Merry-Go-Rounds and Roads

Looff Carousel 1911, Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Many summer weekends were spent at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk when I was a kid in California. Disneyland had nothing on it as far as I was concerned. It was pure magic. Oh, the memories of that Boardwalk! Corn dogs, called Pronto Pups that seemed a foot high, entering the Fun house through the clown’s mouth, riding the train and anticipating when that roaring dinosaur was going to rise up from the lake, standing at the fudge shop window watching the taffy pulling machine, mesmerized as it pulled and pulled and never broke. And the beach…..

Holding it all together in the middle of that magic, the piece De resistance was the Carousel. All I had to do was hear that organ music and I was over the top. Keep in mind, I camped growing up. We didn’t stay in fancy hotels. We didn’t have the money and also, my folks thought is was important to teach us about nature. I’m so glad they did. So this Merry-Go-Round was for me, the highlight of our visit. I had my favorite horses, always the ones with head reared back, teeth bared. (I must’ve thought those went faster)

I am happy to say that my niece has inherited my love of this Merry Go Round as well. I got to go on it with her one of my trips back home and I felt the same rapturous joy as I did all those years ago. My brother even caught the ring!

What started this whole memory was that my friend and I were talking after church Sunday and I asked her if she got excited about that Merry Go Round as well, since she used to go there as a kid too. I expected her to light up with the same memory I had. “No,” she said, “I never really saw the purpose, you just go round and round and never get anywhere.” Well, yeah, there is that…..Instead, she shared a special memory of her own with me. She said one of the highlights of her childhood was when she and her brother got a quarter a-piece and went to the store and each picked out a matchbox car. Back then they came in a little box. Her job was to build the roads.

They would come home and she would build elaborate structures out of mud, complete with bridges with support beams underneath, freeways, overpasses, and tunnels. Even back then, she had the mind of an engineer. Her parents never even knew it. When she went to high school and tested extremely high in math and engineering, the counselor told her she better think of something else to do with her life, “because girls just don’t do these things.” After that she pretty much lost interest in the whole educational system.

But God doesn’t care about what some counselor says. Years later she ended up doing engineering work anyway at Intel, Corp. And she is still building things. She can visualize anything and build it, she is a project queen and should definitely have her own show on HGTV. She is a bridge builder between people, in every job she has ever had, she has been asked to be a mediator when situations needed smoothing out.

When God creates you to do a certain thing, it glorifies Him when you are doing those things!

I have always felt a compulsion to write, and I know that comes from God. That is how He created me. Sometimes I have no idea if anything I write makes sense but I still do it because I feel it’s one of the things God made me to do. Sometimes I feel my prayers go round in circles because I still see so many things in me that need changing. But as I look back at all these quiet times of prayer, I see a closeness I have with the Lord now that I didn’t have before. It is a beautiful sculpture that I can only see glimpses of, but when I close my eyes it comes into focus. I see and hear the music, the colors, the joy….and God behind it all. Sometimes life does seem like one big circle, but we can say, victoriously, this is a circle that has purpose. It has no end, and it only gets better!

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12,13

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