Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Parking Wagons

This weekend we went to Waynesville, a quaint little town north of Cincinnati. It is the home of Ohio's Sauerkraut Festival.  We went on a perfect day, beating the bad weather.  It is festive during the holidays with shops full of antiques, furniture and primitives. Quilters travel for miles to visit the Fabric Shack. My friend owns a lovely shabby chic store, The Winsome Cottage and some Christmas shopping was done.  We got a star for the top of our tree and ate lunch at the historic Hammel House Inn.
Our menus came and we read the history of the inn. Offering lodging as early as 1787 in the original log structure, many renovations and expansions took place over the years. But the next piece of information is what struck me.
"This historic locale received its current name and popularity during the ownership of Enoch Hammel. Although Mr. Hammel was an upstanding community member, a candidate for county sheriff, and a Wayne Township trustee, his establishment did not always share such accolades. A local Quaker lady, Mrs. Anna O'Neal, described the activities at the Hammel House as "bacchanalian revelry and ribald conduct." During her families' temporary stay in a residence directly across the street from the business, she arranged for a large wagon to be parked in front of her cabin so that her children would not witness the daily debauchery."
Here was a mother in the 1800's protecting the minds of her children. She saw to it that a large wagon was parked to protect her children's eyes and ears from things she did not want to taint their innocence.  Anna O'Neal is a hero. And apparently a well read one, as the term, "bacchanalian revelry" is a Dickens term. So you who are mothers, are you parking wagons to protect your children?  What are you watching on your TV that does not reflect the values you want instilled in your children?  Does the news pipe in endless stories of violence and deception?  Are magazines that scream materialism and unreal body images lying around for little ones to leaf through? Are your conversations ones that build up?  When you drop something on the floor, what exclamation comes from your mouth?  
Maybe it's time to park the wagon!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8


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