Friday, December 26, 2008

Some People can Never Go Home

I changed pictures on the header of my blog again today. It's one of those things I do occasionally just to give myself a new splash or image to look at while I journalize thoughts. The snowy picture was taken of my hometown's main street from the vantage of the local newspaper office where my grandfather used to work as a printer. Looking at this picture I must admit I get homesick to a degree even though I have not had to live in such a wintry scene in many years. I remember the bitter cold January days, three feet of snow to shovel out from under. I remember this particular snowstorm and the couple days off from school we enjoyed. This storm was still winding down when the picture was taken. By the next morning, all the snow would be pushed to the center of the street and cars and trucks would pass each other sight unseen until approaching the intersection. This was the routine … massive amounts of snow, try to get through it, plow it up, haul it off to the steep river bank and dump it, wait for the next one in a few days.

To be honest I miss it on one hand and am glad not to have to go through it again on the other (at least not to that extent). What sparked my interest again today in this photograph was the steeple in the background. The structure underneath it sits in the town square and is an old and beautiful Congregational Church my mother used to force me to attend when I was a young child. I always hated going. Sometimes I would pretend to be fast asleep when my mother called, unable to respond to the "gospel call" yet as soon as she left the house up I bounded ready to watch whatever could be found on TV. The church had merged with another to become the United Church of Christ but it's doctrines and practices were unknown to me. I was a child not much interested in being dragged to a social gathering of the towns elites. It did not seem that God was tugging at me to run to that church. Looking back and knowing the teachings and practices of that church I can now understand why.

The church is still very much active, still very beautiful and still very much opposed to the truths of scripture. Many of the same families still attend sitting in the same long wooden pews their predecessors sat in their generations. There are some new faces and new names but I know none of them. I can barely remember the old. While I might return to the town, I cannot bring myself to return to that old Congregationalist Church with the tall white steeple in the middle of town.