Ten Years From Now

Ten Years From Now

Eric Anderson

Kelsey Workman wants to know what I will be doing ten years from now. That’s the assignment the editor of Mizpah, Southwestern’s annual, gave to everybody.


God willing (or “if time should last”), I hope to be living in a cottage next door to my oldest son. It’s a sturdy little house with a stone fireplace and a beautiful view of a quiet agricultural valley and the hills beyond.

I want to spend a lot of time with Huck, my oldest grandson, who will be 13 by then. I will have given him my antique “boy’s rifle” and we can shoot at creative targets on the neighbor’s expansive property. I expect that I will have read to him (and his brother Viggo) The Hobbit and all the Narnia stories. I can take the grandchildren (who knows how many there will be by 2021) for a ride in my 16-year old, “classic” red convertible.

I anticipate that the cottage will be filled with books. I can see myself sitting in a big easy chair trying to read Democracy in America in French or finally reading every word in Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, or fondling my soft leather-bound 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, while Loretta interrupts with ever more urgent gardening projects. We might turn the old shed into a comfortable study and I could work on writing another book, perhaps this time a novel instead of a work of history. (What about a roman á clef about the secrets of a small evangelical university somewhere in the great Southwest?)

I will have a closet full of suits and shirts with French cuffs—duds that I will seldom wear ten years from now. Maybe I will teach a course or two at the nearby college and would dress up for class time. (Students would be intrigued, perhaps, by their gray and curmudgeonly teacher, who laughs at the wrong things and neglects popular culture, unless it’s the popular culture of the 1960s or the 1890s).

We might do a bit of traveling, visiting old friends scattered around the globe, or checking up on the second son, who will be teaching, no doubt, in some part of the country with good restaurants. The trips would be short, and we would always look forward to getting back to the cottage.

Loretta and I will sit by the fireplace, no doubt, and think about God’s blessings, especially during those intensely interesting years in Keene. In the way of old people, we will probably repeat ourselves a lot. Almost every week, we’ll shake our heads and say, “God certainly surprised us.”

That’s what I might be doing ten years from now. Unless God has other plans.

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