Well, here we are - back in Louisville, Kentucky. After spending June and July in Edmonton, we left August 3 to return home to Louisville for another year of doctoral studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Here are a few thoughts from our journey.
1. Subjecting three young children to 36 hours in a van together is nasty business, even if you spread it over five days of driving. Our poor kids - they did great, but it's such a long time to be cooped up.
2. The drive through southern Saskatchewan and North Dakota is ... empty. It's absolutely beautiful country (to me, anyway) - flowing fields of grain, endless horizon. But when your youngest says, "I have to pee" ... well, the options are few and far between! On the bright side, we now know that a little 4-year-old girl with a small bladder can in fact pee on the side of the road when push comes to shove. It sure beats having wet clothes and carseats.
3. Wisconsin has a fascinating highway system. We're accustomed to named or numbered highways. But not Wisconsin. Apparently cheese fans are more (or less, depending on your perspective) creative than that. While some of their highways are numbered (including the Interstates, of course), the majority that we drove past were "lettered" - e.g. Highway T, Highway I, etc. This results in some absolutely fascinating highways ...
a) Highway ET - I think this highway takes you home.
b) Highway OO - particularly interesting because it was immediately followed by Highway PP (that's an interesting combination when you're driving past them with three young children).
c) Highway Q - leading me to expect the sudden appearance of an inter-dimensional being, or the discovery of an ancient biblical document.
d) Highway J - followed immediately by Highway K, leading me to look for aliens or men in dark suits with sunglasses and a cool flashy thingy.
4. Chicago is huge. For a guy from the Western Canadian prairies, Edmonton is the big city - just over a million population in the greater metro area. Chicago seems absolutely massive - easily the biggest city I've ever driven through and stayed in. Crazy roads. At least this year we didn't sit on the interstate for three hours because of accidents ...
5. Louisville feels more like home now than it did in May when we left. This will be our second year here. Last year I continually referred to Edmonton as home. In May, when we drove back to Edmonton, I felt like we were going "home." After the summer in Edmonton, which was incredible, fulfilling, and very much appreciated, driving back to Louisville felt like coming home. For this season of our lives, Louisville is indeed home.