Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I was being a bit lazy, so I ignored that voice. I felt I was justified since I walk enough every day. After 30 minutes of searching to no avail, I gave up and went to the van. I returned with Bible in hand a bit damper than I would have been had I acted at the first urgings of the voice, and sure enough, I opened right to what I was looking for.
Luke 3:23-28. The 'Imperfect' lineage of Christ. Judah fathered Perez with his daughter-in-law Tamar, thinking she was a prostitute. Salmon married Rahab, a former prostitute in Jericho. David had an adulterous affair with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba and through that infidelity fathered Solomon. So Jesus' own family tree is filled with people known for their mistakes.
I have been somewhat dissatisfied, that this walk is not going as smoothly as I had planned. I
have been disappointed that not one person in this state has been willing to walk with us yet. I have been disillusioned with the plans I made for this trip that have not as of yet come to fruition.
I disregarded the fact that each person I have shared with has passed this information on to someone else. I ignored the fact that KGMI talk news radio in Bellingham did an interview with us on the second day of this walk. I was disappointed that the media here in Washington was not picking up on this as fast as Oregon and California. I looked past what WAS happening so far in the first six days of this trip, and only looked for what wasn't happening.
This morning, a man came over to our table and talked with us. It turned out he was an associate pastor of a large church here in Marysville. He asked about my Bible and why it was so important to me. I told him that I was on a mission. I couldn't go anywhere without if for it was His trip not mine. It was through His urgings that I was being guided to the lives He would touch through me. It was His children I was walking for not just mine. It was His outcome I was walking for not mine.
With those words that God meant for me to hear, I realized that it makes no difference in the grand scheme of things, if future generations remember what I am doing here. What matters is that the present generation knows that God cares enough about them to send as His messenger this imperfect person who forgot that it was not she who was in control, but He.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
It was a peaceful sleep considering it was in a reclining but yet somewhat upright position of the front seat. Truth be told we were exhausted and slept through morning to be awakened at dawn by the sound of a torrential downpour. I would have preferred sun, but when I saw the lacy veil of rain breaking through the boughs, I could not help but think what a wondrous day this would be. And so the adventures begins.
The rest area we had chosen to stop at was serene, beautiful and dark. No lights shining in our van window, surrounded by the monumental pines that are so well known in the Pacific Northwest. Albeit the traffic was only one hundred or so yards away, it was muffled by these viridian behemoth beauties and all we heard was the lovely night aria of the frogs and crickets nearby.
I have loved Canada since I was a child. My parents took us through the cobble stoned streets of Quebec, the excitement of Montreal and to the rural wonders of Nova Scotia and now that I love on the west coast, I have had the pleasure of discovering Vancouver, Victoria and Mayne Island.
I discovered these treasures quite by accident when I sent away for a brochure on an Inn called Oceanwood in Maine, USA. What I got was a brochure from Oceanwood in Mayne Island British Columbia. It was the best mistake I had ever made and go back as often as I can to enjoy its delightful owner Jonathan, beautiful grounds, breathtaking views and the most scrumptious meals with freshly picked herbs and vegetables from the owners garden.
Springtime is a sight to behold. Lilacs and dogwoods beckoning a welcome to the dawn of the new season and the highway's surrounded by emerald lushness that lead to the bustle of the metropolitan Vancouver, where the excitement of a big city is not as overwhelming as some but still as fun filled as the Big Apple, or Windy City.
The night life is the same as every big city. There are night clubs, dance halls, even strip joints all open til the wee hours of the morning. You can enjoy Irish music, Disco dancing, hip hop, rap and even the big bands. Then you take a stroll with someone you love and walk hand in hand among the fountains and parks. You take in the sights and there amongst the wonders of the big city you will find a night life you never knew existed.
The homeless are not as prominent as in Portland, Seattle and L.A. but they are there. you need to look a little closer, but beneath the interurban waterfall you see a small tent city. It will be gone by morning, but for now, they can sleep where the cascading water drowns out the noise of the city. Under the fragrance of the lilac, comes the odor of one who has not showered in a week, maybe more. The stench of alcohol permeates the bouquet of spring in the park where your children played just that afternoon.
Homelessness is not only in America. It is around the world. Whether caused by a natural disaster, recession or even drugs and alcohol, as a world united, we can fight the battle together to prevent further homelessness and to help those who currently have no home. This calamity may in fact happen to anyone of us. No one is immune. To find out how you can help, please click here: http://www.change-for-life.org/
Special thanks to Courtney at H & M Video. Your hospitality was commendable and I wish you well in all your endeavors.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
My name is Charles Alexander Wentworth.* That's a lot of name for a piece of shit like me. I am 72 years old and been living out here for close to 20 years now. I used to be a doctor if you can believe that. A damned good one at that. At first, being a doctor was kind of glamorous.
I fixed the broken arms of future Joe DiMaggio's. I kissed little girl's scraped knees and made them feel better. I was well respected in the community and had the admiration of just about anyone I met as long as I wore a white coat and stethoscope. Then I went to Nam.
I had seen death before. You can't be a doctor and not see death, but I had never seen death to this magnitude. I had never willingly killed anyone before either. In the role of medic, I unwillingly became God. Making decisions in the blink of an eye that cut me to the quick. The hurt my very being. In battlefield situations, sometimes the wounds are so grave, that to attempt treatment is to deny care to those who might yet live. The man is lost - a casualty before he even stops breathing. Then it becomes an act of mercy.
I knew what everyone was thinking. I was a sonfoabitch. If I masked misery as mercy and ended a life, I was being cruel. If I let them endure pain and terror of seeing their entrails lying on the ground beside them, wasn't I being even more cruel? I couldn't live with the decisions because no matter what I did, I was wrong. No matter what I did, I was being cruel.
I tried being a doctor in the real world again. The world without human carnage, Napalm, and the stench of burning flesh. But I couldn't do it. Each time an ambulance came through those doors, all I saw was the pieces of the men I couldn't put back together again. Physician heal thyself was not a concept I could wrap my head around. How could I kiss anybody else owie and make them better again if I couldn't do it for myself?
So I took the chicken shit way out. At least that's the way my family saw it. I didn't want my wife to have to put up with night terrors for the rest of her life. I didn't want my children to see their father fall apart right before their eyes. I walked away from it all. I walked away from my practice, my friends, my family. I even walked away from God. Oh I still believe he's there. I just think now he's the sonofabitch.
They label it PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I think it should stand for 'Put This Sonofabitch Down'. You see I'm dying. I began dying on that field in Nam and He cannot be merciful enough to end my life. I don't have the guts to put a gun to my head and pull the trigger, so I am killing myself slowly but surely with booze, drugs, cigarettes. One of them has got to do the trick sooner or later.
"It is now the moment to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our counry in return." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
*Out of respect to Mr. Wentowrth we have changed his name for the purpose of this story.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I was always the tom boy of the family. The son my father never had. Even though I am sure I owned them, I don't remember ever playing with Barbie's. Give me a Tonka truck any time and I am a happy camper. Although I did not excel in sports, I loved them just the same and could never understand why girls could not participate in football, basketball and hockey.
While the gang wanted to go rowing in the Greenwich pond, I was the one who manned the oar, flexing my rippling mosquito sized muscles. I was the envy of the block including the boys. I told the best ghost stories so of course I was invited to all the slumber parties where no slumbering was done simply because I had scared the bejebeez out of them all, and left them quivering in their Bobby Sherman pajamas.
I loved a good challenge and was never one to walk away from a dare, even at the detriment of my own well being. I dare you to swallow a live ant. Done. I dare you to swipe the new David Cassidy album. Done. I dare you to punch Jamie Andrews in the nose. Done. I dare you to tell Mrs. Johnson the science teacher that she needed to go on a diet. I dare you to skip school. I dare you to run away from home. I dare you to drink the entire pint of Apricot Brandy. Id are you to play chicken in your brand new Cougar XR7 convertible. All done. No questions asked.
My unspoken mantra had always been "Do not tell me I can not do it because I will prove you wrong." To my recollection, there have only been two challenges I have not been able to conquer in my life time. One was walking to the top of Multnomah Falls in Oregon.
Did I ever tell you about how we came to Oregon? I think maybe I did, but in case not, let me tell you now. My kids and I wanted a change. We had been in California for a long time and were wanting something a bit more rural. How do we choose from the thousands upon thousands of cities in the US? There was only one way that I knew of. Put a map up of the US and throw a dart. We have been Oregonians since 1992.
My family and I have done a lot of exploring here in Oregon. We call these explores 'God trips.' We never really knew where we were going to end up, we just in the car and went.
One of our God trips led us to the discovery of Mutlnomah falls. We never even knew of their existence until by happenstance we came upon the cascading wonders after 5 hours of 'turn right here mom...turn left here...let's try this street.' We did the touristy thing and of course took in the surrounding falls but the falls and the lodge were what caught our attention the most. We all wanted to climb to the top.
My children's steps were brisk and they often backtracked to see if I were still coming. Being 150 pounds overweight, my steps were a bit more gingerly, and sadly I only made it half way to the overlook bridge. The crest would have to wait for another day or perhaps decade.
Flash forward 18 years. My granddaughter Lexi and I went on a God trip this past Monday and ended up at Multnomah falls. I had been training for this upcoming long explore of mine and was feeling a bit cocky. We made it to the bridge with no problems. Not only did I not huff and puff, but we carried on a conversation the entire way! We both looked at the sign that explained the top of the falls was only a meager mile away. Onward and Upward.
Upward being the key word here, neither of us had any clue that the 'mere' was actually one and a quarter mile straight up!!! Lexi, being my biggest fan was a valiant and true cheerleader. As I got stopped every so often to rest my tetchy knees, she cheered me on. "You can do it Grandma. It's only a little farther."
Drenched from the unexpected snow, sleet and torrential rains, 18 years after my first attempt failed, Lexi did her best Rocky balboa dance of victory as we stood on the deck that overlooked the surging water below us. Although we were teeth chattering frozen, soaked to the skin and exhausted, we were elated that WE DID IT!!!
We had a celebratory cup of hot cocoa in the dining room overlooking the beast we had just dominated. We chatted excitedly about our next victory and were both saddened by the fact that for the first time in her 13 years we would be separated for some time. Four months is a long time to a 13 years old and to this 54 year old as well. Although she is not able to make this trek with me, I know she will walk each step in spirit.
The other challenge I can't conquer. Do not do anything to bring attention to the McPherson name. Well...we all know how that one turned out didn't we?
By the way. I surprised Lexi yesterday when I told her that I had arranged for her to fly out and walk from San Diego to Tijuana. It will be awesome to do the Rocky Balboa dance of victory together. Da da da da da da da daaahhh. Da da da da da da da daaahhh. Da da daaahhh. Da da daaahhh.