Sunday May 23, 2021
Temperature Low, 79 Degrees; High, 91 Degrees
The Long Road Home
We had a two hour road trip on the docket today. We were going to attend worship at our home church, The Colts Neck Reformed Church, in Colts Neck, New Jersey. We were also going to see two really good friends of ours that we had not seen for some three years. However, to make church on time we needed to be on the road by 8 am. Oh so early, but we deemed the benefits out weighed the sacrifice so we were up and out bright and early.
Despite a few blips along the way we made it with forty five minutes to spare. So, we made a quick stop at our every Friday morning bagel shop when we lived in this area. Yes, not only did we have bagels for breakfast but we made sure to bring some home to put in the freezer. Done with bagels we were back on the road.
No more than three minutes away was our church. This is the Ministry Center and Office Building.
This is the Educational Building at the other end of the parking lot. We spent many wonderful hours here after church at coffee hour making friends, and sharing and encouraging one another in our faith.
Moving to the worship center/sanctuary
Standing at the front looking toward the back and the main entrance. The pipe organ is up in the choir loft. Several years ago they had to make drastic changes and improvements to the loft because it was beginning to collapse.
I’m now standing at the back looking toward the front. The church is decorated for Pentecost Sunday. The two banners on the wall in the front were made by the ladies quilting club. Standing here this morning there were so many memories that came to me, of being nurtured from God’s Word, of good times with good friends, and of learning how to grow as a disciple of Christ. A lot of beautiful memories did indeed come washing over me as I stood here this morning.
This is David and Maggie Tripold. David is the organist and senior choir director. Maggie is The Director of Worship and Music Arts. They are definitely two of God’s beautiful people. It was so great to see them again and spend some time just chatting about old times and what’s in store for the church in the coming months.
This is the nerve center for virtual worship which Maggie is in charge of. In preparation for streaming of live worship in September she shared with me that they have now also mounted several cameras in strategic places in the sanctuary. I’m so glad that even though they are returning to live worship they have also made a commitment to continue virtual worship. The virtual worship is a blessing for us as we travel about.
Our Senior Pastor, Scott Brown and myself. Scott has been a friend like no other for over twenty years. It was great to see him again and to catch up on old times. He has been senior pastor for thirty years but he shared with me that he’ll be retiring in about five years. It will be difficult to replace him. Scott is what I call a Pastor’s Pastor. He knows how to deliver a great message, but even more he lives what he shares from God’s Word. What really sets him apart though from so many other pastors is his ability to relate to people in a down-to-earth, deeply caring way. I am honored to call him my Pastor and even more importantly my friend.
But the day had just begun. After church
we were able to visit with two of our dearest friends from years gone by. This is Allen and Peggy. Allen and I used to ride our motorcycles, side by side, through one state after another all over the East Coast. We both also belonged to the Polar Bear Club, a group of motorcycle riders that rode throughout the winter. Thinking back to those days we must have been crazy. A motorcycle ride on a thirty degree day even with all electric clothing was a bit chilly, no make that down right cold!
Barbara and Peggy have been like sisters. They have shared the good times and the bad times together. They were always there for each other. They’ve laughed together, and cried together. Still today they are no more than a phone call away.
After church the four of us decided to have a bit of lunch at Huddy’s Restaurant. This was once just a bar, then it became a small restaurant, and today it is the restaurant of choice in the Colts Neck area. It has a large banquet hall and an indoor and outdoor eating area. Not to mention the food is always the greatest.
Minutes turned into hours as we caught up on old times and shared our dreams for the future. However, all too soon we had to part. We had a two hour ride in front of us and we were anxious to get back home. Once again we didn’t say goodbye, oh no, we said as we always do until we meet again.
We had one more stop, actually a drive by, to make.
This is where it all began some four years ago. Our old homestead. I can’t say I really miss it. It was a part of our past. A closed chapter. Yes, life here was good, really good. But our life now is on the road and at our new home in Florida. And when you come right down to it, isn’t that what life is really all about, change and growth.
That was our really long day on The Road of Retirement. It was a day that we will cherish for a long time to come. So many beautiful memories were made again today. Today was a reminder of what life is all about. Not things. Not how much stuff do you have. Not who has the most expensive toys. Life is all about family and good friends. Those individuals who have both are truly the richest in the world. And so we consider ourselves to be the richest of all for we do indeed have both.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. We always appreciate your company, your comments, and your suggestions. Keep safe, keep healthy, live to the fullest the days that God gives you.
These are the voyages of Elvira and her two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!