I spent most of last week in Robert Lee, Texas, with my three brothers at our maternal grandparents’ old home place. It was a good week. Those weeks always are.
Granddaddy Key built that little house in 1928, so it’s approaching a 100th anniversary. I hereby propose to the guys (two are not all that far off from their own centennial) that we plan ahead and extend one of that year’s stays to a month or, at least, two weeks. Anything less would be disrespectful.
For around forty years, my brothers and I have been meeting there a couple of times each year, once in autumn and once in spring. For more than a few of those years, our father joined us—all five of us, pastors. A very special place.
The guys and I try to make sure that those days, the two Coke County convocations, are scheduled a year in advance. I just label them “Coke County Pastors’ Conference.” I’ve never been to a conference where I learned more about ministry. Or had more help and valuable advice in dealing with this or that ministry conundrum. Or, and this is the big item, had more fun.
I really enjoy spending time with my brothers. If I get energetic, I might write a column or two. I usually read a little. We visit a lot. About anything and everything. A bunch of breeze-shooting about whatever comes to mind.
Coffee. Lots of it. Food. Too much. The menu varies very little. Amazing what you can do with a kettle grill (or two, if the ribeyes are large). Hot dogs at noon. Steaks (and occasionally, pork ribs) in the evening. A nice fire in the firepit and more coffee until, well, as late as we wish.
That’s the thing, I guess. We don’t have much of a schedule at Robert Lee. Almost all of the time is “down” time, and that’s good time.
We really do occasionally talk about some serious stuff while we’re there. I offer the following as proof.
My two-years-younger brother Jim and I had headed down to the Austin Street Coffee Company to sit, visit, and drink coffee, which we did. Then we drove back down to the house, perched in old rocking chairs on the porch, and resumed sitting, visiting, and drinking coffee. At least one of us was offering cigar incense. And then we heard…
We heard a rooster crowing rather late in the morning. We went on visiting a while. More crowing. Same rooster? Different rooster? We didn’t know. But it was soon after the roosticular crooning that we began working on an ad that we might pitch to an appropriate company. See what you think.
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Well, I will admit that we’ve had more productive moments than the one on the porch that morning at the old Key Place. And I’ve written much better columns than this one.
But time with my bros at that special place is always a great gift from my Father. I thought that today I’d crow about it a little.
Copyright 2023 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.