We have just returned from our annual pilgrimage into the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Every year we try to make our way to Lois’ family reunion on Labor Day weekend. We drove down on Friday. On Saturday we visited and attended the parade and visited some more.
On the Lord’s Day we attended Campton Baptist Church. When they saw us they asked us to sing. We sang four songs in the morning service. In the afternoon we attended the family reunion out in the village of Hazel Green, and were asked to pray and sing there, too. Toward evening it was our turn to sing again on the street in Campton for the Swift Silver Mine Festival. We have been asked to sing five years in a row.
On Labor Day Lois’s aunts Reva Terrill and Jean Ferguson treated us to a big breakfast at Kathy’s Diner. The food is great and while you eat your breakfast you get to chat with half the town as they come and go. Our family was treated with great warmth and kindness everywhere we went and we felt that it was both a holiday and a great weekend of ministry, too.
After breakfast we visited the graves of Lois’ “Mamaw Banks” and her father and people. We paused there for prayer around her father’s grave. Her father is buried in a family plot on a hillside cemetery just outside of town. We thought there for a moment how brief and precious life is.
By noon we had to begin our sad drive out of the mountains. In keeping with our family tradition we picked up a few cartons of “Ale-8-One” to drink on our way back to Chicago. Chuk is courting Karilee Kuehn from Kansas. Karilee was with us so before we left stopped in the Daniel Boone National Forest at Natural Bridge State Park so they could ride the “Skylift” up to Natural Bridge together while we tossed a football in the shady park. I think they were happy to get a little time alone in a very beautiful place. They hiked to the Natural Bridge and Lover’s Leap, but they didn’t jump.