This last month has been full of meetings that took us to see family. We were also able to be in our sending church. I already mentioned our trip to Big Bend National Park. It was while visiting family we were able to squeeze that trip in.
Since then we have been in Knoxville, Tennessee where I ran a 10K race with PlaneT3rry. I was hoping for a PR (personal record), but it just was not meant to be. My training fell apart the last couple of weeks. I was not seeing the progress I wanted so I stopped working as hard to get there. Right now I am really using the running to control my weight. I have struggled a bit this year. Thankfully I am running though. That really helps.
We were in Knoxville for several days and a few meetings. Then we moved over to Memphis for a meeting and a chance to meet with an old college friend.
The vacation part of this trip started about a week ago when we got to my grandfather’s house in northwest Arkansas. We had a good time visiting with him and my new grandmother. They were married at 80 years old. Both widowed. It was good to spend time with them in their new church. They recently moved to Springdale, Arkansas from my home town of Odessa, Texas.
After a few days at their house we moved to Beaver Lake near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We had a family reunion with my Dad’s family. Dad was not able to make the trip, but it was fun to get with his 3 siblings and some of their kids. There were 23 of us together for a few days. Grandpa and the new grandmother joined us one day for the festivities.
Monday we arrived at the lake and got moved into our campground. We chose to camp at the Dam Site River campground. There was also the Dam Site Lake campground to choose from that was just as close to the cabin where most everyone else stayed. Nothing earth shattering went on Monday other than we all sat around and talked and caught up with each other. Some of the family I have not seen in 6+ years.
Tuesday we went to the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs. It was good, but not great. I thought the play was well done, but it lacked something. It seemed like a “wasted pitch.” There was a great opportunity to share the Gospel and the reason Jesus came to save sinners. Instead it appeared that Jesus died simply because He was a martyr to His claim of being God’s son. While He was God’s son, and His claims of that is why the Jews crucified Him, that is not why Jesus died. He died because we are sinners and need a Savior.
After the play we started back towards the lake. We knew there was a storm coming. We rushed as much as we could to get back and secure our campsite from as much water damage as possible. It was too late. By the time we arrived the tent was standing in water and everything was soaked. Fortunately we did not leave anything in the tent that could have gotten permanently damaged.
The golf ball sized hail that we had to drive through to get to the tent was the encouragement we needed to move up to the cabin for the night.
Wednesday we went to see some of the sites around the area and braced ourselves for another round of the storm. It was not nearly as bad that evening, but my aunt had already paid for a suite for us. We took her up on it and packed our tent before the evening storm.
Wednesday was the day that the grandparents came over. We traded camera memory cards and copied everyone’s pictures to each of the computers. While we were doing that we also had some singing with cousin Jarrod at the guitar. I secretly recorded that time. I have not had a chance to listen to it to see how it turned out, but you may get a chance to hear some of it here at the blog.
Thursday we high-tailed it back to Pensacola. It was a 14 hour trip for us. We were glad to get home (and back to Internet access).