Today marks 24 years of marriage for me and Mary Kay. It has been interesting to spend a week back in our old haunts around Atlanta, but without either of our boys. Ken is down in Brazil, visiting our missionary colleagues, the Reyes, while Chip is busy at summer school in Blacksburg, VA. The two of us had spent a short time in Utah in early July, visiting Mary Kay's brother and a supporting church in Park City before spending two days in the southern part of the state, enjoying the incredible scenery at Bryce Canyon and at the Capitol Reef National Monument.
We have been able to meet with some long-standing friends on this trip, and as we share stories and hear about their lives, it strikes me how encouraging it is when such friends affirm our decision to extend our stay in Ghana another two years.
Yesterday, we spoke at Dunwoody UMC, our home church in the USA, and shared photos of water projects, clay pot water filters, teaching at the University, and such. After lunch with the Mathis's, who have opened their home to us this month, Mary Kay and I drove on up to North Georgia and tromped about, looking for waterfalls. We visited one we had not seen before, called Helton Creek Falls, which was not particularly well-marked, but listed on the Georgia Trails website. On the way back, we stopped in to hike the 3/4 mile trail to the upper DeSoto Falls. Even though the temperatures in Atlanta were in the mid-90's, the forests were still very green and remarkably cool. Then on our way home, the usual afternoon thundershowers cooled things down nicely.
The walks brought back fond memories of other walks Mary Kay and I have taken, especially those in forests. Don't get much chance to do that in Ghana, and I miss that.
Our time in the US is flying, we will gather as a nuclear family of four this weekend in Virginia. I'm looking forward to catching up with both boys, maybe spending some more time out on rivers or in forests, which are beautiful in western Virginia.