Posted in Family, friends, Grace, gratitude, life, loving others, Scripture, Southern born, thankful

The Emerald Buccaneers

The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” Psalm 145:9

We were called the Emerald Buccaneers. There are parts of my childhood puzzle that pieces are just missing..and this is one of them.  As I have mentioned in several stories, the Taylor tribe was not the richest tribe on the block.  My Daddy worked at the Naval Air Station as a jet engine mechanic. He worked hard and he worked steady so that we could have a roof over our heads and food on the table.  Momma mostly took care of the tribe and, trust me, that was a full time job.  But the bottom line was that often…money was tight.  And then there is this.

I remember one summer, somehow and some way, Momma signed us up for swimming lessons.  They were held at the American Legion which was three or four miles from our house. I have no idea how it happened.  I’m sure it cost and I’m sure there wasn’t money in our limited economy, but we ended up at swimming lessons and I suppose that is how we ended up in the Emerald Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers were a drum and bugle corps sponsored by the same American Legion where we had swimming lessons.  Now what is interesting is we had no affiliation with the American Legion and so I can only imagine that Momma was chatting with someone, and the topic came up and the next thing I know…I was an Emerald Buccaneer.  I believe it must have been around the time I was in Junior High because that was the only time I was in band.  My sisters, I believe, were majorettes.  I played, or attempted to play, the baritone.  As you can imagine, it was quite an adventure.

For the marching season, the Buccaneers would play and march in several parades.  It was quite a big deal, and, in fact, I guess we were pretty good.  I know this is weird but somehow, I was in junior high band for a couple of years and in the Buccaneers for a while but never really learned to read music…well, at least not very good.  But somehow, I pulled it off and on weekends I would put on my fancy uniform that included a black buccaneer hat with a large white feather.  I was a part of something bigger than me and I loved it.

Now this part is fuzzy but the sponsors for the Buccaneers arranged for us to be in a competition.  We were in Jacksonville, Florida and the event was going to take place in Miami and, wait for it, for some reason, Momma let us go.  Now it was a big deal when the Taylor tribe left the county, so it was going to the moon for us to go to Miami…especially without Daddy or Momma. This can only mean two things.  Momma trusted the chaperons and Momma trusted us. I don’t remember a whole lot about the trip or the competition only that Daddy and Momma made it happen.  How about that?

There is a picture in a box somewhere that Momma took, and I am all dressed up in my uniform marching down the street…proudly playing, well, at least blowing on my horn.  And that snapshot makes me smile.  It reminds me once again of the extraordinary lengths my Daddy and Momma went to make our life adventurous.  A member of the “Greatest Generation,” those heroes that did life through the Great Depression and then won World War II, once told me, “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.”  Well, I’m not sure we were poor, but we could see it from the back porch.  But this is what I do know…we didn’t know it.  No, Momma and Daddy, somehow found a way for us to have and do. I love them for that.

I have another parent that found a way for me to have and do. Some ignore Him, some just call Him God, but I have the privilege of calling Him Father.  He found a way for me to come into His family by sending His Son to die on a Roman cross.  His sacrifice made my life possible.  I know my parents sacrificed a lot for the Taylor Tribe, but nothing compares to what God did for me…and for you. As I look back as my life as a kid, I keep remembering the small things that Leslie and Alston did and being amazed at how big they seem now.  I guess time adds perspective.

I know that is true with my Heavenly Father, my Dearest Daddy.  As I look back on my life with all its adventures…I am amazed.  He has indeed been so, so good to me and honestly, to you too. One of the authors of the Psalms said, “The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation” and I have been around long enough to know that is true. I know I write a lot about God and His goodness and the fact that if we look closely enough, we will find reminders of His goodness.  But I guess that is because it amazes me so.

Someone said there are two ways to live…that nothing is a miracle or that everything is a miracle.  Do you know who said that? Albert Einstein.  Turns out he was really smart…in more ways than one.  So, enjoy this day and spend some time remembering the good and forgetting the difficult. Take the time to pause…and believe…that, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne


Southern born. Love God, my wife, family, and a great adventure.

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