Yesterday evening I returned to Louisville from spending several days at home with my parents in the far Western reaches of the state. It is not often that I get to go home and spend several days at a time with them. Usually, the visit is crammed into the space of a single weekend: down on a Friday night right after work, there all day Saturday, and back in the car after church on Sunday. After three years of making the commute, I know the way well: I-65 South to the Western Kentucky Parkway—a miserable 140 miles of barren nothingness—to I-24 to the Purchase Parkway. I never mind the 250 mile trek because I always know that when I arrive there will be hugs (usually extended, squeezing ones from my mom), two happy dogs who can’t wait to jump into my lap and smother me with kisses, and a large, southern-style dinner waiting on the table. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, family friends will be also there to join in on the Welcome Party. There’s something about Western Kentucky that helps me unwind—as though the moment you exit onto the Purchase Parkway, life slows and everything becomes simpler, easier.