By LARRY VAUGHT
Kristin VanDyke Childress and her husband are avid University of Kentucky fans with season tickets for both football and basketball.
However, earlier this week she was so consumed with a home project that she really didn’t pay attention to the response she got from one of UK’s best-known football players.
They had sold their home without ever actually listing it on the market and are in the process of purchasing 10 acres in Lexington to build a new home. Rather than store everything, they decided to sell the household items.
Kristin got a message on Facebook from Young and his new bride, Haleigh. She just didn’t realize who it was initially.
“I scheduled them to come over and my husband said he was pretty sure that was Landon, UK’s No. 1 offensive lineman. He showed up about 7 o’clock with his amazing wife and it was awesome,” she said. “I am not old (39) but it was such a breath of fresh air to meet someone of his stature and talent that was so humble.
“We just started talking and the four of us talked about three hours about our lives, how God changes lives and a lot of random stuff. I was born in Pikeville, raised in Ashland. I am a country girl at heart just like she (Haleigh Young) is. The four of us were just talking life experiences. It was like we were all old souls.”
Her sons, ages 6 and 7, both “idolize” UK football and basketball player and were “thrilled” to meet Young and his wife.
“They took a picture with him on the back deck,” Kristin said. “I asked Landon if it was okay to post it (on social media) and he said go ahead. I just still can’t believe I didn’t put it together who he was when he sent me the message. I didn’t look at his (Facebook) profile or anything. I just knew he was the friend of a friend so I said come on over.”
Did the Youngs buy anything? “They did buy some furniture and are looking at some other furniture,” Kristin said. “They have such great story. She is equally beautiful and humble. They are such normal, natural people centered around God and they love giving back. I love seeing young athletes with that type of heart who are so positive.
“But he’s huge. He towered over me. You would know he does something athletically just by seeing him but you would never know by meeting him the special place in has in this city.”
Kristin and her family are starting a unique adventure. Even during COVID-19, they bought a 33-foot travel trailer and a realtor friend suggested they sell their house. Kristin is a pharmaceutical rep and travels frequently but never thought of living in a travel trailer — until now because just a few days after her realtor friend found someone wanting to see the house it sold for near asking price without ever going on the market.
“We have always tried to let God lead our path. We have learned when God opens doors that even in the path looks inconvenient, it’s best to walk through that door,” she said. “We are going to spend some time in the RV for a few m months. We plan to put a barn on our property and pull the RV in, live there while we build our new home. It’s going to be hard at time but any time God has put me in a difficult situation it has been for the greater good of my family.”
Haleigh and Landon even offered to come back and help the family move or do anything else needed to help.
“I just want everybody to know this is who our idols need to be in athletics,” Kristin said. “We want send role models to our children who look like Landon. We moved to Florida in 2010 and spent 6 1/2 years there. Our kids were born in Florida but we were always Cat fans. I always dressed in UK gear in Florida and caused a ruckus with Gator fans.
“In 2017 we wanted to move back home and one of the driving forces was to have our kids raised in Kentucky and experience things we love like UK.”