Grindstone News - July 10, 1991
Yellow balloons bobbed at the porch of the yellow house where, in the yellow-striped tent in the back yard, probably a hundred people celebrated Robbie Lashomb's safe return form Saudi Arabia feasting on strawberries and melons and grapes and ham and turkey and pasta and cake and brownies - and... and talked with Robbie or each other, relaxing in the pleasure of home-coming and friendship.
Later this summer Rob has promised to show his photographs and tell us stories about his adventures in the Middle East. The date is uncertain, but we will all gather to listen to Rob at the church on Grindstone some evening soon, before his memories fade.
On the same afternoon, Sunday, July 7, the Thousand Islands Craft School opened its 1991 exhibit, "Along the River's Edge." Grindstone islanders are represented in the paintings, and it was a grindstone summer resident, Emily Post, who promoted the establishment of a fine, she emphasized, technically fine, craft school in Clayton. She would be delighted to see the classic woven coverlet which is being awarded this summer. The fabric, the navy blue and white colors, and the patterns are all authentic. The piece was woven last winter by a small group of weavers who worked together through the long evenings. Emily Post was, herself, a weaver and designed the plaid known as the Thousand Island Tartan. The whole exhibit of pottery, wood carvings, baskets, water color and oil paintings would give her great satisfaction. It is a fine exhibit.
This past Sunday, the Rev. Gipson and the Grindstone Island congregation celebrated communion, breaking bread in the presence of another young man who returned to his home in Nazareth to little understanding, to be told, (in the words of Rev. Gipson) "Pick up your socks." Success is not a sure reward for faith. Faith is its own reward.
Next Sunday, July 14, the church will remember all of those who have died in the past year with gratitude for the gifts they brought us all: Belva Lember, Mary Anderson, Philip Boyer, Virginia Cox, Scott Graves, Ruth Streets.
Here is an anonymous poem from Saudi Arabia that sobers us in the midst of our Fourth of July celebrations:
Just Another Day Before Death
5 a.m. is the start of the day. For what? No one can say.
The officers just came running through... They just came running through.
It's 95 degrees in the dawn. At 105 degrees the body is gone. 120 degrees by high noon. Work will end real soon.
• - Supper time comes at five:
Chicken, spaghetti or chilli;
•if We've all got to survive
Letters come from home. Hearts ache. Bodies moan. We see pictures of the new-bom. And sad faces- Oh forlorn, forlorn.
Tears come to our eyes.
We can't forget the sad "goodbyes,"
The loved ones at home never forgotten.
We sit here, rotten.
At dusk there is a sign of relief.
The sun leaves behind all its grief.
The table we sit around.
We joke. We laugh. Hollow sound...
The frustrations we try to relieve, Deadening them. We must believe! Being lonely here is real. (I tell myself: "It's no big deal.")
Emptiness stares from everyone's eyes,
Telling us how each heart cries.
The Lord gave us mighty stars To let us pray from afar. Our loved ones come to mind Though they are far behind...
The kids' smiles, The wife's tears, The wonderful home. How I love you, dear!
The mighty river, The crazy people, The warm hearts, Church steeples...
Beautiful trees. The smell of a lawn. I pray on my knees, "Oh, Lord, get me out of here by dawn!"
It's time to get some sleep But loneliness is still real deep. I pace the floor. I turn and toss. No sleep tonight. My nerves are boss.
I pace the floor. I go for a walk. I want to sleep... Just a little more.
My eyes close. My nightmare goes. My dreams are sweet... -On this horrible cot!
Two, maybe three hours I rest. Then, suddenly, reality: The test. It's morning. It's the day. Before death. 4