Pete’s Blog

Mondays with Pete

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Good morning;

          The campfire sizzled and sparked in the cold night air.  Yellow, orange and red figures danced against the dark backdrop of the hardwood forest yet to begin budding for spring.  Fragrant smoke drifted lazily skyward in an almost straight column on the cold, still night.  Dogs barked at unknown objects in the dark on a distant hillside.  Lights from inside the house perched on the side of hill over looing Lake Tenkiller in the foothills of the Ozarks in northeastern Oklahoma, spilled out in the yard.  Laughter could be heard from the group inside as we sat and exchanged memories around the fire.  Old faces came to mind many of whom we could no longer put a name to.  Stories were told of those who were not longer with us in the body but were very mich with us in spirit.  Long pauses of silence paid them and others homage.

          We gathered to celebrate birthday of the now 92 year old family patriarch, sharp of mind and weak of body.  Kids, grandkids and great grand kids had filled the lake house with the wonderful noise of family, laughing adults, giggling children, crying babies.  More food than was ever necessary filled the kitchen and try as we might we couldn’t eat it all.  Grandpa goes in a takes quick nap after we sing Happy Birthday. Groups form and divide as we try to visit with everyone there, knowing it would be months before we could gather like this again.  Soon we would all be going back to our “normal” routine, like it or not.

          However, we gathered for another reason.  The process of cleaning out the old family headquarters, Grandpa’s home, was taking place as we visited and shared at his request.  Those of us who walked through the house before the estate sale had heavy hearts as this chapter in our lives is coming to close.  No more gatherings here, only memories of grand gatherings and celebrations as well as sad times of getting through another time of grief.  Through them all, we hung on to each other sometimes for support and others times for dear life. 

          The road stretches out before us as we cross the Mississippi delta flat lands of Arkansas with a small U-Haul trailer in tow half filled with a few memories and keepsakes of more than forty years of family gatherings in the old house.  The sun sets in magnificent glory on the western horizon and closes another day and another chapter in Rains/Standefer family.

          We have been blessed through the good, the bad and the ugly times of family.  The closing of this chapter only gives us the opportunity to open another chapter of closer relationships and blessings for the future.

          I am reminded today as I get back into the routine of God’s blessing of family in my life.  “This I call to mind and therefore I have hope.  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3: 20-23)

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