Pastoral Ministry
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That Special Feeling

I hope I never start talking about them as "the good old days," but lately I've thought a lot about the early days of our marriage. Seventy-seven of us lived in a small, 600 square-foot apartment--Susan, me and at least seventy-five roaches. Susan worked full-time at a Nursery taking care of plants and I served a church full-time and was a full-time student at a seminary 120 miles away from our home.

We were busy.

When I felt the walls closing in on us, I'd reach for the phone a call Jim & Nell Blake. "Nell, I need some pampering, can we come up and see you next week?" She never said no.

Nell always kept a very nice home, but she never let it get in the way of making us feel comfortable. When we arrived, Nell greeted us at the door with a big hug and instructions to take our suitcases to "our room." Usually, we'd sit at the table for a while and "catch up" on what was going on in each other's lives. When Jim got home from work, we'd have a fine home cooked meal and retire to the living room. They always made me feel special.

Nell would spread a blanket she got from Mexico over her immaculate sofa, and I'd lay on the sofa and relax. The next morning, Jim and I usually left the girls to go get breakfast at "Norm's," L. A.'s best diner.

As the years went by, the Blake's home remained an oasis to us. They watched our children while we took a cruise on our 10th anniversary. We attended their daughter's wedding, shared many Thanksgiving turkeys and birthday steaks together. The last time I visited Jim and Nell, Nell and I placed flowers on his grave.

Every now and then, I wear one of his Hong Kong silk shirts under my Sunday suit and head off to church. Somehow it makes me feel special--like Jim and Nell always did.

Jan -Mar 
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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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