Traveling Lifestyle

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Often when people asked me where we live I would reply, tongue-in-cheek, “Delta Airlines.” It often seemed we spent as much time in airports and on planes as we did at home. However, since retiring we have the margin to drive on most of the trips and enjoy the journey instead of rushing back to the office to take on the burdens of the world. With so much time away from home, I still do not acknowledge that I actually live in Clinton, Mississippi but say we pick up our mail and do our laundry there!

We haven’t slowed down much from a lifetime of travel. Serving as area director for South and Southeast Asia our final years on the field required traveling 70% of the time to stay in touch with the 500 missionaries in 15 countries from Pakistan to the South Pacific. That pace continued as president of the IMB with constant engagements all over the country and frequent overseas trips. I aspired to visit all the places our missionaries serve but never fulfilled that objective as extensive deployment of our personnel continued to grow.

Having just been away for two weeks at the Antioch Ministries International Conference in Colorado–a delightful place to spend hot summer days–we find ourselves with only a few days to turn-around and prepare for another two week trip. This time we will be going to visit our daughter and family in Central Asia at the peak of their hot season.

We arrived home from Colorado to find our air conditioning was out. For a brief moment we considered not doing anything about it, reasoning it would help us acclimatize to the heat in Central Asia where there is no AC and often the electricity for fans is off. After sweltering for one night we called the repairman!

The few days between trips means sorting through all the accumulated mail (amazing how much we get, even in an era of electronic media) and returning phone messages. Cleaning house and doing laundry is Bobbye’s priority, and yes, she would not attack these chores (as pictured) without her make-up and coffered hair. What a woman!

Mowing overgrown grass is my immediate priority so it can be closely mowed again before leaving. Meanwhile, Bobbye’s greatest concern is nurturing and caring for the welfare of her houseplants. We have had house sitters on occasion or friends to come in to water them. However, due to our extended summer travel we decided to find a shady place in the yard where they would not get too much sun. Fortunately, due to two inches of rain while we were gone they did well this time.

Another priority when coming in from a trip is taking “Elvis” for a spin to keep the battery charged. This is the affectionate name for our straight shift, three-on-the-tree, ’56 Chevy sedan. Acquired several years ago, it is similar to the model my family owned when I learned to drive as a teenager. When the motor broke down a friend installed a ’74 Chevelle V-8 350, so we enjoy cruising around town. Now with all the household tasks done, we turn to repacking suitcases, this time filled with gifts and goodies for our grandchildren…and back to the airport.


One Comment on “Traveling Lifestyle”

  1. Phyllis Amis Randall

    Elvis indeed!! “Twas just that year that he began to emerge on the scene, and I loves him at first sight…and now this car!! What a lovely model that was. You and your babe posing by it is awesome…and it makes me homesick for your faces. Glad you are enjoying your re-treading instead of taking retirement!! Never expected you to sit around and molt….with the temperatures in Mississippi and now in Dubai you could melt instead ! We have dear kids here whose families live in Dubai and we have visited them there. A good place to enjoy the indoors….even to snow ski! And now you are with Lori and her family- isn’t this modern age wonderful for company folks? They can Skype and you can talk to them and watch the children grow, never feeling cut off from them. The chip and fiber optics have changed the whole world of communication!! Now more 3 week trips just to get there…and six weeks for an aerogram to get there and the same to get one back- if ever. When my sister went to East Pakistan in 1959 it was like dropping off the face of the earth,and it was unthinkable that the folks would go visit them!

    Have a wonderful trip and enjoy being grandparents in the flesh!! Give Lori and her family big THANK YOUS and HUGS for us!!

    Love to you both-

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