On the Road Again

Since we brought Ethan home from Korea in mid-February, we’ve made two trips to Wilmore, Kentucky — to defend our dissertations and to graduate. Tomorrow, we head back out on the road for our third trip in as many months.

This time, we’re going to our conference’s annual conference (the yearly gathering of United Methodist pastors and local church representatives to do “worshipful work,” or what John Wesley called “holy conferencing”), which will be held at Messiah College.

But, first, we’ve gotta take a time out to thank God for his protection!

A couple weeks ago, as we began the long drive to Kentucky, we noticed a warning light on the dashboard of Joleen’s car. As we continued to make our way to Hollidaysburg, PA where we planned to meet up with Joleen’s mom and step-dad, Joleen flipped through the pages of her car’s manual to find out what the warning light meant.

After some searching, we learned that the light indicated that one of the tires’ air pressure was too low. We pulled over and did a walk-around of the vehicle but didn’t notice any obvious problems. When we arrived in Hollidaysburg, we increased the air pressure of the front right tire from 27 to 34 psi (following the manual’s recommendation).

After driving over 500 more miles to Kentucky, plus the return trip, the warning light never returned. In fact, we sorta forgot about the problem. However, while driving home yesterday, the warning light came on again.

Flat Tire
Flat Tire
Today, I went out to the garage to check the tire pressure. But I didn’t need to check the pressure because the tire was flat!

We called Dix Honda in State College, PA and I made a trip to the dealership to get the problem solved. BTW, the service department at Dix is the best service department we’ve ever worked with! 😎

As it turns out, the tire had a puncture on the edge of the tire wall, which was not repairable. The service manager told me after the tire was replaced with a new one, “This is the kind of puncture that can go boom anytime!”

Well, after having driven well over a thousand miles, most of which were at Interstate speeds of 70+ miles per hour — and on the eve of making another out-of-town trip — that was a sobering moment!

Anyway, back to annual conference: we always enjoy annual conference, and this year should be especially interesting as Ethan joins us. There, Ethan will meet a number of our friends and colleagues for the first time.

We expect it to be a bit overwhelming for Ethan, though, so we’ll have to use some wisdom in making sure we incorporate enough down time for our family. Tentatively, we’ve scheduled Ethan to be in child care Thursday and Friday mornings (that could be an experience in itself) while we try to keep him with one or both of us during the afternoon and/or evening sessions.

For the past several years, Joleen and I have written for the Daily Link, the newspaper that reports on the events of annual conference. Since we don’t know what annual conference with Ethan will be like, we’re cutting down our involvement a little this year. We each have volunteered to write one article each day.

It looks to be a good few days! Annual Conference begins Thursday morning and concludes Saturday afternoon.

And, for the first time, we *should* have internet access while at Messiah College, so please check back later this week to see how annual conference is going and how Ethan is doing. Also, look for a report on our second (of three) post-placement visit with our caseworker regarding our adoption of Ethan, a visit that will take place in Camp Hill on our way to Messiah College on Wednesday.

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