Lynna Clark: This place we call home
It was supposed to be a washout. Storm clouds rolled across the sky and the forecast was grim. But we went anyway. David roasted a pork shoulder all night until it fell off the bone. Then he made homemade white bbq sauce which added to the yumminess. I baked his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies from the old recipe with TWO sticks of real butter. He portioned out watermelon with an ice cream scoop for ease of serving. Other family members completed the picnic with hot dogs, sandwich fixings, cowboy caviar, fresh tomatoes, slaw, chips and greenbeans. But our favorite part of the meal was made by the kids.
After swimming in the cold lake until their lips turned blue and their teeth rattled, Pawpaw built a fire for them to gather around. Their parents handed out marshmallows to toast which they squished between two fudge stripe cookies; kind of a simplified s’more. They woofed those treats down and headed back to the water. We didn’t even make them wait the obligatory thirty minutes. There was just no sense in wasting the speck of sunshine that suddenly appeared.
On and off the new paddleboard they climbed seeing how many cousins could get on it at once. Up and down the pier ladders they went so they could jump into the deep water showing off their cannonball skills. When we were growing up we learned to dive off that same pier, except now the wood is new. Instead of a paddleboard we climbed onto a huge inner tube and held onto each other to see how many kids we could float before flipping. Then our off-spring did the same. Now my daddy gets to enjoy watching his great-grands play to their hearts’ content. Out back he fashioned a swing on a rope stretched so high in a tree he had to use a ladder in a bucket truck to get it up there.
The kids love being launched above the roof tops on that crazy thing. Beside it he built a zipline because obviously we needed more fun.
They say you can’t go home again. But I think last Saturday I did. Ironically we were celebrating Memorial Day in honor of the veterans who did not get to go home. It seems almost insignificant to say “thank a vet.” But it’s a start. My own daddy came home from the Korean conflict and I praise God for that. He proudly flies the flag and enjoys his family every chance he gets. I’m going this week to buy a new American flag to show my love and appreciation for all those who’ve fought to keep us free. And I’ve decided to pray for our country and the leadership every time I see an American flag. I have a feeling prayer will benefit us more than kneeling during the national anthem. As Drew Brees answered when interviewed, “I will be standing with my hand over my heart.” Amen to that!
I know you’ve heard it. But it bears repeating. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” -Psalm 33:12. The Psalm goes on to remind us not to count on our ‘warhorses. All the weapons and armies available are useless if we do not trust the Lord. The Psalm ends like this.
“We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice for we trust in His holy Name. Let Your unfailing love surround us LORD, for our hope is in You alone.”
As the dark clouds threaten to roll across our nation let’s stand strong and honor those who’ve gone before us. Their sacrifice wasn’t for nothing. Most importantly, let’s ask the Almighty to do a work in our country. This place we call home is worth all our prayers.
Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderfulLife.wordpress.com