Cape Charles Day 2: End Road Work/GDSWORK by Bill Pike

Our almost two year old granddaughter seems to have an internal alarm clock like me, her grandfather. She is consistently an early riser with 5:45 her target.

This morning, she gave her parents an extra five minutes. I must have been tired. I didn’t hear her.

I rushed my packing for this trip and realized my running shoes were still in our bedroom closet back in Richmond. I had worn on the drive down my previous pair of very tired running shoes that I still wear for my YMCA workouts. I wanted to get in a run while here, so I decided to gamble that the old shoes still had enough support to let me amble out of the neighborhood.

A few minutes after 7, I was on my way headed toward 184. My goal was to run into town and back. Yesterday, it appeared to be a doable route. As I started lifting my feet and legs, I quickly felt the early morning heat and humidity. The sun was behind me, but it was up, and it rays were already starting to bake the atmosphere.

Out on 184, there was a good bike lane that allowed me to run facing the oncoming traffic. A number of cars must have realized a senior citizen was out for a jog as they gave me a wide berth when they whizzed pass me.


I barely noted on my left the framed shell of an old brick building that summer vegetation was doing its best to conceal. Railroad tracks also paralleled on my left side. Weeds and grass along the track’s bed had been treated with chemicals to push back their growth. The treatment worked as the foliage had turned from green to a faded tan.

A chubby farm dog wove in and out of soybean rows near the side of the roadway on my right. I guess the sound of a passing car kept him from joining me.

As I slogged along, a bright orange, End Road Work sign was posted on the right shoulder of the road. Within a few steps of passing that sign, a car passed me with a license plate— GDSWORK. My feeble brain matter interpreted those letters into God’s Work.

Crepe myrtles continued to make their presence known. One farm lane had a spectacular line of crepe myrtles on both sides with their rich, blushing pink extending as far as I could see.


As I neared town, the speed limit had dropped to 25. Since I was barely moving at turtle pace, I had no worries about receiving a Bernard P. Fife citation for speeding.

Most of the store fronts were quiet, a couple had some coffee activity. I worked my way along the street where the beach front starts. Sand dunes with designated pedestrian access split the sandy mounds. To the credit of the town of Cape Charles, there is no parking fee for beach access, and the town even provides a blanket state saltwater fishing license for all anglers on the town’s fishing pier.

I made the right turn that would take me back to 184. This street revealed block after block of all sorts of houses. Nifty exteriors showcased an array of colors combined with attractive landscaping creating a pleasant environment. Also sprinkled along this route were churches. Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, and Baptist were among the denominations represented.

With the town line fading behind me, I chugged even slower along 184.  A butterfly fluttered in front of me heading across the roadway. I wondered if it could dodge the grills of passing cars.

As I moved eastward, the beaming sun’s heat was in collusion with the humidity and dew point. Shady spots were sparse. I kept hoping my left turn was around the next bend.

Along the road’s shoulder, scattered pieces from someone’s fender bender caught my eye as did the faded wooden top from a bushel basket. I guess out here that basket might have held crabs or vegetables.

No dry spot appeared anywhere on my body, my eyes scanned further ahead. Like a child on a long family road trip, my mind was calling out, “Are we there yet?”

I thought about the End Road Work sign and the license plate I had seen earlier GDSWORK. Made me think for a moment—unlike the road work project that eventually comes to an end, our runs in life with God are always a work in progress.

That license plate had it right, I am God’s Work. Apparently, on this sweltering morning, God’s not willing to leave me on the roadside as a collapsed puddle of nothing. I reckon He’s not finished with me yet as the left turn for Plum Tree Road finally shows up.

No matter where we are in life, God, if we let him is always at work in us.

2 thoughts on “Cape Charles Day 2: End Road Work/GDSWORK by Bill Pike”

  1. Bill, your gentle observations of everyday life are a balm and a lesson that God’s love can be found anywhere and everywhere. Please keep the lovely prose coming. John Hoke


    1. John, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. Thanks for taking the time to read this piece. I hope you are hanging in there too, and I hope you are finding a way to do some writing also. Be safe and thanks, Bill


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