I was unwrapping some Christmas decorations the other day and found a copy of this essay I included in our Christmas cards last year. Many of you have already read it, but I think it bears repeating this holiday season, or any other season for that matter.
I’ve been thinking about blankets of security. I’ve been thinking how our families can and should provide an insulating layer around us against the buffeting winds that we often encounter in the world. Take this past month…my son, Joe drove out from New Hampshire in his pickup truck to retrieve another pickup that my Mom had given to him in her will. This old pickup, a GMC, is the one I learned to drive in, and it hasn’t been far from a garage in many, many years. The plan was to buy a tow dolly and haul the old, tired thing back across the country and fix it up to drive. Well, Joe also came out to build a couple of ladders for us. I so admire his woodworking skills and spent many happy hours being his apprentice as he carefully crafted ship ladders out of slabs of poplar. Completing a project, talking about whatever came to mind, working in silence and just being together was sincerely one of the best times of my life. But, let me get back to my point.
So, Joe left, towing the GMC behind his pickup and made it only as far as Homestake Pass before his truck blew its engine and he was stopped dead in his tracks. I am certain that my Dad was looking down from above and said, “That boy is not going to make it and I’m going to help him break down pretty close to home so that the family can take care of him.” Well, ultimately my brother Bob and his son Wes retrieved Joe and both trucks. Over the course of several days Bob and his wife, Joanne fed Joe Thanksgiving dinner and took care of him as if he was their own son. Bob and Wes helped him replace almost every part on the old truck and then they sent him on his way again. This time, the ol’ GMC and my boy made it all the way across the country and he is home with Dad’s pickup and life can go on.