Friday, July 19, 2013

Granny's Pantry #2: It's just the train.

Granny’s Pantry #2
Granddaddy and Granny Cole farmed about 200 acres mostly between Lick Creek Church Road and the Yadkin River in Davidson County, North Carolina. A rail line ran the length of the property near the river. Their old, two story farm house was located  about a quarter of a mile from the tracks. Going to Granny’s was one of the “funnest” things I did as a child and staying there for days and nights while Mama and Daddy traveled or during summer vacations was my own small taste of Heaven.         

Sometimes I would crawl in with Granddaddy, but he snored. I would have to wake him up and let him know (I’m sure he appreciated it), so he would turn over, quit snoring and I could go to sleep.

Other times Granny and I would find a bed upstairs in one of the bedrooms where she always had multiple beds set up for visiting family members. Granny always got up early to fix Granddaddy breakfast before he went out to plow, and I always slept late. But I wanted to know when she left me in the morning…maybe I would get up, too. So, I remember reaching out my leg to touch hers before I went to sleep so that I would feel it when she moved her leg to get up. It didn’t work.

Granny’s house was large, and in the day time, a wonderful place to make my own while she went about her farm chores. At night, the big old house surrounded by pastures and woods could be a scary place. Strange noises came from the direction of the river—roars and bumps and screeches—and suddenly Granny’s was not so safe anymore.

“Granny,” I would whisper, “what’s that?”  In my young mind, the possibilities were unnamed but endless. And it didn’t just happen once or only to me. The sounds could change or the time when they happened could change. It was enough to prompt the question again and again, from me, my sister, my brother—we all heard those noises and over and over—separately—we would ask. “Granny, what’s that?”

And Granny would answer, “It’s just the train.”

What was frightening and unknown to us was familiar and recognizable to her. Those switching and revving and braking and backing up noises that made the trains of the HPT&D railroad sound like monsters from the night represented old friends to her—ones that were daily visitors to her world.

And now, sometimes when an obstacle of life comes up in our adult world, we’ve been known  to repeat Granny’s explanation to make ourselves feel more secure. Whatever it is out there…it’s just the train.

How much more comforting to remember are the responses of my Heavenly Father to the questions and fears of my life:

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24 (NIV)
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)