Ramblings from the Cove...

March 2018

By Lars Gren

Lars in the snow

“What a Difference a Day Makes, Twenty-four Little Hours.” It was one of the pop songs of the fifties with one rendition by Dinah Washington. Perhaps it hit the #1 spot on the “Hit Parade List”. Of course that was about romance, which was foreign for me, for if a fellow tries on four different days to let the phone ring through in order to blurt out, “Would you care to go to a show with me?” and hangs up prior to her answering, he is not bound to become what was then called a “ladies man”. That was I. Yet the phrase has a good ring to it and can be used under differing circumstances, such as happened this afternoon.

Our daily walk as a rule occurred between two and three in the afternoon with some variation in time depending on the weather. It was rare for us to skip a day, for it seemed to be on par with Elisabeth’s, “We eat three times a day and we walk once day, rain—or—shine.” Since being alone, that is one habit that I have tried to keep even during this bitter winter which is just about to pass. There were enough mornings that seemed not so fierce that I decided to forget the gloves and to just put my hands in the jacket pocket. It seemed fine until after some days later the skin on a couple of fingers split and I learned of frostbite. They are pretty well healed now except for skin coloration.

This mid-day seemed different though, and in looking out through the windows I could tell that hints of Spring would greet me. I made our usual turn with a left at the mailbox that took me to the end of the Cove into "Old Salem Path’. From there we would keep the water on our left until we came to the beach. There we would pick up the main street that carried us back to the drive entrance for Strawberry Cove. It is not a lengthy stretch and short of a mile, but long enough at a good clip to move the pulse rate up a bit.

In passing some bushes I saw a flash of red that suddenly came to rest on a rhododendron branch. A male cardinal had arrived at its summer home. It was a welcome sight, for the only other flock of birds we had usually seen on our walk to the post office, was in a large bush--those pesky sparrows which take over with their incessant racket and flitting about, which I assume is their version of a song, but to my ears is but a din. However it was tolerable, as I strode on, for the wind had died down and there was a nice bit of warmth to the sun that I had only remembered from before winter. Strangely, it cheered me to the point that I began to hum or sing, yes (low), “What A Difference A Day Makes, Twenty-Four Little Hours”, and I thought about God’s gifts to us that a few of the lines do express, though not with any deep theology, but with the appreciation of the simple things that He provides in the changing seasons of life we can take so much for granted. Then I kept saying, “Today it is the beginning of Spring thru the sight, light and feel of things”--a sensation that I never remembered being so real and lasting.

When I walked in, Steve was at his place at the desk, and rather than saying my normal “How’s the day?”, I said, “Steve, I think that the beginning of Spring has at last arrived and is here to stay.“ So far it has, not that sweaters are not needed or that the cutting north-easterly wind has left us for good, but the beginnings of new life are now showing up day by day and I for one am thankful to God, for His gift of my being able to begin a new season. Along with this are His words that He will be with us throughout all our days, and that whether cold or warm, He is there and that is a comfort beyond all comforts.

God bless y’all and that’s it from the Cove,

Lars


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