I am Chevy Chase

…or at least I’ve felt like it since Friday. When did I become the Dad and husband sprawled across the top of the car sweating like a pig strapping a carrier to the roof so we can haul more stuff than we need across the United States? Why is the day we pack the car to leave the hottest day in PA since last July? How did we end up traveling through the nation’s capital on Independence Day weekend (along with 3.7 billion other people)? Why am I staring at my laptop through sleep-deprived eyes, trying to think with an overtired brain, and type with swollen fingers?

I don’t know why.

Maybe I’ll clean this up and make it more interesting later, but here’s the skinny for now…

We left Clarks Summit on Friday afternoon and caught our final glimpse of PA as we crossed into northern Maryland. It looked like this:


We spent Friday night with my cousin Matt and his wife Suzanne. Saturday we made the crazy trip through DC and south to Richmond. What should have taken two hours took almost four, and we were late for what was supposed to be lunch with our friends, Doak and Pam Taylor. Doak was our pastor at Deer Creek Community Fellowship, the church we helped plant where I was on staff for a couple of years. Deer Creek is also where Amy and I met. It was great to see the Taylors for the first time in years. It blew us away to see how much their kids have changed in three years, and of course we have one that didn’t exist the last time we saw them. This was also probably the last time we’ll see them for years. They’re in Richmond preparing to leave for three years of mission work in Germany.

From left to right, here’s Peyton, Dylan, Pam, Holden, Doak, and Haven:


After a couple of hours with the Taylors, we headed on to Roanoke, VA and spent the night with Kim and Calvin Smith. Kim and Amy are grad school friends, were in each other’s weddings, etc. Sunday morning we got up and drove to Chattanooga, TN, where we’re spending the night with more family — Tom, Kim, and Laura Norvell. Tom is my Dad’s younger brother. I’ll try to get some quality photographic evidence of their existence tomorrow. For now, here are a few shots of Aiden acquainting himself with butterflies in their front yard (you can see bigger shots by clicking on the photos).

Aiden_TN1 AidenTN2 AidenTN3

And here’s Aiden playing with Uncle Britt, who happens to be leading at a camp in Chattanooga this week:


I’m now in bed where I’ve apparently hacked into a wireless internet connection. I think it’s Uncle Tom’s, but I’m not entirely sure since I couldn’t get it to connect downstairs when I was actually closer to his base station. I’ve never actually even flipped the wireless switch on my laptop on before, but apparently it works. Pretty wild.

Tomorrow I’m sleeping in to gear up for the long final leg of the trip, then we’ll hit the road sometime after lunch. It’s a ten hour drive from here to the corner of Texas. In theory, we’re leaving later in the day so Aiden will sleep the second half of the trip. We’ll see how that theory holds up.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THOSE NEAR OUR ROUTE: We would have loved to have seen everyone within 100 miles of our route home, but it simply isn’t possible. We have to be in Texas soon to unload our belongings from the truck that will meet us there. We probably love you, and you’re welcome to come visit us.

Peace out, PA

We’re packing the car and pointing it south in an hour or two. I had designs on a more thoughtful post to commemorate our departure, but the tyranny of the urgent opposed my best intentions with great force. I’ll wax eloquent later, and maybe even blog a bit as we travel. For now, I’ll say a simple goodbye to the Keystone State (after three years I still don’t know what it’s the key stone for) and to all who dwell within its borders.

On to the Republic.