Saturday, June 8, 2013

# 46: I am securely parked for the summer near Jamestown, New York in the Hidden Valley Camping Area.  The last stop on the way here was in Columbus, Ohio where we had a stimulating study group meeting in my “house on wheels.”  Betty Lou is still with me and after getting situated in New York State we took some time to explore the nearby Audubon Center and Sanctuary.  We also had a brief visit to the Chautauqua Institution.  Beyond that there is little to report except that I now have a freshly painted deck and shed thanks to the diligent work of Betty Lou.

“To ‘follow Jesus’ means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master’s life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.”  The Urantia Book (2090.4) (196:1.3)

The move from Berea, Kentucky to Columbus, Ohio was thankfully uneventful and we had a day to get ready for Scott and his study group.  We did little exploring while there so we would be ready for the meeting on Tuesday evening.  

Back Row, Left to Right: Michael Hayes, Mike Berry, Lorrie Stickle, Scott Brooks, Betty Lou; Front Row, Left to Right: Bob Coe, Howard Tibbs, Wandering Urantian

This was the largest study group meeting I have hosted in my “house on wheels,” there were eight of us and it was a totally satisfying meeting.  We had more than enough room to mingle and to enjoy the evening.  There were even two Michaels present, what a name!  I gave my presentation “The Urantia Book and Perfection Hunger” and read “The Pronouncement,” which is a brief introduction to the Urantia Book.  Both were well received and there was an engaging Urantia based discussion following the presentations.  The evening was topped off by popcorn, munchies and time for fellowship.  Meetings such as this make the Wandering Urantian journeys satisfying.  

                 Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary - Woods

As detailed below, Betty Lou graciously offered to paint my deck and shed, which was an intimidating job.  After a couple of days of scraping and prepping the deck we took a day off and went exploring; the first stop was at the Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary, which is about a mile and a half from my campsite in Hidden Valley.  We had a peaceful walk through the woods and along the pond. We met a pleasant couple sitting near the pond, they commented on the sad state of the pond as a result of an invasion of water chestnuts and showed us some of the seeds, which are over an inch in diameter overall.  These seeds are black with three sharp spikes sticking out on different sides and look like something Darth Vader might use as a weapon.  The pond is being drained so that volunteers can come in and remove the seeds from the bottom of the pond in an effort to eradicate the pesky plant. 

                                     Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary - Doe

As we approached an open field on the far side of the pond we suddenly came upon a doe feeding.  She looked up startled but stayed in place.  The above photograph was taken without a telephoto lens and with no cropping, that is how close she was, about twenty feet or so.  She must have known she was in a protected area and quietly went back to feeding while we watched.  After watching her for a few minutes we quietly moved on and she retreated to the far side of the field.

                                    Chautauqua Institution, Near Jamestown, New York

Our next stop was at the Chautauqua Institution, which is twenty-three miles from the campsite.  This institution was founded in 1874 as a vacation learning experience and it quickly grew.  It is located in a 750-acre plot of land on the shore of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State.  In the summer over 8,000 students are enrolled in various courses in the arts located on the grounds while special events will draw thousands.  Chautauqua is most widely known for the lecture circuit it sponsored in the early twentieth century; Dr. William S. Sadler, who was present during the transfer of The Urantia Book to our planet, gave lectures as part of this service.  I try to visit the Institution early before it opens for the season so I do not have to pay the entrance fee, that way I can enjoy the grounds with its many trees and narrow two or three story houses snuggled together.  Generally I have lunch on the grounds but this day no eating establishments were open yet; after our walk in the woods we were hungry so after a brief visit we journeyed on in search of food, which we found at a quaint burger joint that was a few miles down the road from the institution.

As I mentioned above, Betty Lou offered to paint my deck and shed.  I had painted the deck the year before last but it was in dire need of another coat.  The shed was painted an institutional grey that I did not care for and its roof was moss covered so it looked like a large rock perched at the edge of the woods and it needed serious attention.  Without going into the gory details, the deck now has two fresh new coats of paint, the roof of the shed is clean, looks new and the shed itself has a distinctive camouflage look, perhaps I will include a photo next time, which will most likely be about my upcoming trip to Washington state.  On Monday I will drive Betty Lou to the Buffalo airport so after that things will be a bit quieter around here for a while, just as I was getting used to having someone to share my journeys with.  Stay tuned, she may rejoin me before I head south in the fall.

Worship — contemplation of the spiritual — must alternate with service, contact with material reality. Work should alternate with play; religion should be balanced by humor. Profound philosophy should be relieved by rhythmic poetry. The strain of living — the time tension of personality — should be relaxed by the restfulness of worship.”  The Urantia Book (1616.5) (143:7.3)