Tag Archives: Owego

Shining Moments

‘When you walk through the storm

   Keep your head up high’

As I played the piano my eyes gazed across those singing in the chor.

How could it possibly be that this was our last concert

     Our last time singing together?

Tears pressed behind my eyes blurring the notes in front of me.

I was glad that I knew the accompiament so well.

And don’t be afraid of the dark.

I was afraid. No doubt about it.

The very thought of graduating from high school

   and leaving Owego to go hours and hours away to college

   filled me with great fear.

These were the kids I knew

   and this was the world I had grown to feel safe in.

At the end of the storm

   Is a golden sky

And the sweet silver song of the lark

No, I couldn’t see it back then so many years ago.

My fears loomed so large

   and my confidence so small.

All that I knew as the choir sang that last song

   was that everything was changing.

That within days everyone would be going their separate ways.

and then what?

Fast forward time to today.

At this moment my high school class is coming from north, south, east and west

    to celebrate the 45th year class reunion.

My heart has difficulty grasping the passage of so many years.

For me, its like yesterday that we sang that song.

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through that rain

Tho your dreams be tossed and blown.

We’ve certainly experienced that.

One after another has a story to tell of the challenges they’ve faced

    the difficulties overcome.

But what thrills me so much today

   Is that we are still walking on.

Walk on

Walk on

   With hope in your heart.

Life can be excruciating at times

    Knocking you completely off balance

Life can leave you gasping for breath and wondering if you’ll ever be alright again.

But you keep walking

   One foot put in front of the other one.

   Keep moving forward.

Realizing

    Beginning to see more that I ever could when I was eighteen.

That

    You’ll never walk alone.

 

No there is one who walks beside us

    Always loving. Always caring.

      Longing for us to open our eyes and see Him.

He is the Unseen Presence. The One Who wants to be more than an idea

    Or a concept

     Or a creed.

He is Life and offers us life abundant.

Yes, lots of changes in the past few years.

Classmates gathering soon. Celebrating the good times and the old.

Yes, I can still hear the last measures of that song

   You’ll never walk alone.

Truth that makes the most fearful ones of us

    strong and confident as we face life today.

 

 

* You’ll Never Walk Alone by Rogers and Hammerstein

 

Shining Moments

 There’s something about coming home, isn’t there. Yes, Dorothy had it right in the Wizard of Oz when she said there’s no place like home. Even today although I enjoy times of getting away, I love coming home. Bags packed. Heart beating wildly. That can hardly wait feeling. It seems no matter how old I grow, there is no place like home.

Years ago when I went off to college at SUNY of Fredonia I frequently rode the bus.

Back and forth. I knew the trip like the back of my hand.

But the memory that shines the brightest in my memory is the one of riding home from college to Owego, New York.

The minutes would simply drag as we stopped at each little bus station along that way. I could hardly wait to see my family and to hear the chatter around the table again. I could not only count on that but I could also count on a familiar sight at the bus station.

We would round the corner of North Avenue and pull to a stop in front of the familiar shop. Glancing around even before I stepped out of the bus I could see my Mom standing. Big smile on her face. Scanning the windows of the bus hoping to get a glimpse of me.

Better than a thousand Christmases was that look of joy on her face.

I carried my heavy white suitcase down the steps and then quickly dropped it to give my Mom a hug. Then we would both walk the couple of blocks to our home.

Yes, my footprints covered those smooth slate sidewalks.

Home. Owego was always my hometown. Even today my heart oftentimes  yearns to go back and walk the same sidewalks and see the familiar sights. Although many things have changed, some things have not. And my love for the town remains deep.

At home  I loved seeing my Dad and younger sister and brother. Time would stop as we basked in a few hours of togetherness before I would have to ride back to college.  The smell of homemade cookies filled the house.

Piano music playing. Laughter.

Yesterday’s joys brighten today as I thank God for those times and the special memories I hold in my heart.

Could it be God knows that as we journey those shining moments will continue to cheer our hearts? You have yours too. Cherish them. Don’t ever let them go. And keep making memories today.

 

For Times When We Can Not See

I’m drawn again and again these days to photos of  Owego,NY. In recent days  the flood of 2011 completely devastated this small town and my heart is filled with sadness for these people. Many have loss everything. My eyes scan pictures looking for my childhood home knowing that it is surrounded by water.

  think about these people.

 Every day they wake up to another day of cleaning up and rebuilding.All around their eyes see loss.

 So where is peace now?

 Do our circumstances determine our peace? When you gaze at that relationship that no longer seems to be working, is peace even possible?

 I believe so. We are promised a peace that passeth all understanding. (Phil.4:7)

 But how, you might ask? How do you find peace in the midst of the mess?

 A long time ago as a child of five I remember lying awake in bed. My Daddy wasn’t home yet. Although the hour grew late I just could not fall asleep.  The shadows on my bedroom curtains loomed eerily at me. I jumped at every strange sound as I waited in the scary, darkness. I waited and waited.

 And then I heard it. The sound of the front door opening and the hushed voices of my parents talking.

 I immediately relaxed knowing that all was now well. My Daddy was home. Peace surrounded me on every side and my weary body dropped quickly off to sleep.

 In the midst of every devastation there is a loving Presence. The One Who promises “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:9) has promised to make a way through any difficulty.  He is not an absent Father. No, He is very present. He is with you.

He longs to be your comfort today no matter how difficult the situation.

 Rest easy, my friend. He will make a Way for you.