Today's Dentistry

Steady As She Goes

When I was a boy, my grandfather had a great love for sailing. He had two boats that I can remember and several others before my time. While he was still working as a structural engineer in St. Louis, I remember seeing his boat “Fantasy” parked behind his home. I never recall ever being on that boat, I only recall his second boat, “Reality.” We took trips to Kentucky Lake to sail with him and grandmother. I still hadn’t yet learned to swim and remember having a life jacket and a ski belt preserver for my flotation. There was a small cove we would anchor in and play. He and grandmother moved to Florida in the late 80’s and I recall stories of them sailing up the east coast of the US. We went to visit them in Florida several times. I remember it being very, very, hot! Grandfather served as an Ensign in the US Navy. My brother Blake also served in the Navy and continues to work in Washington D.C. using the skills he learned stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan and in England.

You might be interested to know the term “steady as she goes” is the instruction given to the helmsman of a ship from the captain. It references the onward progression of the vessel on course regardless of the wind, cross currents or storms that may arise. During the recent COVID-19 outbreak, our office has been greatly affected. Due to recommendations by state, and national government as well as the American Dental Association, to only see patients on an emergency basis, we have effectively been forced to reduce our hours and staff during this crisis. It is a time of great uncertainty.

While the office has been a part of the Ashland community for years, I of course am a new business owner and this has been a completely unforeseen scenario. There certainly are many businesses in town that are feeling the same insecurity about what the future holds.

My wife and I were discussing the next steps and reminiscing how we have weathered the first year. Next time you stop by, ask and I’ll be happy to share, but suffice it to say, it has had highs and lows. More highs than lows, but right now, this is the lowest low we’ve experienced. However, we are not depressed, worried or anxious. We have faith that we are where we are supposed to be, and that we, and the office, will survive this trial. We remarked how we would be much more anxious if we had not experienced the previous lows, and that it has almost prepared us for this.

Most of the big decisions in our lives have been made with honest and heartfelt prayer to God for direction. Usually, we don’t have a “Paul” moment where the heavens are opened and we know which way our path should go, rather we have small inspiration from time to time that has led and guided us one step at a time. Once, I remember asking in my mind, “God, why don’t you just show me the whole path, instead of just a little at a time?” The next thought wasn’t mine, but it was clear, “Because, you wouldn’t come to me as often for answers to your questions.” I believe that we can each receive personal direction from God that can give us peace and hope and keep us steadily progressing towards our goal. My hope is that we may all remain steady and commit to helping those around us that may be struggling at this time.


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Dr. James Burneson

Our practice is working together to realize a shared vision of uncompromising excellence in dentistry.

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