Love your person quirks and all

Published 9:35 am Friday, August 11, 2023

By Jan Penton-Miller


The car was packed with only a few essentials left to slip in in the morning before we began our trek to East Tennessee. It had been a while since we visited our precious daughter and son in law in Newport, and we couldn’t wait to give and get big hugs.

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Dwayne was celebrating a birthday, and we wanted to deliver our gift in person.

The next morning it took a little longer than anticipated finishing our preparations and getting on the interstate, but we were rolling pretty early. My side of the vehicle is always filled with a wide assortment of things that I could possibly need.

I keep my Bible and a notebook close at hand. But additionally, I have other books that I may want to read on the trip. Then there is a makeup bag with everything imaginable crammed inside.

Next, there is the bag of snacks that would feed a small army. I also have cd’s just in case we go through a dead spot. Forget the fact that I could listen to Pandora or something on my phone. That would make too much sense and mess up my packing strategy. Something would be amiss if I actually had a place for my feet.

 So you see traveling with me can be interesting, but in my defense I read those books aloud to the driver so he doesn’t get bored and have to resort to listening to a ballgame or something. You know anyone would rather be read to and have a discussion on what was read, huh? And if Mike gets tired of listening I can always change to Ryan’s car.

Ryan and I always have lively discussions and look up things on Google to see which one of us has the correct information. We learn a lot of random, unimportant facts this way, but we enjoy it especially if we are the one who finds out we had the right information all along.

After over 10 hours of all this fun we rolled into Melinda and Dwayne’s driveway and began unpacking. It has been a minute since we have visited, and although I have seen videos of all the renovations they have been doing it was exciting to see all the changes in person. Their once red brick home is now a lime washed white with beautiful new shutters that Dwayne built himself.

The house, yard, and garden look awesome, but the real fun was getting those hugs from those two beautiful people. It makes this Mama’s heart happy to see my girl so happy. We all know that marriage is hard work, but it seems so easy for Melinda and Dwayne.

I started to say they overlook the quirks of the other one, but I don’t think this is true. I believe their love is so strong that instead of getting annoyed with the differences they embrace them as a special part of their person.

Write to Jan Penton-Miller at