The opportunity to visit my parents two states away doesn’t come up very often, although I could force it to if I really wanted it to. But as things happened, I was able to spend the weekend with my parents down in Louisiana.
It’s a decent bit of a haul — seven hours south on Friday and then seven back today — for 60 hours with the parents, but it’s time well spent as my parents (Mom especially) miss me as much as I do them.
Now I’m a grown man, I’m 28 going on 29 very soon, but I believe that family is a strong bond that should continue to become stronger over time. Mom and Dad recently celebrated 33 years of marriage, a feat that is becoming more difficult and even more unheard of in modern society, so I take an example from them that the bonds of family need to be continually cultivated and reinforced.
So I drove to Louisiana this weekend and we spent time in Shreveport and Bossier City, the majority of which was at the Boardwalk in a futile attempt to find new shoes. But the trip was well worth it even if it were just for a trip to the Blind Tiger in downtown Shreveport, a restaurant and bar that served up some rather tasty seafood offerings. I ordered the Voodoo Shrimp platter and my mouth nearly burned off, but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
Sunday meant a trip to church, and the parents attend an Assembly of God in a town 20 miles away. It sits across the freeway from a gigantic Baptist church, so the building is rather humble and the congregation even moreso — there could not have been more than 25 people in the sanctuary, but that was okay. An older gentleman led a couple songs from a hymnal (printed at Gospel Publishing House right here in the 417, thank you) and then the rest of worship consisted of some mid-90′s worship songs (read: the era before Hillsong lyrics hijacked each worship service). That was refreshing. Good word too.
Later we went to Monroe and visited Duck Commander, the place where they film Duck Dynasty — really, a show about nothing in particular. The guys are funny every now and then but somehow that show is famous and people were there even though the store was closed. Crazy.
Still later we played Scrabble and I won, of course. Then we sat and talked for awhile while watching Duck Dynasty (yep) and yes, I laughed at a few parts, but — yeah.
The big highlight, however, was seeing my parents’ brand new home. It’s spacious, in a nice neighborhood and their neighbors are generally friendly. It’s a major difference from growing up in a manufactured home — not that growing up in one was bad, but I am just glad to see them own a house in a place they want to settle on their own little parcel. There’s just something cool about that.
I will probably be the only one to say though that Oregon is home, and I wrote about that nearly two months ago. The house felt like home because my parents live there, but it would have a different dynamic if they owned a home back in Oregon. I’m proud of them and happy for them as that is where they want to be — and it’s only a 7-hour drive away — but as for me, I’m not particularly drawn to Louisiana mainly due to the weather. They love it though, and it’s a good fit for them so far.
It was a good visit, and I’m thankful to report it did not have the end result my Christmas visit did in which I suffered a stomach bug and was largely incoherent on the day in which we observe Christ’s birthday. This time was good and I’ll be back soon, I promise. It’s good to see the parents getting settled in a place they want to be, and that makes my heart happy.