On the Road Again

post date: April 2, 2013

We started loading yesterday.
All that was left to load this morning.
I’m writing this note from a booth at the Atlanta Bread shop in Tupelo. About 45 minutes ago we cleared out of our house for the final time. In 50 minutes we go to a lawyer’s office for the closing. Then we leave for Dallas where if all goes well, we will close on our home there on Thursday.

This is the ninth time we have moved in 39 years, which equals out to about one move every 4.5 years, which is right on the national average. For whatever reason, we don’t seem to be the kind to stay in one place for 40 years. I admire (in a way) people who live in the same home for a long time. You develop deep roots in a community that those of us who move around never know. I say that realizing that many people move far more than we do. Military families move every two or three years. I read somewhere that 20% of Americans move every year. if so, then this is our year to hit the road. 

Not that it matters one way or the other, but here are the nine moves Marlene and I have made:

1974–To Dallas to go to seminary.
1976–To Midltohian, TX to serve in a church.
1978–To Downey, CA to pastor a church.
1983–To Garland, TX to pastor a church.
1989–To Oak Park, IL to pastor a church.
1994–From north Oak Park to central Oak Park.
2005–To a cabin in the woods north of Tupelo, MS.
2007–To our home in Tupelo.
2013–To Dallas once again.

We have always moved ourselves with the help of a few friends. Kim Lewis and Wayne Woodard drove us to CA. Bill Petch drove us to TX (his daughter Sherrie helped take care of the kids). Len Hoppe sent a truck to get us to Oak Park. Gary Olson, Mike Willians and Kevin McCullough (and many others) helped us move to central Oak Park. Craig Hammond (with Megan and Kyler) drove our truck to Tupelo. My brother Alan got the cabin ready for us. Linda Hale loaned us her truck to move to our Tupelo home. Terry Black is driving our truck to Dallas.

Every time we’ve moved we’ve had friends who helped with cleaning, packing, loading and unloading plus they have prepared meals and in earlier years watched our boys for us, and in general made sure we didn’t have to leave all on our own. I remember Betty Nelson, Shirley Wilson, Soo Ai Kudo, Margie Gilchrist and a few others coming very early in the morning to pray with us before we left Oak Park. Last night Ricky and Becky Jackson brought over some homemade fudge for the trip to Dallas. A few minutes ago Linda Hale gave us one final goodie bag.

We have been hugely blessed, and we feel it very deeply as we leave Tupelo for yet another move. One chapter closes as another one opens. Moving is hard, but if you move enough, you end up having friends wherever you go.  

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