Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Strolling Down Memory Lane –

-- we may find a few ruts.  
A "Grand Tour" means a voyage of discovery and maturing, soaking in the culture and history of more refined parts of the world – usually Europe. And for some crazy reason, I feel like I am a kind of adventure that goes beyond the standard definitions of “trip” – not that we are sightseeing or attending lectures or camping out in the area’s museums.  

Is it the ambience of a town with so many 18th and 19th century mansions, or presence of two old schools that make me feel like I am on a “Grand Tour?” It might be the water views from so many vantage points -- or the Christmas lights -- or companionship of so many dear souls, all with time enough to think and reflect -- and remember.  Whatever it is, this time our visit has the feel of a tour rather than just a trip.

I see Spa Creek from our grand windows, and remember our first apartment, also overlooking this body – and one of homes, a duplex, that had a boat slip on this creek, just at the edge of small two-tiered garden.  And I recall that Doug’s father also lived in a condominium looking out on the same water.

When walk through downtown Annapolis, and I remember how often I led tours up and down these streets, and in and out of several Georgian mansions, St. John’s College, and the Naval Academy, happily divulging facts that return to mind.  I remember so many strolls over to the State House grounds with our kids, to ward off the crabby “children’s hour.”  And I recall my parents who spent their last years in this town.     

What is good about this trip, and like an attribute of a grand tour, is the time we’ve had to reflect and remember.  What we take away may not be as useful or creative as those who actually made the Grand Tour in the 18th and 19th centuries.  (The Greater Journey is an excellent primer on such tours!) But, our adventure is filling us with reminders of some lessons learned.  Sadly, we’ve learned that some sweet folks with whom we shared so much happiness have themselves hit rough patches – and some are dead.    

Truth be told, the jewels of architecture and learning, that are distinct hallmarks of Annapolis, are surrounded by developers’ obnoxious buildings; they are as breathtakingly ugly, as the old properties are lovely -- just as the happy, blessed memories of so many wonderful times are jewels, but within some painful settings.  

·      Even our misfortunes are a part of our belongings.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Night Flight, 1931, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

·      Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.  ~African Proverb

·      We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.  ~Charles C. West

Happy New Year, gentle reader – and here’s a bit of Hope for 2014:

“ . . . Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
   it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior . . .”  Isaiah 43

No comments: