Julie, Maddie and I just got home from a week's vacation at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Since I don't like to broadcast the fact that we're out of town (might as well run a Craigslist ad for house thieves), I refrained from any vacation-specific posting to my blog while we were away. So now that we're back, I'll run a daily photo diary of our trip, with each posting occurring ten days after it actually occurred.
Day 1: Joliet to Knoxville, TN
After driving the length of Indiana and seeing numerous billboards for various sin palaces ("adult superstores", liquor stores, fireworks stores, etc.) near the Kentucky border, Julie wondered aloud, "Are we really in the Bible Belt?" and then shortly afterward answered herself with, "I guess you can't have salvation without sin." (It was interesting to note that billboards like these seemed to be clustered at the northwest and southern borders, as if Illinois and Kentucky are uptight/conservative states whose citizens are eagerly welcomed by the more permissive Indiana.)
This photo was taken along I-75, just north of Carysville, TN. Though you can't see from the photo, just beyond this massive cross is an establishment called Adult World. There's no church nearby, so there's no obvious reason for the cross to be standing there. It's almost as if the cross people put it there to shame the customers of Adult World, giving them the guilts for whatever they might be buying or browsing at the store. The proximity of those two landmarks is one of the most appropriate sin/salvation metaphors I've ever seen.