Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Visit To Memory Lane

Yesterday I returned to Tampa after spending 5 glorious, wondrous days in my native state of North Carolina. It was more than amazing to share warm hugs and big laughs with people I had not seen in many years- some in over 20. People kept asking about the purpose of my trip, when in fact people were the purpose of my trip- and it was a major success! One of my friends answered that question by saying. "It's a Carl reunion," And it did feel that way. There will be much more written about this adventure as the week goes on, but after hitting the road at 4 am yesterday and driving the 700 miles home, I am reminded that the words "spring chicken" no longer apply to me. So today you get a brief summary of my journey.

Last Friday I drove past the house you see above at 405 Springtime Road in the Guilford College area of Greensboro. My parents had this house built in 1964, and we lived there throughout my childhood and young adult years. For the purpose of this trip, it may as well as well have been located at 405 Memory Lane. That house was ground zero for so many adventures, so many relationships and sooooo many memories. It still looks great, and even though many of the leaves have not turned yet, the tree you see welcomed to me to Autumn- a season which for all practical purposes does not exist in Florida. The lawn looks too good, making me think that the front yard football games may be a thing of the past. When I told my friend Carl Semmler about my "drive by" he wondered if the current residents had left the living room unfurnished (The Chinese Room- you had to sit on the floor!) as my parents had for all those many years. It was a powerful visit for me. They say you can't go home again. They also say home is where the heart is. As I took that picture and the memories of my years in NC flooded my soul I was much more connected to the second of those old sayings than the first...

To the dozens of people with whom I sat and visited during my trip, thank you for making my time with you so special. There will be more specifics coming in the Saturday Shout Outs later this week, but the love, grace and friendship you showed me was overwhelming. I am truly blessed.

To the dozens of other friends I didn't get to see, please know that you were thought of, talked about and missed. Marilyn and I will be back before too long and hopefully we can catch up with even more of you the next time around. I know that we can't live in the past. But for a few days, it was really nice to take up residence at 405 Memory Lane and just revel in the people and events that made me who I am today. And, as it turns out, Memory Lane can be a great starting point for planning new adventures. But more on that later this week. I hope you missed me while I was gone, dear readers. Have a blessed day, and peace be with you!

Because of Jesus,

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