Tennessee

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I know that  nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor–it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

It was the summer of “87” and Bryan Adam’s voice could be heard singing Summer Of “69” over the airwaves.  Two young girls, both just nineteen, had a summer job working for a ground-cover nursery–making money for college.  One went to Miami University, the other to a local community college.  They soon learned that they had much in common and became fast friends.  I was one of those girl’s and my best friend, Sherry, was the other.  We’ve traveled the highway of life together–not always in the same state or even the same country for that matter, but no matter where the Lord has planted us we’ve remained friends. We both married two amazing men, were pregnant at the same time with three of our children, and have spent hours keeping in touch thanks to Ma Bell (Ma Bell–phone company).  Even when she and her family felt God calling them to ministry in Australia we were able to stay in touch–she has since returned to the United States (thank you, Jesus).

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Aside from diapers and dirty dishes our families have participated in a whole gamut of activities together: camping, boating, pumpkin patches, train rides, water parks, and even a Disney parade.  We visit one another in our different parts of the country but not nearly as often as we would like.  However, she and her family joined mine for four wonderful days in Tennessee and what fun we had.

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We started planning a boating trip sometime last fall.  Since I live in the North and she lives in the South we decided to meet somewhere in the middle (Norris Lake, Tennessee).  We rented a house large enough to house four adults, my (four) seasons of blessings, and her (five) marks of God–yes that’s a grand total of thirteen people, still a little shy of the Duggars.

Our rented house for the week was absolutely beautiful, however the drive was straight up and very steep  (the pictures above are taken from the front porch).  Sherry’s family arrived first and braved the trip up the drive with boat-trailer in tow.  The back tires of their boat- trailer slipped over the side of the drive and promptly cut slits in two tires, which immediately went flat.

A kind neighbor named “Gus” instructed us on where to purchase new tires and offered us the use of his boat-dock for the week, so we wouldn’t have to pull our boats up and down the drive all week–What A Blessing!  With tires fixed and a place to dock our boats for the week our husbands went to launch the boats into the lake.  The brakes on our van decided to go out as they were backing our boat into the lake.  Fortunately the van stopped before it joined the boat in the lake.

We always lock our boat trailer to the van as a way to prevent theft.  However, we did not remember the key to the lock–Gus once again came to our rescue by providing bolt cutters to cut the lock off the boat-trailer so that we could take the van in for  repairs. (he also recommended a garage where we could have the brakes replaced).  Gus is a kindhearted, generous man and a great help.

After those two little incidents, the rest of our trip was wonderful.  Our children are so close in age that they get along great.  Our older boys, both sixteen, are a great help with carrying heavy things and our younger boys were very helpful with docking the boats.  We had enough yummy food to feed an army–which it seemed like we had.  Nine children can clean you out of food, fast!

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The Lord provided sunny days and warm water.  We swam, skied, tubed, and kneed-boarded.  When we weren’t on the lake the children played tag, kick the can, and board games.  There was even a pool table outside, under the porch, which they had fun playing.

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We celebrated Fathers Day with grilled chicken and ice cream cake.  We won’t forget the memories made on Fathers Day 2013.

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Sherry and her family returned home after four days, but we stayed three more days.  After their departure we found the most amazing rope swing.  Someone had not only tied a rope high in a tree but nailed steps up the tree.  My children loved climbing the tree and swinging out over the lake and jumping in.

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We were surrounded by the truly magnificent works of God’s hands.  He blessed our time with friendship, the beauty of His creation, fun-filled days and nights, and brought rest and rejuvenation.  What a great God we have.

Count blessings, Kasey

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