Origin Stories

Day 53 - Emily’s Entry – June 4 – 5:46pm – Signal, Mountain, Tennessee

Home is a beautiful place. Our first night here at Corey’s parents’ Home, I slept the entire night without waking once. This was the first place on this trip we’ve actually been to before and know. The dogs greeted us with loyal whimpers. We were grungy and exhausted.

On our way to Chattanooga, while driving 55mph, a rock flew into the road in front of us. We were worried a tire was flat when we flew over the football-size rock. My first though was “I’m so glad we put the storage system together with Velcro so that we can get to the flat tire.” Thankfully, we only had a side bumper jimmy loose. The work crew responsible for the flying rock came over and a good, old boy zip-tied it back on. Zip ties make perfect Southern fixes.

Day 54 - Corey’s Entry – June 5 – 4:45pm - Signal Mountain, Tennessee

There’s that old saying, “Home, Sweet Home.” I still call my parents’ house where I grew up Home, like many people do. It’s where I learned about the world and began to figure out who I was. Signal Mountain, Tennessee will always be a Home to me. I know it very well, and that’s a comfortable feeling. My mother has made changes to the house, but the feeling is the same. We all still sit out on the porch and listen to thunderstorms or have long, life-lesson porch talks with my father.

We were weary when we arrived into Chattanooga on Day 52. After playing with dogs and piddling around we unpacked the entire car. We unloaded our winter gear, preparing for the upcoming heat waves. The cooler was left behind since it will be close to impossible to keep things cold for more than half a day in our hot car. We’ve also stocked up on water and sunscreen.

Chattanooga (the city at the foot of Signal Mountain) is full of adventures. It’s outdoorsy, innovative, and beautiful. There’s always something going on downtown or by the river. The history is rich and full of inspiring artists. This was kind of like our pit stop. I wish I had photographed more while I was there, but we were exhausted and enjoying time with family. I will be back. Thank you Mountain Mom and Dad for your generosity.

Day 65 - Emily’s Entry - June 16 – 12:19am – My Old Bedroom – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

6 months is too long to be away from my childhood Home where my parents, sister, grandfather, and dogs are. Driving past my old high school on the road I used to travel Home, past the roads I took to visit from college and the summer camp I used to work at, I thought of all the times speeding, blasting music, hand out the window, with so many old friends and crushes. It was all a far-away familiar.

Aging is so strange. It’s like we’re always trying to rush things: graduate early, settle down, get pets, have a family. We are also trying to slow everything down: birthdays, lazy days, deadlines, the snooze button! Don’t you believe everything will happen all in due time? Why must we feel the need to slow and speed things to our convenience?

I try to take stock in two mottos:

  1. I will be where I’m supposed to be, when I’m supposed to be there.
  2. Does God not provide for the birds in the sky? Are you not more important than a bird?