About Chuck and Lorretta

The Treasures and Pleasures in our Old Cedar Chest

The photo you are seeing is the antique cedar chest standing squarely at the end of our bed.  This antique chest belonged to Lorretta’s mother, Mrs. Maude Southard Barrett.  She gave it to Lorretta shortly after we were married.  The cedar chest came into the family when Lorretta’s mother was a young woman living in Northern Florida.

Within that antique chest, is a collection of treasures and pleasures unknown to the world.   As we open the chest, and begin to sort through the material, we are amazed at what has found its way into the grand storage of that magic box. There are legal papers, photos, letters, some choice trinkets and even some old books.  The treasure, to us, is priceless!

We extract an item, hold it in our hands and find ourselves transported back into a segment of our lives that may bring a laugh, or a tear, or a sigh, or just a silent shaking of our heads.  Very few people would understand the meaning of that old fountain pen, but I can see it moving across the paper in my grandfather’s rough hands, and watch him dip the point (the nib) into the small bottle of Waterman’s Ink sitting on the crowded corner of his desk.


We invite you to sit with us…

Upon further exploration, we find the treasure of the reward Lorretta received for her participation in the all-city orchestra as first violinist.  As we hold that paper, our memory takes us through the hours of practice and the multiple performances in places where Lorretta played her violin. That instrument, purchased by her mother when Lorretta was ten years of age, has blessed the lives of all who heard it played by Lorretta.  Our Lord allowed Lorretta’s fingers to do the walking on those strings for over 70 years! We still hear the music.  We smile at the memories and dig deeper into the treasures of the old cedar chest.


Our intention for this Blog is for it to be our invitation for you to sit with us as we open the “blog/cedar chest of our lives”.  We hope you are able to extract from it the treasures and pleasures of the various stories, events and tales inserted, through the years, into our lives and ministries.   This insertion occurred in some very curious and interesting villages, cities and nations found “across the pond”.  You will see and meet in its pages, the events and people from Russia, Romania, Albania, Lithuania and even the USA.

Perhaps you will find yourself touched and affected by the unbelievable and/or the ridiculous. You may even be tempted to smile or laugh out-loud.  That is O.K. We did that many times during the three years we lived and traveled in Russia and Romania.

We recorded the stories, told us…

You will find stories recorded here, told to us by the people who experienced first-hand the crushing, iron fist of communism.  You will hear about places we visited and feel the fears we experienced as you extract them from our treasure and pleasure chest blog.  You will read about “the serious”, the “not so serious” and the “not serious at all” stories.  You will also discover situations and events, which are only explainable by the involvement of our sovereign an powerful, all knowing, all loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory forever and forever!

We lived the events written on these pages and wrote them in our journal, soon after they happened, so as not to lose their affect and effect on our lives.  We recorded the stories told us, but we were not always able to check their authenticity.

People, having lived behind the Iron Curtain, were very careful with their words, their eyes often speaking more clearly than their story.  Some were fearful of questions, so we did not ask questions!  However, the words they spoke were written down as close as possible to what they told us.

We are sorry that we are not able to provide you with a “scratch and sniff” experience. That would have brought you into the real life of the meat markets, street kiosks and trolley buses of the world.


We lived, and shopped, and ministered, and walked… there!   

Travel with us as you help us open and unpack this treasure chest BLOG.

We hope that you will see that, 

“His footsteps” became “our pathway”. (Ps. 85:15).