My grand-parents lived a very short distance from us.  In the mind of a young child, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Because “Pa” was not in the best of health, it meant we mowed his grass, along with the other necessities that became our routine.  It was often my duty to shave him on Sunday morning, early, so he could look his best as he went to church.  I look back today on the privilege that afforded me to assist him. (I was not allowed to accept any reimbursement.)

Pa was a hard worker in his healthy years.  He built a whaling rig that was a beauty, but like many other Bermudians they were never able to bring one home, although they harpooned one but lost it when well out of sight of Bermuda.  He was a lighthouse keeper, and in his off times did a lot of other odd jobs.

I loved to go in his “cellar” and mosey around.  He had an array of tools, and of course, all of the whaling necessities.   I was enamored with the fact that all of his tools were stamped with JC, James Cowen.  They were all readily identified.  I guess that people would borrow and never bring them back, and this way it was easier to avoid arguments.

I recall how I saw my father coming down from one fellows home with the wheelbarrow filled with tools.  Naturally, I said: “Dad, where have you been?”   His reply was typical of my father… “I knew Stuart was not home, so I went up to gather all of my tools.”  I said: “Some of those are not yours, they are Stuart’s.”  He said: “I know!  I brought some of his, so I have a head start on him when he comes to borrow some more of mine.”

I have not gotten lost.  “Value is improved by the engravers hammer!”  I read it years a go and have never forgotten.  God wants His very best for us!  He sometimes has to remind us that carefully hammered is an identification mark, and that identification mark is there, reminding us who we are and where we live! 

“For those whom He loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; “God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  For all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Hebrews 12:6-11)


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