Home at Last

By

The tour ended a few days ago.  Josh and I rolled up the long gravel driveway to our house at about 1:30 am after having covered eleven states and almost 5,000 miles.  Jamie had left the pumpkins lit and the porch light on, and my little house on the hill looked as warm and comforting as a poundcake fresh out of the oven.

I walked around the yard for a while, looked at the stars, said a few words to Moondog, whose tail thumped lazily on the porch wood, and thanked God in Heaven that I was home.

I wasn’t home for long, though.  I had to get up in about six hours and visit a wonderful school to play the children a few songs and read a chapter from On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.  I was sleepy, but seeing all those little boys and girls hugging my book to their chests was well worth it.  The next night was Halloween, and after the kids went trick-or-treating (Aedan and Asher as Clone Troopers, Skye as the most adorable spider you ever did see), we lit a fire in the chimnea outside and ate chili with good friends while the kids stuffed their faces.

After being gone for weeks, I was giddy at the memories being made, the sweetness of the homestead, the sound of the kids giggling; all my roadweariness evaporated.  I saw the moon lifting over the junipers and hackberry trees and sighed.  I commented that everything was just about perfect, and I wondered aloud who would soon be going to the hospital.  I was chastised for the cynical remark, and I confess I have a habit of waiting for the other boot to drop.  Well, in about three hours I found myself in the emergency room, pressing a towel to the side of my bleeding head.

I was breaking a branch for the fire, and when I kicked it the long end flew up and whacked me in the ear.  It gashed me in one place and cut my earlobe clean in two.  I got seventeen stitches.  I’m not complaining, really.  Even as I bled on the way to the ER I appreciated that it would make for a good story.  And you know me, I’m a sucker for a good story.

Anyway, the next morning I left for yet another show, this time with Andys Gullahorn and Osenga.  It was a great time, but somewhere between Canton, Georgia and Nashville I reached the threshold of my car-travel endurance.  After the tour, then a hospital visit, then another four hour drive for Saturday’s show, I was officially finished traveling.  I wanted to go home, and that’s all I wanted to do.

I got in late last night and crawled into bed, thankful beyond thankful that I only have one show this month before the Christmas tour begins.

So what did we do today?  We rushed out the door for church, drove about five minutes, then turned around.  We decided that instead of church we’d drive to the Smoky Mountains to see Tennessee in all its autumnal glory. We packed a change of clothes, and drove four hours east into the mountains.  That’s right.  More driving.  But this was different.  This was with my two boys and my sweet daughter.  This was with my bride.  We read stories aloud in the car and stopped for candy at the Shell station.  We talked in funny accents and listed the top five things we hoped to do before we died (Aedan said he wanted to visit Sweden; Asher said he wanted to dig a tunnel to the center of the earth; Skye giggled and chewed her gum).  We walked the sidewalks of Gatlinburg in light jackets and marveled at how red a maple leaf can be.  We listened to the bluegrass band play Rocky Top at 78 rpm.  We ate caramel apples.

The last thing I wanted to do today was sit for one more minute in the car, or to travel to another city that wasn’t Nashville.  I’m writing this from a little motel, hours from the Warren.  But with these children and this wife in my company, the world can spin anyway it wants to and my home will glide atop it like a gull on the water.

Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


10 Comments

  1. Loren Eaton

    So sorry about the ear, AP! I bet that hurt like the dickens …

    I’ve spent the weekend listening to Resurrection Letters, Vol. II, and my wife and are of the same opinion on it — it’s the best thing you’ve ever done, so beautiful at points it’s almost numinous. Many, many kudos.

  2. dip rippy

    Amen. My family and I were driving back from Knoxville Sunday, taking every winding back road through the mountains, drinking in the color of the season. We’re watching an uncle succumb to Lou Gehrig’s and my wife’s grandma’s 88 year old body fade away. What’s bright and beautiful is the faithful lives they’ve led. Funny how things seem to burn their brightest before they fall.

  3. Daniel

    Beautiful words Andrew. Thanks for the thoughts. I work in this little Christian music industry as well, this past weekend was my only weekend off tour for the fall and I told my fiance I just wanted to stay home and enjoy the time. So what did we do? We packed up the car and went camping. But you’re right, it’s totally different, those hours of travel are not the same when you are with the ones you love and have the time to soak in the beauty of Creation around us.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Christopher Hopper

    What a yarn!

    Do I feel your pain…

    Jennifer (my wife) had a girls night out (first in a long time) while I took the kids for an adventure date with Daddy tonight. This comes right on the heels of our west coast book tour and just before we leave for a bunch of conferences leading worship over the next month. I’m so beat and the year isn’t even close to being over for us Hoppers yet. No bodily injuries as of late…(learning from your recent experience and NOT saying anything that will get me in trouble…lol). But the thing that keeps me going are these little voices in the back seat and this beautiful girl beside me…and one more (H3) on the way June 1st, 2009! Makes time stand still…

    Back to editing book 3 for a very gracious publisher (talk about patient!). Thanks for sharing and giving me a break. Blessings on the RR!

    CH

  5. Sherry

    Thank you for this new CD. It is truly incredible. We’ll see you at the Christmas concert in Richmond.

  6. ginny

    Hey, Sherry! Yes, Richmond is giddy with anticipation for the December 5th concert. Andrew, stay away from flying objects that could whack you in the head (or ear)…just kidding-I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. Hope all is on the mend. I’ve been enjoying your entries-makes me think about how the good life contains the good-great concerts with great crowds and sweet music, the bad-a pipe bursts in your basement, and the ugly-you get whacked in the ear by a flying branch. And then you climb in a car and ride 4 hours with your family to take in the beauty of God’s autumn creation and giggles of your children. I like to hear stories about life that are honest and true. The mess that can be life co-exists somehow with the “windows in the world”…and by the grace of our “invisible God” the beauty is still getting through. Thanks, Andrew…

  7. Julie

    I think the smoky mountains are one of the most beautiful places in the world! Of all the places I’ve been (which isn’t many places) that’s my favorite place to spend time. I’m so glad you got to enjoy it with your family. I hope your ear is feeling better!

  8. Andrew

    How very rich and how simple. Aren’t family and home awesome? Isn’t God’s voice through His creation breathtaking? And isn’t real community with friends just awesome? I long for more of each of these. Thanks for the story and the reminder of what it’s all about.

  9. JIm A

    Is there any chance this Picasso like incident could stir Gullahorn’s creative writing juices again?

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