“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, You can always go…Downtown” – Downtown by Petula Clark
They were small in stature but lived a big life. For my uncle and aunt, size did not matter! Both stood five-feet or less yet they enjoyed life to the fullest!
I had the honor and privilege of attending one of the more memorable services in my lifetime. What a blessing to live with your best friend, forever lover, mother of your children, and the most beautiful woman you have ever laid eyes on.
This was the love story of two people who overcame many obstacles and chose to see life as a joyous occasion no matter the circumstances.
The overturned laundry basket blocked the path on the upstairs hallway. The smell of adrenaline and sweat permeated the staircase. The window blinds were closed to create the effect of nightfall. The overworked automatic dishwasher screamed for a merciful break from the evil taskmaster. The half-empty bowls and platters revealed evidence of a once beautiful meal.
Here is a feel-good story of how police officers sacrifice daily for the public whether they (the public) deserve it or not.
I was at a recent public safety award ceremony and was very honored to be in the presence of many who serve the general public – often a thankless job I might add. These men and women sacrifice themselves for the general community regardless of race, religion, or beliefs. Their sworn duty is to protect the citizens and uphold the law.
There needs to be more stories about these positive activities rather than dwelling on the negativity that the social media exploits but I will not go there in this post – this negativity does not deserve my attention.
So if you are of the mindset that absolutely NO peace officer is good, I pity your thinking. For the majority of us regular citizens however, this story is for you!
We had the honor and privilege of attending our second wedding in two weekends. The venue was perfect for an outdoor ceremony followed by an indoor reception.
Driving on the beautiful back roads of Vacaville, California, we turned into a gravel road and were instructed to park in the open fields of this spacious ranch. Neither of us have been here before though we have driven by this location several times in the past years.
As we walked towards the crowd, we found our seats under some shade as the sun was beginning its descent. The gazebo was the focal point of the proceedings. The ceremony was concise and I am sure the family members in the first couple of rows were very thankful for that as they sat in the hot sun.
As we turned our attention to the reception, I saw an old friend standing in the shadows. She was a volunteer and I knew that I would catch up with her soon. During a break before the bride and groom reappeared, I stepped outside and bumped into my friend.
Then she told me some amazing facts about the Joyful Ranch.
A wonderful thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks to social media, I was able to reconnect with an old friend from 25+ years ago – gosh, am I really getting that old???
We agreed to meet at a coffee shop (name begins with an “S”) at the old town where our families first met years ago. I had moved away in 20001 so for me, it appeared that there was a lot of changes including this coffee shop we had our get-together.
The conversation flowed easily as we reminisced about old friends and marveled at how our sons had each grown up into young adults. He learned about the loss of my first wife as he remembered her kindness and personality. Though we both looked a bit more “filled-out”, the familiarity was so comforting.
Soon it was time to depart as my friend had a patient to see. We exchanged goodbyes and as I walked to my car, a thought came to mind. Why not drive down Refugio Valley Road to the old house and see what has changed.
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” – John 8:7
It is a shame that when change occurs, human nature acts out in a selfish manner. Who is truly entitled to cast blame and doubt on anyone except the blameless?
Yet no one is blameless even though some believe they are above the others.
Let us get deeper.
When devastation occurs in a person’s life such as the loss of a loved one, would you not agree that this is a “major storm” in life? Who would want such tragedies to occur? Who can we blame for our circumstances?