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Class Reunion

30 Jun

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude
 that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language,
standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
  Rev 7:9           

Some had arrived early.  Others were right on time, while there were those that did not make it at all.  Glasses and hearing aids were the predominant accessories of the morning, with an overall sense of comfortable and belonging.  Nods and smiles of recognition were shared by all as the tables filled with excited classmates from the class of ’56. 

Mom (3rd from right) & her classmates

My mother graduated in 1956 from Nashville High School, located in Brown County, IN, better known in these parts as ‘Little Nashville’.  Twenty-two young people received their diploma, marking the beginning of the rest of their adult lives.  Eleven of the 17 graduates who are still living gathered this past Saturday for breakfast at the Brown County Inn to celebrate another year.  A few spouses and a daughter (that’s me!) joined in the fun of catching up on the latest, looking at lots of family pictures (of course, I brought 2 photos of Baby Cole!) and making plans for next year. 

Mom's childhood home

Surprisingly to me, the party broke up in less than 2 hours.  I’ve come to realize that sometimes the seniors in our world are busier and more productive than the rest of us!!  Apparently they all had somewhere else to be and things to do!!  Since I was my mom’s official chauffer for the day (she’s STILL not able to drive yet), I decided that we would meander the streets of Nashville and see what we could find.  I quickly changed my glasses, so to speak, from those that saw all the little quaint shops full of tourists, trinkets, and tasty treats to the spectacles belonging to a little girl growing up in a small town where everybody knew her name.  Our first stop was on the south edge of town in front of a little white house with a big front porch … the house is now brown and the front porch is now enclosed as part of the home.  My mother, her two older brothers, and their parents moved to this very house in 1938 when she was 9 months old.  The rock ledge and sidewalk out by the road were laid by her daddy, and the huge tree out front was the same one that she used to climb in.  We drove down Blood Alley, directly behind the old Bond’s funeral home and I listened with great interest to how this little drive got its name.  As we sat back behind the old homestead, she told another story of how she and her neighbor friend nearly caught the entire south end of town on fire.  Her own dad, who was the town mechanic and fire truck driver, was the one who came to dowse out the flames that had spread through the fresh autumn leaves.  As we slowly made our way from one side of town to the other, mother became quite animated by the memories and tales that accompanied those happy days, most likely feeling the impossibility that it all took place so many many years ago.  In the center of town are the old State Bank and Post Office.  Mom remembers riding with her dad in the big wrecker truck to the Post Office one day…she was about  10 years old.   As they pulled away and turned left, the passenger door, on which she was probably leaning, came open and out she went, clinging to the door as it swung out wide in the corner.  Can you imagine?  Other stories included Camel Hill Road, where the town’s people would shut down part of the street for the kids to snow sled down in the winter, the old jail house, which was already a museum when she was a little girl, Miller’s drug store with the soda fountain counter, and the original Nazarene Church that my Pappy helped build on the north side of town.

What a fun day we had!  It’s always a good time when we can reconnect with friends and memories from our past, realizing that by the grace and mercies of God, it all contributes to the people we are today.  It also causes me to focus on the grand reunion yet to come! 

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count,
from every nation, tribe, people and language,
standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
Rev 7:9           

 

Just like on Saturday, some arrived early.  Others got there at the scheduled time.  But there were some that did not make it at all to this day of celebration.

If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chron 7:14

 

Join me with a humble and seeking heart … and in great anticipation of the best reunion of all time!  We will clasp hands with friends and loved ones around the throne of God, singing His praises throughout all eternity!   SOMEDAY!

“Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!”
Rev 19:6-7

 

Until next time,
Debbie

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Graduation

14 May

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life,  and I will dwell in the
house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:6
   

    

It’s that time of year.  The cap and gown, complete with tassel, and the infamous certificate of declaration that the task at hand is finished.  Complete.    

Troy, Kim & Cole

There are two graduations impacting the lives of the Van Hooks in 2010.  Our son-in-law Troy is graduating with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis from Penn State University in just a few short days.  Having served in the US Marine Corps following graduation from high school, Troy is using his G.I. Bill for these past four years of college. 

Brittany & Ryan

Our son’s girlfriend, Brittany, walked across the platform at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington on Mother’s Day … receiving her degree of Bachelor of Science in Biology.    

Graduation is only a step of transition, really.  It’s a time for congratulations, hugs, slaps on the back, and words like “Well done!”, and “We’re so proud of you!”  But nearly in the same breath, there will be additional things said, like “What are your plans now?”  or “Did you get that job you applied for?”    

Troy will be moving his family to the Baltimore area where he will begin his new career in June.  Brittany has applied for a job in Seattle and is hopeful that she will begin to take the next step toward her life-long ambitions.  Life is full of dreams,  preparation, experience, change, and celebration.   

How about you?  Is GRADUATION a word that applies to your life right now?  Perhaps you know someone who has also put on the cap and gown and walked across their platform of life.  A new baby, fresh out of the womb … the past 9 months developed and ready for a lifetime of graduations.  A precious aged parent, surrounded by years of memories and a loving family … crosses that threshold of the ultimate graduation, completed the task of earthly living to finally sit at the feet of Jesus.    

Precious in the sight of the LORD  is the death of his saints.   Psalm 116:15   

For such a time as this, join me in celebrating the graduations of life.   

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me,
if only I may finish the race and
complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–
the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.  Act 20:24
   

Until next time,
Debbie