By my friend, Ben
I reckon I couldn’t a asked for a better Decoration Day. That’s what it were called even before ma were born. It were. Later on it were changed to Memorial Day. It were.
Well, ma always called it Decoration Day. She did. Cause it were the day she were goin’ to decorate the graves of all the family what were buried hither an’ yon. It were perty much an all day ritual, bein’s that her own ma an’ pa were buried over at Frenchburg. They were.
It were still early when I got the loppers an’ headed offen the porch toward that big ol’ Paul’s Scarlet rose bush. I reckon that bush were as old as the house, an’ I had no idea how old it were. I didn’t. What I knowed were that ma loved that old rose bush. She did. She’d tend to it with just about anything what she thought would make it grow. She did. An’ it seemed to know she loved it, cause each spring it would put out shoots what were nigh on to six feet long. It would. An’ each of them shoots would be covered with them deep red buds. They would.
Now Paul’s Scarlet were just about the hardiest rose around. It were. Course, it were an annual, meanin’ it only bloomed
once a year, just about right on Decoration Day. An’ each year ma would get on her gloves an’ cut them boughs off an’ lay ‘em in the back of pa’s truck. She would. Then all of us would pile in an’ head out to decorate the graves of our kinfolk. We would.
When the roses were all layin’ in the backa my truck, I went into the house an’ got me a big ol’ jug of sweet iced tea an’ a couple ham an’ cheese sandwiches. Then I got some special treats I’d picked up in town for ol’ Blue. I did.
As we wound our way up the hill past graves both old an’ new, ol’ Blue got more an’ more excited. He did. It were like he knowed Hickory Ridge Cemetery were the highest place around town. Which it were.
As I got near the top I saw Annie Hartley kneelin’ by Sonny’s grave. Annie were nearly always there by the time me’n Blue got here on Decoration Day. She were. Sonny were Annie’s only boy. He’d joined the army to better hisself. He did. He died in an accident durin’ his basic trainin’. He did. Annie were never the same after that. She kinda shut herself off from her husband, Trent, an’ Sonny’s sister, June, what were already married when Sonny died. Trent finally said he’d had enough an’ moved out. He did. Annie had a little ol’ job at the clothin’ mill, an’ I’d heard she got Sonny’s military insurance, what weren’t much..
After I laid the roses on ma an’ pa’s graves an’ talked a little to both of ‘em, thankin’ ‘em for lovin’ me an’ all, I sat down with a glass of that cold, sweet tea an’ looked out over Hickory Ridge. I did.
I were plannin’ to go to the parade in town, so I gathered up ol’ Blue an’ got in my truck. As I turned the bend there were Annie Hartley, still sittin’ by Sonny’s grave. She were. Her hair were all white an’ hangin’ down around her face. It were. I weren’t gonna stop, but she looked up at me an’ I could see she were crying. I could. So I pulled over an’ me’n Blue got out. We did. She didn’t say a word as I leaned over an’ said, “Them’s right perty flowers you put on Sonny’s grave, Miss Annie.” She just shook her head. She did.
Well, I reckoned that were about all I could do, so I called Blue an’ started to leave. I did. Annie reached out an’ took my hand an’ said, “My boy’s here”, an’ she pointed to Sonny’s grave. She did. I told her I knowed an’ that Sonny were a good feller. I did. She looked at me an’ said, “I ain’t got nobody. They’re all gone.” She did. Well, I looked down at Hickory Ridge an’ could hear the band tunin’ up. I could. But I sat down by Annie an’ put my arm around her shoulder an’ she leaned inta me an’ cried. She did. So I reckoned me’n ol’ Blue would just sit there with Annie for awhile. An’ that’s what we did. An’ I knowed ma were somewhere smilin’. She were.
CONCERNS: Josh Brown is out of the hospital after suffering from dehydration. He is not quite back to normal yet, but making progress. Eleanor Crush is being treated for cancer. Tooney, the daughter of a friend of Judy McWhorter’s is having head pain from a yet unknown source. They have done an MRI. Jamie King is still not walking yet after an auto accident in March. Randy Conner has terminal cancer. Mike Breeding and his wife. Joni Beach’s mother, cancer. Roger Fisher’s nephew in Florida has been told his cancer is in remission. Erma Williams is still job hunting. Remember Scott Laughon, Wilma and Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder and the workers with Heath Talents Int. and Bread For A Hungry World, and those recovering from the storms that have brought destruction to so many places in our country.
OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 6-11
Monday: Genesis 2:1-14
Tuesday: Matthew 3:1-17
Wednesday: I Thess. 3:1-13
Thursday: Matthew 21:28-44
Friday: II Peter 1:16-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 33:1-22
OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 13-18
Monday: Exodus 1:15-2:10
Tuesday: Mark 1:16-24
Wednesday: Genesis 17:1-21
Thursday: Job 452:1-17
Friday: Luke 4:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 63:1-11
THE NEW DIRECTORY
The new directory is to be published next week and hopefully you can pick up your copies next Sunday.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Vacation Bible School this year will be on July 11-15 from 6:00 to 8:30 each evening. This year’s theme is Panda Mania.
Sign-up forms are on the table in the foyer. Also, there are several “pandas” on the foyer wall. These are needs for VBS. If you can provide any of the items, please take a panda.
It has been decided that this will be the last year for VBS for awhile, so let’s make this one even better than the others.
We are looking at buying Venetian blinds for the windows in the foyer. The sun comes directly in those windows and makes it not only hot in the foyer, but also very hard to cool the upstairs for worship.
Due to a lack of churches responding to the Christian Youth Camp at Camp Bethel, we have not had camp in two years. There is a camp near Bristol, VA that is directed by Kevin Sigman, a former member here. There are several folks from the Blacksburg congregation who have been working with Kevin and find the camp to be well-run. It is called “Camp Highrock and all the information needed is on their web site @ highrockbiblecamp.org Martha Foy should be seen about grouping up and going together.
STONE MASON NEEDED
Someone hit the wall at the lower end of the handicapped parking area and dislodged about a foot or so of the stonework. If you can do that kind of work, let Rich Crites or Keith know.
Remember that each Sunday communion is taken to Wilma and Jenni Cullum. At one time we had more than enough volunteers to do this. Lately that has fallen off. If we help each other it will only involve once a month or less. Please keep this in mind.
Super Sunday is June 19, which happens to be Father’s Day. Plan to give the dads another good meal.