Daddy was a farmer.
Yesterday the delivery man asked me where I was from.
He said, “Arkansas? Really? Hmmm, what’s that like?”
“Nice”, I replied…”rocks, mountains, trees, waterfalls and creeks for wadin’ and hot sandy roads for searin’ the bottom of bare feet.”
Because when daddy WASN’T a farmer, he still dabbled in farming.
But I mostly knew daddy as a preacher and a sort of not a farmer.
But the sandy road that I first remember in Arkansas traces a line through my memories.
We lived in Dyer. I think Dyer was a town. It was a beautiful community situated in the Arkansas River Valley where sand was plentiful.
It was definitely a place, even if it wasn’t a town. And we lived on Georgia Ridge in Dyer, in the white house, on the Bruce place.
When we told people that, they knew where we lived. We didn’t have GPS.
Lover’s Lane was on the sandy road just around the bend, where a grove of trees grew a tunnel to encase the sandy road. It was quiet and peaceful in the tunnel where the trees made Lover’s Lane. At least that what my sister Linda said.
But before you got to Lover’s Lane, in the bend of the road, stood a small frame house. It had a stoop for a step and was sided with brown shingles.
Daddy rented that little house for a church. He had a dream. A vision. A mission, to trace across the sands of time and the hearts’ of mankind about ONE who would never leave them or forsake them…
And so our family went to the little house in the bend of the road and set up chairs and faithfully had church every Sunday.
Daddy was a preacher.
Daddy was a farmer, except when he wasn’t.
Now the best part of the story, is that as Daddy’s sermon became too lengthy to continue to interest my toddler mind, I would sit and twist in my seat, occupying myself by taking off my shoes.
And now I was free. With socks and shoes removed, my little toes were free to wiggle to any beat or tune I could conjure in my mind…
…quietly as daddy preached.
Then there was the glorious moment when church was dismissed and we could walk HOME. Yay!! It was time to go home…where I could play.
Home in Dyer, on Georgia Ridge, just around the bend from Lover’s Lane and the little frame house church, the white house, on the Bruce place, HOME, where we lived was just about a half mile from our house church.
It was down the sandy road, the hot sandy road.
And since I was now free and barefoot, I could drag my little toes through the sand…all the way home. I remember kicking puffs of sand ahead as I walked.
Except sometimes the sand was hot. Way too hot to walk…and Daddy didn’t scold me for taking off my toddler size shoes and socks, in my quest for freedom from his “boring sermon”.
Instead he’d scoop me up with his strong right arm.
To this day I can feel myself sitting on his forearm and my soft baby cheek resting against his shoulder that was encased by his scratchy navy blue wool serge preaching suit.
And that sandy road, that hot hot sandy road around the bend from Lover’s Lane and the small frame house church, led home.
And when the sand was too hot for my tiny feet to bear, my Father simply carried me. I was safe and secure in HIS arms.
And I still am.
My Daddy was a farmer…
…except when he wasn’t.
(and of course Daddy’s sermons weren’t one tiny little bit boring at all to a little 2 year old curly haired girl. *chuckle~sigh*)
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
2 Corinthians 8-10
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