I spent this past weekend in Valdosta, Georgia, which despite being in the state in which I live, is actually a long way away. It’s about a 5.5 hour drive from Ringgold and just a few miles from the Florida state line. If you haven’t kept up with the news, it’s also currently the Smoke Capital of the World because of fires in the nearby Okefenokee Swamp.
I didn’t go to see the smoke, though, because that would be an awfully silly way to spend a three-day holiday weekend. I went to see my brother-in-law Chris and his wife, Jenny, for the first time since they moved there last summer. I wasn’t just tagging along with my wife, either, since Chris was my college roommate. He’s a youth minister there, and he’s obviously been doing some good work.
We traveled with my wife’s parents and stayed at Chris’ house, which also serves as the Christian Student Center at Valdosta State. Amazingly, VSU is in the same athletic conference as Harding, despite being a 700-mile, 12-hour drive away. Their a considerably bigger school than Harding, more in line with UT-Chattanooga, so it’s no wonder they’ve had some degree of athletic success in Division II. That’s not the story here, but it’s worth noting since I spend so much time discussing Harding athletics.
We basically spent two full days in the Valdosta and actually got used to the smoke a little bit before we left. We bought some peaches, went to a Weird Al concert, attended Chris’ church, and played lots of Guitar Hero II. It was a good weekend, to say the least.