Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Making A Difference, September 25, 2012

Remembering Doug Grubbs (1929-2011)
By Terri Burton

Most of all I remember his voice.  He sat in the back of our church and I sat across the aisle from him.  Every Sunday the whole congregation prayed  the Lord’s Prayer aloud.  Each Sunday I heard this male voice, just a bit louder than all the other men and just about one-half beat off  from the unison.  The voice was connected to the prayer in a way that was different from the rest of us.  My first thought was that he personally knew whom he was speaking to and was not on rote.  Finally, my curiosity got the best of me one Sunday and during prayer I opened my eyes to see who this unique voice belonged to.  Later I found out that it was  Doug Grubbs.

Months passed, perhaps a year or more and then he came over to me before church started.  He looked me straight in the eye for a moment before speaking.  With his finger pointed at my face he asked, “Are you the woman that tells stories?”  Immediately I was a child again with my mother asking if it was the truth or did I make up a “story”?.  I said nothing.  I was stunned trying to figure out what he could be talking about.  He asked again, “Well, are you or not?  You know the woman that tells stories in the paper?”  Ahh, the articles for the church newsletter.  I answered, “I am”.  And still pointing at me, he said “You’re good, really good.  I read them every time.  Do you know what makes them good?  They are from your heart.  Do you know how I know they’re from your heart?  They touch my heart!”  as he started beating his fist on his chest. 

“Don’t you ever stop, you hear?  The world needs your stories, I need your stories.”   Very quickly he turned and walked away.  I told him “Thank you.  Thank you.” as he left me.  He may have been embarrassed by my tears but I believe  he knew he had just given me a gift.

I miss him, I miss his voice, his heart.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Funny How Things Work Out

Five years ago a house in our neighborhood had a sign in the front yard that the house and the contents would be auctioned off. I went and looked through everything and thought it looked promising and planned on attending. It was canceled. Two years again there was a neighborhood garage sale and there I was standing in the driveway talking to the male owner about the books he had for sale and how impressed I was with the deck on the front of his home. We had a good visit and I left.

Yesterday I drove back to our old neighborhood hoping to find this man at home to ask if I could take pictures of his deck. Low and behold as "fate" would have it, he was walking toward the road as I pulled it. He said I would be more than welcome to take pictures and to please go around and see the one in the back also. About this time his wife joins us and he explains to her what I am doing there. We took off and she started telling me about her journey. I loved hearing all about it. She had got to thinking about five years ago that if something happened to her husband (they were in their 60's then) that she could not take care of the farm, the animals and all of the acreage. They decided to go for a drive......they saw the auction sign, walked the property, called the auctioneer, went through the house and wrote out a check. He canceled the auction. They sold the farm, moved into the house and remodeled like crazy. She told me about putting in a new kitchen and all that she got into. She planted pines in the back that are already taller than the house. She can see no houses from her back yard and has made an oasis. Her slice of heaven. Her eyes sparkled, she is full of life and living. Oh, how she inspired me. She is ready to buy another house down the street and flip it when the market improves. She allowed me to takes pictures all around but they don't do justice to the scenes. And my description of her doesn't even come close. 71 years young and planning and hoping and dreaming and by George....doing.....full of vim and vigor and joy. Isn't that what God had in mind??