When I was a child, one of my favorite things in the world was Misty of Chincoteague and King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry. I did not own a lot of toys. Most of the ones I had were made by my mother. But somehow, I managed to talk my parents into pony figurines of Misty, Story, and King of the Wind. I’m not sure that the last two were the official versions. They might have just been pony figurines that looked something like them, but I played with those horses for hours and hours and hours. I remember, during recess in 3rd grade, crawling around on the grass with my friend Jodi as we both played horses. Our favorite game at the time. (Though my imaginary horses were sometimes winged.)
I knew that Chincoteague was a real place, and occasionally, I thought of going to see the ponies swim, but I figured it would be a complicated difficult thing. So, I never did.
Then, last year, our friends the Johnson’s were going to Chincoteague for a week, and invited us to come, too. We did.
In my whole life, I think Chincoteague may be the only place I’ve ever gone where the reality turned out to be MORE magical than the expectation. What a calm and charming place the two islands of Chincoteague and Assateague are! Chincoteague is a charming town with cute shops and wonderful, wonderful ice cream. Assateague is a natural preserve with a beautiful very, very long beach, a nature walk, a light house, and wild ponies. (The ponies are owned by the Chincoteague fire department, who swim them to the main island and auction them off once a year.)
We rented a small house and unplugged the TVs. The children were forced to talk to each other. I came down one day and found Orville and Ping-Ping playing Uno all by themselves! Most of the games we played–and there were many–were played with the adults, though. John was there for four days. Uncle Bill for five, and Grandma for two.
We swam in the waves–best waves I’ve ever seen on the East Coast, played at the park, took the trolly (a bus that looked like a trolly–the Cherubim’s favorite part), ate ice cream every day and even took Ping-Ping out for crab!
I was so grateful for this wonderful time of peace and joy with my family. I was also grateful for Christian Science. Juss came down Thursday morning with some alarming symptoms. I must admit I was a bit frightened, but I got right to praying and called a practitioner. At first he was in too much pain to help, but then I heard him saying the Lord’s Prayer very firmly and suddenly he was well. A little while later, the symptoms tried to come back. This time, instead of “oh, the prayer didn’t work” I acted like a real Christian Scientist and told Juss that the claim just could not come back. We had beaten it. So we prayed again. He said the Lord’s Prayer again, firmly…and that was that. He was healed.
I even got to read three books while I was there (and ran out of books)…what peace, what luxury!
What a wonderful magical way to spend a week!