Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: TOURIST ATTRACTION(S) (natural or man-made) (08/06/15)
- TITLE: The Wonder of Warwick Castle
By Trudy Newell
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Our group gasped at the first sight of Warwick Castle. Some of us had been there before, but against a blue sky dotted with clouds the Castle cast a spell all its own.
We would spend the day at Warwick Castle and Stratford-on-Avon.
Ministry was over. Time for a break. Everyone needed it. The short-term team from Canada and the lone stranger from California had worked hard. The kids at the holiday clubs were responsive to the Word of God. I was the lone single missionary lady on a team working among Hindus.
That morning when we loaded into the van, I found myself sitting next to David.
What a boner!
It seemed that David was always there. He had only been in England two weeks. Why couldn’t I get him out of my mind or out of my heart? The feeling was mutual, but both of us were afraid to do anything about it. What would distract a group of teenage girls from ministry more than a budding romance? I wasn’t sure it was a budding romance. So I decided to forget the electricity in the air.
Marie, you aren’t a teenager, act your age! I was in my fifties, and really didn’t have the time and energy for romance. I wanted to stay focused, and do the work God had called me to do.
Our supervisor, John, called us together.
“Stay in groups of at least two. Meet for lunch at the entrance to the rose garden at noon.”
The group started to scatter. David looked at me with a smile.
“You’ve been to Warwick Castle before; you can be my guide.”
The two girls staying with me split. So much for my offer to take them around the Castle.
As David and I wandered through the castle basement, we found a coffee shop. For the first time we sat down together and talked for over an hour. What in the world was in that coffee? By the time we left, my heart was doing flip flops. Warwick Castle has a dungeon, and we poked our head in there as well.
We headed to the rose garden. David went with the fellows and got the lunch from the van. Soon we were all seated together enjoying the fragrance of the roses and the beauty of the garden.
When lunch was over we discussed our next plan of action. We’d stay at Warwick until three, then meet at the van and head to Stratford-on-Avon. David wanted clarification.
“John, that’s three p.m. at the van?”
“Marie and I will meet you there.” Everyone did a double take as he lifted me up from the ground and we walked off hand in hand.
As we explored the castle, the eighteenth-century charm captivated us. For the first time, but not the last, serious thoughts of marrying David danced in my head. I loved the realistic wax figures of yesteryear, including a young Winston Churchill in the library. Live period characters explained various aspects of life at Warwick. Our hearts were knit together.
Lunch had been sparse, so we grabbed a snack on the way to the reenactment of a sword fight. We explored the towers. Oh no! Time was running out, so we headed to the van.
In a wonderful way God worked. In four days David returned to his ministry in California. We had an e-mail romance. Three weeks later he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.
We were married, and returned to minister in England the next year. During our eight years there we visited Warwick Castle often, and reminisced as we sipped coffee at our booth in the basement of Warwick Castle.
Once we visited Warwick with the best man at our wedding and his wife. We shared coffee together at our booth. The cups were small, and as in most tourist places, the price expensive. Don wanted another cup.
“Don,” David laughed, “in this country you pay for each cup.”
Our extravert friend walked up to the counter. We watch as he tried to talk the cashier into another cup of coffee. I had a hard time keeping a straight face. Our storybook romance did not impress him one bit. We had our second cup of coffee, and paid for it like everyone else. The wonder of Warwick Castel was no match to the frugal British spirit.
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