On Tuesday morning, September 27th, Clint and I took off to see Blake, Andrea and all five grand-girls! They moved mid-July, and Clint knew my heart couldn’t take much longer to be separated. With all our teens schedules and rules clearly written and posted on the cabinets, the 20 year old close at hand, an aide for Aunt V in place and 16 emergency contacts listed on the fridge, I was ready to relax and enjoy 3 nights and 4 days visiting my precious family.
Clint worked all night and our flight left early from Springfield, so one of us was a little more “ready” than the other! My suitcases were heavy with little gifts and this grandma was ready for some neck-squeezing, cheek-kissing, grand-daughter hugs!.
It’s been years since we used stairs to depart from a plane directly onto the tarmac, but both our layover in Charlotte and the cute little airport in Lynchburg required it. Clint and I are glad this little trip didn’t include Aunt V, because I even had some difficulty maneuvering the wobbly, steep steps. (Maybe it was my 3″ wedge shoes!) Rental car picked up! Address of Blake and Andrea programed in; we couldn’t get there quickly enough; but Lynchburg is surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and I right away was at peace that this was a good place for my precious family to live!
Our days were going to be too short to waste a moment. On Tuesday, Blake would not be home until late (he teaches a class at the CVCC, Lynchburg’s community college) so we were ready to start relaxing with just the girls. They gave me the guided tour of their amazing condo. As always, my lovely daughter-in-law has it looking adorable, and I am so tickled to see how lovely their home is. When Clint started Medical school in 1998, God provided us a brand new home we built over the summer. In a crazy busy season, it’s just a sweet gift of grace for us wives to have a beautiful, spacious “nest” to make our family’s home.
We spent Wednesday enjoying the girls, taking walks, getting “concerts”, and watching Tim Hawkins videos. We wanted Andrea to have a day to play and explore her new town. When Blake came home, there were back rubs and massages, and then that night we tried out Benjamin’s Great Cows And Crabs restaurant.
On Thursday, while Clint attended some classes with Blake, the girls each had alone time with me. Delia chose breakfast at Tropical Smoothie, Hayler and Vivion, (who decided they wanted to go together) chose McDonald’s for Hayler’s “favorite” Sausage McGriddle, and a mini-tour of the Medical school. At noon I was able to bring Sheetz for Grace’s lunch at one of the areas Classical Conversations Communities, where she helps in the nursery. I met her new best friend and also their new pastor who was eating with his children that day. (Sheetz is an experience in itself and a special treat when we are at Grove City in Pennsylvania, so I was a little nostalgic.)
Liberty University has built their medical school on top of Liberty Mountain, next to Candler Mountain and has breathtaking views of the valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s four-story Jeffersonian-style facility is beautiful. This moms’ heart smiles to think that long hours, hard work and a difficult season is buffered with the magnificent scenery!
I wanted to take a little tour of the downtown area, so Andrea and I loaded up the girls and off we went. Simply Irresistible Bakery called out our need for a mid-afternoon snack. Ruby Jane was a hug fan of the cake pops! We also stopped to grab our photo at the famous
Lynchburg LOVE sculpture, created by a local artist as part of a state-wide tourism initiative “Virginia is for Lovers” in 2013. (Andrea was our photo hero, she knew how to set the timer on my phone camera!) The girls showed me their favorite biking spot along Percival’s Island Trail. Also, many painted piano’s, (similar to the KC cows) are out in the streets of downtown Lynchburg. I could have spent an entire day exploring this artsy downtown area!
On Thursday afternoons, a small farmers market sets up in the Doc’s Diner parking lot at LU. We had to go there for one reason only; Mama Crockett’s Cider doughnuts! There’s apple cider and hot chocolate on the menu, and THE doughnut! They are smaller than usual, dark from the soybean oil the batter was fried in, and lightly dusted with sugar and cinnamon…and I’m not sure why, but they are absolutely amazing!
On Friday morning we met up with some friends we hadn’t seen since our early marriage. Chris and Sharon Kirk were that cool young couple the high school kids liked to hang out with. They were instrumental in our desire to be a couple who loved and served God together. They shared with us “love in hard times” and molded our early concepts of Complementarian relationships. It was great hearing their story and seeing what God has faithfully brought them through!
I was not ready to say goodbye, but luckily, Blake had an early lunch, so we met up at Panera for our last hugs. I felt resolved that my sweet family was getting settled in a good place, but sad that it is so far away. I know they are following a great God and He loves them extravagantly. I know Lynchburg and LUCOM are evidence of grace in their lives and confident that they will do well there. (I just wish it was 15 1/2 hours and 992 miles closer!)