Monday, April 27, 2020

Seeing Signs Along The Way...

When I was a little kid about three years old, my sister, and brothers and I would sometimes wander from our own yard, and Mom would come running from the house to call us back. Where do you think you're going?" she'd ask. And according to family legend, I would always say, "...on a bubenshur..." because evidently I could not say the word "adventure."

So for the rest of my life whenever returning from a trip with my mother, she would say, "Well, that was a 'bubenshur'..." and I would smile as if passing a pop-quiz on terms from our family lexicon.

My mom has been gone form many years, but Friday was her birthday and that quirky little word came back to me as Mrs. K and I returned home from a very pleasant trip to some of your front yards. We did it again on Saturday and it was again a wonderful "bubenshur."

We know west Michigan well, but finding some of your homes took us to beautiful places we had never seen before.We passed farms and orchards; fields and forests, rivers and lakes; closed malls and busy country stores. We even saw some of you along the way, and we've also seen dozens of you on social media beside Calvary signs that others delivered. Whereever we go, I'm seeing Calvary signs along the way.

This past week Brad and Joy Richards secretly put a sign in the yard of nearly all Muskegon area CCS families. Mrs. Sarah VanTine  also helped place several signs. By the end of this week, all of families in our directory should have one. (Please let us know if you don''t.) 

Through the years, Calvary has always had families from within a long tri-angle roughly from West Olive (south) to Ravena (east) and Freemont / Shelby area (north) wtih the Lake Michigan shoreline along the west. It's always a joy to go to the "Open Houses" of seniors from extremities, and after six weeks of quarantine, it was a special treat to take this 200-mile safe-social-distancing excursion this weekend making sure everyone got a sign. We hope this small gesture underscores the truth of each line on that sign because it is truer than ever.

Calvary is a very diverse school family. It is urban, suburban and rural in four counties. About half of our homes have only one student, but several have four or five.  If the family that lives furthest south of the school went to visit the family that lives furthest north, it would take roughly an hour to get there. (Having seen both of these large hard-working families from a distance this weekend, I can tell you that it it's well worth the trip.) If the family furthest east of the school traveled as many miles west, they would end up about 10-15 miles out in Lake Michigan.

The blue lines on this map lead to only a few of the homes Mrs. K and I went to on Friday and Saturday. More than 500 miles were traveled to deliver these and the 100+ other signs, but the five people involved gladly touched each yard as a thank you to the CCS families and staff who collectively travel more than 2,000 miles round trip each day to come to Calvary. (That does not factor in car-pooling but is based on round trips from each of our CCS homes to school and back.)

Until driving a fraction of those miles this weekend, I did not fully understand how remarkable a place Calvary is because of each of you. Thank you for being a vital part of Calvary Christian Schools.

We say it often, but in the context of these facts it bears repeating:

CCS builds an educational foundation based not on geography but on the "common ground" of shared values. We are defined not by the roads we take to gather but by the path we walk together.

Many thanks to the donors who made these yard signs possible.

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