Thursday, November 21, 2013

25. Looking Back After 49 Years to My Estes Park, CO Summer of 1964...

In 24 blog posts, I have told the true story of the summer of my 19th year which followed my 9 month stint as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. My summer of 1964 was spent in Estes Park, CO which is the little village at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

That summer, 1,200 miles from my home on a WI dairy farm, had many mountain and valley experiences and only a couple of those included beautiful Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Over the 49 years that have passed since that summer, I have infrequently shared the story with family and friends but have known that certain aspects of that summer were etched vividly in my memories.  I knew that there was  valuable significance to what I learned about myself, God, family and friends which I would one day like to share in written form.

I launched my stories in the spring of 2012.  I continued for several days and completed four posts before being interrupted by a European Tour with my 2 year old grandson.  I intended to return to the stories but continued to have more of life's interruptions until a conversation one day in August 2013.  My husband and I were visiting with a cousin of his.  She asked me when I was going to return to my Estes Park stories as she was anxiously waiting to hear "the rest of the story."

With her encouragement plus that of one of my sister's and a request from this cousin to share a Skype Conversation with her college E-Commerce class this fall, the fire was lit and I returned to the story.

The Skype Conversation took place last Thursday and was lots of fun.  The class had great questions, some suggestions, listened attentively and gave me great encouragement.

Before leaving the Estes Park stories, I want to share some additional thoughts as I reflect on the impact that summer had on my life.

Swirling in my head are so many thoughts which come from my experiences of that summer. 
  1. The most major impact of the summer was that I learned to rely on the Lord with wholehearted trust.  Mom and Dad were not there but God was.  He listened to my prayers and answered in His time and way.  
  2. It is possible to be grateful for very difficult things that are part of life's experiences.
  3. God cares about His children and knows what will encourage and bring them hope.
  4. God uses willing and available people to provide His compassion through human touch.
  5. God doesn't prevent nor eliminate all painful experiences for His children.
  6. God comforts those who are unjustly accused.
  7. God grants the desires of his children when they delight in Him.
  8. God can use his children to be his voice even in very painful situations.
  9. Fear can lead to weakened faith.
  10. Fear can be overcome by faith that chooses to trust.
  11. Humans who encourage are priceless.
  12. Time brings a rosy tint to challenges of the past.
  13. Learning that you can face and get through tough times brings hope in future uncertainties.
  14. Writing my story has been a very satisfying experience.
I learned much about myself and the God whose offer of salvation I received as a 6 year old.  I know he was with me when I felt so far from all that was familiar to me.  He provided the strength I needed to learn and work during that summer of 1964 in some very challenging situations.

I was able to work and save about $1,200.00 during that summer.  That amount of money would cover the cost of my sophomore year back at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  ( $1,200.00 in 1964 had the same buying power as $8,916.54 in 2013.) A year of school was just under $1,000.00 in 1964.  How grateful I was for that monetary blessing.  I am still grateful today.  It is an example of what God has done for me which I share with joy.

In closing this last post about my Estes Park summer, I want to share a final request from both restaurants which provided me with employment:
" Will you please come back and work for us again next summer?"
  • Would I do that?  
  • If so, which restaurant would I chose?  
  • What would another summer in Estes Park, CO look like?
  • Does anyone want an answer to these questions?


Marge B. said...

Yes've drawn me into this story, you have to complete it! I'm finding it not only extremely interesting, but very insightful, as well. You learned SO much that summer.....49 years ago, and yet as I read your reflection story, I hear how your 'Summer SAVIOR' is continually encouraging & strengthening your faith in Him, as you reflect.

God has preserved your memories for a purpose. You not only benefit, but your readers as well. So continue to use this gift of writing with us. God is using you to share your story, in this God honoring way. You are practicing what it says in Hebrews 12:2......

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith"......

Waiting for the 'rest of the story',
Love, Marge

Linda Worden said...

Joyce Bennett sent me the following email today:

"Precious Linda, I haven't words to tell you how greatly I have appreciated/enjoyed these posts all of which I have saved in your folder.

Of course, both of those restaurants have long ago gone into oblivion!

Unfortunately many small businesses in Estes Park are closing now because of the flood and the damage it has caused. Today US 34 is opening (finally...though it is way ahead of expected opening). It was originally expected to take a year before opening. CDOT, marines, state and county road crews, and volunteers have worked 24/7 to get it open. US36 opened a coupla weeks ago, ahead of projected opening. Lack of access to the town has mostly eliminated visitors therefore eliminating business. Sad, indeed.

Love you lots,