Thursday, April 19, 2007

Friends of the South...

Wow,
that's about all of the energy I have left to say is... wow. Took some time off for the first time in over seven years and did something for me. Not time off for something work/broadcasting related. Not for the Cherokee. No family work related stuff. Just for me. I took some time off and went and headed down south of home to meet a couple of friends. One for the first time, and one for the second. Both are, um, southerners (editor's note: if you have a Texas backround as do I, it only serves as a minor help in interpreting cajun and blue grass...) Only kidding... I stopped in Dayton and had an iced tea with my favorite cajun, Riccie. Riccie was great to talk to (and she only has a hint of an accent) as she and I sat inside of Applebees and watched the rain come pouring down with the cold wind and it reminded me why Toledoans have such a low regard for Dayton. Even their weather is awful... :) Actually, Riccie and I had a great time in spite of the dreary conditions outside.
I left Dayton and headed down into Kentucky because I needed to go see Jackson. I promised her that I would come down and see what she and her family does for ministry at two churches. I headed down from Dayton and spent the night at a motel somewhere near them as I didn't get near their town till about midnight. And then the adventure started. There were no rooms available at most places and the one place that I did find a room, well, the room had no heat and all they had was a faulty space heater. Perfect. Someone cue ‘Dueling Banjos’ from the movie ‘Deliverance’… Took a walk outside and looked at the locals and it occurred to me that the mullet still rules in these parts. I smiled and no one was the wiser…
On Sunday, I woke up and went into town to the Church where Jackson and her folks were. The first person I see when I go in is the pastor who didn’t recognize me so immediately introduces him self. I thought “okay, nice enough man”… and didn’t think anything of it. Not until about six other people came up and introduced themselves to me and asked if I was Jackson’s friend because she mentioned that I’d be coming in for a visit. I laughed to myself because it almost turned into a mini-press conference. I LOVED it… I walked over and saw Jackson and her eyes lit up. I couldn’t suppress my smile. She is amazing. I sit right by her at the service and several selections were played and they were requested by Jackson herself. I couldn’t help but feel so proud of her. Because I might be late in coming into getting to know Jackson, but based on what others told me away from her, its obvious this lady is someone special to behold. She does not let her physical setbacks keep her from living life.
I spent a couple of days there and went to the other Church to see what Jackson and her family do for outreach in the poorer section of the community. I was stunned at the daunting task that they face week in and week out. But they do it with a smile. Always. The volunteers there are nothing short of incredible. It was humbling to watch them do what they did… Jackson’s dad (JD) and Jackson’s mom (JM) are something else. JD is a very smart man who works tirelessly between his day job and this labor of love. JM is the ultimate in great ladies. I watched in awe as she would do everything to help Jackson with her physical needs and never bat an eye. Then she’d whip up some amazing grub to eat and go and do 12 different things at once over at the Church and make time to talk to people who wanted some of her busy time and never lost an iota of energy. I got tired watching her go. When I headed back home, she packed me a 5-star meal. I’m not kidding. I love small, out of the way places with local little hole in the wall restaurants. But NONE held a candle to JM’s cooking. She is AWESOME. It was better than any restaurant food and I’m talking gourmet restaurants. Just an amazing lady… I couldn’t say enough. By the way, I also got meet Jackson’s aunt Sundae. She is sooo cool. I really enjoyed talking with her and Jackson. They both were making me laugh after Church on Sunday. I really had a great time there.
Well, now I’m home and while the six hour drive was uneventful, I have to get ready for the daily grind in a matter of a few hours… Hope you all are doing well, I haven’t heard from work about Haley or her new little brother who is literally battling for his life as a newborn. I’ll let y’all know what is going on tomorrow…

2 comments:

Jackson said...

hey :) It was a great time :) You are an awesome man. I am blessed to call you friend :) The kids at the Valley could get used to you. Thank you so much for all you did!

Riccie said...

Thank you, Mik. You are a sweetie.