The Summer of Changes

It's been awhile since I written about my childhood. My last post was about a difficult time, but it was the trigger for a wonderful time of our family's journey.

The summer between my 7th and 8th grades was one of those times that seemed to last forever. How could so many memories be packed into just a few short weeks?

For a Sunday or two, we had church at home -reading the Bible and singing a few hymns. My father began looking for some place else to worship. We visited a few Brethren churches. (beliefs) My father's family had attended one when he was a youngster, and our chapel in the Bahamas was conducted like the Brethren churches. As a child, the only differences that I saw were that all the women wore some kind of hat or scarf and they observed communion every service.

The first one we visited was quite large -larger than any church I had attended before. After a time of singing, the children went to various classes. I was the "new kid"...again! The teacher and other children asked the usual questions.
"How old are you?"
"What grade are you in?"
"Where do you live?"
I met a girl that was born the VERY same day as me. We were invited to dinner at her house. She had a roomful of all the latest toys. I felt inferior to her until I found out that I was 6 whole hours older than her.

We visited that church a few times. I don't remember the church much, but I do remember the houses of those who invited us to dinner afterward. One young couple was expecting their first baby soon. The wife gave me some wooden knitting needles and helped me begin a scarf. Another larger family invited us the next week. I was shocked by their behavior at home. The children acted like animals -jumping around on the furniture and throwing their food at the table! I don't think I ate much or said much the whole time because I was dumbfounded at their horrible behavior.

The next week, we visited a home church in Litchfield, Massachusetts. This is where I first took communion. The leader of the church invited us to his home - just a small trailer. Seeing I was bored, the wife gave me an Amish book to read.

In August of that summer, we traveled to Maine, to visit my Uncle Roy and family in Ellsworth. They had come to the States so that my cousins, Mark and Daniel could attend Glen Cove Bible College. Their daughters, Lois and Susan, planned to attend a summer camp put on by the Sunday School Union at the Fairhaven Camp property. They asked if I wanted to go with them.

(My mother also taught me to bake bread earlier that summer. She suggested that I sell it to the people in the cabins across the street to earn money for camp. I sold the bread at $1/loaf and had a steady stream of customers. I do remember it tying me down - for I had to let it rise twice before baking. I couldn't be gone too long during the day.)

Our family traveled to Maine. (Little did I know how many things we did and saw on that trip that would become a part of my life later on. We even spent a day in Searsport!)

My aunt and uncle were staying with the Patten family. It was good seeing them again. I had missed them so much since we left the Bahamas. Lois and Susan and I went to camp. I met many new friends and had a great time. It was a much better experience than the time I went to the Pioneer Girl summer camp.

While we were in Maine, my father heard of a church that needed a pastor. He contacted them, and they asked him to speak right away. We drove to the middle of the state, to Canaan, Maine - so small of a town that you hardly know you've gone through it. We slept in the empty parsonage that night. It was huge! It seemed like there were a hundred room and closets in the whole house. (not quite that many, but at least twenty)

Did you ever KNOW something was right? that it felt like HOME, even if you've never been there before? That's what Canaan felt like to our family. We loved the people and they loved us. We KNEW this was were belonged, but we had to wait until the official vote in October.

The end of the summer had come. We headed back to New York to settle things there. School started again, but I was instructed to not begin any projects or join any activities - because we were moving soon. My parents were so sure that it was God's will for us to be in Canaan that they sold the house and began packing. I wished I didn't have to go back to school. It was too hard for my mind to be in two places at once.

1 comment:

Joanne Sher said...

So enjoy reading your memories! Can't wait to hear about the next chapter!


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