It has been a very busy June. I’m not claiming to have been busier than everybody else, just busier in a different way than is usual for me. I have spent more time away from home in the first six months of this year than in the last six years: visits to Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina and Kentucky. I topped off a conference in southern Illinois two weeks ago with a rendezvous with and visit from my oldest sister. Our return trip to Kentucky ended with her heading back home alone to North Carolina and me heading to Dauphin Island, Alabama, with my son, Daniel, who lives with his family in western Kentucky.
We stopped for a way too short breakfast visit in Clarkesville, Tennessee, with my two oldest sons, Michael and Samuel and Sam’s wife, Sara Jane. Then we logged another five hundred miles to the Gulf Coast. We were there on a complimentary vacation from one of the companies that works with Dan’s company. Although our planned deep sea fishing jaunt for Friday was cancelled by a couple of thunderstorms, Saturday’s trip with Rocked Up Charters more than made up for it. Working our lines fifty miles off the Florida coast, by lunchtime we’d caught our limit of red snapper and a few grouper as well.
With fresh fillets packed in thirty pounds of ice, we headed back north on Saturday evening and spent the night in Tupelo, Mississippi. By ten-thirty Sunday morning, we were back to Murray, where Dan’s wife, Christie, and their three kids picked us up at the car rental place. That afternoon, Sam and Sara Jane and their three kids made it over to Kirksey from Sara Jane’s parents’ place near Princeton. Mike and Sarah drove over from Clarkesville with their seven kids and joined us by four o’clock and my wife, Randa, made it in from Kansas just after five.
We all enjoyed the fine supper that Christie had prepared for us and the men folk spent a brief while playing guitars and singing. Too soon, Mike and Sam and their families had to leave. All of us were too tired for a late night but it was a good sort of tired. Well, at least for me it was. It was just about as fine a Fathers’ Day weekend as a man could hope to have.
There is a price, both financial and physical for such visits as this when our grown children each live hundreds of miles away from us and away from each other. It is not completely unlike the costs of close relationship with God. There are things that must be given up and efforts that must be made. But there is a price, too, for lack of visiting. In both situations, that cost often runs considerably higher than the first one.