Dear Marjorie at 40, The sulking is ending and mulling beginning. Look into basset hound Charlie’s eyes. Walk to Angela’s or even to church. Listen to Rhonda about that too-friendly teacher. Wait with Beulah to see the doctor. Draw those joy and care-lined faces. Pray for Faye and kids to find safe housing. Praise for trees, deer, water, sun. Lose your impatient self in divine surprise at Dayspring Silent Retreat Center; find your Spirit-breathed Shalom self. Savor the lectionary readings. Enjoy West Side Story— yes, four times!
Journals noted simple joys: morning woodstove fire-building fired me up. Letters from Mom, Joyce, Ruthie and Grandma Ribbens brought smiles. University of Maryland classes in Gerontology and Recreation renewed my devotion to Seniors’ Ministry at DCCRC. I rejoiced with Joyce welcoming baby Clara and with Nancy for her Silver Spring B & B. But grieved my failures as wife and mother. Duff graduated from Takoma Academy; sang “You Are the Light of the World” in Godspell. How many dear words from this my favorite DCCRC summer musical still rev me up today!
Heart surfaced back in Michigan with Jean at Gram’s memorial service and in New York on Ruthie’s balcony. Driving Edwina to dialysis kept me real between paper route, carpool and church secretary trips to the printer. Heart leaped as Duffy starred in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and soared as I joined The Ribbon peace march. Post Distributer and Housing Rehab Inspector Ted bought an RV; we drove cross-country but family bonds only weakened as debts and taxes rose.
Thank You, Loving Impetus, for consensus at that November lunch. Thanks for Neighborhood Fellowship’s January launch in Wednesday morning Bible Studies at DC CRC. Thank You, Life Director, for Youth Group leaders and Duff’s part in another great musical. Thanks for Rhonda’s class song lyrics still flowing in my soul: Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them and a friend will not say never for the welcome will not end; though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hand we know that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends. Thanks for Jean’s hugs and kisses easing my worries, Mom’s depression, Gram’s pain and confusion. Thank You, Wondrous Re-Creator, for the watercolor class back at Calvin that summer.