Our daughter, Amber, was about to give birth to her third child and we wanted to be of assistance. She already had two daughters, one four years old and the other who celebrated her second birthday the day after the birth of Atticus on Sept. 9, 2014.
While my wife, Judy, did most of the chores with the new baby boy, I pitched in with the two little girls by playing games and keeping them occupied.
We were fortunate to buy a home across the street from Amber’s. It was formerly occupied by Rev. John Dunaway and his family who was the pastor at First Baptist Church in Corbin for many years.
That first year was a lesson why younger people have children. We started the day at 6 a.m. when Judy would go across the street to Amber’s to take care of the children and I would pick up the four year old, Adelyn, at 7 a.m. to take her to pre-school. We then transferred the kids to our house at noon when I picked Adelyn up from school and kept them until Amber got home from her teaching job.
We kept this up the first year. When school started the second year Adelyn was in kindergarten and the other two were taken to a baby sitter.
During this entire period I have maintained my job at the News Journal. The first six months I commuted every week from Corbin to Henderson, a four hour drive each way. Then at the start of 2015 I handed the leadership of the newspaper over to Trent Knuckles and started making occasional drives.
I could do everything from my home office in Henderson that I do at my office in Corbin because of today’s technology. With my computer, fax machine and telephone I continued my role there.
However, as of last week, my wife and I moved back to Corbin. Oh no, we are not totally leaving those wonderful grandchildren in Henderson. We will still be taking frequent trips there.
In my graduating years those grandchildren are number one in my life. Lesley Stahl of CBS has written a book about being grandparents and she tells how we can fall in love again. I am totally in love with them.
I play until I almost drop. I never say “no”. It is the highlight of my day when they are around. I even sneak some candy bars and ice cream bars to the two older ones without telling their mother. It is our secret.
I wish Henderson was closer to Corbin so we could be together every day. But Judy and I have lived in Corbin all of our lives. It was extremely hard to make the transition at our ages. Now as we approach our 52nd wedding anniversary we will spend most of our time in Corbin.
The decision to move back here was very difficult and I am still full of emotion. But at our ages it is best to get back to a community and the people we know and the churches, doctors, service people and all that have encompassed our lives.
The days grew long in a strange community when the children were not there. Henderson is a good place to live and we probably would still be there if we had moved earlier in life.
As I said, we are still going to be with our grandchildren much of the time. Also, the move makes it possible for us to be with our grandchild in Lexington more often. Those kids make it all worthwhile!