Yesterday evening, Rebekah and I drove to the Tampa International Airport to meet my mum and dad. They came in on a British Airways flight from London-Gatwick, having spent a cold, rainy four-weeks with friends and relatives in the U.K.
I have to admit, after this year’s extended and seemingly endless run of muggy summer heat, there’s a lot of appeal to the idea of cold and rainy!
Regardless, it is so good to see my parents again. And, as I always park on the roof, Florida immediately put its best foot forward and welcomed them back with a spectacular show of color and the balmy evening promise of the “winter” months to come.
Dad, Rebekah, and mum, on the roof of the TPA parking garage
HOME: We drove to Sarasota across the Howard Franklin and then the Sunshine Skyway. A deep orange sun eased itself into the water with hardly a splash, the bay turned a luminous pale blue that seemed to hold its own light, and the sky displayed a brilliant array of colors well after the horizon, spinning away from the light at speeds approaching 1,000 mph, had set our course toward the night.
One benefit of always parking on the roof is that I never forget where I left the car. There’s never the wondering of, “What elevator?” “What level?” “What row?” Those are hard questions when you’re the kind of guy who sometimes doesn’t remember what car he came out in:
“Rebekah, help, I can’t find my car anywhere!”
“Derek, that’s because you took mine today.”
But the real reason I park on the roof is the open air, the wonder, the perspective. Sometimes I’ll arrive early just so I can walk around the perimeter and look out over the Gulf of Mexico, the bay, the city, the stadium, the highways, the shuttles taking people to and from the gates, the phenomenon that is the metroplex – the juxtaposition of steel, concrete, infrastructure, business, and teeming life…
GRATEFUL: So Rebekah and I got my parents settled at home in Sarasota, headed north, and stopped for a late (for us) dinner at Applebee’s. And I found myself just being grateful:
Grateful that I have two parents, in their 80′s, who are still able to enjoy traveling; grateful for Rebekah, who thinks it’s a good time to hang out with me, no matter what the agenda; grateful that we live where we can pull off the road because we’re hungry and easily find somewhere to eat; grateful for this good life.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)