Ken’s e-Pistle

June 28, 2023

One of my few regrets in life is that I haven’t done much adventure traveling. The kind where you assemble your backpack, lash a canoe to your vehicle and take off a couple of weeks to go to the wilderness.

Most of my travel has been courtesy of our denomination via Presbyterian Disaster Assistance where my adventures, though often exciting, usually bore the marks of natural or man-made catastrophe. I’ve seen most of the United States in this manner and met innumerable people.  The missing element, though, was the sense of expanding my experience and enriching my soul.  Most often, upon my return home I was just exhausted and grieving for those whose tales I had assimilated into my own life.

As happens, life went on.  The boys came along with the attendant responsibilities of parenthood.  The moves to new fields of service made vacations few and far between. Aging parents needed attention and now I have my own health considerations along with Miss Vicki’s.  Nowadays we don’t question how far a trip will take us from our families as much as we consider how far it will take us from our doctors!

To make up for this deficiency in my experience I have been reading Charles Kuralt’s, “America.” (G.P. Putnam, 1995.)  I’ve been following the monthly installments and am presently in Ely, Minnesota.  I have thoroughly enjoyed what I like to call our shared adventures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a million acres of wilderness in which the boundary between the US and Canada is fuzzy.  If you get lost, don’t worry, the Canadians maintain an area of similar size on their side of the border.

The major gift of this book is the sense of overwhelming gratitude for the marvelous mix of people, places and ideas with which we are blessed in this country.  The experiment of democracy is on grand display in these pages.  Sometimes we forget to give thanks for the blessings which are staring us in the face.

Happy thoughts for America’s Birthday this week.  As you fly the  flag, pause and give thanks for all of us.  No, we’re not perfect but we sure are interesting!

I bid you peace!