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Again, Ray and I are deeply grateful for your fervent prayers and your kind encouragements. He is more tired than usual, while being faithful, grateful, and upbeat. He has finished four radiation treatments with 22 to go.

We are enjoying such a variety of experiences in Nashville, both at the treatment center and around town. We enjoyed a walk in beautiful Centennial Park last Thursday, seeing again the world’s only exact-size and detail replica of the ancient Greek Parthenon.

I spent many happy times in Centennial Park while I was growing up in nearby Ashland City, often walking across the street from the playground and climbing on the Parthenon steps. I must say that its statues were shocking to that little girl, so shocking that I decided to crop the pediment off of the photo above.

My younger brother Steve and my mother stand
in front of the life-size nativity scene
that Harvey’s department store placed
along the entire side of the Parthenon
each Christmas from 1954 to 1967.
Ray’s family visited that scene, too, when he was a boy.

Yesterday Ray and I walked around the park’s Watauga Lake, . . .

. . . where my family and I fed ducks back in those days long ago. Watauga Lake is named for the East Tennessee settlement from which the first large group of pioneers came when they traveled through the wilderness to found a settlement at the French Lick (already occupied for weeks at a time by my French Canadian ancestor Timothy Demonbreun during his longhunter trips to hunt for furs in the region). In the photo below, you can see the Parthenon beyond the trees.

Centennial Park was the scene of Tennessee’s grand centennial celebration in 1897, a year after the actual centennial because everything wasn’t ready during the centennial year of 1896. Back then the grounds boasted a replica of a pyramid in honor of Memphis, Tennessee, and the Parthenon in honor of Nashville, then known as the Athens of the South, because of its many colleges. We don’t hear about the Athens of the South much anymore since Nashville became Music City.

The pyramid and Parthenon were temporary structures back in 1897, but Nashville citizens liked the Parthenon so much that they kept it as long as they could and then replaced it with the current permanent version, which opened in 1925. As you can tell, being in Nashville brings many memories to the mind and heart of this Tennessee gal.

Besides enjoying wonderful outings in Nashville, we have been seeing and sometimes meeting other folks whom God made in His image, just like He did you and me. As I waited for Ray to complete his treatment yesterday, a man sat in a wheelchair nearby. His hands were in handcuffs; his feet were chained together. Across the back of his shirt were the words: Tennessee Department of Corrections. The same words were printed inside a white stripe that ran all the way down the front of the right leg of his jeans. Sometimes I caught a few words from the conversation between this older man and the two uniformed correction officers who accompanied him. I heard about the health of the mother of one of them and about where he was from originally. These three chatted like any other three men conversing in a waiting room.

Since Ray and I have been taking our health walks, we have stayed aware of the distances we walk each day. As we walked around Watauga Lake yesterday, I wondered how long the path was. When I saw a runner who had stopped to tie his shoes, I asked him how long it was. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll run around it and see.” Shoes tied, he took off and soon returned to tell us it was half a mile. What a nice thing to do.

Law enforcement officers, men in chains, pioneers, longhunters, runners who offer to help—the Lord God loves us all. What an important lesson to teach our children.

For while we were still helpless,
at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man,
though perhaps for the good man
someone would dare even to die,
but God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8




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One comment

  1. Such a sweet blog post. I just prayed for Ray’s health to be restored in Jesus’ name. I will continue to keep your family in my prayers. God bless!

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