Seizing the Moment
When I asked Ray what he particularly enjoyed about the Tennessee Maneuvers Remembered festival, he mentioned those who shared their childhood memories of the experience. They were a highlight for me, too. Here are more stories from the 90-year-old woman who came to the festival from New Mexico.
This lady enjoyed being back in Carthage very much. The experience made her think about her daddy, which must have been particularly precious at her age. As I mentioned recently, her daddy was a World War I veteran. She said that as a World War I veteran, he took it upon himself as a personal assignment to take care of as many soldiers as he possibly could. She said you could imagine all these soldiers coming in from big northeastern cities, which were active 24/7, and being dumped down in Carthage on a weekend where they rolled up the sidewalks at 5 o’clock. Her daddy would go downtown in his old Chevrolet car and load up as many soldiers as he could and take them home for supper. On the weekends, it was nonstop soldiers with her mother cooking for them. She spoke of it being a new experience for her family and the soldiers to have this time together.
She was particularly impressed with a parachute drop in Dixon Springs. No one was supposed to know about it, but her daddy found out. He came home one afternoon and picked up her and her mother and took them to watch. She could still remember the awe of watching all these planes coming over. She said, “All these men started jumping out in parachutes. I’d never seen such a thing in my life.” They landed in beehives and ponds and got hung up in the tops of trees.
This photo was hanging inside the courthouse during the festival. It was not of the Dixon Springs parachute drop, but of one in adjacent Wilson County.
One of the soldiers became almost a member of this lady’s family. She said he spent a great deal of time at their house. He brought her a doll at Christmas. When he left the area, he continued to stay in touch, even writing them while he was serving in Europe.
One day, while this special soldier friend was in Europe, she got a package with an APO return address. Inside was a very fine pair of kid gloves from Paris, France. Today she has them framed and hanging on her wall at her home in New Mexico.
I admire this lady’s daddy for his service to the soldiers and also for the ways he included his daughter in these once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I don’t know what important work he set aside in order to come home in the afternoon and take his wife and daughter to watch paratroopers practice jumping out of planes. Whatever it was, he was willing to set it aside for what he believed at the moment to be more important. Indeed it was an experience none of them could ever experience again.
Homeschooling mamas navigate the balance of “We have got to complete these assignments no matter what” and “What a fabulous opportunity! Let’s lay down the books today and seize the moment.” Let us all pray for the wisdom and the commitment to do the best thing at the moment.
Therefore be careful how you walk,
not as unwise men but as wise,
making the most of your time,
because the days are evil.
So then, while we have opportunity,
let us do good to all people,
and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.