Thursday, November 25, 2010


by Scott Dalen

Somehow, I find it ironic to be sitting here writing a blog. At times, it almost feels like another assignment that gets added to the list (sometimes, not every time). This week, being Thanksgiving, is of course sans-assignments. Needless to say I'm very thankful for this. After 11 weeks of semester...I'm ready for a week off.

My wife's youngest sister lives in Northern Virginia, just across the river from Washington DC. Everyone except me (which includes my immediate family and the whole set of in-laws) has been out to visit. This year it was my turn.

So, Monday, following my normal day of CPE classwork, I got in the car with my wife, my daughter, and my wife's dad (my son had gone earlier with the other car) and we headed east. We left at 4pm. I drove the first leg, which got really long. While driving, I added some new states to my list that I've visited. By 5am Tuesday morning (yes I was still driving at that point), I had driven into Indiana and Ohio. At this point...namely the west side of Columbus OH, 13 hours of driving and 800 miles did me in. I'd been up for almost 24 hours at that point and I handed off the driving privileges to dad in law.

I slept for a broken 2 hours, during which we got the rest of the way across Ohio. Then I woke up as we shot across the north finger of West Virginia and into Pennsylvania. I took over driving again, and five hours later we had gone through Maryland and into Virginia to arrive. Long drive, but we made it.

Yesterday we traveled into the city. I was hoping to see "the Mall" but only managed from a distance. We did go to Arlington National Cemetery though. That was really amazing. It is indescribable to walk amongst the many see the many monuments. I saw JFK's grave, which was a high point. But for me, the greatest thing, and the most compelling was the tomb of the unknown solider.

We arrived at the top of the hill just in time to see the changing of the guard. And then we sat there and watched the new guard walk his steps back and forth in front for a few minutes. I sat there with my daughter in my lap and some tears in my eyes as I thought of the many brave people that have given their lives for my freedom and at that moment I was honored to be an American. I have never worn a uniform, and very likely I never will, but it is my hope that I am able to offer something to those that I will serve as a pastor.

Its certainly different. No doubt there. But that is my hope.


Post a Comment

<< Home