It was a very different July. I have been away from this blog for a month. (Vacation and some study time.) On July 1, Charlotte's mom had a stroke and was in the hospital for most of the month (She was just moved to rehab last week). Then there is Christine's wedding in just a matter of weeks. Nevertheless, it was a good month in many ways.
For two weeks, I stayed in Murfreesboro, Tn. Christine has now moved there and is living in an apartment. During the day, I would work on my "stuff"--usually in Nashville (about a 25 minute drive). (I worked on a few series that I plan to teach/preach over the next 12 months). Meanwhile, she went to work (works as a sales rep for Wrigley). She drives all over middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky. It was good to be with her some and to have some special time together just before she gets married (Sept. 3).
While there, it struck me just how much middle Tennessee has changed since we lived in that part of the country (North Alabama--just 2 hours away). I was struck by the the various ethnic groups present--everywhere. It has been a long time since I have been in middle Tennessee. I didn't expect to find such diversity in Murfreesboro. I didn't expect to find a Buddist temple there. One long time friend who lives there, told me that when his daughter graduated from high school a couple of years ago, her best friends were from Iran, South America, and Saudia Arabia.
I was also struck by how secular that part of the country has become (I still tend to think of it as the heart of the Bible belt. Not even sure if that exisits anymore). I was in a Starbucks one day. I was in Nashville not far from the downtown area. At the table next to me were two women. One was obviously a wedding planner (for some reason much of that conversation sounded fairly familar). I gathered that this was a professional wedding planner with no connection to the bride, other than she had been hired for her services.
Near the end of the conversation, the wedding planner made a remark regarding her teenager. The bride remarked that she knew nothing about that. She was just trying to learn to be a mother to her baby. She then began to tell the wedding planner about the house where she and her boyfriend lived.
Unusual ? No, I guess not. Not these days. Yet, I was struck by the casualness of it. Something was lost...