A Taste of Louisiana and Some Other Old Friends

We got a taste of Louisiana on the Thursday before Christmas.  The Tuckers were passing through to Lebanon, TN and stopped by.  It was terrific to have familiar faces here!  In fact, they were our first house guests (not including family)!!  It seemed like we just picked back up on old conversations.  The kids loved having Hudson and Gabriella here (minus a squabble or two between Olivia and Hudson … very minor).  They stopped by for dinner and were off.  It was a short, but sweet visit from recently “old” friends.

Next, the Stuarts came on Jan. 10 and stayed a whole weekend!  So, we had our first overnight house guests!  We took the time to see scenic Monte Sano state park (ahem!), which was a pleasant surprise considering we were routed there by our first choice.  The Burritt museum here has a great overlook of Huntsville and some old cabins, but $7 / adult and $3 – 4 / child was ridiculous, especially considering that it was free when I was here last (ONLY 13 years, mind you).  Anyway, the play structure was great at the park and Jadon got to see a real mountain (even at 700 – 800 feet high!).  We, of course, also went to one of my favorite attractions … Big Bob Gibson’s.  Ahhhh!  Troy noticed that they had 7 very conspicuous “national championship” BBQ pork shoulder trophies.  He humorously imagined the conversations that might have taken place between the cooks from year to year as well (“I thought when we roasted the pig to charcoal, we were done for, but in the end we won it anyway!!  [Copiously embellished by yours truly!]”).  Aside from the great conversations, playtime between the kids, and enjoyment of the fellowship, Troy had a memorable moment.  Anna Grace (now; others before her) has this little singing farmyard toy that is magnetically attached to the frig.  After a short song, it mimics the sound of the animal selected; BUT, about thirty seconds to a minute later, it makes the sound again.  Troy opened the frig (to put something BACK) and the pig sound OINKED forth!!  To this Troy remarked, “Well how rude!  I’ve never had a refrigerator do that to me before!”  This was a classic moment.

We visited the Braud’s in Georgia two weeks later on a Friday.  We took the (normally) 2.5 to 3 hour drive in only 4 hours!  It was full of stoppages following my Passport renewal at a nearby Post Office.  We were excited to visit the Braud’s — Kim was beside herself shopping in Elizabeth’s organic grocery store.  Man, that movement is in full swing in our household now!!  The Braud boys introduced Isaac to the Wii (perhaps coming to a Johnson household soon) and ran around the house chasing each other with toy guns.  Bailey was torn between the “littles” (Anna and Liv) and running with the boys, but she had great fun.  A highlight for the girls was when Bailey and the littles persuaded Daddy to jump on the “jumpoline” (per Livy) for a few minutes of fun while Mr. Keith took a work phone call.  Livy’s 2nd highlight was probably getting two eggs from the henhouse (the Brauds have chickens, too!).   The Braud’s are definitely right at home in north Georgia!  We hope to trade visits from time to time.

“Old Friends … Again”.

The weekend before the Braud’s we had the pleasure of having the Spurlocks over for dinner; they were our first Huntsville house guests.  Darren was a friend from my days during undergrad.  We were friends at the Christian student center there.  He also was in Kim’s and my wedding.  His wife Kelly is nearly the standard for “sweet” personalities, Kim and I discuss this from time; e.g., So-and-so is almost as sweet as Kelly.  Their two boys, Ben and James, romped around with our four and a good time was had by all!

The same weekend as the Braud’s we welcomed the Cox’s over for dinner.  They are unusual here in that they also have FOUR kids (same distribution as us, except 3 years older, shifted by a year, and the boy is number 2)!  Rob was a roommate of mine during undergrad days.  It is sure great to begin rebuilding old relationships!

So, the rocky transition from LA is beginning to smooth a bit, although we have missed the church and our friends dearly.  What struck me most was Tanya saying that “it was good to re-connect” with the Johnsons; that was “RE-connect”!  Had it been 2 months already … Amazing how life flows on! 

Anyhow it has been a great few weeks enjoying old … and even older … friends.

[Editorial note: TiVo has DEFINITELY sidetracked my posting.  Here’s to hoping I can stick with it this time!]

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Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  

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