After conducting a very sad funeral (for 44 year old, single mom Kelly Puckett), Sara and I headed to Knoxville Tennessee to see our youngest (caleb) play basketball for our alma mater (the Johnson Bible College preachers!). We needed to swing by Cincinnati on the way to pick up Sara's sister around 7:00 p.m. so she could go down and see our niece and her daughter (Kelsey) who is a student there as well. We had some time to kill, so we stopped in Indianapolis for a couple of hours. Got my haircut at my favorite old time barber (and a peanut donut from Dunkin Donuts (this is bliss) :-)...so we made our way to Cincy and picked up Sara's sister.
By 9:00 we were nearing Lexington and I thought to myself...I'm tired, we should stop...but I passed the Starbucks sign AND the one at Richmond...now I really tired, so we pulled off at Renfro Valley and stayed at some Motel there (think John Candy in planes, trains and automobiles) and think ever stereo type you might about rural Kentucky (I would mention them here, but it would probably not be politically correct...just let me say, less than a full mouth of teeth...sorry, couldn't resist). the room was clean and warm (after we turned the wall unit on).
The next morning we hit the road and were in Knoxville by 10:00 (starbuck in hand). The three of us reminisced as we made our way to the college. We had lunch with Sara's mom and dad, Caleb and Kelsey at a pizza place down in Knoxville called "the mellow mushroom". Then we headed to my second cousin (Penny) and her husband Jody's house. Her parents (my great uncle who was a student at Johnson in 1948!) live next door so we saw them. Then to the 8:00 p.m. game at the college. Caleb and the whole team played well - got beat by a superior athletic team (there is a lot of disparity at this level of college competition) - it was a blast seeing my 19 year old play. One of the great joys of fatherhood! I caught up with many of our former college classmates that live in the area. I was blessed to catch up with Jerry Estes - my roomate whom I hadn't seen in about 24 years! Way cool.
Anyway, after the game, we went to Ruby Tuesdays so that Caleb could eat (and we had some food too). We were at my cousins house by midnight. We ate breakfast with them too and by 10:30 we were picking up Caleb to just talk. We made our way down to Market square in downtown Knoxville to a place caleb likes called "soccer taco". Really authentic mexican with flat screens showing soccer matches from all over. I got to enjoy some time reading and looking over my sermon in the 60 degree weather surrounded by mountains...very refreshing. By 4:00 we were in another game. This time Caleb and the team blew their opponents away (Caleb scored 18 and they had fun). After the game we hugged Caleb and headed for home. By 1:00 a.m. we were home and ready for Sunday morning. Tiring physically, but refreshing in every other way.