28 May 2008

The Corn Chronicles: Week 2

This week’s Corn Chronicles is a bit late, due to the holiday weekend. Mama (that would be my wife for you city dwellers and yanks), took our annual drive and overnight trip down the Valley via U.S. Route 11 to Winchester. We love the scenery and history encountered on that drive each year—and so many memories. We started taking the trip years ago with our children when they were younger, visiting Jackson’s and Washington’s headquarters in Winchester, the New Market Battlefield, Cedar Creek, and the quaint little villages along the Valley Pike: Mount Sidney, Mount Crawford, New Market, Mount Jackson, Edinburg, Woodstock, and others. Of course, my wife likes to wander through the endless antique shops while I peruse the dusty used book shelves for undiscovered jewels. We had a wonderful time as usual. (We watched the newest National Treasure film in our hotel room. The bad guy in the flick is a Virginia Military Institute grad and the great-grandson of a Confederate soldier. Gee, what a shock.)

As we drove past the familiar spots, I couldn't help but drift into the wispy land of nostalgia—Rt. 11 will always do that to you—but this time was a little different. I missed my children. I found myself, on more than one occasion saying to my wife, “Remember when we ate there with the girls?” or I would recall some humorous story about a past trip. Time passes quickly. When your children are young, like these tender corn plants, you don’t realize how quickly they will grow up. But grow up they do.

These corn plants don’t look like they've grown much since last week, but they have—a couple of inches. Almost undetectable to the casual observer—just like your children. Watch carefully, they’ll be grown and out on their own before you know it and you, like me, will miss them. Take advantage of every moment.

“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” ~ Psalms 103:15-16

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