Reflections from Vacation

It’s good to get away.

We have just returned home on Labor Day, having been out of town for a good week and a half. We traveled nearly 2000 miles on this trip, thankfully on the last leg during the recent hike in gas prices (which is really a small concern in comparison to the tragedy of Katrina and the aftermath). I pretty drained at the beginning of our vacation time which started on August 24th. It’s not really vacation, which makes me think of a trip to Disney world or the beach, but time off and away. This came after not having a secretary for about a month and a half, followed by three weeks of vacation by the Sr. Pastor. So, I was glad for the time off and away.

Our first leg was from Norfolk to Knoxville, the longest single drive (9 hours), on Thursday. The kids did very well in the car, maybe the best of all of the drives. Driving can be a real challenge with the two little ones, particularly when they both get going. They don’t know to ask “are we there yet?” at this point, but we certainly here from them when they want or need something. We had a very nice stay in Knoxville, enjoying the company of family (my dad’s side). We attended a family reunion/brunch on Saturday morning. I also found a great used bookstore in Knoxville buying several books and 3 cd’s. A great way to spend some birthday money. Here is what I bought:
–> Walking the Bible, Bruce Feiler, hb ($4)
–> Looking for God in Harry Potter, John Granger, hb ($3). I wouldn’t have bought this one without the recommendation of my friend Willy. I started reading this last night.
–> Being Human, Ranald MacAuley& Jerram Barrs, pb ($3). Jerram was a professor of mine at Covenant Theological Seminary.
–>Churches that Make A Difference, Ronald Sider, et al,pb ($5).
–>Parenting the Strong-Willed Child, Forehand & Long ,pb ($.75). If your curious, we are pretty sure we have one of these.
–>2 more books that I can’t t remeber the titles of…one by Peter Kreeft and one by Henri Nouwen. Both were small paperbacks and cost around $1.
–>Dive & Fly, Jennifer Daniels, cd ($.68). The cost is so low because the disc is suppose to be scratched, but I had no problems the first time through. Singer-songwriter.
–>Flower of Avalon, Tracy Grammer, cd ($3.95). I was excited to find this, as I had just recently listened to some of this disc at a Borders.
–>Knife Edge, Brooks Williams, cd ($4.95). Folky blues; bluesy folk. I have another CD by him.

Saturday afternoon we headed for Athens, GA. The car ride could have been worse, but it could have been better. It’s hard to avoid traffic when you have to go through Atlanta to get somewhere. In Athens, we wanted to see old friends and attend church at the church I worked at while finishing college and a few years after. We were able to stay with Lydia’s brother and spend a little time with him as well. It was fun to be back in “Athenstown”. The last part of my birthday from Lydia was to replace my UGA shirt. Done. I’m ready for a new football year.

Monday afternoon we drove to Dahlonega, GA to stay with my father and stepmother. We spent the most of our time there, which was a blessing. I get tired of the unload/reload part of traveling when we go on these type trips to see family. We’ve always packed a lot of stuff, but it is ten times as much with the children (strollers, clothes, pack-n-plays, diapers & wipes, high chairs/seats, etc…). I did buy another book during the week at a book outlet near where my dad and stepmother. I found Dorothy Sayer’s Letters to a Diminished Church ($5, pb). Began reading a little…she is such a strong and passionate writer…a very talented lady indeed. Helped my dad around the house during the week and mostly relaxed. My niece who is between our kids in age seemed a little scared by our children, especially when they wrestle with each other on the floor. It can be pretty funny to watch, but she wasn’t sure what to think of their shenanigans. It was fun to see them all together.

On Friday went to a Braves game with my brother. We had a great time as we got to see the Braves win. A couple of things struck me while we were there:
1) The world’s largest High-Definition screen at Turner Field (72′ by 51′). It is incredible to see this thing and I found myself distracted by it to some degree because of its size and clarity.
2) I was saddened that we find it so easy to pay $4.50 for water (or coke in my case) at baseball games, when people were literally dying of thirst in New Orleans or other areas. Our consumerism knows no bounds and I am guilty as much as the next guy.

On Saturday, my love for college football was renewed with a full slate of games, including Georgia beating up Boise State.

We left for home on Sunday morning, stopping in Raleigh to break up our drive time a little bit (Dahlonega to Norfolk is around 10 hours). We also enjoyed seeing Lydia’s family and had a good time there. I got to play frisbee golf on Labor Day with Lydia’s sister’s boyfriend. First time I had played in a long time and the first time with real frisbee golf disc ever. That was fun even if I was sore the next day. We drove home Monday afternoon the short three hour trip (feels longer with the children). I’m glad that we had Tuesday to take care of some much needed errands (groceries) and work (laundry, mowing lawn, etc) and I was glad to get back to work today.

It’s good to be home.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by W Sofield on September 8, 2005 at 11:50 am

    Sounds like a good “vacation.” I’m looking forward to interacting with you on the Granger book. I’ve not read it, yet.

    I’ve been thinking about you recently, glad to hear from you.


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