Sunday, December 14, 2008

Seems Like Time Just Keeps On Keeping On ... Keeping On ... Keeping On ...

Just the other day while my back was turned, my 73rd birthday popped up.
Seems like just a few months ago, I turned 70. When I look to the future I see that most of my life must be in the past. Perhaps that is why I write mostly memory columns of growing up in Beaumont and surrounding area. I’ve got many more memories from the past than I have years in the future.

So what did I do on my 73rd birthday? My wife and I, along with our daughter and her family, went hiking in the Ozarks. That’s right. There’s nothing like a mountain hike to celebrate your 73rd birthday. One thing about the Ozarks even if they are in Arkansas is that they are beautiful during the fall season. Leaves of every tint and color blend together exposing a masterpiece of God’s handiwork.

My wife bought me a staff which is a walking stick about six feet in length. This helped me to maintain somewhat of a balance. For some reason my legs were more wobbly than I remembered them being before. The staff was a good aid in navigating those mountain trails.

I thought of that story of Moses in the Old Testament where he and his people were wandering in the wilderness. I wondered if his staff was anything like mine. Then I remembered that Moses was 80 years old when God called him to lead the people. I wondered if his legs were as wobbly as mine. Probably not. I suspect that his years of sheep herding kept him in excellent physical condition.

Anyway, hiking in the Ozarks provided beautiful scenery and lots of adventure.
For example, we stopped at the Buffalo River so the grandkids could skip rocks across the water. I was standing there on the bank of the river watching the kids and looking around at all the beauty of God’s creation. Glancing to the ground I noticed a little rock that stood out from the thousands of other rocks. I picked it up and it turned out to be an arrowhead. That was a thrill. I hadn’t found one of those since hiking in the Mescalera sands of southeastern New Mexico back in the 1970s.

I called out to Julia, my 9-year-old granddaughter and said, “Julia, look what I found and I want to give it to you.” Julia replied with indignation, “No, Papaw, we can’t keep that. It’s on national reserve land and we can’t remove anything from here.”

I felt duly admonished and said, “Aw… OK.” Then a strange thing happened. While in the process of replacing the arrowhead to its rightful spot, it accidentally slipped into my pocket. Yep, I kept the arrowhead, reserve land or no reserve land. I was not about to return that little artifact to an area where no one would ever see it again. I figured it was better for me to enjoy it illegally than for no one ever to enjoy it legally. Someday I’ll tell my granddaughter what I did. Or maybe I won’t tell her. She looks up to me as a Papaw of integrity. She never needs to know that I lifted an arrowhead from the national park reserve.

Then there were the Indian caves. I couldn’t make it up to the second cave, but the first cave was plenty exciting. My wife and I stayed at the first cave while the others went looking around in the other one.

I will probably never take another mountain hike. I enjoyed every minute of it but my body kept reminding me, “Hey, take it easy… I’m 73 years old.”

Winston Hamby


Blogger Tim Stubbs  said...

Hello Winston,
You were the youth minister during my teen years at 3rd & Central. My friends were Barry Lovejoy, Andy Carter, Forest Jones, Lynette Lynch and Debbie Wickham. Debbie and I have been married for 35 years and have a son and daughter. We have lived in Clifton, TX since 1990. It was good to read your blog.

Wed Dec 17, 02:29:00 PM 2008  
Blogger WinSpin  said...

Tim: I remember you very well and Debbie and all those you mentioned. Great to re-establish contact ... God Bless ...
Winston --

Fri Jan 02, 09:36:00 PM 2009  

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