after we left atlanta (almost three hours late because i overslept, and the two people who were up at 5:30am thought i needed the rest; i probably did), we made our way to pensacola, where we spent a few hours on a beautiful white sand beach at the perdido key state park. it was a shorter stay than planned, but i was there long enough to take off my shirt and shoes — a major test of my reaction to the sun — and happily, was able to play in the gulf for hours with no significant problems. (there was a very fast reaction [redness, no hives or itching] around my collarbone after i took off my shirt, but it dissipated after i put on some 60spf sunscreen.) it was exhilarating to be able enjoy the sun and the water, something i thought i'd never get to do again, and i found myself full of praise and having an extended time of worship while i was splashing around out there. m and the girls agreed that perdido key was one of the highlights of our trip so far.
after that, we hurried on to mobile, where we've spent the past 28 hours with m's father's family — what a delightful (though far too brief) time! life is different here, a fact of which we are constantly reminded, in everything from accents to food choices (everything is delicious, but fried in bacon grease!) to real estate prices. we've enjoyed visiting with family we haven't seen in nearly a decade; in some ways, it's as if we'd never left; everyone is so familiar and friendly. the passage of time is marked primarily by the growth of everyone's children (used-to-be little girls and boys are now bigger than we are!) and by a number of folks who have moved or passed on.
tomorrow, we head through mississippi (my mom's home state), then louisiana (with a planned visit to opelousas, hometown of m's maternal grandfather), and on to richardson, texas where we'll spend the night (with mr. c, our across the street neighbor during my growing up years and a supporter of our ministry for quite some time). God willing, we'll get in around dinner time, then leave very early the next morning.
we'll traverse central and west texas (dodging rain and floods along the way) and find our way out to roswell, nm. yes, that roswell. we picked that spot for two reasons. one is that it's a good midpoint en route to the grand canyon; the other is that the truth is out there…