June 2001 — This weekend Sara Faye, Grandma Locke and I, with both our children and their spouses (all from Texas), enjoyed a Fudge family reunion at beautiful, wooded, Doublehead Resort on Wilson Lake in North Alabama (www.doublehead.com). My brothers from California and Florida werethere, as well as two brothers and a sister from Alabama and our mother from Ohio. Plus dozens of other Fudge-related kin covering about four generations. You will understand when I say that the event was both restful and tiring.
Along the way, we visited the little stone house in Franklin, Tenn. where Sara Faye grew up, and drove past our own former home in Athens, Ala., 80 miles to the south, which was also my hometown. We drove past the red barn (now crumbling) where we once met as Elm Street Church (you can read the story in my book “Beyond the Sacred Page,” online at www.EdwardFudge.com). Between Athens and Franklin we covered the oh-so-familiar and oh-so-beautiful rolling hills of south-central Tennessee which always tug at all our heartstrings any season of the year.
I found myself considering the difference between roots and branches, between remembering and looking back, between cherishing all the good elements of the past and in second-guessing God’s guidance which involved breaking with those roots and that past and moving into the great unknown (in so many different senses). I look forward to the new heavens and new earth which, I am persuaded, will include the best of all fine places and will not require us to miss what is good anywhere in order to enjoy what is wonderful somewhere else. At least that is what I like to think.