And they said it wouldn't last...
God's grace flows to us in many ways. We see it in the dazzling colors of a sunset; the delightful sound of a babbling brook. We find it in the eyes of our children and the crayon "masterpiece" they offer up for the refrigerator door. We sense it under warm blankets on a cold winter's night. We find it suddenly and overwhelmingly when we are sitting at the table and we really notice the wonder of family. We seek it and find it when reading the Bible or going to church. And we sometimes see it and realize (with a bit of embarrassment) that His grace has been there every second but we were too busy to see it. Or maybe it is that we were too busy thinking about "ME" to notice.
Today Ruth & I celebrate our 26th Anniversary. And I realize now, more than ever, that God's grace flows to me through the person of Ruth. There is no one who knows what really transpires between a husband & wife... no one but the two of them. No one knows the frustration, anger, mistreatment, arguments, indifference and even rage. All the things that happen when two self-centered people try to make a go-of-it in this world. Many people lament that the divorce rate in America is over 50%. To be honest I am absolutely amazed that it is not 95%. Marriage is not easy. And marriage with Charlie Jones is not at all what you might expect. Let's just say that it is no picnic. Have I already mentioned "self-centered"?
I cannot begin to describe what it has been like living with Ruth. I think living with Ruth is experiencing Unconditional Love. We talk about such a love and we understand that God has such a love but Ruth is my flesh & bone, tangible expression of such an elusive concept. There is nothing I cannot tell her that would make her leave me. There has been nothing I have done which made her lose her love or respect of me. This kind of love is absolutely amazing. Few come near it while on this earth.
Living with Ruth has been a lesson in compassion but it has also been a fairly spellbinding, jaw-dropping encounter with a major talent. I stand in awe of her abilities and the free flow of creativity whenever we work on a play together. Browse through the gallery below and you will begin to see what it is like living with an elastic-faced, funny, witty and talented actress. What a ride it has been.
I have grown to love and depend on Ruth is such a way that it feels like she is part of my brain as well as my heart. We have experienced sad times, bad times, thin times, thick times, sickness, surgery, anger, quarrels and a thousand other events. Yet through it all I have come to depend upon her Goodness as a stable rock in the midst of a raging river. Needless to say... I am smitten. I love her much more today than I did twenty-six years ago. I love her much more because I explored deeper into this "universe" called Ruth. I am a happy man; a blessed man. Thank you, Ruth for living this very peculiar life with me.
January 26 will be a most special day for us and for Greensboro. We will have a Dinner Theatre of sorts. Most of you in Greensboro know about and have seen Josephus Thompson III. He is the only man I know who makes his living by doing poetry... and he does it well. Very well. When we first moved to Greensboro several people told us about Josephus and we couldn't wait to meet him. When we finally met, it was like a "match made in Heaven". We have been close friends and collaborators ever since. Josephus has been to almost every Grub and he performs each time. Audiences are amazed at his performance skills and the depth of his poetry. We are so proud to count him as our friend.
We are very excited to host Josephus in our home for a "paid Grub." Normally, we rely on donations for each Grub (suggested donation $10-$15). But there are times when we ask a fixed amount so we can pay the artist and as well as pay for the food. The paid Grub on January 26 will require each guest to donate a $20 flat fee.
If you have been to Greensboro Grub then you know that the food alone is worth $20... and that is the honest truth! So you will not only get value for your dollar on the food but will have the added pleasure of a one-hour, one-man show by Josephus, complete with band, singers and possibly a dancer. You will not want to miss this Grub.
Date: Thursday, January 26
Place: Charlie & Ruth Jones' Apartment
614 S. Elm St. • Greensboro, NC 27406
This year was another amazing season of joy & merriment as Peculiar People presented Victorian Christmas to our community in Greensboro.
This year brought many visitors (well over 500) to the Jones home for carols, Christmas goodies, Mulled Cider, Hot Chocolate and the most charming Christmas production in the State. This show is so much fun for us and the cast. By the way, this year's cast was a wonderful mix of personalities and voices. Lauren Smith, Jim White, Grayson Butler and us... Charlie & Ruth. Lauren has one of the most beautiful soprano voices we have ever heard. And Grayson brought the much needed harmony to our carols and songs. And we have had Jim White's voice in our shows for so long... we almost forget what a talent he is and how much he adds to every show. His voice is amazing. We so wish you all could have come to this marvelous show!
This was our fourth year of presenting Victorian Christmas and it has become quite a Christmas tradition. We have many people who have come all four years. They leave saying that it would not be Christmas without this show. We had folks almost in tears as they told us that the season had not been very joyful until they came to be with us... they said it made them "catch" the Christmas spirit again. In case you are unaware of what Victorian Christmas is, I will give a quick overview. As mentioned all guests are met on the street by our volunteer carolers dressed in period garb. (Carolers this year were not numerous and some nights we just had a greeter at the door - plus we excused carolers on nights of rain... I mean, we're not Scrooges, ya know!)
After climbing our steps guests are greeted by our butler who offers hot chocolate or mulled cider to warm them while our maid takes their wraps to the cloak room. Once in the door, guest are invited to roam our 5000 sq. ft. apartment to see the stunning Christmas decorations that Ruth has spent 3 weeks working on.
Then guests are directed to the dining room where a vast array of Christmas treats, goodies, candies, cheeses, egg nog, cakes and savory snacks await them. Once finished with the hors d'oeuvres, guests are directed to the "theater" where the play will be presented. As mentioned in the program, they are about to enter a time where there were no TV, radios, iPods, computers or cell phones. A time when people celebrated, not by stuffing themselves and then falling asleep in front of the TV, but rather this was a time when people prepared for days, weeks and even months to come together for special occasions... Christmas being the most special. GK Chesterton (our favorite man of all time) is used as the template for this show. The audience is taken to the living room of GK & Frances Chesterton to watch them and their guests celebrate Christmas by sharing the poetry, games, songs and stories that they have prepared for so many days beforehand to share. The audience is invited to participate in several festivities and some are even plucked from the audience and brought onstage! We invite you to scroll through the gallery of pictures and share a bit of our joy and satisfaction at presenting this gift to our city.