Each morning for exercise I walk over the place where W. C. and Harriet Owen Hughes once lived. The house burned several years ago, but there are still some large rocks out front on which I am able to sit down and rest. I also normally also stop and rest for a few minutes on a bench that sits in the old wellhouse in front of Geraldine’s house that also burned about the same time.
Yesterday however, when I got back to Geraldine’s place I could see a small red pickup truck parked in front of Alan’s place at the foot of the hill. I did not know if Alan was home and decided, instead of stopping at Geraldines, I should proceed on and investigate. About that time the truck started up the hill and stopped where I was standing by the road.
A man I had never seen before got out of the truck and walked over to where I was standing, stuck out his hand and said “Bless you brother, my name is Paul”. I shook his hand and replied my name was Paul also. He then opened his arms wide and said, “Can I have a hug”. So we stood there in the middle of the road hugging each other.
He then offered me some coffee and and I declined and told him I had to get on down the road. Before leaving he stretched his hand out over the valley and said, “Bless this land in the name of Jesus”.
I later told Alan of the incident and he checked his video security recorder and determined the man sat in front of his house in the edge of the road with his emergency lights flashing for nine minutes and never got out of his truck. I think I have figured out what he was about, but to explain my conclusion I must go back a few years.
Grandpa Wattenbarger once owned and operated a country store at the intersection on current County Roads 180 and 187. Rogers Creek Church sat just across the road from the store and grandpa’s house sat on the other corner. Grandpa was hard of hearing and on Sunday, instead of going to church, he would load his wagon with food for the widows and the needy of the community and distribute it.
I think the man in the little red truck was doing much as grandpa did, except he was going around and stopping in front of each house and and praying the family living there be blessed. It was Sunday and it was Christmas. What better thing could one do?
To finish my story about grandpa after he closed his store he would sit on his front porch and read his Bible while others gathered in the church to worship. One day when grandpa’s eyesight had dimmed and he could no longer read the Bible, he managed to hobble across the road to the church while the congregation was singing.
There were two doors in the front of the church where the custom was once for the men to use the one on the right and the women on the left. Once inside the men sat on the right and the women on the left side of the building. However over the years, either for the convenience of the pastor or to appease the ladies, the small congregation all sat on the left side of the church.
Grandpa made it through the door and proceeded down the right aisle and sat down by himself on the right side of the building. My mother, who was seated on the left side of the building, got up, crossed over, and sat beside grandpa for the remainder of the service. He died shortly thereafter.
Yesterday the man in the little red truck reminded me of grandpa.
Paul Wade - Dec 26, 2011