By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
FMCA National President
Last month, I mentioned the beautiful locale I was in when I wrote the column for the magazine and said, “So, let’s see where our travels will take us at the time of the writing of next month’s column for the December issue.”
Well, the place where I find myself at the time of this writing is not as visually appealing, but it is impressive, nonetheless. I am at our offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, the hub and nerve center of our organization, the place where it all comes together — the services provided to our members; the publishing of our informational monthly magazine, Family Motor Coaching; and many more activities that affect our members on a daily basis and keep us in the communication loop among our family members throughout the year.
The month of December not only brings the end of the magnificent color displays put on by the foliage throughout most of the continent but also brings a time of reflection about our past. December launched some very trying times in the middle of the 20th century — a world war that involved our continent, when both the United States and Canada stood shoulder-to-shoulder to overcome this challenge to our freedoms. I’m referring to December 7, 1941.
December also brings a close to our current year, 2012, with holidays and celebrations. No matter what your beliefs, the holiday season is one of good cheer, happiness, forgiveness, and optimism for the coming New Year. We have much to be thankful for. We have come through some very trying times over the past few years, but all indications are that the worst is behind us. The RV industry, which we are closely tied to, is showing positive signs in the delivery of new recreation vehicles. Perhaps you have been lucky enough to be able to put one under your tree for Christmas. Another great gift idea is to give a Family Motor Coach Association membership to someone you know who has recently purchased a motorhome and begun to enjoy the motorhome lifestyle.
Two years ago, I included in my December column a poem that I had written the morning after an early snow before we had time to pack and head south for the winter. It says a lot about our unique opportunity to witness such beauty through the advantage we have of traveling in a motorhome, or just enjoying the motorhome lifestyle in late fall or early winter. I thought I would share it again here.
Peace On Earth
Snowflakes flutter in breathless air,
And settle down without a care
Upon the brown and tarnished leaves,
Which form a carpet ‘neath the trees.
Soon all is covered in sable white,
There’s not a sound on this cold night.
Save the swish of falling snow
On a golden patch of window glow.
The barn and shed take on a look,
Of buildings from a fairy book.
The rocky lane, to yonder pond,
Is smooth to there, and far beyond.
The pine tree limbs so gently bow,
Beneath the press of falling snow.
They wear this mantle, newly found,
As if it were a whipped cream crown.
The birds are tucked in silently
To sleep in safety, in the trees.
Protected from the icy night,
No need to hurry into flight.
And all across this fairy land,
The fields, the hills, where pine trees stand.
The quiet of this winter’s night,
Brings peace on earth by morning light.
© 2000 C.M. Schrenkel
Finally, while attending the Eastern Area Rally — commonly known as G.E.A.R. — in York, Pennsylvania, this past October, I saw this phrase written in a local restaurant. I do not know the author. If anyone does, please let me know so I may give him or her credit. “Of all the ships I ever sailed, ‘Friend Ships’ brought me to the safest harbors.” And so it is with Family Motor Coach Association. Throughout my membership in our great association, I have had the pleasure of entering many, many safe harbors.
Happy holidays to all, and to my Family of Friends, Merry Christmas!
Safe and healthy travels.
Join us as we travel back in time and reflect on 50 years of FMCA fun and friendships in honor of FMCA’s golden anniversary in 2013. Longtime FMCA members are invited to contact us by e-mail or postal mail and share their favorite memories for possible publication in FMC magazine and online at FMCA.com. We would welcome anecdotes from past chapter rallies, area rallies, or conventions; stories about an FMCA member who made an impact; or tales of your early motorhome travels. They can be funny, surprising, touching, or simply nostalgic. If you have photos you’d like to share, please do (prints sent by mail will be returned).
Please direct your stories and photos to FMC editor Robbin Gould, FMC Magazine, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Allow Extra Time For Delivery Of January Issue Of FMC
Since the January issue is dropped into the postal system close to the Christmas holiday, it ends up in the mix of holiday mail, and delivery also can be impacted by the Christmas and New Year holiday closures of the United States Postal Service. So, please allow extra time for this particular issue of the magazine to reach you. If you still do not have your copy by January 15, feel free to contact the Member Services staff at the national office (email@example.com; 513-474-3622 or 800-543-3622) to verify your address and request a replacement copy if needed.