Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A gate that doesn’t open

To-day was a great day. It was a beautiful summer day with relatively low humidity and low--80’s (28C) . Linda & I started our day with a walk and ended it with a visit with Roger& Sandra & Kyle. We went there to install a trailer hitch on my truck – Roger had the same F-150 truck a few years ago and had kept the hitch when he traded it in. He gave it to me to see if I could get more on the sale of my truck with the hitch installed.

Afterwards we were looking at pictures of the house that Roger & Sandra have bought in Troy and the semi-detached that Kyle had bought in Thunder Bay last weekend. (Kyle has his own website and the pictures are in Gallery/Our new home at It was sad for us to have the reality of their moves brought home but at the same time we enjoyed sharing in their excitement of facing “new horizons”.

In between the walk and the visit with the Lansdell’s I worked on several documents – some describing the changes in ministry roles related to filling the “gaps” when the Lansdell’s leave and some planning documents for ADnet that were due last Friday.

Then we had Hunter& Camdyn here for a couple of hours. I took Hunter to the playground and wore myself out playing with him on the monkey bars (actually he was swinging along like Tarzan-I on the other hand just pretended since I could reach the ground and walk along from one bar to the next – but even that was tiring when you are trying to keep up with an 8 year old!!

We also attended the Wednesday study “Life Lessons from the Andy Griffith show (click HERE) which we are running again this summer.

So what’s this about a gate? Several times I’ve mentioned Linda’s passion for her garden. One of her creations was a winding path that leads to a gate that doesn’t open. I often refer to it as “ the path to nowhere”.

Sometimes we joke about leading someone down the garden path but it got us nowhere. I’ve tried to think of a useful metaphor about Christian living that would go with this feature but so far all I can come up with is that is represents what it means to try to live without God. I do know that Linda’s concept was simple— it doesn’t mean anything -- it just looks neat.

The path (in the picture you cans ee it in the foreground -it winds around behind the oak tree and ends at the gate) we made by pouring cement into a “stepping stone” mold.

At the end of the path in the corner of our back yard is a trellis that Dad & I built after the usual dialog with Linda about how what she was envisaging wouldn’t work –but as usual her confidence in my ability to give form to her “impractical” ideas proved to be right despite my initial sceptism (“You want me to build what? Are you crazy- that can’t be done" is a typical first reaction when she comes up with these brainstorms)

The gate itself originally was the headboard from our old crib with the legs cut off. We had used the crib for all three of our children and Linda had decorated it with cartoon figures. It wasn’t useable as a crib anymore because it didn’t meet current safety standards so Linda thought it would make a good gate. –permanently mounted on the trellis.

We originally installed this 6 or 7 years ago and by this spring the paint had peeled and the veneer was separating. I brought it in and we were looking at how to repair it. Linda said – “Well we still have the foot board for the crib –would it fit?” . Sure enough it did.

She decided to have Arliss (her sister) paint the one side with a floral decoration (bottom inset) and leave the Snow White picture (top inset) facing the neighbor’s yard since they have a small child. Installing the new gate was one of my projects last week.

We have a chipmunk who likes to sit on the garden bench and he was there several times last week but by the time I got the camera he was gone and wouldn’t come back until I had given so that’s a picture ‘ l hope to get another time.

Perhaps the real message of the “gate that doesn’t open at the end of the path to nowhereis that” Life’s a journey” to be savored at each step and not a destination to be rushing towards –and if you do try to rush to a destination you may find your self nowhere with the road ahead blocked.

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

p.s. I have some pictures for this but blogger isn't cooperating to-night so I'll try again in the a.m.

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