Ramblings from the Cove...

March 2016

By Lars Gren

Eleven feet of snow. Most ever that professionals in Boston had recorded since Noah entered the Ark. That was the winter of '15. Now it was the 7th of March with my 'weather tree' forecasting a like winter for 2016. The tree has had a good past record of beating the professional forecasters. Anticipating 'another on the mark call' I had as a precaution arranged for not one but two young strong fellows to keep our drive open. So I said, 'Come ahead storms, we're ready for the battle."

The morning we, Kea, Anna and I left the prediction was for a heavy storm on the East coast and North of Boston. The two of them were making the trip with me in order to bid good-bye to the missionaries that they (well Kia had, Anna was coming for the first time) had met. We thought of a delay due to the forecast but needing to get to our Virginia stop by a certain date I nodded to my tree and we pushed off.

All went well until a couple hours to our arrival but then the ever so wee beautiful soft tufts turned to heavy flakes, the kind that makes for hard work even if one has a snow blower. Until then the clouds had been wispy, shifting about in the shine of a lowering sun. We were awed by it and I mentioned trying to take some photos but neglected to do so. Within a couple of hours we reached our destination and realized that if this continued we would have a rough go the next day what with Raleigh being our destination. I was correct in that for by evening it was near a white out. By the time we got settled with our friends we knew that this would last through the night and then some.

In the morning I glanced out the window to the drive and instead of seeing three cars there were three humps of white. The only thought that came to mind was, "What a hoot if I could mold an elephant's trunk in the trumpeting position and attach one to the hood of each car. No doubt it would be the picture of the week for the local Journal."

It took a full two days for the town to open up the roads enabling us to depart for a short visit to the Reeg's in Charleston S.C. The visit was bittersweet for our friends were no longer in their well-appointed home that was built on a strip of land with a cute bridge--if a bridge can be cute--a three foot rise or so on perhaps a ten foot span allowing cars to cross the lazy stream meandering through the small settlement. The rear yard ends at a slow moving stream with lily pads and other greens which were often pushed aside as ducks or the occasional swans would float past the house looking hither and yon, as only they can with their flexible necks all of a sudden striking out at whatever it was then looking skyward with the taken creature, I suppose, sliding down the gullet.

It was the rain of the century and they had taken what precautions they could but to no avail. Much of the settlement had four to five feet of water in their houses. Kathy had been an avid collector of old books and art along with Elisabeth's books and most of them were signed copies giving added memories of past years. It was sad to see, for the previous year we had had Elisabeth with us and it had been such a good visit.

On one of the evenings I had put the CD of an interview that Family Life did with the two of us in order to introduce us to their leadership. It flowed as no other interview had for Bob Lepine and Dennis Rainey. They at times air it as they did this year between Christmas and New Year. What was amazing on that evening was Elisabeth's rapt attention from the very first word to the very end. Several times she said the very word as it was on the CD and at times laughed so heartily that tears formed. It was a memory to treasure and since then we mention it each time that have gotten together.

As to the house it is not livable and the Reegs with many others await the decision of HUD to render the settlement non-buildable or what ever they term it. Even so, our couple of days visit was enjoyable and as they say, "God is aware and in charge from beginning to the end."

We did arrive at the AIM retirement center where Kea and Anna stayed for a week. Anna had the joy of meeting the long time missionaries who revealed some of the stories from Africa. Kea renewed and deepened her friendships with a number of them. It may be that she will have the pleasure of accompanying a retiree and see where the stories were lived out. A week passed quickly for both of them until the day came where I drove them to the Orlando airport for a flight to their next situation of living in serving others. Many will miss them and especially one.

I was going to give a vignette of my first day here without Elisabeth but this tome is way too long. If it were a paper to be handed in for a class taught by Addison Leitch, Elisabeth's second husband, he would no doubt write on it as he did to one at the Seminary, "This paper needs to be cut in half, either half will do." As to my tree giving the weather, it has to be allowed to miscast a year after all, the TV announcers do the same thing. For now, I shall no longer take the tree as a harbinger of the coming seasons.

And with that I'll say, God bless y'all and that's it from the Cove.

Lars

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