Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Remember your childhood dreams of getting out of the life you were living? Going to the big city, or the dream job, or the perfect life that you could accomplish, if only….? That’s exactly what Catherine Grace Cline does, dream. She and her sister spend every Saturday during the 1970’s sitting at the Dairy Queen talking and planning Catherine Grace’s big escape from Ringgold, Georgia, the smallest of small towns, population 1,923 and only one traffic light. She had bigger plans for her life than to be the wife of a farmer and grow tomatoes. And to top things off, Catherine Grace’s father is the preacher at the Baptist Church and raising his two daughters on his own. Believing in God and knowing what her father had taught her, she also prayed everyday for God to take her out of Ringgold.
Every detail of Catherine Grace’s moving to Atlanta after her high school graduation was planned out and working in perfect order. But even the most perfect plan always has a few twist and turns. There is Hank, her father and sister being left behind, and the lack of funding for the move. But neighbor and longtime family friend, Gloria Jean Graves, steps in and helps Catherine Grace live out her dream. She moves to Atlanta, gets a great job and is even next in line for a promotion, but tragedy calls her back to Ringgold. When Catherine Grace returns, life as she had dreamed would never be the same. But in dealing with this tragedy and the other surprising events that occur, Catherine Grace begins to realize she was living out the wrong dream. She was trying to escape the one place and the people who really were her dream life.
It took tragedy for Catherine Grace to realize her blessings. Sometimes we don’t realize the true blessings that surround us. In reading this wonderful story, I was reminded that I should not always pray for more, I should look at the blessings that God has already given to me. Although “Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen” is a work of Fiction, it could have been true, and spoke to me just as if it was a testimony for life.