17 April 2010

Thoughts During A 13-Hour Day

Yesterday, April 16, 2010, at 6:15 a.m., I left our house in Jasper, Indiana for a 5-hour drive to Jackson, Tennessee, to attend the funeral of my second cousin, Larry Joseph Ross. We called Larry "Uncle Larry Joe" because he was like a brother to my father in almost every way a brother can be a brother short of living with him day in and day out. Typically, I don't make a drive that far for a funeral of a relative because of timing or whatever but I had the opportunity to make it so I made it. But because of my dad's close relationship to Larry Joe and how hard this hit him, I made the trip. Here are some thoughts from that whirlwind trip.

- A 13-hour day of 90% driving is a long day, especially in a suit and dress shoes.
- My youngest daughter, Gabrielle, turns 5 today (April 17). She asked for ONE thing for her birthday - a Toy Story Cowgirl Jesse talking doll. Of course, we waited too long and when we went to get it, it was nowhere to be found in town. So, I stopped at 4 Wal-Mart stores and one Toys R Us along the way and back. I finally found it in Benton, KY. I know I looked like a fool after thrusting my arms in the air (while being the only guy in this Benton, KY. Wal-Mart wearing both a nice black suit and an Atlanta Braves baseball cap) but I didn't care. I found it. I sure hope Gabrielle likes it. :-)
- Note to churches re: church signs. Please, stop with the cornball sayings.
- Speaking of churches, I saw a few Primitive Baptist churches along the way. Dubois County has no such thing, I'm pretty sure. ;-)
- I saw a literal representation of Proverbs 7 at the Biker Leather (club, bar, store, I don't know exactly what it is) outside Bradford, TN. A girl dressed like a Proverbs 7 woman outside waving a sign and waving her arms for cars to pull in. I guess it's a bonus that the first thing I thought of was Proverbs 7.
- Nearby, a chain link fence corners off a little area with a huge sign proclaiming "Welcome to the South." Inside the chain link pen-like thing is a bunch of dog "houses." Looked like Michael Vick's house, really.
- Despite the previous two things (because there are idiots everywhere, not just the South), I felt a strong sense of connection as I drove through West Tennessee. I'm not a big believer in pseudo-spriritual mumbo-jumbo when it comes to that kind of stuff but that's the only word I can use to describe the feeling. No matter where God puts me in my life on earth, that area will always be "home." It was such a strong feeling yesterday that it kind of took me back. I wasn't sure what to do with that feeling. Milan, Medina, Jackson, Tennessee have a special place in my heart. So many memories of trips to my grandparents house in Jackson rushed back. It was kind of overwhelming for a minute.
- People in Western Kentucky and West Tennessee are WAY more polite (for the most part) than people here. Sorry to all my friends here above the Mason-Dixon, but that's the truth. I found myself instantly reverting to "yes, ma'am" when talking to an elderly lady at the McDonald's in Milan, TN. The greeters at all the Wal-Mart stores I stopped at actually did their job and greeted me (and smiled and acted like they meant it). The lone exception being the Wal-Mart worker in Jackson who did not want to help me in any way. Even driving, people let me in and waved back when I waved at them to thank them. It's the simple things, folks.
- Southern accents are awesome.
- Audiobooks are great for me when taking long trips. I am a music man but I tend to get drowsy very easily when driving long distances and music doesn't do the trick for me. I checked out "Under the Banner of Heaven," a book about Mormon history and violence associated with it, from my local library before I left. It's 10 CDs and I made it through 7 of them. Hopefully I can finish the other 3 on my Nashville trip this week. It's a pretty fascinating book.
- The funeral itself was more like a worship service than anything I've ever been to (with the possible exception of Dr. Dawkins's funeral a few years ago). I really didn't feel like crying so I played tough guy even with my mom and dad right beside me crying - that's a tough spot. I'm not trying to be hard, I just didn't want to cry yesterday. Ben Mandrell, preacher at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, is a very good preacher. I think he's my age.
- I've gotten so used to our style of music at CCJ that what passes for "contemporary" at other churches surprises me. I'd have a hard time adjusting if God ever moved us from here. I think I am spoiled now with our rock n' roll worship music. :-)
- I got to hold my newest niece, Evelyn Clare Morgan, for the first time. She's a cutie. :-)
- It's always good to come back home.

1 comment:

olemiss_marine said...

Good Thoughts indeed, brother...Can't wait to see you this Wednesday!