"All good things must come to an end" is a traditional saying and sometimes the endings are sad. Like today, Michelle and her family are leaving after several days visiting us on their vacation from Lexington. But the sadness is part of our journey. They have a journey as do we and we each must follow our own divine plans that have been laid out even before our time. Thank you Lord for allowing our paths to cross and the memories that will sustain us until we meet again.
Today was a very special day. We had both our children and their children and Charles with us on the beach at the same time. An awesome experience to see and watch them. Jonas did so good too at only 5 months old eating and laughing and sleeping with me under the umbrella. Tonight we plan to treat Charles for his birthday at Gilbert's Underground Kitchen. He is a Food Network junkie and Gilbert is one of those famous chefs. We arrived at Gilberts to learn we needed reservations. We thanked them and went outside to decide on our next option. The manager comes outside to us with phone in hand saying he just had a cancellation. His comment was "you must be living right". If he only knew the blessings we have each and every day since we made the decision to move to Fernandina Beach.
An update on the geese. After we removed the fishing lure from a goose last Sunday none of the geese came to their early morning eating spot for three days. Today there were over 50 in attendance along with the 17 ducks. I did a lesson with my Boys and Girls Club students on Wednesday about the Canada Goose migration along with a very informative video. The video included this quote that I love for the geese and for the path that Teresa and I have taken into our own unknown journey. “How do these geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (The Wheel of Life, 1997)
This is a praiseworthy day. It started at 630 am as new residents to the island, Garry and Karen, joined me to catch a goose. Yes, catch a goose. Have you ever tried? You most likely will not do it alone.
One particular goose, within these three families of geese, had the misfortune of having a fishing lure with two treble hooks attached to himself. Two of the hooks were thru his left web foot and the other hook was in the back of his leg. Likely, the goose had stepped on the lure and got hooked and trying to break away he shook his foot and the hook caught behind his leg. It had been attached for a while and I and others had observed him every day this week. As he walked, or tried to walk, the lure was under his foot and would pull into his leg with each step. This is a very difficult situation for a goose.
The geese kept moving as we three got closer and when cornered they took flight. Finally, his family was separated into a corner and started escaping by flying over us but my friend Garry was fast enough to catch the goose and surgery was quickly administered to the poor fellow. He is still limping but should recover soon. Thank you Garry and Karen for your encouragement and able assistance setting the goose free.
Now, for the real story. Consider yourself the goose. You are living your life doing as you please and then you are suddenly ensnared with some sin just because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We have all made choices that put us in the wrong place at the wrong time. And, these choices have sometimes ensnared us and sometimes have caused us grave consequences. Perhaps, you tried to shake loose from being ensnared only to get caught again. It pains you to remain but you think you have no choice. Now you are really caught and with every step you have a reminder of your pain and hopelessness. You have to surrender. You can’t keep running or flying away to get free. You must surrender to one who can set you free.
I believe this freedom for us humans can only come from the one and only true God of this universe. The God of the Holy Bible. Once we surrender to Him we can be set free. Yes, there may be consequences to our actions that still remain but we can be set free and live an abundant life.
After freeing the goose I took my surgery tools and the souvenir fishing lure home. Teresa was still asleep so I went for my morning walk to the beach. The visit from friends yesterday had me on an emotional high and now freeing the goose really pushed me over the edge. I did what I always do when I’m emotionally full. I sing. Now, I had a heart attack back in 2008 that should have killed me, well, that’s another story. Anyway, I took up walking seriously after the heart attack to help keep my blood flowing but have not been able to sing and walk at the same time. That is until today. I sang all the way to the beach and back again. The songs were my testimony from 1972 plus one more. How Great Thou Art, I’ll Tell the World that I’m a Christian, My Tribute by Andre Couch and I Surrender All. I was, am, full and it overflows. My Tribute was special with two lines. ‘How can I say thanks for all the things You have done for me” and ‘With His blood He has saved me’. Then ‘I Surrender All’ starts coming out. I think of the goose and how calm he was after being caught and then freed from his bondage when the lure was removed. I think of how calm I have become after retiring and moving here with my new personal theme of ‘Retired to Serve’. I want to tell. I want to encourage. I want to be an example. I want to be all God wants me to be each and every day.
We have spent several July 4 days on Amelia Island over the past dozen years but this one is a first. Our first July 4th cook-out at our own living space. Melodie, Buddy, Chloe and Bailey are all here. Shish-ka-bob was Mel's request so we are having it.
What a week it has been! We have unpacked and unpacked and been to the beach EVERY day. Oh yeah, we also went to Jesup for two more carloads. The last. And, a trip to Damon's. Then today I started work at the Miller Freedom Center Boys and Girls Club of Nassau County. These folks really know how to teach bell to bell and provide expectations for their students and discipline without a big fuss. And, Teresa got a new hair style. It's a wonderful life!
I'm a wanna be writer but only dabble with personal stories and illustrations. My true joy is my relationship with God and family. Then comes the music and technology. I'm writing a children's book called Goose Freedom.