Nancy & Buddy Maertens

Buddy & Nancy Maertens

Nancy & Buddy Maertens • Nancy & Buddy Maertens are coming this weekend to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They are very special people to us and to our family, deserve our profound admiration and while we don’t generally do this kind of post out of respect for people’s privacy, Nancy & Buddy are such good friends we know they will not mind. A few years ago Buddy shared this text with us, and which we share with you now as a fitting tribute to a life so far quite well lived. Buddy and Nancy, you know how much we love you so we will leave it at that before we really start to lose it in front of all these fine folks.

The Station, Robert J. Hastings
TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination–for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

"Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion… put the last kid through college… buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz… have a nest egg for retirement!"

From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion–it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

Robert J. Hastings
With our Thanks to Nancy & Buddy Maertens

The Mast Farm Inn is a world renowned historic country inn and restaurant in the Valle Crucis Historical District of Watauga County, North Carolina, which has been welcoming guests since the 1800s. "So Much More… The world renowned Mast Farm Inn of Valle Crucis is nothing short of a handcrafted masterpiece of North Carolina Folk Art". ~ Emma Johnson
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