After work Friday, Anna and I set off for an 800-mile road trip to Indianapolis, IN, and Bowling Green, KY. After watching a rather enjoyable sunset along I-70, our first stop found us on the northwest side of Indianapolis, where we stayed Friday night with the Kiels. Matt is the big brother I never had (literally and figuratively, as he is my Fraternity Big Brother). He and his wife, Casey, have two children: Mason, 3, and Calia, 6 weeks.
The picture here was taken a couple weeks ago by Casey, but was too cute not to use (that, and in my ongoing saga with remembering to bring my camera, but forgetting actually to take pictures with it, I didn't get any of the family while we were there).
Visits with Matt and Casey always seem so short; this one was, unfortunately, no different. But it did include memorable moments such as my first-ever experience being peed on by a baby, and Mason explaining to us where Jesus lives and what He did for us, along with several other always-funny ruminations of a three-year-old.
Saturday morning, Anna and I left the Kiels and drove down Lafayette Road to the west side to spend some time with my Grandma. This visit was Anna's first opportunity to meet anyone from my family, and Grandma made her feel right at home, regaling us with stories of the family - especially of my dad, growing up. We went out to eat for lunch, drove Anna by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, since the largest racetrack she had seen before was Gateway, and since Grandma lives only two miles from the Brickyard. Afterward, we headed south to Kentucky.
Labor Day Trip 007
Kurt and Kathy Brandt, Lauren, Zach, Noah, and Luke, with Chip and Anna, Labor Day weekend, 2005
9th September, 2005
Uploaded by Chip Bennett
Now that Indiana has raised the rural speed limits to 70mph, the drive to Bowling Green was a bit shorter than I expected. We arrived at the Brandt house mid-afternoon. Kurt and Kathy pastored at my church in Michigan - Kalamazoo Valley Family Church - and have since moved to Kentucky to plant a church. They have four children: Lauren, 12, Zach, 9, Noah, 3, and Luke, 9 months. I was close to the family when we all lived in Michigan, since they led the young adult ministry. I became even closer to Kurt during a mission trip to Manchester, England, right before I moved to St. Louis.
We spent the next two days mostly just relaxing and visiting. We spent some time with Ranger, a horse they are leasing/boarding, and their dog Misty. Anna and I each took a turn in the hammock, her falling asleep reading Sunday afternoon, and me enjoying a cool morning while reading my daily One Year Bible reading Monday. We attended the Brandt's church Sunday morning, and took part in the nascent Sunday-lunch-and-games tradition. Monday was also Kurt's birthday, which we celebrated Sunday night. Kathy gave Anna a book to take home, and I started and finished To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Judy Pearl.
In all, it was just a relaxing time. We headed back west late Monday afternoon, and drove through a gorgeous sunset as we crossed the Ohio River. Anna and I got to spend some quality "alone" time, especially while driving, and had some great conversations and just enjoyed each other's company. And she finally got the chance to start meeting my family and close friends.