Nashville Easter: Bridging the Seasons
(6th & last in the string of 3/10* “Competing CO” @ end of ’14-15 ski season)
Another bucketlist step completed
Colorado is the queen of the Western region. Sure I wasn’t the first to ski the state of CO, but maybe I’ll the first to do the big dream – 176+ ski areas across the lower 48! Colorado is now crossed from my bucket list. It took a while, years, and there are still three local areas (less than 1K). I’d love to visit – but “it” is off the real list. But for now, I’m off to Nashville, TN to join two sets of grandchildren for Easter services. I trust they know what it’s all about.
My wheels are repaired
I spend the night at the home of my Denver kids, Kji, Kinsey, Lila, and my soon-to-arrive Sadie (#7 overall, #3 granddaughter). Hopefully I would pick up my repaired Elantra (another story). I returned my replacement, rental, Elantra and the Enterprise staffer shuttled me a few blocks up the street to the Hyundai dealership. Just minutes before the manager called my cell to plead, “Can you possibly pick up your vehicle before 2:00 this day? We just completed the work, but this day is Good Friday and we’re scheduled to close early.”
“No problem.” I gleamed. “Is this perfect or what?” I could only hope after eight days on the road, that my repairs would be completed and my car ready. I was returning the rental on faith but knew I could always walk back to my son’s if I had to. Listen, it couldn’t have been planned or orchestrated any more effectively. The rental was returned at 1:30 or so. My car passed inspection by 1:45; I was out the door by 1:55; on the road again; eastbound via I-70; sun shining in a big, bright, blue sky. AND my Liberty Insurance policy covered it all! I’m a blessed man! Oh yea, the restored Elantra was humming like a whirling top on a slick granite counter top.
Picking my way to Nashville
I methodically progressed to Nashville as the hours passed in consuming my Great Course lectures on disc. It was a on the history of the American Intellect and character. Wow, I don’t believe for an moment my wife would have enjoyed this one or even endured it to completion, but I found it stimulating.
Stopping only for a few winks of sleep in Missouri, I pressed around the Gateway West Arch of St. Louis in the early morning. I was disappointed not stopping here. I have not visited this monument, but it was too early and I preferred seeing the family over stopping for history on this day.
All went smoothly. It was more varied scenery between St Louis and Nashville, and the entire distance was the finest of sunny spring weather. It couldn’t have been more pleasant. I did “gain” an hour on the ride east to pull in the driveway close to noon. The Richmond household was already settled as I quickly did to relish the weekend together.
Easter service: accepting grace in Nashville
One last glimpse of amusement, please. Here’s the backdrop. Neither of my childrens’ households score well in church attendance. But it is Easter, and they strive to be CEO‘s -“Christmas & Easter Only”.
Now according to my upbringing, if the worship service starts at 11, figure on getting there around 11:15. From our search, we found a near-by Mass Angela was the only one raised Catholic, but that’s fine! And as might be expected, 11:15 at the overflowing church despite the fact it was only a three minute “hop” from the house.
The main sanctuary was totally full and the makeshift overflow area had only single chairs open here and there. We were divided up to be escorted about dispersed to any open spot. I was lead to folding wood chair propped against anteroom entrance. It was an obvious fire code nightmare, but what did I care? I had finally led my family to a house of God on this the most sacred day of the Christian calendar! (Halleluiah!)
The chair being filled seconds before, I was content to stand being able to lean against the closed door. All’s OK. I deserved it. It was my fault (I was told), we were late.
Take note: I’m looked upon by all the generations as kinda a “holy roller”. You know that guy whose enthusiasm is always an embarrassment to more the more lay-back, sedate worshippers. “Dad, don’t do anything to embarrass us!”, is the standing directive that needs no repetition. But on the way, I was reminded as usual, as if I didn’t know, as if needed to hear it yet again, like a child refusing to learn, a curmudgeon who just doesn’t get it.
Well as if being squeezed into an already stuffed lobby stuffed isn’t enough, listen here: There was a visiting priest on loan from an African Diocese. He is a bit hard to hear much less fully understand. So he is leading the congregation in a responsive prayer. He offers in a loud, but perhaps inaudible or incomprehensive voice, “He has arisen!” … But all remained silent. That is… all, but I.
Well I know the proper response well so I bellow forth the classic, well-know, historic response, “HE HAS RISEN INDEED!” with the accompaniment of no one! Not one. Zip. Nada.
Virtually everyone turns glare at the old guy back to the door the crammed lobby in disbelief. Say, don’t they know? Hey, isn’t this the Bile Belt? Uh, aren’t these too “holy rollers”?
NO! They are simply less than informed, conservative, “CEO’s”. My family who had been shoe-horned here and there and all about the anteroom, wilted in incredulous embarrassment! … How could I … ?
Have faith. Thank the Lord. I am redeemed! Although the guest priest himself was unaware of the fuss in his overflow area, he also was indeed chagrinned, but about me. He paused in his presentation to patiently explain to the gathered, “People, I my country we fully expect this sonorous, unify reply: “HE HAS RISEN INDEED! Now let’s try that again.” He performed his re-do and to our relief, everyone in our anteroom and the congregation in whole replied as instructed, prompted and expected.
Yes, on this Easter Sunday in Nashville Tennessee, justice was wrought. I was forgiven. Thank-you!
And that’s the way it was that auspicious day before I returned home to reunite with spouse Carolyn. She had exercised the luxury of flying back – albeit missing out on yet another time her husband said the wrong thing at the wrong time. (well, almost). She had to be there to fully appreciate and understand. (I’m grateful she wasn’t.)
It should be noted though, if the kids would go to church more regularly, they too would know. Lastly, maybe I’ll learn: “Sometimes it’s best to just let sleeping dogs lie.”
As for me and my house, we will follow the Lord! – into yet another ski season.
Come, Ski With Me!
* “3/10” means three new areas in 10 days of traveler. (We skied 2 days at Monarch where I hold a season pass, plus 1 at Loveland – our oft-visited area. So in actual ski days this trip was 7/10.)