My friend Bob and I took our teenage sons to camp for the week. He picked me up at around 10:00 this morning. My son who will be a junior and his son who will be a sophomore are off to Camp Manatawny for the week. My soon-to-be-freshman daughter went along for the ride. She wanted to visit with some of her friends who will be at camp this week. (The session she plans to attend begins next Saturday.)
We also picked up my son who recently graduated from high school. His week at camp was complete. He had a great week, though there was an inordinate amount of rain. If you’ve seen any of the news reports about the flooding on the Susquehanna, Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers you know the kind of weather challenges the campers faced last week. Camp Manatawny is located in the heart of this rainy country, just about 20 miles east of Reading, Pennsylvania. They received about 10 inches of rain during the week. Thankfully, everyone was safe. None of the “tubers” was swept away on Manatawny Creek, either.
After we completed the registration of our two campers, Bob and I, along with two of my teenagers took a little side trip to Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Hamburg is a pleasant little “burg” on the threshold of the beautiful Pocono Mountains. We visited Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitters featuring hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. In addition to all of the gear they have for sale, Cabela’s has extensive exhibits of world-record-class taxidermied wild game. We were fascinated. At one point were marveling at a massive polar bear. It was an ominous site, standing erect on its hind legs with one front paw upraised as though it was preparing to take a swipe at something, or someone.
Bob and I were leaning on a split rail fence that surrounded the display. He looked at me and said, “Boy, I sure would hate to have to out run that thing.”
I responded, “Well, I wouldn’t worry about outrunning him.”
“Why’s that?” Bob inquired.
“I’d just have to outrun you.” was my response.
His slightly-turned, tilted head and half-smiling face said: Some kind of friend you are!
Our return trip took us through some of the most beautiful country in this area. We followed Route 82 through what Bob calls the “horse country”. Rolling hills covered with lush summer grass, tree-lined fence rows and post card country estates are everywhere. We saw a few downed trees, but it appeared that this area was mostly unharmed by last week’s storms and flooding. I will never stop being fascinated by the beauty of this part of our country. Growing up in the Oklahoma Panhandle, there was none of what is common place around here. Wildlife abounds! Trees reach phenomenal heights. Rivers, creeks and streams all have water in them.
Now, I’m sitting in the family room looking out the bay window at the beautiful scene in our backyard and the meadow beyond. I’m grateful for the distance God has led me away from the dusty environs of my youth. More importantly, I’m grateful that God has led me to a place far away from the parched landscape of a spiritually barren world in which I wandered before I surrendered my life to Christ. I’m thankful for days like today. I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend time in pleasant and playful conversation with friends and family members. I’m thankful for my dear children, all of whom have many of the qualities I wish I would have known and practiced when I was their age. I’m thankful that I can return to a house that is a home—to a wife who is so much more than a homemaker, but is also a home maker in ways beyond my fondest imaginings.
Now, I will spend the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying all the things that I so often take for granted. With an unusual and new sense of satisfaction that I’ve shared these thoughts with my blogging friends and many others who just happen by the Spiritual Oasis.
Blessings to all,