Borrowed from “The Road to Grace”
I have been reading the series, “The Walk,” by Richard Paul Evans. My sister-in-law Viki got me hooked when she was here to visit last month and we were at The Planned Parenthood Book Sale. One of my favorite places to shop for books, at least twice a year.
I am in Book 3 now and I am really enjoying the novels. Having walked on the Appalachian Trail last summer (no we didn’t walk the entire distance, just an hour or so on the approach near Atlanta, Ga.) I find this to be a good read about a man who loses everything and decides to walk from the West Coast to the Florida Keys. The story is written in sections of his walk within five books.
At the beginning of each chapter, the walker displays a statement from his journal. “People are always interesting after they are dead” caught my attention. I started thinking of people who have died that I feel are important. Thought it would be interesting to share just a few.
Albert Schweitzer: This amazing physician, from Germany, died when he was 90 years old. He was a missionary in Africa and in 1952, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life.” He is the founder of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, located in Africa. My connection that I feel with the good doctor is one with an assistant to Dr. Schweitzer while he was in Africa. Dr. Dale Weber was that assistant, and in 1966, Dr. Weber returned to the United States and set up medical practice in Clinton, Iowa. Dr. Weber delivered my first baby, Tim. I picked up Dr. Schweitzer’s book, “Schweitzer’s Africa,” and read about the work he did taking care of the people of Africa.
“The Purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others” – Albert Schweitzer
Ernest Hemingway: What do you think of when you hear the name Ernest Hemingway? For me, it’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Hemingway died at the age of 62. Yes, a famous author, one that also had cats that had 6 toes — the Hemingway Cats. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 – having written seven novels. He was wounded while driving an ambulance during World War I and returned to his home to inspired to write “A Farewell to Arms.” My connection to Hemingway was having the opportunity while Reed and I were sailing one year, to drink a cold one at “The Complete Angler,” a cozy bar on the island of Bimini. This was the bar that Hemingway would hang out in and write. He had a home in the Florida Keys and this was just a short skip from his home. The bar was full of Hemingway things, but it unfortunately burnt to the ground after we had been there. I am glad that we had the opportunity to visit when we did.
Jim Henson: Jim Henson was the puppeteer that founded Muppets, Inc. Henson died at the age of 54. My love for puppets began when my three little boys watched “Sesame Street.” We all met Grover, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird. But it was Kermit the Frog that I fell in love with. Kermit D. Frog, his official title, found his way into my heart when Henson actually sang “The Rainbow Connection.” I have a Kermit the Frog sitting here in my office. He reminds me to be nice, go for a swim in the lake, eat bugs (can’t bring myself to do that) and to sing along with him when he decides to sing about rainbows, the lovers and me.
Mark Twain: I grew up on the mighty Mississippi River, in Camanche. Once you have been to Old Man River, you will always come back for more. Sam Clemens, aka Mark Twain, lived and loved the Mississippi River. He penned “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” two of my all-time favorites. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Mo., which provided the setting for Tom and Huck. Twain also was a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi. I sure could connect with some of Twain’s writings, growing up with the Mississippi River in our front yard. We learned at a young age to respect the Mississippi for its power, but also to enjoy the beauty that it offered.