The year was 1972.
Among other memorable things, it was the year my coveted Crissy doll made it under the Christmas tree for me at my grandma’s farmhouse.
The world was introduced to the space shuttle and digital watches were bursting on the scene as I wore mine faithfully on my little wrist.
It was the year pant suits were top of the fashion ladder and found its way into my seven-year-old wardrobe sewn by my mom as she faithfully sewed all our clothes.
But what made 1972, specifically January of that year, most memorable for my young seven-year-old heart, was the promise of another annual trip on the infamous Greyhound Bus, scheduled to head to the big city of Winnipeg from my small town bus depot. It was a promised trip… a yearly trip I could count on that would continue for many years in my childhood.
It was a promise.
The excitement in my young Grandma’s eyes could be felt as me, my younger sister and my mom sat on the large, black, leather metal studded swivel bars stools at the breakfast counter at Pete’s Inn on Main Street which doubled as the Bus Depot.
My young heart fluttered with excitement as the enormous shape of the bus passed the large restaurant windows. As the door of our large chariot opened wide, inviting its passengers aboard the narrow metal steps, our quartet of three generations made it’s way down the narrow aisle.
Excited, I slid into a window seat as was promised by Grandma for the journey there. I settled in the rather enormous plush seat as I rested my little feet on the metal bar by the floor, my mom and my sister directly behind us. My eyes focussed on the wonders I saw outside that slanted bus window, even if it was just the Bus Depot at this moment… there was much more to come.
Our destination would include the sights and sounds of The Bay in downtown Winnipeg. My grandma’s excitement in her commentary on our journey took on a whole new air as she reflected on her teenage years, riding into the city and working as a young adult for a family in the 40s. I admired her much as I tried to think of living in another place other than my small safe town in my seven-year-old mind.
As our journey took us to the beautiful historic Hudson’s Bay, standing stoically in all its glory on Portage Avenue, beautiful window displays circling the ground floor store fronts, I held my grandma’s steady hand tightly as our quartet made our way strategically through the gold colour trimmed revolving doors built in November of 1926. The door sliding up behind me as I made it safely through, created a rush in my heart. The experience was so far from my small hometown everyday life.
As I write this, it dawns on me that now, just seven years short of a hundred years old, my grandmother was born just three years before the Hudson’s Bay was built. It all sounds a bit ludicrous and almost unbelievable as my mind still harbors a very young grandma in her forties as I continue to reflect on this story.
I continued to try matching my grandmother’s steps as she knew the way to the coveted Paddlewheel restaurant in the basement level of the Hudson’s Bay. What a treat. Rounding the corner into the expansive restaurant, my eyes fell on The wonder of the wooden Paddle Wheel surrounded by a large mural depicting older days of Manitoba in the farthest corner.
My mouth watered at the anticipation and the coming visual of all the wonderful sandwiches, cakes and pies sitting behind the slanted clear glass…a glass of Coke included of course. Such special treats for a special day. It was almost too much from my little heart,
But a promise is a promise,
and our annual Hudson’s Bay trip had happened again…as promised.
After filling ourselves with a delightful lunch, our day pointed us to the third level of the grand store where my Mom and Grandma took in the sales of the housewares, perhaps some new dishes needing to be purchased.
Then lastly, my long-awaited trip to the second floor where everything a child could ever want lived. It was where my coveted Crissy doll had lived on the shelf before my grandmother had lovingly handpicked; rescued it for to be my Christmas gift the year before. My little heart could hardly stand it all.
As the 70s Greyhound made it’s way back to my then little sleepy town at the end of a long day, I wished the long-awaited for-day wouldn’t end. But knowing that a year from now our yearly Hudson’s Bay trip would happen again, I was satisfied… because,
A promise was a promise.
And so it is in the promises God gives us as I’ve experienced in my life now almost 50 years after those coveted annual Greyhound trips. I’ve come to realize my God has promises He says He will keep.
1John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
I experienced this promise at the tender age of 11, tucked under my blanket covers in the dark of night in all my fears. I believe He will keep His promise.
Years later, I experienced the words of Deuteronomy 31:8…
“The lord himself goes before you and will be with you He will never leave you or forsake you.”
I know beyond a shadow He has done this for me in the mountains and valleys of my life, and above all has never…will never… forsake me…
that’s a promise.
If I can believe a human such as my grandma whom I love so much, I can believe the promise of my God of the universe… The God of my heart.
The Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces…Isaiah 25:8
What a promise. Many a tear will have been collected in His bottles of tears…never to be shed again.
“In my Father’s house there are many mansions, I’m going to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me forever.”
I harbor many wonderful memories in my heart of my childhood and years later, but the Promises of God, which are many, have walked me through 54 years of life thus far and I look forward to the day I can throw my arms around my mom and my grandma with no tears …only joy! when I go to that place He has prepared for me along with all those that become His children, because…
A promise is a promise♥️