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It’s Worth Every Minute

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On June 19th, I turned west and put my foot on the gas pedal. Ten days later, I returned home having spent over 40 hours behind the wheel of the car, the last 14 of which were spent with the engine light glaring angrily in my eyes and my car sputtering in protest at certain moments.  And it was worth every minute.

Do you have family or friends you rarely see? Sure, in today’s world, we can be in touch with everyone on a daily basis. With email, Facebook, Skype, Instagram, blogs, and a million apps to help us stay connected, there’s no need to miss any news. But is it the same? Have you seen the emotions shining in their eyes? Have you wrapped them in your arms and hugged them tight? I have friends who only live an hour or less from me, but I still only see them a couple times a year. I have family scattered all across the country. The busyness of life fills our calendars and makes it difficult to spend time with our loved ones, but for ten days, I did. And it was worth every minute.

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As an 8th grade teacher, I know boys change a lot after they leave middle school. It had only been two years since I’d seen my nephews, but they have grown into handsome young men from the cute boys they were. My sister, Lauren, lives in Reno and we’re in Virginia, so it’s hard to align our schedules for visits. Colton was in awe of Ian and Tate, wanted to be with them every possible second, and tears poured when they left.

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Living so far from my family makes it difficult (impossible?) to go to family weddings most of the time. God must have taken pity on me for not attending one in decades because my cousin Gabriel married his long-time sweetheart Katie while we were in Missouri. My “little cousin” Gabriel is now a college graduate, an engineer, and a husband. His siblings have all grown up as well. The little kids I remember now have precious kids of their own. What a blessing for me to see each of them and meet the rest of my family.

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I rarely engage in nostalgia, but I couldn’t help searching for – and finding – the home my grandparents lived in when my mom was a child. This contrasted sharply to seeing with my own eyes the “progress” which obliterated my other grandparents’ home. I knew it was gone but seeing it firsthand stung like a slap.

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My mom and Fred always spoil us rotten when we visit. Every day is an adventure. We visited the City Museum, toured the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium, went up in the Arch, went to the local pool (actually a waterpark!), and listened to a concert in Faust Park. But most of all, we spent time with family. I only get to see my parents once or twice a year, which is never enough. We also visited with many other aunts, uncles, and cousins. Even though everyone has a different version of the same story (business and busyness, kids’ activities, aches and pains, births and deaths, summer plans), it’s such a joy to share the details. Yes, I can get most of that information online or over the phone, but it doesn’t compare to face time without a device in between.

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I’m back home in Virginia now. My car will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow morning. Autumn goes back to work tonight, and Colton and I are going to run a few errands and relax a bit now that the piles of laundry have diminished. As I reflect on my trip, I am reminded of a few things:

1) Sometimes I’m stronger than I believe.

2) People change, but not that much.

3) 5–Hour Energy really works.

4) God has blessed me with an amazing family, and my greatest regret is living so far from them all.

5) Time spent for love is worth every minute.

Do you have loved ones you haven’t seen for a long time? Who do you need to go visit? I can promise you, however long it takes to get there and whatever obstacles you must overcome, it will be worth the effort!

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Sandy is Visiting

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on October 29, 2012
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Living on waterfront property, at least for a couple of days!

Thank you, God, for keeping us safe in the storm.

Sandy rages offshore and has reached our coastal area with possessive hands. If the weather forecasts are correct, she will continue to overstay her welcome through tomorrow as she inches her way northward.

Her winds have stripped the trees of their autumn beauty. When this is over, many will stand with bare branches, beckoning winter to join us. Her rain floods yards, roads, and homes, and it will swell its own puddles for many more hours. The newscasters are now using the phrase “by Wednesday” when discussing the end, raising hopes that school might be closed again tomorrow.

And while Sandy assaults the outside of the house, the kids and I have stayed warm and dry inside.

Mark left for work yesterday morning. He came home for about an hour or so in the afternoon and appeared again in the middle of the night to capture a few hours of sleep. This morning, he shook himself awake, hopped in the shower, and headed out again.

On Saturday, as soon as it was announced school was cancelled for today, Chick-fil-a scheduled Autumn to work a 10 hour shift. If people don’t have electricity, CFA could potentially be swamped. Even if I didn’t have power, I don’t think I’d go there during a storm if I had food in the house (which everyone should…they’ve been predicting this for over a week), but apparently a lot of people will flock there.

As soon as Autumn received her schedule, my mommy worry gauge skyrocketed. Whether she goes to work or not is a decision I left up to Daddy Sheriff. Our main concern is a relatively new driver dealing with wind gusts and hydroplaning. It was decided I’ll do the drive and drop. I won’t have to worry about her being on her own, and I’ll get to have CFA for lunch. Bonus!

Other than that journey out, I don’t plan to go anywhere. Colton and I will be home reading, watching movies, planning lessons, and baking (as long as the power stays on). Quite possibly not just for today but for tomorrow as well. I admit I wouldn’t be a very good stay-at-home mom, but I am very blessed to have this break from our normal hectic routine.

Thank you, God, for keeping us safe in the storm.


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