Today's post is by guest writer, Keith Ward. Photograph by Katie Whipple Photography.
Our lane is a private drive. A few times the county grader made the mistake of coming down it. Having seen the mess he made and getting the county commissioner to rectify the problems he created, I have often been thankful that we did not have the "assistance" of the government in maintaining our access.
Private also meant that the mailbox was at the state road 4/10 of a mile from the house. Many times the four of us walked to get the mail together. We talked. I threw football passes to the boys. We carried our baseball gloves and I lobbed fly balls up the lane for them or burned grounders up the uneven ground. Dene and I caught each other up on the business of the day and on the doings of the boys and they told their stories and happenings. There can never be too much family time. We must contrive all the "Just Us" time we can squeeze from busy schedules. In these times we shape personalities, theirs and ours.
Private also meant the bus stop was at the road. Economy required that we walk unless it was raining. I made it my job to walk them to the bus. The first years I did so despite having a night job and otherwise having no need to get up so early. I got up and read their Bible chapter as they ate breakfast and we walked together. We played catch, we talked about their school problems and mine as a boy, we threw clods of dirt (no rocks in FL) and watched for snakes. After I had a day job, I continued to read the chapter, but often could drop them on the way to work and then wait with them till the bus came. Daddy time cannot be overdone.
In the afternoons, they got off the bus and walked home alone. Sometimes, they were accompanied by Dene's first piano/voice students of the day, who rode our bus that one day of the week. They learned to ride their bicycles in the lane and watched up the lane when it was time for Daddy to come home.
God walked the lane with us. He was not there only when we talked about him or Jesus or the church, He was there when we talked about and did all the things that are right for a family of Christians to do. Everywhere we went with the boys, we took God along.
When we returned from town or a vacation together it was a relief to turn into the lane, we were almost home—it was just a short way over the rise and around the curve. I suspect that now the two of us have turned into the lane and home is just over the rise and around the curve.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deut 6:6-7)