Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Papa Might Have Been a Rolling Stone...

... But his feet were on the Solid Rock.

It all started yesterday when I read this meme at the Llama Butchers (Thanks for the Memories for real this time, guys). The idea is, on your blog, to let people know a little bit about you. In order to do this, go to Mapquest, click on directions, and plug in your current address and the address of your childhood home. Then, post to your blog the estimated driving time between the two.

I thought that sounded neat. But I had a bit of a dilemma. What do I list as my childhood home? Do I list the home to which I was brought home, but in which I only lived for two weeks (Camas Valley, Oregon, Total Est. Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes Total Est. Distance: 93.34 miles)? Or the home where I spent the fnext three months
(Right here in Springfield, Total Est. Time: 2 minutes Total Est. Distance: 0.44 miles)? Or the first home in which I spent a full year (Santa Clara, Oregon, Total Est. Time: 13 minutes Total Est. Distance: 8.68 miles)? Or Two years (Lorane, OR, Total Est. Time: 46 minutes Total Est. Distance: 26.82 miles)? Or the first house I *REMEMBER* Living in (Norman Avenue, Eugene, OR, Total Est. Time: 14 minutes Total Est. Distance: 8.88 miles)? Or the home I lived in when I went off to Grade School (Vista, CA, Total Est. Time: 14 hours, 12 minutes Total Est. Distance: 946.66 miles)? Or where my childhood diseases finally led to the discovery of congenital birth defects that required corrective surgery (Weott, CA, 3 years, Total Est. Time: 6 hours, 24 minutes Total Est. Distance: 349.83 miles)? Or the home (actually two different houses in the same town) where I spent the majority of my grade school years (Filer, ID, 7 years, Total Est. Time: 10 hours, 11 minutes Total Est. Distance: 674.49 miles)? Or the town not far from where I was born, where I spent my high school years (Tenmile, OR 4 years Total Est. Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes Total Est. Distance: 85.26 miles)?

Yeah, we moved a lot. For most of my pre-adult life, my father was a pastor. He pastored a series of small congregations in Oregon and Idaho, making a huge impact on each community where he pastored. In between pastorates, he would work whatever job God sent his way. He was a very talented man, and whatever he set out to do, he did well. He was a business machine repairman, a city water employee, a volunteer firefighter, a grocery stock clerk, whatever it took to put food on the table, he did it. But his real passion was serving his God and his congregations. He was a self-sacrificing, giving, compassionate pastor, and, if he'll pardon my language, I agree with the atheist friend of his who fought fires with him in Idaho: He was one hell of a man.

The last ten years of his life were not spent in the pulpit, and I think it was the saddest time of his entire life. It's hard for me to be without him, but I honestly believe God was easing my father of a trememndous burden when he took him. I miss him, but not as badly, I think, as he missed himself. My father's childhood was so transient as to make mine seem sedentary, but now, finally, he has a home he'll never have to leave again.