Ramblings from the Cove...
By Lars Gren
There it was a band of darkness touching the water for the length of the vision that I had of the horizon. Towards the west the band widened to cover the sky. Then imperceptibly in the east a hint of redness appeared and slowly increased towards the west. As I watched, the change became continues in height towards the sky with the hues a variety of pastels leading into rose and pink. As the eastern sky became lighter with its morning blue and whites the western side became completely pink on its march towards daybreak. The solid color hidden only where the gray clouds hung between the water below and the sky above. The water itself took on a reflection of the pink lightening its normal morning darkness of a blue-black-grey to the pastel hue. As the sun began to appear there was a final pastel display and then we had daylight. Is there anything as dramatic as watching daybreak on a winter’s morning? Well, standing on a beach in California eyes glued to the horizon watching the sun sink and disappear into the Pacific. The only difference I suppose is that in the east there is the promise of a new day with all its possibilities whereas in the west the day is past and we may be contemplating that with the day’s accomplishments or with sad regrets. What brought on this odd rare moment of contemplation for me was that I had one eye on the horizon and the other in Psalm 97, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice” it seemed as though this small part of the earth was delighting in the dawning of a new day. “His lightnings lit up the world.” It was not thunder and lightning but even this lightening could make one tremble. “The heavens declare His righteousness. And the peoples have seen His glory.” In truth it was a glorious beginning. And what is it like at this moment? It is what some here call, “An open and shut day,” that is to say the sky is overcast and has turned grey, the water reflects the color of the sky and we live and breathe in this grey world. But a common saying is if you are dissatisfied with the New England weather just wait a bit and it will change. It was as though I was watching a slide show or the unrolling of a scroll—an original—never to be reseen—that was yesterday and today—shades of grey, mist and fog with only some white foam being moved about on gentle swells rolling towards the rocky shore—the day prior to Thanksgiving.
Lest you think that I muse the day away on deep thoughts as one brother-in –law seems to do—he by the way should be a member of the Mensa society. I am not certain what that is but on one of the airlines—can’t remember which—I think my mind is a bit like the “screen” that allows the water in one’s eyes to drain—mine is clogged due to the pigmentary glaucoma of the past 15 or so years—that in turn, before treatment, caused blind areas—and I think that there may be something of the same sort hindering my thinking or remembering so that the airline name eludes me however when I look at the Mensa quiz I realize that I need not apply for membership. If you see it in an airline magazine have a go at it. My goal at this moment is to practice clarity in the art of communication via “snail” mail. I am not certain if progress is being made.
Having arrived now on Thanksgiving Day can Christmas be far behind? Why do we say “far behind?” Should it not be, “not so far ahead?” No matter—we did receive our first Christmas letter last week. I think that the family had a trip to Bora Bora scheduled and did not want to be late in sending a greeting. This and the described sunrise made me think that for once I’ll beat the last minute anguish and put a bit of news together. Yes I’ll try for brevity and keep from going down the so called “rabbit trail”
There is no distinct age when operations—ailments—aches—replacements—3rd generation descendants creep into end of the year greetings but we may as well begin by saying that I did break a leg bone on my first day of trying down hill skiing—but I am fine since that occurred 60 plus years ago and nothing broken since. No replacements so far. Elisabeth claims that she has never had a day with a headache while one of her brother’s claim that he has never had a day without one. Highly unfair. As to other aches and pains we are truly blessed in not having to apply potions, ointments, or home remedies. Oh, I guess I did have a “pain in the neck” for a neighbor told me that “I was one” but that has been cured. Often at breakfast we thank God that we are able to get out of bed, walk about, feel good even though not always “tops” for we do get “out of sorts” now and then.
For those interested in the next generation—Valerie evidently ended with eight children. In chronological order: Walter the oldest lives in NYC and manages a warehouse that is being converted into lofts—whatever that means—and artists studios. Elisabeth and Christiana married. Elisabeth in Wheaton IL has given the first great grand, near 3 year old Valerie Jane—the Jane after Jim Elliot’s sister Jane Hawthorne—and will within a short time have #2. Christiana has been in Nashville TN since college days and has not added a great grand. Jim had a ROTC scholarship at Clemson University and has now been in Air Force for a year and a half. We missed seeing him in OK last week for he was in intensive training for the next plane he is to pilot. Colleen is in her third year at Erskine College in Due West SC. Evangeline began Gordon College, near us, this past August. That leaves Theo and Sarah living with Val and Walt in Kinshasa Congo where Walt is the Pastor of the International English speaking church there. They have been there two+ years now and are very pleased at having the opportunity of that ministry.
One thing that I have notice is that some of the letters that come to Elisabeth have this line in it, “I want to send you this before it is too late.” My guess is that now that Elisabeth has turned 81, there may not be many more chances to send a word to her but that is only a guess since we do not know the day or the hour to any event in life. This has not stopped folks from calling to say that they are in the area and wondered about lunch or a tea break so that in the past year we have enjoyed a number of friends who were on their yearly breaks. For a few I’ve offered to serve up a “bite” but this is dangerous to accept since we put odd things together especially if there are “old friends” in the refrigerator.
We do get asked if we are still able to travel and yes, we shuffle about pretty good. We did not go overseas this year mainly due to a crazy construction project of three terraces on a steep slope that brought me many sleepless hours. It should have been done when we built 25 years ago and not at this stage of life. Along with that work there was some painting and siding work to be done. After all a house ages as we do but it just does not complain about it at least not verbally. But we did get to another of Bill Gothard’s EXCEL program for young ladies where 60-75 lovelies gather in Dallas for an eight week course for 17 to 21 year olds that prepare them for life, married or single—that’s my definition. It was our 26th time to be there having only missed the first two. We show Elisabeth’s videos and then at meal time sit and chat with them. We receive so much for so little and they do love Elisabeth’s writings. We were also entertained for a week in CA with the folks from blueletterbible.org. They are putting some of Elisabeth’s past talks on their web site and thought that we should get to know them. If you have not seen their web site have a look and listen too. The low point of our itinerary was canceling a much looked forward to trip to St. Petersburg followed by a week in my hometown in Norway. We were on the way to the airport in the afternoon and I had had a dread of going from sunrise on—strange—perhaps I need a therapist—no I’ll just hope to make the trip in ’08. And that’s more than enough from The Cove.
God bless y'all,
L and E