Monday, May 21, 2012

A Time Gone By - St. Louis (Marriage Conference)

This was our third marriage conference in four years. We had to laugh, maybe God was trying to tell us something? The ride from Benton to St. Louis is pretty and relaxing - the green of the corn field would be interupted by the bronzed yellow of the wheat and then the green would resume. In stark contrast East St. Louis is one of the more impoverished places I've ever seen - almost ghostly.

We arrived at the Millenium hotel a day early. The hotel had several things going for it: close the arch, a great view, and a swimming pool. In the morning K went to see her good friend Lisa while I went for a jog to the other side of the Mississippi river and through the park at the base of the arch. Constructed in the 60s the arch brings to mind the ability of modern engineering and at times a cheesy sci fi movie (the skin of the arch is metal and it is a little random :)

After a little exploration which took me from the basilica on the river up through a string of parks and hotels and after the lady at the kiosk shut down my request for more informational fliers, K and rendezvoused and ate at a fun Italian restraunt cadi-corner from the court house and then hoofed it 10 blocks to Union Station in the heat . . . Our dogs were barking!

Union station was like being imported into rouring twenties. All of the opulence of the robber baron's and the grandure of the industrial revolution seemed to be encapsulated in this grand old building. When we arrived the porter informed us that on our return we could take the metro. Wish I would have known this before we walked the 10 blocks. We wrapped up our time in St. Louis at the arch (I napped and K read). All in all St. Louis is a quiet, medium size city that looks back to a time of prominence in our nations history.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Real World - Wilmore, KY

The man was wearing a pair of cut off jeans, a black v-neck tee from the early 80s, and a well worn pair of fabric crocs. He got out of his cherry red mini van and in tow was a young girl. As I watched him in the reflection of the gas station window pane, I thought to myself, "whose that dorky dad?" Katherine did not appreciate as I shared my thoughts as she wondered where that left her being married to me - the dad in question. We were in rout to our sister's graduation in Wilmore KY when I caught a glimpse of myself in the windows of a gas station.

It had been 9 years since we had last been in Wilmore. Four worlds removed (Benton, Dallas, Atlanta, and Lafayette) and three kids later, we could only remember bits and pieces of our last trip. A bed and breakfast with a double bed, squeaky springs, situated next to a railroad track were some of my faint memories of our last trip. As I watched "aunt" Becs graduate (way to go Aunt Becs!!), I reminisced on my past graduations. Like our first visit to Wilmore they are a little fuzzy . . . My high school gym, open houses,and anticipation of college; the Purdue marching band, Elliot Hall, and a sea of graduates, wondering what the next step would be; Prestonwood, my professors, the commencement speaker that encouraged us to stay close to Christ and His Word, pictures with Luke in my cap, and again wondering where we would go next . . .

The time in Wilmore was filled with CFA, a giant play ground, slumber parties with "aunt Becs, cartoons (we don't get any tv), and happy reunions with Grandmother and Granddad. I did manage to get one run in around Asbury College, bringing ever closer to home the fact that I have "graduated" from the fairy tailed halls of academia and find myself mid stride in the "real world" that the honorary speaker warned the graduates they were facing.  A world where my highlights now consist of watching Ava Marie have her hair French braided by grandmother, helping little Hadden fall asleep on the car ride home, or navigating the playground with Luke leading the way!