July 09, 2007

Vacation Again

Lake City is a special place... and I choose that word specifically for all of its full denotative and connotative range. And, by all accounts, it comes into its own at the epitome of special on the 4th of July. So it was decided by6 my wife and my in-laws that I should definitely experience Lake City in all of its wonderful eccentricity on Independence Day week.
And that's how I find myself dragging out of bed at 3:45 in the freaking morning on the Friday before the 4th. Why was this necessary? Well, I'll let you do the math: it's roughly a 16-hour drive to Lake City from Longview, assuming a minimum of delays, and the DFW Metroplex is on that route. In order not to end up in the joy that is DFW morning traffic and the potential for delays due to construction, etc, etc, I need to not be in the Metroplex between 7 and 9 am... oh, and it takes about an hour to get through the Metroplex (assuming a lack of severe traffic or delays.) So, 3 hours to the far side of DFW, I either have to be on the other side by 7 am or I want to be showing up after 9 am. So, I either leave at 4 AM or after 7 AM... the latter landing me in a situation where I'll be going over mountain passes in the dark: not really a great option... especially if I somehow end up driving them - given that my only experience in driving mountain passes is precisely none.
In any event, early morning awakenings and long drives notwithstanding, I was happy to find myself in Lake City in time for Alferd Packer Days. For those of you not in the know, Alferd Packer is (was) the Lake City Cannibal and my favorite icon of Lake City. I may have written about him before... if so, I'll find it around here at some point. Anyways, when I was informed that Packer was being celebrated in song and drink... and by drink I mean solid, locally-brewed beer, I was there. And for $10 I got a glass stein with Packer's mug on it, that stein filled once with beer and $2 refills. I think I even supported some wonderful Lake City charity like the Lake City Friends of Bears or something.
But even better than Saturday's festivities was what we did on Sunday. It's not just that we got to go to Church outside in our hammock chairs, but that the service that we attended was all of the churches in Lake City holding a joint Community Service. Yes, all 5 churches in town banded together to hold the service: Presbyterian, Grace Brethren, Episcopal, Baptist and Catholic. Yeah... that's right, the Baptists and the Catholics in the same service cooperating and singing together, saying the Apostles' Creed and even listening to a sermon by a Baptist minister. I really couldn't even begin to tell you what the sermon was about, what hit me was the ecumenical spirit in that community: after living so many years amongst Catholic-haters, Baptist-bashers and various denominational segregationalists, I always feel amazed and even slightly convicted by people setting aside the less-important things for the core doctrines of the Creed and the unity of Christ's Church.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at July 9, 2007 01:30 PM | TrackBack