Last weekend I attended a singles retreat with my church. The location of the retreat was about 30 minutes north of Louisville in a lovely, secluded wooded area of Indiana. It was probably the most low stress, drama free retreats I've ever been on, which makes my first experience so enjoyable, I'm anxious to go back.
When we pulled out of there on Saturday afternoon, the weather was gorgeous and I looked forward to the drive home. I was so involved in the drive that I missed a turn and took a few more country roads than I had originally planned. But, after getting back on track, my car had found its way to the highway and headed for the bridge that would take me back to Kentucky. It was one of those days that you wanted to drive forever. I probably could have if I hadn't been so sleep-deprived from the weekend of fun. Even though I wasn't as perky of a driver, I felt the need to take "the long way home."
My Mom has been gone almost six years, which is hard to fathom at times. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her, miss her, or remember something she said or taught me. My Mom was notorious for her sayings and commentary - what a lot of folks miss about her. God has been gracious and has brought back to me "new memories" - those that were somewhere in the depths of my heart and soul, yet I hadn't thought of them in years. Like a sweet piece of peppermint candy, I'll savor those memories as long as they last and enjoy the refreshing aftertaste that keep that memory alive. A few weeks ago I had one of those moments and relived it this weekend.
I grew up in the south end of Louisville, yet we would drive to the east end of town to shop, eat, or run errands. Mom and I loved to go shop - mostly at craft stores - and then go try out the newest restaurant in town. Once we would be ready to head home, Mom would proclaim, "Let's take the long way home." I loved those words. That phrase meant that instead of hopping on the highway that would take us home in 15-20 minutes, we would take the scenic route. In Louisville, that meant driving through old Bardstown Road, the Highlands, up beautiful Eastern Parkway and around to the area of town where we lived. Mom would tell stories, point out significant landmarks, and laugh as we talked about almost anything. When I was younger and we'd be leaving one of our day excursions, I'd hold my breath hoping Mom would say those six wonderful words, "let's take the long way home." I could almost always count on her saying it every time.
As I drove home on Saturday, I relived that moment, but this time, by myself, and headed to the southeastern end of town where I live now. I reflected on how much Mom would have loved taking that "long way home" and as I traversed through new areas of town, I reminisced about memories that I have in those areas, much like my Mom did for me. The trip was complete as I stopped off at a local craft store to buy some yarn for a project I'm working on. There was a time when I rebelled against the statement, "You are just like your Mom." Now, I live for it. Thanks, Mom, for teaching me the joy in taking the long way home.