or even fixing a warm meal for a shut in. No matter how old or young you are, remember, you just may be entertaining angels.
Stay warm my friends….