Monday, September 1, 2014
I have three very SPECIAL & HAPPY events to celebrate today:
Happy Labor Day!! (to all of us)
Happy Blog Day!! (to me, of course)
Happy Birthday!! (to my first grandchild, Michah Elizabeth – She’s beautiful, inside & out – She IS the BOMB-24 today!!)
I do hope this past week has been good to you all in whatever ways you needed in your lives, and may GOD bless us all in ways that only HE can—ordinary and extraordinary!! — Today, tomorrow and always. Amen.
This week, we find Maggie and Lizzy searching for a treasure they didn’t even know existed—and oh, are they in for the surprise of their lives!! Only GOD knows what will happen next…
Excerpts and Thoughts: That Melvin Bray
Chapter 18—Lost Treasures
“The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, whose charms were broken if revealed.” —Charlotte Bronte, English novelist
It was late afternoon, about four thirty on that beautiful Boston Sunday. Yet another sunny, brisk, ‘n’ breezy fall day, and we were once again top-down travelin’, which I just loved. It took us a while to find a safe place to park that fine joyridin’ machine of hers. Parking was quite limited at the unique little Antique Bazaar. Once we parked and got inside the building, Lizzy led the way to her friend’s shop. There were a couple of customers ahead of us, and as we waited, we browsed and noticed some very expensive and curiously unique items for sale. A short time passed and we heard an interestingly deep voice calling out to us.
“Miss Lizzy, how nice to see you again. How have you been?
“Very well, thank you, Mr. Hobbs, and how are you today?” Lizzy replied as we walked over to the glass counter in front of Mr. Hobbs, who was perched on a stool.
“Oh you know—at my age, every day’s a great day, my dear,” he responded with a warm smile as he took a big puff on his large-bowled ivory pipe.
“And for me as well, kind sir,” Lizzy replied with her own warm smile. It was apparent the two of them were fond of each other, and Lizzy spoke to him in an endearing manner.
“Mr. Joshua Hobbs, I’d like you to meet Maggie. She’s my oldest and dearest friend in the whole wide world, and she’s visiting with me for a few weeks,” she told him as she gave me a hug around the waste.
“It’s my pleasure, Miss Maggie—so nice to meet you.” He addressed me with kindness in that pure baritone voice of his. I shook his hand with sincerity and responded likewise. He reminded me a lot of Mother’s uncle Pink—short, round, and jolly. A lot like Santa, too.
“Well, what have you for me today, my dear Miss Lizzy?” he asked as Lizzy placed the two small brown bags on the counter in front of him.
“I don’t know, but I’m hoping Maggie and I have found something with history and value—but not necessarily in that order,” she teased as he opened the little bags, slowly took the box and frame out, and placed them both on a black velvet cloth on top of the glass counter. He put on a strange piece of head gear, complete with magnifying glass and tiny lightbulb. He resembled a coal miner preparing to lower himself into the mine to seek undiscovered bounty.
Next, he picked up the secret box and methodically began his examination. He too knew the magic formula for opening the little drawer and found the note. He unfolded the fragile paper, read it, and then placed it on the velvet cloth. He turned the little drawer over and readjusted his magnifying glass to get a closer look at the bottom of the drawer.
Lizzy and I watched curiously in absolute silence as the master intently worked; he appeared to be deep in thought. The master nodded his head a few times as he mumbled to himself, and we didn’t dare interrupt him.
As we stood there, we resembled the two little girls who used to stand at the candy counter a Eagle’s Dime Store back home in Grace Chapel. During high School, Ali had worked there on Saturdays and had always given Lizzy and me a tiny little brown bag of cashews and chocolate-covered raisins. Oh, sweet memories!
I didn’t know about Lizzy, but I felt myself holding my breath with both curiosity and excitement as Mr. Hobbs carefully laid the little drawer on the counter by the note and then picked up the small jeweled frame.
First, he dismantled the back and removed the tiny baby photo. He laid the photo on the counter; removed the small, aged, yellowed glass from the frame and placed the glass on the counter as well. He picked up the photo, tuned it over, readjusted his magnifying glass once more, and studied the back of the photo. Once again, he nodded and mumbled to himself as he examined each item in methodical detail. He placed the photo next to the drawer. Finally, he picked up the frame and diligently scanned the jeweled outline affixed to the frame. When finished, he laid the frame down and stood there for a few minutes in thought as he looked over the individual pieces in front of him.
“Where did you find these, Miss Lizzy?” he asked.
“At the Niceville Festival yesterday, Mr. Hobbs. Maggie found the box at one vendor’s gazebo, and I found the frame at another. However, when we got home and examined them more closely, we realized that the jewels matched on both the box and the frame and apparently were designed as a set,” she explained.
Mr. Hobbs picked up the little wooden drawer, turned it over, and pointed out some initials on the bottom. He handed Lizzy a small magnifying glass so that she could see the writing more clearly. There were three letters hand-carved in the wood: SRL. He then picked up the note and showed us the same letters.
“Yes, we did see the note, but we didn’t notice the initials on the bottom of the drawer,” Lizzy offered.
Mr. Hobbs then picked up the photo and turned it over so that Lizzy could see what was on the back of it as well:
My sweet baby boy—S.R.L.—1949, 2 years old – K.P.L.
“Oh my, that’s interesting. We didn’t take the photo out of the frame. We just thought it was one of those generic Gerber baby photos, you know? Well, at least now we know that SRL is a boy,” Lizzy said, “because you can’ tell if the baby is a boy or girl in the photo. Also, he was born in 1947 and was two years old in the photo taken in 1949. We also know that based on his secret note, he loved his mom ‘the most'”.
“Yes, Miss Lizzy, the human heart has hidden treasures,” Mr. Hobbs said solemnly.
“So true, Mr. Hobbs, and if nothing else, Maggie and I have reunited the matching box and frame, which include SRL’s love note to Mom and his baby picture.”
“Well, Miss Lizzy, when you came in today, you told me you wanted to determine history and value, correct?” Mr. Hobbs said.
“Yes, sir, and I believe we have confirmed the history part, but what about the value part, Mr. Hobbs?” Lizzy replied.
Mr. Hobbs carefully replaced the drawer in the box and the photo in the frame and returned them to the little brown bags—their temporary new homes. As he did, he explained that the only real value was of the sentimental kind. Further, he continued, since the secret box and matching frame, complete with the photo of the author of the note, had been reunited, the sentimental value would be realized only if the items were then reunited with their rightful owner. We all agreed and knew that wasn’t gonna happen, so I suggested Lizzy give them a new home.
Mr. Hobbs handed Lizzy the brown bags, and she thanked him as they embraced each other. We said our good-byes and then wandered out in the main entrance hall of the bazaar…
“I feel like we really accomplished something here today, Maggs. How ’bout you?” she asked with a lift in her voice.
“Me too! I’m not sure just what, but I do feel good about it, ” I agreed. We were both in a moment of thought, pondering little SRL, his secret, and what life might have brought to him and the one he “loved the most” after the past forty years.
We got in the car, and Lizzy put the top down. The chilly fall night air was invigorating. We didn’t talk. It seemed as though we were both riding along in another world—OUR world.
Well, according to Mr. Hobbs, Maggie and Lizzy’s treasures have turned out to be of the “sentimental value” only. Could it be that Maggie and Lizzy will find a new home for the darling pair? As I said before…only GOD knows.
Next week, Chapter 19 – “The Mother”
“My mind tells me to give up, but my heart won’t let me.” —Albert Smith, author
So, we only have six days left of this new week, make it a good one and be the best YOU, possible!
Remember: “When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust.” -Epic Women
Are ya Christian? Yep.
Are ya Perfect? Nope.
Are ya Forgiven? Yep.
Are ya Worthy? Nope.
Are ya Accepted? Yep.
Are ya Deserving? Nope.
Are ya Loved? Yep.
GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!