Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Lakewood: Reggie and Anita's Camelot Paperback – November 28, 2017 by Reggie Hill (Christian Faith Publishing, Inc. )

Reggie Hill has created a memoir, a scrapbook of photographs, fragments of memories shared with the reader, and poems that describe the special place Reggie and his wife Anita shared. From the onset we feel as though we have encountered a unique couple as Reggie strolls with us through the beauty of their home in Lakewood, North Carolina. As the author’s notes state, ’Reggie and Anita attended school together from first grade through graduation. They were married forty-nine years ago while Reggie served in the US Army Security Agency. They spent their first two years of marriage in Japan and loved the culture and Japanese people. Career-wise, Anita has been a teacher, banker, and real estate professional. Reggie has had successful careers as a technology consultant, professor, and financial advisor. Lakewood: Reggie and Anita’s Camelot is about the wonderful place that Reggie and Anita call home. This special place was passed along to Reggie and Anita from Reggie’s wonderful grandparents through Reggie’s mother. Lakewood is not just trees, a beautiful lake, and a rolling pasture, but a dream and a place of solace. Over the past thirty-seven years, Reggie and Anita have shared Lakewood with family and friends, built lasting memories, and had wonderful adventures.’

Turn the pages slowly and enter the wondrous world of Reggie and Anita – a world as in tune with nature and the important aspects of life as each of our finest memories have built. In one little memory Reggie’s mentions the intrusions we all face – ‘He would pretend that he was on a big ship standing on the bow and looking out over the ocean! What an imagination kids were blessed with in those days. There were no video games, iPads, computers, or other electronic devices that did a kids’ creative thinking for him. These devices rob kids of their imaginations. In my childhood days, we built small dams across creeks, camped, and used our imaginations for fun. ‘ Refreshing!

In the midst of the lovely color photographs of Lakewood and the animals that shared Reggie and Anita’s home the author allow us to know some of his reality: ‘Today, Lakewood’s guest house is occupied by a lady who helped Reggie care for Anita at Lakewood, following her stoke and before Anita entered nursing homes.’ – a shared moment that makes the book even more memorable.

Among the little stories of Lakewood’s deer, otters, beavers, dogs, cats, raccoons, geese, fishing and details of the history of the house at Lakewood Reggie shares some gentle poetry, as in the following:

Lakewood Diamonds

They arrive when the sun falls from grace, And forfeits its high place in the sky
We see them when the leaves fall from the trees, And makes a carpet on the forest floor
On clear days, they greet me with a wink, From mid-morning till late afternoon
They are bright, beautiful, and pure, Free of man and nature
They are god’s smile on Lakewood, And belong there for all time
Take time to see them for they wait on no one, Yet are free to everything alive
Like a smile they grow from a hint to a grin, The wind stretches them across the natural mirror
A small twinkle that illuminates the soul

Brief, wholly memorable, warm, and rich in love and faith and hope and recollections, this is one of those inimitable books that somehow refocuses our minds on what is beauty and what is love and what is a meaningful life.

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