The Station

Good to read this again!

Ramblings of a retired teacher

The True Joy of Life is the Trip

  

 TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision.  We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent.  We’re travelling by passenger train, and out of the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

     But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.  On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station.  There will be bands playing and flags waving.  And once we get there so many wonderful…

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Noman the Snowman

Chapter 1

Noman the snowman was sad; nobody liked him.  All his friends made fun of him because he had green sticking out teeth. Other snowmen had nice teeth that were made from coal, like proper snowman’s teeth, Noman had green teeth and they stuck out a bit.

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All his friends said, “Noman you don’t clean your teeth…they’re green!”

But Noman did clean his teeth every night; he was a good snowman.

Noman wanted people to like him.

He wanted people to say nice things about his big pink buttons but nobody ever did.

He wanted people to say, ”Noman, I love your glasses, but nobody ever did

Noman was sad.

One very snowy night Noman got lost. It had been snowing hard and Noman lost his daddy and mummy and found himself in a garden. He had never been there before; it looked a little bit untidy. There was a lot of rubbish and some chairs that had not been put away for the winter.

Now Noman was even sadder.

When morning came he thought he would look for his daddy and mummy. He hoped he wouldn’t see his friends.  He didn’t like it when people said he had green teeth.

As he was deciding which way to go to find somewhere safe and quiet, he heard some children’s voices. He saw three little children with their noses pressed up against the window of a house nearby. They were very excited, they had never seen snow before and they had never, ever seen a snowman before.

The children were called Mia, Alfie and Millie.

Noman was sad, he thought Mia, Alfie and Millie would make fun of his green teeth, he wanted to run away, but when he looked he didn’t have any legs.

When they were dressed the three children walked very slowly out into the garden.

Noman was a little bit scared of the children and the children were a little bit scared of Noman.

“What’s your name?” Mia asked in a very quiet voice.

“I’m Noman,” said Noman.

“You look sad,” Mia said and tried to cheer him up by giving him a snowball right on the top of his head. It looked like a funny little snowy hat.

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Alfie was looking at Noman’s green sticking out teeth.

“You’ve got nice glasses,” Millie said. Noman smiled and hoped his teeth didn’t stick out too much. He tried to cover his mouth, but his arms were very thin.

“And I like your big pink buttons,” said Alfie.

Suddenly Noman didn’t feel sad anymore. He had found some new friends. They were not like his old friends. His old friends made fun of his green teeth.

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One of Noman’s cruel friends.

“Can I stay with you today?” Noman asked his new friends.

“Yes, Yes, Yes!” they all said at the same time, “We have never seen a real snowman before and we want to be your friend. Noman felt warm inside.

Mia and Millie ran in to tell their daddy and mummy about their new friend. Alfie stayed in the garden with Noman.

He looked hard at the face of his new snowman friend and wondered if all snowmen had green sticking out teeth. Alfie had never seen a snowman before.

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Chapter 2

‘I like you,’ Alfie said to Noman.

Alfie loved Noman’s stick arms. Alfie loved to pick up a stick every time he went for a walk. He thought it would be fun to have sticks for arms.

Alfie began to wish he was a snowman.

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Alfie stared hard at his new friend. He wondered what it was like to be a snowman. He didn’t think he would like to be a snowman. He thought it would be a bit cold. Alfie liked to be warm and especially enjoyed cuddles with his mummy and daddy.

‘Do you like being cold all the time?’ asked Alfie.

‘Yes I do,’ said Noman. I love it. ‘What I don’t like is the rain and the sun, they are not good for me.’

Just then Mia and Millie came running back out into the garden. Noman hoped they would not mention his green, sticking out teeth.

Now it was Mia and Millie’s turn to stare at Noman.

Noman was a bit worried.

‘Why are you wearing sunglasses?’ Millie asked him quietly. Millie had a lovely pair of sunglasses but she only wore them in the summer when she went to the beach in Cornwall.

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‘I wear sunglasses because I want to be a cool snowman and besides when I was made, my owner didn’t have any coal to use for my eyes,’ Noman replied in a voice nearly as quiet as Millie’s.

‘I like them,’ said Millie, ‘they suit you. You do look like a cool snowman. I am sad you have got no coal for your eyes.’

Noman thanked Millie for saying such kind things, he was not used to children saying nice things. Most of his old friends only made fun of him and his green, sticking out teeth.

Now it was Mia’s turn to ask her new friend a question.

‘Where are your daddy and mummy?’ she enquired. ‘Are you here on your own?’

Noman told the three children that he didn’t have a mummy or a daddy and that snowmen usually just lived on their own.

Mia, Millie and Alfie felt sad; they all loved their mummies and daddies very much, they were sad that their new friend didn’t have a daddy or a mummy.

Millie thought they could adopt Noman and he could live in their garden all year. She would ask he mummy later.

‘Do you have any friends?’ Alfie asked him, trying not to look at his green, sticking out teeth, which had started to chatter in the cold.

‘I have three friends, but I don’t see them very often.

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One of them looks just like me and he wears sunglasses and a scarf too, but my best friend is called Olaf. He is very famous and he is a film star. We have been friends for a long time.’

IMG_2177Mia was so excited to hear this. She loved to watch Olaf in her favourite film.

Noman told Mia that he wanted to be in a film too but no one asked him because of his teeth.

Mia looked at Noman’s teeth. They did look a bit green, but she thought that he still looked very handsome.

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“One of my friends is very rich, Noman told the children, ‘he lives in a big house and he has a real hat to wear on his head.’

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Mia remembered the snowball hat she had made for Noman. She wished she could give Noman a nice hat just like his friend.

snow6Just then Mia’s mum called them in for dinner and they said goodbye to Noman. They asked him to wait in the garden till they came back out. Noman said he had nowhere else to go and that he would see them later.

Noman felt happy to have three such lovely new friends.

Diamond Anniversary Speech

The speech delivered by Roger Newberry at the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of my parents on 29th June 2006. The celebration was held at The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant in Bassaleg, near Newport.

 

 

The Time is Now

If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow.
Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I’m gone
And then have it chiselled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now.


Unknown

So let’s do that now!!

It’s hard to put into words the feelings of our hearts today. 60 years of marriage is a remarkable achievement and we are here to honour you for it tonight.

Dad and mum , we as a family, want to thank you for being the most remarkable parents. The fact that your love has, day after day continued to grow and that we your family are not just family but best friends and are probably closer now than we have ever been, speaks volumes about the example that you have set for us to follow.

Sir Isaac Newton is attributed with a famous quote. You will see it on the side of a one pound coin…Standing on the shoulders of giants…. It appeared first in a letter written by him to a fellow scientist Robert Hooke on 5th February 1676, where he very modestly claimed that his success had been largely built on the previous hard work and achievements of others:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

Tonight, John, Joy and I feel like Sir Isaac Newton as we are doing just that and now as our children, your grandchildren, begin to have families of their own, we see again the importance of the solid foundations your love has given us and impact that your love has had upon all our lives.

When you leave this earthly scene, be assured that the influence of the love you share with each other will continue to be felt in the lives of our children and our children’s children and their children in turn.

Growing up in your care has been the most wonderful experience for us. Life in our home in Llanishen was idyllic. We had a mum who devoted herself to looking after us and our home, a dad who worked so hard for his family. A man who cycled home on his bike, with handlebars laden with off-cuts of wood for the fire. As very young children we would await his call of ….’Dad’s home’…  before running to meet the wonderful man who was our father and be cuddled by his rough carpenter’s hands!

We had many happy days of excitement, like the day dad bought his first motorbike – a B.S.A. Bantam, registration number FBO 717, or our first car a little green ‘Sit up and beg’ Ford Anglia, MTX 292, which couldn’t get up Caerphilly mountain!

We had many friends, a safe street in which to play, the woods and fields nearby and at the end of the day, we came back to the security of a home filled with love and care and a dad and mum who so obviously loved each other and loved us with a passion.

We realise now that times were often tough for you – but we never knew – you protected us from all that. We always had holidays, sometimes  with very little to live on for the whole family, but we never missed a year from Broadhaven to Blue Anchor from Watchet to West Wales, you gave us so many happy memories and produced children and grandchildren who have travelled the world inspired by you.

As we turn back the pages of our lives, wherever we look, we see the same things that you gave us as our parents…

  • Unselfish love
  • Encouragement
  • A belief in us and
  • A willingness to support us in whatever we tried to do!

We also look back with affection at our extended family – our church family. Many from the church are here tonight to share this special celebration. Thank you all for the special part you have had to play in the lives of my dad and mum and in our lives too.

Those early pioneering days were very special and many happy friendships were made, Gordon Trew, The Throwers, Aubrey and Lilian Roberts, Bill and Ruby Dobbs, Charles and Eileen Hallet, Jim and Ruby Orr, Billy and Gladys Williams and Shaun Ryan…

Our home was constantly open to the young people of the church and many nights were spent singing and having fun. But for one young man in particular our home became his home. We ‘adopted’ a young man named Paul Pace. He was a young lad from a broken home on the other Llanishen estate. He became like a son to you and a brother to us.

So as the formal part of the evening begins to draw to a close, I look around and see so many of you who have loved and supported dad and mum through these sixty years… brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and many friends  – and I am sure I speak on behalf of you all when I say, a huge thank you to you dad and mum for all you have done and indeed all you have yet to do for us all. As your children we want to say, from the bottom of our hearts, a huge thank you for your inspirational love.

When I conduct a marriage ceremony ~ and it was probably said at your wedding back in 1946 ~ I always say

‘Marriage is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His church.’

I always tell the happy couple what this means in reality is that when we model our marriage on Christ’s love, that the bride needs to love her new husband enough to live completely for him and the groom needs to love his wife enough to die for her just as Christ died for the church.

Dad and mum, you are the best examples of that love we have ever seen! We love you so much and pray that you may you have many more years to enjoy your special love together.

Congratulations on your special day.

May God richly bless you both.

The Station

The True Joy of Life is the Trip

  

 TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision.  We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent.  We’re travelling by passenger train, and out of the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

     But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.  On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station.  There will be bands playing and flags waving.  And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true.  So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.  How restlessly we pace the aisles, damming the minutes for loitering, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

     However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of life is the trip.  The station is only a dream.  It constantly out distances us.

     When we get to the station that will be it!” we cry.  Translated it means, “When I’m 18 that will be it!  When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes-Benz, that will be it!  When I put the last kid through college that will be it!  When I have paid off the mortgage that will be it!  When I win a promotion that will be it!  When I reach the age of retirement that will be it!  I shall live happily ever after!”

     Unfortunately, once we get “it,” then “it” disappears.  The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.

     “Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24:

“This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.  Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow.  Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

     So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.  Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The station will come soon enough.

(This is not my writing but was a piece given to me by a colleague during a busy time in school…it helped!)