Bounds' secluded farm offers spiritual sanctuary, support


November 28, 1996|By Judy Reilly | Judy Reilly,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ANYONE DRIVING past expansive northwest Carroll farmland can imagine the peace and serenity that occurs when visiting a secluded Carroll farm on a cold autumn day.

I invited myself into the home of Bob and Connie Bounds to learn about their farming operation, experience farmhouse atmosphere, and learn about the spiritual sanctuary they've created on their property.

When we first moved to Carroll, I had heard about the Bounds, the spirit of generosity and tradition of "neighboring" in Uniontown. Bounds would plow gardens for neighbors who wanted to live the country life, and one summer had lent his land to community gardeners who grew vegetables for a Carroll County food bank.

A few years ago, Bounds and members of his congregation, New Life Four Square Church in Westminster, cleared a wooded site on the Bounds' property. The site became an outdoor cathedral used for meditation and informal worship services.

When weather permits, church members and neighbors meet in the outdoor wooded sanctuary.

Bounds often goes there alone to meditate.

Bob, Connie, and their three teen-age children grow hundreds of acres of soybeans, corn and wheat and tend a herd of cattle. Farming is one of Bob's callings.

"Every time I thought about getting out of it," he said, "I wound up doubling my acres."

Now is the slow time for farmers, a time to maintain equipment, work on buildings and perform home repairs that were put off during the round-the-clock growing season.

For Bounds, it's also a time of reflection and more opportunity to open his home to others. His house is the weekly meeting place for a group of people who provide friendship and support for each other.

This week, the group's Thanksgiving Eve service was held in the Bounds' living room.

For Thanksgiving, Bob will forego the rabbit hunting he has done with his mother, Lou Stem Hoover, every Thanksgiving Day for the past 50 years -- she's in the hospital recovering from surgery; Bob is recovering from a broken hip.

Judging from the warmth of the farmhouse, with its well-used wood box next to the fireplace, dozing animals, pictures of children everywhere, a living room wall plastered with get-well cards, and a sanctuary over the hill, the Bounds will celebrate Thanksgiving pictured in Norman Rockwell paintings.

Bounds sums up his thanks: "Enjoyment of life is being satisfied with what you've been called to do."

Annual Christmas Mart

Yvonne Stultz has been a member of Union Bridge Fire Auxiliary for 42 years; her auxiliary is a group of about 20 women who cook for community functions held at the fire hall.

These women feed local Lions at their meetings and flip pancakes for breakfasts. They feed hundreds of people.

On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., the women will hold their annual Christmas Mart to raise funds for the fire company. The mart, in its 10th year, has gained momentum and is an all-day production of home cooking, baked goods, crafts from Maryland and Pennsylvania artists and a visit from Santa.

Information: 775-2757.

Pub Date: 11/28/96

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