Bonnie in better days in someone’s home on a stateside trip
On Friday, April 1, I delivered Bibles, books and tracts to a shipper in Nashville, TN, which will arrive by freighter weeks later in Guyana, South America. Before leaving the city for my next destination, I decided to return to an outstanding eatery to which I was introduced on a previous occasion to ship out of Nashville. Jack’s Bar-B-Que (http://jacksbarbque.com/) on Trinity Lane is the place. As soon as one open’s the door, even before crossing the threshold, a whole lot of mouthwatering aromas overwhelm a person – almost like an invisible force. My barbeque pork sandwich with or without the sauce is unquestionably the best I’ve ever encountered. With about half a dozen different sauces from which to choose, it only gets better. This trip, I tricked out my sandwich with the restaurant’s own unique coleslaw and pecan pie. The barbeque pork, though, is better than dessert.
Happily and sufficiently fed, next, I headed south out of Nashville on I-65 toward Huntsville, AL. A couple of hours later, I arrived at my hotel in preparation for Sunday preaching appointments at two churches of Christ. Saturday, I fueled the car, had the oil and windshield wipers replaced and did a little shopping. Of course, back in my room, I fired up my mobile office – have laptop, will travel.
Though I brought food and drink with me on the journey and acquired more along the way, I did opt to eat out one meal. It was my first time to experience Five Guys, Burgers & Fries (http://www.fiveguys.com/). Simplicity fine-tuned, that’s what this restaurant is! Just a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink, but tasty indeed.
Sunday morning, brethren at the Mastin Lake Church of Christ were kind enough to permit me to speak during Bible class and worship. For class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy,” and for worship, I preached, “Desiring and Striving for Growth.” Brethren were very gracious to me, and I was first in line for the meal afterward. It’s beginning to sound like eating is an important endeavor to me – as it is to most Christians who otherwise use a very small brush when they proverbially paint the town red. Out amusements as Christians are tame and lawful, in contrast to the general populace oftentimes.
Sunday evening, I was privileged to speak to the Farley Church of Christ on the south side of Huntsville. There, I presented my PowerPoint about my recent four months of mission trip to four Asian countries and my more recent five weeks of mission trip to a country in South America. Later, one of the elders and I dined at the Burger King nearby and lost ourselves in conversation.
Leaving Huntsville and 20 miles down the road to my Winona home I asked my car to phone my daughter Rebecca, and it talked back to me, saying, “Phone not present.” A U-turn at the next exit off of the Interstate and back to the church building I went. Fortunately, I had a piece of paper in the car with me with an elder’s phone number on it, and so I borrowed a phone at a convenience store and gas station. I had used a countdown timer on my phone while preaching, and I had laid it down and forgot to retrieve it.
Now, I was really in a quandary with it being around 9 p.m. with a nearly 5-hour journey home ahead. To my surprise, with a few necessary stops to walk around and wake up, I was able to arrive home safely by about 1:30 a.m. Monday.
Tuesday brought its own challenges, the chief of which was to interact with the Social Security Administration regarding the passing of my dear wife Bonnie. The problem was not with the agency, but rather, the hour and a half telephone appointment finalizing matters regarding her death was almost as unsettling to me as her funeral. It was nearly as if she died again, today! Then, I had to drive to the third county west of where I live to present our “original” marriage license to the Social Security office; it made me wonder what was the advantage of the phone meeting since I still had to appear in person with evidence that we were married.
Before returning home, I comforted myself with a cheeseburger, fries and tea at a very old and locally famous diner – The Crystal Grill (http://crystalgrillms.com/) – in the heart of Greenwood, MS. Again, not a fancy place, but good food; since everyone has to eat, it might as well be delicious. Yes, I had another cheeseburger and fries; I just haven’t had too much beef yet, I suppose in contrast to the chicken and other foods that I experienced for more than a quarter of a year in Asia and South America. No, my world does not revolve around food, but I know what I like and where to find it stateside.
Between Thursday and very early Monday morning, I made a very large circle from Mississippi to Tennessee, to Alabama and back to Mississippi. Literature and preaching, that’s my life. Thank you, those of you, who make that possible.