My wife and I just celebrated 22 married years together. We traveled a few hours to our destination and spent three peaceful days together, just the two of us, talking and dreaming and planning and wondering. Well, mostly it was me who did the wondering. I wondered, emphasis on ‘wonder,’ at how this all came to be. How she ever saw me across this incredibly vast world of people and decided to give me that very first moment of her time. How she decided to stay for the next moment, and the next moment…and the next.
I sat across from her a half dozen times over these past three days and still can’t believe out of all the people around us, she’s with me. Every day, every year, it gets sweeter and stronger and our story grows into one more chapter. I have faith in her and our lives are intertwined in so many ways that I can only vaguely remember me without her.
When I think about all that has to occur in this great big world for just two people to actually meet and then agree to spend the rest of their lives together, I can hardly fathom it.
We begin to write chapter 23 this week…
*Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room.
The Book: The Orange Book by Richard McGuire (1992, Children’s Universe)
Time to Read: short and sweet
Summary: from the inside cover…”Where do fourteen oranges go fresh from their tree? Follow each, as they make their way in the world. One is off to art school, another to seek fame and fortune on television, another to explore the halls of vaudeville, another…”
Our View: Written and designed by Richard McGuire, this book about a group of traveling oranges was among the earliest to find its way into our book room so that means we’ve been reading it for nearly twenty years together. It never gets old and the illustrations alone will have you searching for more of this talented author ‘s works. The choice of color (orange!) is especially fascinating as you’ll notice in one of our favorite illustrations below. The text for this particular page reads, “One was sent to a sick friend.”
Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering. – Theodore Roosevelt
One of the great experiences of my life has been writing for a history publishing company out of Texas. Every couple of years I receive an assignment to travel to a small town or county somewhere in the U.S. and write a book about their history, as well as take photographs and do some interviews with a few of the area’s long-time residents.
The best part about this work is that I get to take my family along for the experience. Everyone gets involved as we scour dusty libraries and find historic old cemeteries. We visit famous landmarks and highlight all kinds of routes on half a dozen maps.
But the one thing that our youngest daughter has always enjoyed is locating historical markers. I know it sounds crazy, but something about finding these signs along the road really grabbed her attention when she was young and first started going with us on these trips. She was maybe 4 or 5 and would holler from her carseat, “Historical marker, historical marker” whenever she noticed one of those signs.
Today, the kids have a love for history that runs deep. They admire the wisdom that is inherent in the places and people that have inhabited the “long-ago” and are intrigued by the ways in which they are writing the history of their own lives.
And one day, the history that once intrigued them will be a history of their own.
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” – George Moore
I lost my phone yesterday! I know – doesn’t it make you cringe at the mere thought of it? I got in my jeep after work and headed home, and when I arrived there it was gone. Maybe it was somewhere at my office or, horror of horrors, I had somehow dropped it in the parking lot as I was getting in my car. I worried about it on and off throughout the evening and then awoke ready to get to work and that parking lot, just in case. I arrived early, but there was nothing there, not a smashed phone in the parking lot nor a lonely phone setting on a desk in the office. I searched the world over and couldn’t imagine where I had left it. Where could it be?
And then it suddenly hit me, what if the phone was IN MY CAR? What if it had simply slipped off the passenger seat and lodged itself somewhere between the seat and the door or maybe it was under the seat in one of those hard-to-reach spots? I ran to the car and there it was, lying peacefully under the seat right next to a Sonic peppermint candy and two mechanical pencils. I had searched everywhere for the thing I needed, the one thing I thought was lost or at least misplaced. And there it was, in the one place it was supposed to be.
I have done this way too often in my life with things more important than a phone, jumped to the conclusion that surely what I need is further away from me than it is nearer to me. That’s why I wish I could meet the man who wrote this quote, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” Something worse than losing his phone must have happened to compel him to compose such a profound sentence. His singular sentence speaks to me and reminds me and convicts me.
No wonder the mat outside our front door says, “Welcome.”