Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alumni Banquet, Visiting Sandy Pond

A good meal with old friends - brother Pete still likes to sport the long hair...

Dad's boat - now it's my turn to take care of her.

Front: John Didden, Stephen Kappesser.
Back: Carol (Hilliker) Didden, Barb Clark, Dee (Miles) Yerdon, Roxanne (Janacek) Ferguson.

We recently visited old friends and family at Sandy Pond and surrounding area. I hadn't been there since 2005, after my Dad, Ed (Kap) Kappesser passed away.

Sorry to say it's been a hard 4 years for us since - Yahweh dragged us through the Valley and now we are MUCH stronger for it:

In 2006 Barb had to defeat breast cancer. I prayed I wouldn't lose her for I then would need to crawl into a hole and die.

It was a true blessing to be a short drive from Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is the best in existance (ask any doctor).

Barb endured a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. She volunteered for a clinical trial in which they administered chemo and radiation simultaneously - a one-two punch. The doctors report that it is very successful so far - hundreds of women have benefitted from this treatment.

My Lord and our wonderful church family and friends (especially at Towne Baptist Church) pulled us through that deep, dark valley with many acts of raw unconditional love and kindness and even more prayers...Barb is still cancer-free.

At the same time Barb was sick, our young daughter Sherry got mixed up with some thugs and found herself in very serious trouble with the law, facing 10 years in prison for armed robbery. THAT was a nightmare. We prayed and asked all who we knew to pray...

The assistant States Attorney recognized the situation with Sherry so she convinced the Judge to have mercy - - so she did 30 days in the slammer and 2 years probation. Again, the prayers of many prompted our Lord to help Sherry. She's OK now - all that's in her past.

2007: I tore up my shoulder lifting a concrete slab building our raised-bed garden. I had to endure rotator-cuff repair surgery. Luckily the orthopeadic shoulder surgeon for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team (and Director of Shoulder Orthopeadics at Johns Hopkins) Dr. Steven Petersen, agreed to repair the shoulder. He's a good about answers to prayer. It's great to witness a guy who knows what he is doing. I was on disability for 12 weeks and it took 10 months for the pain to go away (Thanksgiving morning it disappeared!). I am still doing physical therapy. It's strong and getting stronger now.

This year God has blessed us with vigor, resources, time, and joy so we decided to finally visit the Pond again.

My siblings Kip and Amy are going through somewhat hard times now so I urged them to pray and their hard times will pass. I'd give them money but that would accomplish nothing. We all have our valleys.

June 26th Barb and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary at Sandy Pond. If you had told me 27 years ago that I'd be celebrating our wedding anniversary, I would have spit in your eye. Back then, anniversaries were for geezers. Not anymore.

The annual Sandy Creek Central School Alumni Banquet happened to occur on June 26th, so we hopped in the fambly truckster and whisked ourselves northward to attend.

We got to take a tour of the SCCS campus thanks to some fellow National Honor Society youngsters, and then enjoy the banquet among a few of my classmates from 1972: Dee (Miles) Yerdon, Roxy (Janacek) Ferguson, John Didden, Carol (Hilliker) Didden, Barb Clark, and my younger brother Pete.

Also chatted with Mama-Sue Bitz and said hello to Dr. Patty Ledden as they were inducted on SCCS' "Wall of Distinction". I have deep respect and love for Sue - she has a big heart and a keen mind.

They let me say the opening prayer for the banquet and to my surprise I didn't choke up.

I kept the prayer was short and solid - hitting at the heart of my Faith.

I prayed in the name of MY Saviour, Jesus Christ - an oh my gosh I said His name out loud at a sanctioned public school event. (So what are they gonna do, take away my birthday?)

Not a problem at SCCS - people there recognize and respect The Faith.

A couple of people complimented me on the prayer later - Christian brothers and sisters are everywhere -!

We stayed at the Acutec Lodge (it's a big cottage) on Sandy Pond's waterfront next to Jo Maas' home. My old friend Rob Smith's company owns this pretty place and he was drumming up business in Paris with his wife Nancy at the annual international air show so the cottage was ours for the weekend - thanks so much Rob and Nancy!

It is a beautiful place to stay...and of course we did not touch one drop of all the wine stored there (probably enough to stock a cruise ship...?)

Not that it's a bad thing to have a unique selection of the grape.

I visited with my old friends Jo, Brenda, Dan, and Pam Maas, who were throwing a graduation party for their progeny on the shore next door. I discovered that Brenda's daughter Alyssa can sing like a bird strummin' her guitar - keep rehearsing, girl. She sang many of my old favorites by Crosby Stills Nash and Young. I got to sing harmony on one tune...

Saturday morning I took a trip to the other shore and discovered my former crony and partner in mischeif Johnny McClellan drinking coffee on his patio at 6am. I hadn't seen Johnny for 27 years...we caught up for an hour and it was like no time had passed at all.

These people mean a lot to me and it was great to catch up a little.
The trailer I brought to pick up Dad's old boat was inadequate so we towed nothing home - laughing about our new "invisible" stealth boat...
I'll pick up the boat later - looking forward to making her seaworthy again.
I took photo opportunities all over: Wigwam Hotel, Sandy Island Beach, Greene Point, Seber Shores, Sandy Creek, Pulaski, Smartville, Wheat Hill at sunrise, Little John Preserve, and Greenboro. These were all my favorite places - home of many fond memories and friends ...wish you were there...
I'll post photos later...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me hear from you - your comments will make my day!