Yep, that’s me. I’ll admit it freely. It doesn’t take much at all to send me reeling down memory lane or dreaming about the future- both of which usually come with tears. I’m not talking the sobbing kind of tears, just the kind of lump in your throat, eyes welling up, catch your breath kind of moments. I cry over songs on the radio (especially those about growing old, having babies, losing loved ones), I’ve even been known to cry at the end of races I run, or cry watching other people I love finish races. I cry when I drive over the bridge across the state line to Tennessee and again when we drive over it to leave. I cry at baptisms, even people I do not know, and I always cry at weddings. One of the places that always stirs-up these kinds of moments for me is being on the campus of my alma-mater in the beautiful town of Abilene. I always catch my breath as we drive into town and you get that first glimpse of the campus skyline over the hill. WHAT A DORK!
As a very precious gift from my husband, I spent three days there this last week during lectureships. He kept KJ at home and sent me off on the road-trip alone. I can’t remember when I’ve had that much time to myself. It was much needed and VERY much appreciated. I have not been able to thank him enough for being so understanding and for being the kind of Dad that I did not think twice about leaving KJ with him for a few days. I didn’t even have to leave any written instructions. He just took care of everything. He really is amazing.
This trip was such a different experience than I’ve had in Abilene in a long time. Usually when we go at Homecoming and/or Sing Song we pack our agenda full and run from place to place and friend to friend. It is so much fun, but far from relaxing and leaves no time for sentimental introspection. This week I did not really tell anyone I was coming, felt no obligation to keep any commitments and spent all my time leisurely eating at my favorite places, getting a pedicure, taking classes, walking around campus and staying up late talking to the friends I stayed with. It was perfect.
Here are a few things that stuck out to me about the trip, some sappy some just funny:
1) On Sunday night I went to the library to see the reconstruction and just to sit and read for a little while (I told you, I’m a dork). As I walked out of the library, with my backpack on my shoulders the bells started ringing on the hour. I cried. Too many memories.
2) I love to hear Dr. J. Willis teach the Bible. When he teaches about the Bible, you learn the Bible. No fluff, just the Bible. If he says the text is over Micah (as it was), you come away feeling like you have a better insight into the book of Micah. What an amazing gift!
3) I love zucchini bread from Hickory Street. Including the two pieces I ate at the restaurant and all that I’ve eaten of what I brought home “for RRL” I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed an entire loaf in the last 3 days.
4) Professor Brooks has an amazing gift for using her experiences to encourage others and share the gospel. She does it humbly, with grace, and prepares in a way that obviously allows the Lord to work on her and speak clearly through her. By the way, her class was so full people had to sit on the floor.
5) Men doing your pedicure, who never speak a word, and only shove your feet in and out of the water, can make a delightful experience very awkward.
6) At lectureships I was kind of an odd-duck. There were other people my age, but most people fit into two categories…1)obviously older than me; 2) students. I had to laugh in several situations as people I met tried to tactfully fit me into one of those categories. This was made especially difficult by the conflicting large bump of baby on my front and the backpack I was carrying. More that one sweet lady commented that I “looked young enough to be a student” and acted surprised later in conversation when I told them I was expecting. As if it was not obvious! I tried to keep my wedding ring apparent to avoid awkwardness.
7) I am very jealous that within walking distance of campus there is now a Cracker Barrel, SuperWalmart, and Chilis.
8) Staying in the apartment of college girls sure made me miss life in our little UP apartment. The girls I stayed with even had a Beta fish. Here’s to you, Mr. Fluffy.
As much as I loved my time in Abilene, as rested as I felt from my little get-away, and as thankful as I am for my experiences there, nothing about those three days could top the feeling I got as I drove into my own driveway and walked in our little house to my husband and my son. KJ’s huge grin and sweet kisses, RRL’s strong arms waiting for me- there really is no place I would rather be. No two people who can make me sappier. It is nice to get away sometimes, just to remember that.
You should have known that with a title about being sentimental this post was sure to get long! Next time I’ll just post what you really want- pictures of KJ.