Wow -where did the summer go?
We’re coming off an amazing summer of travels and visits in some special places with some very special people. I learned a lot last month about intentionality, cultivating relationships and taking time for the small stuff.
As we roamed across Tennessee (a beautiful state, by the way...), we enjoyed wonderful scenery and hospitality in the local communities. Mark and Jenny Stewart (cousins on Beth’s side of the family) and their wonderful kiddos provided an evening of relaxed fun and fellowship at their home in Mt. Juliet. This was also the place where we picked up some rocket fuel delivered through Mark’s ghost pepper relish (which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed little by little on this trip). There’s a special bond you always share when you’re with family and the Stewarts proved that in spades.
When we entered the Carolinas, we were able to reconnect and visit with some longtime friends. We spent an afternoon with John and Ruth from HHI who were gracious to come visit us at the campsite to “tour” our rig. Ruth and I worked together when I was in college and John became a mentor and dear friend to me as well. They are both amazing people who played a great role in helping me work through college and in establishing the start of my professional career. Though distance makes it even harder to get together, they are the kind of people I will always make time for.
Getting into the Charlotte area allowed us two special opportunities - one to meet up with Sanika (see my earlier FB post) as she had client work not far from our campsite. Very nice to host her for dinner and for her to see what our new normal looks like on the road. Second, we had a wonderful lunch reconnecting with Dave and Daphne. Dave is a longtime friend from high school and we share many great memories of our time together back in the day. I am honored and humbled to know Dave and the man that he’s become both inside and outside of the marketplace. His faith story is awesome and we were so happy to spend time with him and Daphne on this trip.
Lastly in the Carolinas, we enjoyed dinner and the evening with the Monts family in Hilton Head (also see an earlier FB post). We really enjoyed our time with Dennis, Tuesday, Matthew and Hudson, and they were exceptional hosts to us. This time with them was especially meaningful given the recent hurricane and storm activity that would have prevented us from meeting them had we visited three weeks later than we actually did. God’s timing won the days in our Carolinas adventures.
You’ve seen from our other posts that we were in Colorado a couple of weeks ago. While in Denver, we were blessed to meet up with a newer friend, Clayton, for dinner at Denver’s oldest restaurant - Buckhorn Exchange. I met Clay a few years ago at the request of one of my best clients in Atlanta who is also his Mom. His mother has been very good to me over the years as a client so I was especially honored to mentor Clay at a tipping point in his career. He was such an engaging guest and also interacted with the boys well throughout the evening.
As for our new relationships, we’ve met restaurant owners, museum volunteers, RV park neighbors and others who have helped remind us that there’s still plenty of kindness and warmth in this crazy and tumultuous world we live in. We’ll never forget our very first night in the RV and the wise counsel and advice we received from our experienced next door neighbor, Jerry. He put us at ease and confirmed that we hadn’t completely lost our minds and that we were in for a great ride ahead.
So why all of these vignettes? It’s quite simple- no matter how old or how new, relationships matter - from the past, present and future. I keep learning on this trip how cultivating relationships takes time, intentionality and creating margin in our schedule to realize their true significance.
We are blessed beyond measure to continue building old and new relationships over the next several remaining months of our adventure. I’m looking forward to making some new friends and reconnecting with old ones along the way.
See you on the road....
P.S. NOTE FROM WILL: You still have time to guess about the president who freed the donkeys! The answer will be revealed in Mile High Fun Part 2!