“The Marathon Runner,”

A Tribute to Uncle Hans.

By Nephew Ronald Ginther

South Norton had a little house,

That I recall would squeeze a mouse.

You stoop inside if you’re five feet,

But lower ceilings keep the heat.

In front there is a token lawn--

Imagine, Niagara Falls turned to a pond!

A table where four dolls can sit!

Your elbows knock in a close fit!

One bathroom, two by four, in inches,

A “throne” made so small, it pinches!

A couple closets across a hall

Where two beds wedge between each wall.

(And don’t forget, there is a tree,

It’s name, I think, is Mulberry.

Aunt Lulu liked to make some jam,

which ought to complement baked ham.)

They built these homes round World War II,

And yet they stand to 2002!

Whate’er they lack in space or flair,

It’s clear they take the years’ worst wear.

Bigger houses come and go,

But time for this home is no foe.

With fresh new paint laid on the trim,

The dear, old house looks bright, not grim.

They may not build this way again,

The builder’s gone, who knew how then.

What we get is slap and dash,

As contractors race for the cash.

They take no joy in what they do,

With pride in work to reward you.

The reason why things used to last?

Because of values in the past!

What’s here today falls down tomorrow—

It should be plain what is the moral.

We’ve our of touch with deeper things,

The kind the Word of God still brings.

If you don’t know, then look at Hans

For reasons why his house still stands!

His family knows his love and care,

And sense of humor now so rare!

He’s never changed his way each year,

Not like some who slip a gear.

Married men sneak out the door,

Not satisfied, they must seek more!

Chasing youthful thrills soon spent,

With double lives, just like Clark Kent!

They just can’t see, life’s not that way.

The self deny, or you will pay.

How happy can such people be

Who treat their loved ones selfishly?

Loved in turn, my uncle’s one

Who’s proved his worth in all he’s done.

He’s loved his wife and family

Since ’42 or ’43.

A marathon is a long run,

That goes from dawn to setting sun.

In the same way Hans Spilde raced

Most steadily through all he faced.

He kept right on, come rain or snow,

And now he’s nigh where winners go.

Hans & Alida Spilde by the Gospel Sign near a Public Road They Helped Sponsor

Note: The Apostle Paul the Marathon Runner of Faith has this to say toward the end of his long race: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will give me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”—II Timothy 4: 7, 8

A Partial List of Godly Qualities and Character Traits Found in Uncle Hans That Men Used to Build Into Their Life Houses: Diligence, Courage, Duty, Endurance, Faith, Fruitfulness, Godliness, Faithfulness, Contentment, Honesty, Honor, Kindness, Labor, Love, Overcoming Spirit, Resolution, Reverence, Righteousness, Sincerity, Forgiveness, Steadfastness, Temperance, Trust, and Truth!

A Personal Reminiscence: Back in the Fifties, I was a 15 year old on my way to my first year as a sophomore at the Academy. I stopped at the Spildes and immediately got the terrible Asian flu. It was a good thing I came a week early, for I was laid up the whole time before school started. During that ordeal Uncle Hans nursed me back to life—-fixing me fantastic meals. He then drove me to the Academy and a new life there began for me. There, amidst the encouraging Christian environment, I asked Jesus into my heart (and He came in as my Lord and Savior!). Thank you, Uncle Hans! I’ll always remember what you did for me.

Change must inevitably come, even after so many years the same: Dear Lulu has moved to a lovely retirement home with others, and the little house on South Norton is passing to other hands and another family.

Final update: Now in 2014, Aunt Lulu and Uncle Hans are both in heaven, reunited with loved ones, basking in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father and the Spirit of God and all the angels! The little house on South Norton is no more, alas, as it has gone the way of "progress" and "expansion" of the nearby college campus, that purchased the property and put a parking lot there for overflow cars and visitors. But our memories are more lasting! And we who remember these godly examples of lives lived for Jesus, have a treasure nobody and not even Time can take away.--Ed.

Hans & Alida Spilde knew and faithfully practiced the godly, Biblical, Jesus-loving-and-serving way that leads away from the World's Snares of Materialism and Self-Indulgence through the Cross-Shadowed Gate of Blessing:

"You will show me the path of life;

in Your presence is fullness of Joy;

at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."--Ps. 16:11

For more tributes to the Spildes:

Tributes Central Page

The Buffalo Mound Home Page

Plain View Heritage Farm Home Pages: The Introductory (or Front Door)

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