As I drove into town I noticed the new water tower first with its beaming statement, “It Feels Like Home” proudly painted in all caps.
Brownwood, Texas. Home sweet home.
It’s been a few years since my eyes have roamed the old streets of where I spent my college days at Howard Payne University. What days they were too; filled with all kinds of experiences, relationships and puredee fun.
That was 17 years ago this spring. I guess that’s more than “a few”. But, to me it seems like just a few.
I decided to take a quick road trip from my busy life in Dallas and spend a few days down here in no-mans-land. I barely have cell phone signal here for goodness sakes and the radio stations still have two choices, country AND western, that is. Some things just never change.
People have asked me, “why in the heck are you going to Brownwood!?” Honestly, my answers make sense to me, but to those who hear them, I get nothing but weird stares, so my reply has been, “It’s a long story.”
In a strange way, since 1991, this place has just always felt like home to me. When I need a break, need to think, or just need to get away, Brownwood is here for me.
And this is one of those times.
I just need to think. I need to connect with myself and with God, even if for just a few hours tonight and tomorrow before I head home. And this is the place I know best to do just that.
Years ago it was here that I would sit in my car with the moon roof open starring at the stars and thinking about life while discussing my concerns with God. It was here we could make our way out to the lake and build a small fire without getting in trouble. It was here we could still shoot fireworks off each year. It was here that I could focus. It was here that I really didn’t worry about much more than whom I was going to date next. It was here that life was about friends, serving God, prayer, having fun and preparing for life.
And life is in full swing for me and my family.
The last time I was here my life was about to be changed drastically. My twin daughters, Chloe and Sidney were on their way. Everything was going to be different, but it would also be much better.
My wife and I are once again at the point in which a historical marker could be placed. Our son Quinn, born just 7 months ago outside of Seoul, South Korea, will be coming home with us in a matter of weeks. Paperwork for his adoption is being finalized, all attorneys have been paid and the wait for our travel call is on. Any day, we will be preparing to jump on a Korean Air 14 hour flight all the way around the world. We will cry, be amazed, thank God and head home just days later, never to be the same again.
When we get back, we will be a family of seven; two girls, one boy and yes, two dogs.
And, I cannot wait!
So, before the rush is on, I needed some time. Time to get ready. Time to think about some decisions I need to make. Time to thank God for all He has given to me. I am gonna pray, relax, think, eat at Underwoods for lunch tomorrow, and get ready for the rest of the ride life has in store.
Brownwood – it will never be home for you. It will never be home for my wife or kids. But to me, it feels like home, at least for tonight.