America’s Driveway in the Foothills of Virginia

IMG_4973My family heritage has roots in “small town America.”

America Maxfield, my maternal grandmother, lived in a small town in the foothills of Virginia. When my twin sister and I were seven, we lived with our grandparents for a few years along with our mother. Moving from our birthplace of El Paso, Texas, to a small town in the southwest mountains of Virginia, Big Stone Gap. Our mother grew up in Big Stone Gap—and so would we—and a younger sister who came along a few years later.

My grandfather bought and sold scrap metal at a junk yard he owned—visible from their house and nestled at the bottom of the hill. A long, curvy, uphill driveway lead to their home.

Childhood memories are filled with the trek up and down the driveway by foot or bicycle—building calf muscles on the uphill trips. Catching the school bus or going to the junk yard to see my grandfather. My grandmother always seemed to be doing something in the kitchen and had snacks ready when we came in from playing.

Memories—in small town America.

I was an adult, married with children of my own, when my grandmother passed away. Asked to give the eulogy at her funeral, I gathered humorous and notable things to share. Stories and memories from my mother, aunts, siblings, and cousins. Many things to smile about. The prevalent snapshot in my mind is the beautiful, colorful flowers that lined both sides of her driveway. A picturesque landscape. A milestone in my memory.

Memories of my grandmother’s flowers weaved the words to the memories of her. America the beautiful. Flowers—as if painted on a canvas. Displayed my grandmother’s driveway. Captured her essence.

Flowers called Creeping Flox lined my grandmother’s driveway,
White, pink, and purple in a colorful array.
Each color with its own bright gleaming,
Reminds me of her life’s meaning.

White signifies pure, good, and clean,
Each seen in her while on the everlasting arms she did lean.
Now she is clothed in a white robe of Christ,
Offered to her in heaven because of his sacrifice.

Pink symbolizes her rose colored blush, so neatly brushed on each cheek,
Her life was filled with joy and a heart for the Lord she did seek.
Pink comes from the color red or crimson,
Like the blood of Jesus given for her ransom.

Purple is the color of royalty, fit for her a queen,
Now she is crowned by God, her Savior, and her King.
America, she was of royal priesthood, a holy nation,
She accepted Christ and his salvation.

Wife, mother, and grandmother were the roles she did play,
Nothing negative of her anyone could say.
She was wise, fun, and so witty,
Now she lives in the heavenly city.

Flowers called Creeping Flox lined my grandmother’s driveway,
White, pink, and purple in a colorful array.
Each color with its own bright gleaming,
Reminds me of my grandmother’s life and special meaning.

I’m thankful for memories of America, my grandmother, and living in small town America…and a heritage in Christ—who is the driveway—leading to an eternal home in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV)

I grew up in the beautiful, breathtaking view of the southwest Virginia foothills. Today, I am growing up in the Lord. Following Jesus to the foothills of God…where one day…the heavenly view will take my breath. I will bow at his feet, crown him with everlasting glory, and worship the Most High for all of eternity.

Will flowers line the streets in heaven? I am not sure, but my grandmother will be there…her bright gleaming and the ever-so-bright radiance of Jesus. That’s all I need to know.

“GOD majestic, praise abounds in our God-city! His sacred mountain, breathtaking in its heights—earth’s joy.” (Psalm 48:1 The Message)


© 2014 by Karen Friday

Picture overlooking the southwest mountains of Virginia used by permission from Wayne Hager.

July 24, 2014 at 8:36 am | Uncategorized

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Love it! Very picturesque–and meaningful!

karentfriday says:

Thanks Dianne. Milestones in this life and in Christ. 🙂

Robyn Gilliam says:

Beautifully written! I’m so glad your mother brought you and Sharon back to BSG and we were fortunate enough to become family! Love you!

karentfriday says:

Thank you Robyn. I have such fond memories growing up in VA and growing up with all my cousins in BSG and Appy! You have always been very special. love you. 🙂

Joyce m Page says:

Very beautifully written. So inspiring. Thanks for the beautiful things you says about mom.

karentfriday says:

Thank you, Mom. You are welcome. I have fond memories of her.

Terri Daniels says:

Karen, that is so beautiful. I have memories of my Grandmother. She raised me because my Mother died when I was 14 months old. I love it. It also made me think of sweet memories with Jane when she was a little girl.

karentfriday says:

Thank you Terri. Glad it brought back wonderful memories for you. 🙂

Diana Gibson says:

Beautiful words to honor your Grandmother.

karentfriday says:

Diana, Thank you so much! 🙂

Karen Swinney says:

Karen, this is beautiful!

karentfriday says:

Thank you Karen! Beautiful memories indeed growing up in “the gap” Glad for our friendship then and now. You are one of my favorite people and wonderfully named, “Karen.” 🙂

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