Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Driving through PA.....my children start singing.....Madison, Wisconsin, Lansing Michigan, Columbus Ohio, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We had this states and capitals song tape when they were little. Well, when you are crossing state lines and seeing signs for "Harrisburg" or "Richmond" these songs just seem to roll off their tongues.
There is so much to that we get to see along the way or not see. In Virginia we wanted to see the Natural Bridge. It is right off of Route 81.....they want to charge you to see something that is a part of nature. If it was a couple of bucks each, not a problem, we would have gladly forked it over, but it was more than what it would cost for all of us to go to the movies.
Route 81 is a beautiful drive along The Blue Ridge Mountains. We couldn't help but sing and praise the Creator of it all.
Shout out's go to Jeff and Doris Reed, Michelle and Glen Bahn, Tom and Elizabeth Kehoe. These are the folks that rolled out the red carpet ande treated us with love and kindness by their gracious hospitality. Blessings!!! Michael put it best by stating that it is better to stay with people then go to a hotel. That way it is like you are just going to visit someone and it really breaks up the ride. On the flip side, when you are doing a lot of driving and visiting, it leaves little time for sleeping. To say the least, I am still a little exhausted and not finished unpacking.
We did spend about 24 hours in Massachusetts which we thoroughly enjoyed with our dear friends the Kehoes and then we celebrated a special time with The Marlborough and Sudbury Grays!!
So, here we are, back in New England!!! In beautiful Quechee, Vermont! Living in the woods in a Northern New England chalet. Fancy camping....it is hard to beat. Looks like I am on vacation again. Pax, CM

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

All our bags are packed and most of the cleaning is done......I guess we are getting pretty good at this traveling thing....we are headed to VT/NH. We will live in Vt. and Dan will be working in NH. It's funny, this will be our 8th assignment in 29 months, but it is not exactly like moving, since most of our earthly belonging fit into our two vehicles and we set out on yet another leg of our adventure. It is hard to articulate at this time but we all know this journey is challenging and growing each one of us ( Lord willing for His Glory).
We have had some wonderful fellowship along the way so that some dear ones will provide us with refreshment during our drive from the southeast to the northeast (my kids' prayer is God willing NO Hotels, staying with "folks" is so much more fun and warm). There is a strange anticipation for this visit back "home" and I pray that we will be a blessing to any and all that we have the pleasure of getting together with during the short 3 months that we will be there.
Until we meet again, here, there or in the air.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

There are hills you've never seen....
(like the ones in the Smokeys and Shenandoah Valley)
Day before yesterday Grace and I returned to TN from VA Beach.....those who have been following our pilgrim journey from the onset know that we have lived there both in 03 and 04. While we were there Grace celebrated her 16th birthday!! In fact, going to Teenpact Judicial (our reason for being in Va Beach) was our present to her. It was extra special for me since I got to help out and be the staff mom at Teenpact Judicial(TPJ) 2005.
This was the third trip that Grace and I have taken together in the last 6 months. What a blessing to be there, serve and enjoy a wonderful and very intellectually stimulating program. Originally, this was going to be a solo trip for Grace but a couple of circumstances led to me being included in this one. What a gift!!! I had a great time!
Our dear friend and TPJ Director, Emily Smith kept me so busy that I didn't have time to think about the fact that I would be returning to Knoxville 10 days before needing to leave for NH. That fact hit me over the head yesterday - it is not all that bad. The Lord continues to lighten the load as we go along and teaches us how to live with less things and more of His grace.
I wish I had time to tell of all the wonderful things that happened during the week. For now, I will just leave you with 3. First off, our dear friends Gordon and JimmieLou Coons blessed TPJ by letting the staff (5 wonderful young people) and myself stay in their home while they are out west visiting family. Secondly, the Raifords hosted our sweet 16 daughter, Grace, made birthday dinner and invited Emily and myself. Lastly, Grace advanced to out rounds during the Moot Court tournament and was Best Oral Argument Runner up in the finals.
This will be my last blog before hitting the road.
"Don't look back, don't get side track just travel on...."
from The Pilgrim Song by Josh Bales