I was able to leave work early on Friday, but just barely. There is one department on campus that is in a crisis and I had to promise them that I would finish my little project on Saturday and they were completely obliging. Thankfully. I made great time leaving Chicagoland except for one small navigational error. Anyone who has ever tried to take either the I-294 toll or the I-94 expressway down to I-80 and head east towards I-65 in Indiana knows what a bottleneck it can be. Traffic was great until I got to I-80, and then it became a very slow moving parking lot. Planning for this, I had mapped out an alternate route that would take me to US Hwy 41 south to US Rte 30 and then east over to I-65. BIG MISTAKE. Traffic was slow, there were tons and tons of lights and it was rush hour. I think I would have made better time just staying on the interstate. Lesson learned there, I tell you.
Once I got to I-65 I booked it on down to Bloomington, my first stop on this 10-State Tour. Skirting around Indianapolis was great – no problems – and taking the little highway southwest down to Bloomington was completely frustration free. I arrived at Chip and Darlene’s house, had a nice catch up chat with them and then went to bed. I know them both from Trinity – Chip as an MDIV student like moi and Darlene as an employee like moi and both of them (naturally, for they are married) went to church with moi. Good times.
I left Bloomington being well rested and made my way down to the Kennesaw area of Atlanta (far north west suburbs) and made great time. My knees, however did not fare so well on that leg of the trip. Now sure why, though. They didn’t bother me when Kate and I drove 11 hours to Maryland and back, so I don’t know why this 8 hour trip hurt so much, but they were killing me. When I finally got home Mom and Dad informed me that we were going to some pizza and game place that “the girls” had picked out. Pizza was horrible, the games were bad, but the company was great. Dad has grown a goatee and it will take me a while to get used to it. Gabby loves it when he kisses the back of her neck, though, she absolutely loves it. I suppose if you can’t grow hair on top of your head you might as well grow it at the bottom of your head. Dad did say that he just wanted something to comb. *arg*
Slept wonderfully well last night and then got right back in my car and drove to Montgomery, Alabama to visit my Aunt who just moved here in March. She has a lovely bungalow house whose floor plan is almost exactly like mine except her house is shorter and wider where mine is longer and skinnier. I’m going to love her being so close to mom and dad – it means that I won’t have to wait years to see her, only months.
She took me to her place of employment today, The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts where she does something with photography, exhibits and collections. Officially she is the Collections Information Specialist and unofficially she is the digital princess (apparently she has to work up to being the digital queen). One of the things they have done with this property (quite a large parcel of land) is to landscape it to make it look old and “ruin-ey”. Like this bridge – the bricks look like they are from the 1800’s. They even have some “fake” buildings on the campus to add interest and to lend and olde time feeling to the park. Those little out buildings have real thatched roofs – something I find very interesting indeed.
After we drove around the MMFA campus we took a tour of downtown Montgomery. First up (because it was the first place we found), was the Greyhound bus station for the Freedom Riders.
Then we found the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church from which Martin Luther King, Jr. began his preaching career and more importantly launched officially the Civil Rights movement as its leader.
It is amazing to think that Martin Luther King, Jr., who had just finished his Ph.D. work, decided that practical experience leading a church and preaching was more important that going right into academia, and picked this little church to pastor at a time when the Civil Rights movement was just beginning to launch. It sometimes takes my breath away how God can move in people’s lives and place them right where He wants them to be and what He can do when those people really and truly listen to Him and do what He asks. Amazing.
Did you notice the cowboy boots? Hank Williams, Jr. 🙂
I’m driving back to Atlanta tomorrow. I may just stop by and take pictures of the King center – MLK’s Atlanta home and later on base of operations. I used to live about 1 mile from there.