Doesn’t It Seem I’m Always Running?

During the past three days, I have driven through the mountains picking pumpkins and looking a fall leaves with my family, attended the visitation for the funeral of a friend’s mother, and reunited with old friends I hadn’t seen for many months before going to a football game. I don’t know how a soul processes all of this being pulled across the poles of emotions. That seems to be a microcosm of how things are these days, though.

I don’t know if things like technology has changed the way we relate with others, but it seems like lately I’m simultaneously called upon to celebrate with some, mourn with others, feel righteous anger for those who have been slighted, and cheer those who succeed, all at the same moment, it seems. Maybe things like Facebook are good because we’re updated almost instantly with what’s going on with all our friends, but at the same time, it wears on a heart to empathize with the wild array of emotions. Everybody seems to at a different phase of their life and all of it can be overwhelming when taken all at once. It leaves me in a familiar situation where I don’t know how to respond, and so I don’t or I do too late.

So, at the end of the weekend, it’s been an up and down range of feelings, but I’m thankful for all of the friends and opportunities to see them again. In younger days, it seems like there were plenty of chances to share meals, go on roadtrips, or just hang out with friends, but those chances don’t come so often anymore.

…and of course, I took pictures, both of our trip to the mountains and homecoming as well.

Anxiety

A couple of weeks ago, we had a pretty severe gas shortage here in Atlanta. Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike each made landfall in the Louisiana and Texas area and forced shutdowns of gas refineries. A couple days later, word began to spread around town that gas supplies might get low and the people of Atlanta did what they do best. Freak out. This is, after all, the town that clears out the bread and milk aisles at the grocery stores when one snowflake hits the ground. It wasn’t long before lines formed at gas stations 30, 40, and even more cars deep.

Now, I was determined not to participate in this. I was determined to wait it out and hold out until the shortage ended. I thought the shortage might last days, however it turned out lasting weeks. The funny part is even though I had nowhere to go, I still felt a lot of anxiety about the shortage. I had a car with a tank full of gas. I could make 100 trips to the grocery store and back before needing a fillup, so we were in no danger of starving or running out of supplies for the kids. I was telecommuting from home, so I didn’t have any need to buy gas to drive to work. Yet, the fear that I would be stranded (and I guess I was, by choice) was paralyzing. I found myself checking newsites every couple minutes, hoping to find some encouraging news that things would end soon. Of course, the newsites only fed my fear, there were no answers to be found immediately. So, for a full two weeks, for no good reason, I was gripped with anxiety.

I learned a lot about myself during that time. I talk a lot about “trusting God and depending on him only”, but when it comes down to it, I’m not very good at it. When my life as I know it is threatened, I don’t take it as well I should. I’d like to think I didn’t make a total fool of myself (I wasn’t swinging punches or yelling at people at the gas pump), but still, I think I could’ve have been a little calmer and trusted that God is going to take care of me and my family.

Now that the shortage is over, the news has moved on to more anxiety filled events. I knew the election would be all about fear as each political party told us what awful things would happen if their opponent was elected. Now, we have the daily update of dread about the economy to pile on top of it. It’s good to keep up on current events, but I must never forget, there is always another impending disaster to report. I can’t forget there’s only one place to find Good News.

Ten Years After The First Date.

Ten years ago on Friday, Adriene and I went on our first date. We went to a Georgia Tech-Duke football game and went out to dinner afterwards. We celebrated our ten year anniversary by … going to a Georgia Tech-Duke football game and going out to dinner afterwards.

Of course, ten years changes a lot. This date to Bobby Dodd Stadium was special because it was the girls’ first football game ever. We had fun taking them downtown to our usual tailgate location and letting them play with some of our friends. I think they were happy to get out and play outside on a beautiful fall morning, too. Realistically, I didn’t expect them to make it past the third quarter, and maybe not even to halftime. Sure enough, around the middle of the third quarter Gracie was ready to leave and made sure we knew, so we made an exit stage right. I think we still managed to see a good portion of the game, at least, so no complaints here. Georgia Tech had a pretty good hold on the game, leading 17-0, by the time we left so we felt okay getting ahead of the traffic.

We took the girls out to my parents’ house and gave them a little bit of grandparent time while we snuck out for dinner. After dinner, we drove to Suwanee to see Caedmon’s Call in concert at a nice little outdoor venue. The beautiful weather continued through the day and into the nice and we enjoyed sitting on the lawn together and listening to the music.

Caedmon’s Call knocked out “Lead of Love” and “Hope To Carry On” in a hurry and then settled into a couple songs from Overdressed. It was kinda a hodge-podge lineup with Mandy Mann filling in for Danielle and Randy Holsapple playing the hammond organ in place of Josh. (Someone on the stage said “Mike Love” when Cliff introduced Randy which got a laugh out of everyone on stage.) I’m not sure who was playing bass, I didn’t recognize him.

Always eager to talk about football, Cliff Young asked us about “hand signs” for various universities. In Texas, this is a big thing as each school has their own hand sign. He asked if Georgia had a hand sign, (we have a hand sign for Georgia, but it’s not appropriate around children.) Andy said, “I’m in Georgia so I’m supposed to say Go Bulldogs….. what sport to do they play?” God bless him, he’s trying.

Andy’s solo during “Hold The Light” keeps getting longer and longer. This is not a bad thing. I wonder if hanging around The Smoakstack is rubbing off on Andy. He played “Canada” and “New Beginning” during his little solo set.

The band wrapped up with “Share The Well” and “Hands of the Potter”… great little show at a fantastic place to spend a fall Saturday night.

Our first date ten years ago lasted about seventeen hours as we went to the football game, out for dinner, and attending a fraternity party late into the night. From the time we left our house at 8 AM on Saturday until we rolled into my parents’ house after the concert around 10 PM, we had logged a 14 hour date this time around. It’s good to see some things don’t change in our relationship.

Pictures of the weekend!