Diary of a Scout Leader: A Quiet and Serene Moment in Time

By Richard Mabey Jr.


Our story so far: It is now Wednesday, late morning, on the twenty-fifth of June of 1969. I had just given my article, about what scouting meant to me, to Mr. Marino, the Editor-in-Chief of the Lincoln Park Journal. I was so very happy that Mr. Marino liked my article and told me that he planned on publishing in his next edition. On my way, walking home, I stop at Moe’s Sweet Shop to buy a Batman comic book. Mary Tafano is there with her friends. Mary is very kind to me and offers to help me paint the interior of Thorpe Hall. I leave Moe’s Sweet Shop and begin my walk home. While walking home, several landmarks bring back a myriad of memories to me. Upon reaching home, I feel the gentle breeze in my backyard, the whisper of the Lord to come home


I gently placed my gray-striped cat, Little One, back to the ground and she returned to the front of my sister’s life-size doll house. I thought that there may have been a little brown mouse beneath Patti’s doll house.


I came through the side door of my old house, walked down the enclosed side porch, to the kitchen door. Inside, the kitchen was still and quiet. I walked into the living room and across the room, into the formal living room, Mom was quietly sitting in a rocking chair, reading her Bible. There was a very quiet, calm, serene feeling to the inside of the old farm house, a most reverent stillness.


I sat down on the rocking chair, next to Mom. I asked Mom where my sister was and she told me that she was at her friend, Cindy’s house. Mom asked me if Mr. Marino liked my article. I told Mom that he did like it and was going to publish it in his next edition of the Lincoln Park Herald. Mom then closed her Bible and carefully placed it on the little table that sat between the two rocking chairs.


Mom then asked me how things were going with my Eagle Scout project, of painting the inside of Thorpe Hall and all of the classrooms on the first floor. I confessed that things were going slow and that I just needed to have a day off. Mom told me that she understood.


The house was so quiet at that moment in time. The television was not playing, nor was the radio. For the most part, this was a sacred moment. A moment that I would cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Then, it occurred to me that when my sister and I were at school, and Dad was at work, this was my Mom’s world. I realized that my Mom probably spent a considerable time, sitting at that old rocking chair, reading her Bible, comforted by the stillness, solitude and quiet of the old Mabey Homestead.


A moment passed, where Mom and I just seemed to swim in the quiet stillness of the formal living room. My dad would always refer to this room as the parlor as opposed to the room, to the left-hand side, which was the TV room.


After a few moments passed, Mom told me that Patti would be home any minute for lunch. Mom asked me to help her to get lunch together.


We both walked to the kitchen. I opened two cans of chicken soup and poured the soup into a pot and began cooking the chicken soup. At the same time, Mom began making three grilled cheese sandwiches.


Within a few moments, my sister Patti magically appeared at the kitchen door and began telling Mom and I about her morning with her friend, Cindy. I stirred the chicken soup. Mom flipped the three grilled cheese sandwiches. And, Patti began setting the table. It was good to be home. It was good to have this precious day, away from the drudgery of painting Thorpe Hall.


To be continued.


Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please place the wording “My Life Weekly” in the subject line.

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