[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. – Ecclesiastes 3:11-14
In trying to redirect (without pretending we didn’t lose Scout this week) I’m heading to the archives. It’s “5-Photo-Friday” so this is the perfect opportunity to add some vintage pet-pics to the mix.
Then, in a completely unrelated communication, our long-time friend Margie sent a couple of classics to round out the selection.
When Scout Labradoodle was a puppy:
So Scout was huge almost immediately. I’m guessing this photo (above) is from before her first birthday so I’m going with early 2007. The location is our back garden in Brandon. She was so fast, literally bounding around and out onto the golf course when she escaped.
In fact, we thought she may actually be a Labra-Pony back then. Such joy and enthusiasm in every move she made!
Then, my Mozart:
Mozart was my Bichon. He lived to be sixteen and honestly believed that I quit teaching and started my writing career just so I could hang out with him. This picture has Mo in his favorite place, under my feet at my writing desk.
Mo was a rescue, and he lived from that point on as if being grateful for our family (and me in particular) was his mission in life.
Mo became great friends with Darth Maul, the black cat in the next photo in the sequence. Darth would take late evening walks with us and then insisted the tradition continue after Mo died.
In consequence, the neighbors would look out from their houses and say, “There goes that Derek Maul, walking his cat again. We knew there was something funny about him….”
Margie and the Children:
This is an all-time classic. Margie was a Navy helicopter pilot at the time. She had been part of our family since being assigned to Pensacola, finding Trinity Presbyterian, and becoming our dear friend in the late 1980’s.
The children immediately fell in love with Margie and later – when she was based in Sicily, she met us in England for part of our epic “Heritage Tour” in 1992.
This picture was taken on the Yorkshire Moors when we were staying at one of the best B&B farmhouses ever. Andrew had just turned ten, Naomi was almost eight.
Good times. Thanks, Margie, for sending this our way.
I’ll finish up with this, from the early 90’s.
Margie again, with Rebekah on the front stoop of our Piedmont Road house, walking distance from the church. The best classic 1950’s ranch home imaginable. Perfect for the children in the perfect neighborhood.
I think these archive photos are very helpful this week, because they remind me that the perspective of time is an important and constant dimension in the rhythm of our lives.
TIME DOES NOT STAND STILL:We are constantly growing, learning. experiencing, loving, losing, discovering, loving again, and so much more. The constant of time is just as much a dimension as the first three.
We are who we are today in part because of the thirteen amazing years we spent with Scout Labradoodle. We are different people because of her faithful, enthusiastic, goofy love. When most of these pictures were taken there were other deep loves interacting with our lives.
Thank you, loving God, for the richness of the experience of living, and for these many decades of exposure to so much and so many people and animals and opportunity.
What will tomorrow bring? I only know that God is good – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.