Sir Cardinal came to visit In his red coat and his hat And soon began to sing and dance As in our tree he sat And while I listened to his tune His Lady flitted down She had come to join him dressed In quiet grayish brown Then with her song reminding him Of nest and eggs and young And how his heart must turn to home Before his day was done! The Cardinal’s Visit By Peter Caligiuri Copyright© 2023 All rights reserved
My Life on the Road – As a Five-Year Old!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your right hand shall lead me and your right hand shall guide me. Psalm 139:9-10 NKJV
One day, when I was just five years old, I announced to my mom that I had decided to go live with my grandparents. To my surprise, instead of arguing, mom told me that I had a great idea. So, she pulled my little suitcase out of her closet, and began packing some clean underwear, a pair of socks and my cowboy shirt. Once she added a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I was pretty sure I had all I needed. Then as we waited for my stepdad to get home from work, mom explain the directions. “You see, Main Street where we live is also called Route Six and that road goes all the way from Pennsylvania to your grandparents’ house in Connecticut.” That made my journey sound like a cinch, and the three hundred miles in between didn’t bother me because there would be no turns along the way!
After my stepdad got home, he and mom thoughtfully agreed to drive me to the edge of town, to give me a good head start. I was so excited and pictured in my mind the astonished look on my grandparents’ faces when they opened the door! After the car was parked, they helped me get my suitcase out of the trunk. I hugged and kissed my mom goodbye, waved to my stepdad and shrugged off nervousness as I began walking. After about twenty feet, I glanced back and was surprised to see that my parents were gone. It was beginning to get dark, and the first car sped by, and as the car’s headlights blinded me for a second, I realized that this was a lot more than I had bargained for. Then another car passed and suddenly tears began to run down my cheeks. “Mom! Mom!” I called out desperately. Then I saw my parents come running and relief flooded over me. Later, they told me that they had only been a few feet away, behind some bushes, waiting to see how far I would get. Today’s verse reminds me that both King David as well as you and I sometimes think that running away is the solution to our problems. We imagine that things will be better somewhere else. Just like my parents, God sometimes helps us pack our bags and He even drives us out to the edge of town. But if we are His child, we will soon begin to look for Him and cry out for His help. There, at the uttermost part of our sea, we will discover how much we need God. Just like my folks, He is watching and waiting for us to call desperately for Him. Then He comes, wraps us in His arms and shows us that no matter where we have wandered, that His hand will guide us and His right hand will hold us fast!
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV
God sometimes has a way of working that seems strange to me, and none stranger than the weather during our trip to Texas to be with family over the Christmas holidays. All their plans to show us the sights, were frozen in place by temps that plummeted to 10 degrees on the second day. Of course, for those of you up in Buffalo, that might seem pretty tame, but compared to our Florida weather it felt like Siberia! So, rather than seeing a cattle drive, the lake or a park, we huddled indoors with our grandchildren, and what a blessing those ten days turned out to be. There is no scenery in Texas or anywhere else that compares to their smiles!
Though we did make it out to eat twice, the most precious moments were starting a Bible study program with our special needs grandson, Christmas caroling briefly with them at a neighbor’s house and tickling our youngest bouncy grandson while we watched George of the Jungle! Yes, we slept in bunk beds and had to wait for the bathroom to open up on occasion, but now that I sit far away in our comfortable home, I already miss them! The flights were way overpriced, but the time was priceless. We can always make a few more dollars but we can never replace time that has rushed like the water over Niagara Falls and now is gone forever. Today, in my seventh decade of life, I have no regrets over the financial success I didn’t attain, only over missed opportunities to hug my children, wipe away their tears when they fell down or walk with them once more to the park. But I am thankful for the times when I listened to my wife, put down the newspaper, and went out to shoot hoops with our boys before they were gone. I hope you enjoy a few of the photos of our stay. Have a blessed day everyone!
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