Monday, November 09, 2009

Homecoming and MIRL

I'm home safe and sound, after 4 flawless flights - a nice occurrence. I did have one scary moment when I was renting the car - I discovered that when I printed the message from my friend, telling me her address and directions to her house - the house number and a good bit of the directions had been cut off. I was going to use my GPS, but didn't have the house number. I called her, but she didn't answer. Fortunately, she did call eventually, and I made it safely to her house. Sharon, who had been my bathmate (ugly word which means we shared a bathroom between two dorm rooms) my senior year, was my hostess with the mostest.

As I mentioned in the last post, I had not visited with Sharon for 40 years, since I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. Her husband died a year and a half ago from complications from diabetes, so we had much catching up to do. I am very proud of her and the way she is handling her life alone.
We talked way too late, but the next morning after she went to work, I headed over to campus to pick up the tickets for our upcoming events. I have to say that, for some reason, the emotions were right on the surface as I walked around the grounds. I have such wonderful memories of this place, and they rushed into my senses that morning.

Above is the dorm that Sharon and I lived in our senior year. Below, on the right, is the other side of the same dorm. To the left of the dorm is an empty spot where my first dorm used to be. I also lived in that missing dorm my sophomore and junior years, serving as freshman RA.

So much has changed, and so much remains the same. The Lamp of Learning still burns in the middle of the original campus.

Above is the library back then, and below is the library with the Lamp of Learning, this past week-end.

Above is the Student Center back in the 60s. Below is the same building, which is now the Fine Arts Building.

Below is the newer Student Center, which is called The Commons.

This lovely fountain is outside The Commons.

As I said last post, I had many classes in this building. It has now been made into the Administration Building, which is shown below.

As I was walking toward the administration building, I came around the corner upon this --

As I saw this sculpture, I did a double take - I actually said out loud, "Well, hello, Dr. Floyd." I could not believe the realistic portrayal of this dear history professor, who seemed old when I was there, but was there many more years. I felt like sitting down on that bench and having a conversation.
I have often said that I loved every minute of college days. I must admit, that is a tiny bit of an exaggeration. I did not like Physical Science and I did not like Art class. This view brought back an unpleasant memory of having to stand on this corner and draw Main Street in perspective - if you knew my artistic ability, you would understand this feeling.

At this time I headed north to the little town of Stroud. I've never been to Stroud - in fact, I haven't been to Stroud yet. I went to a little bar-b-que restaurant on the turnpike exit at Stroud. This is where I met our good blogging friend, Susan from
Penless Writer, and her sweet husband, Mickey. Stroud is halfway between Bethany, where I was staying, and Susan and Mickey's home town. I was a little early, so was sitting in the car talking to my mom on the phone. All of a sudden, Mickey was at my window - they were early too, and noticed that I pulled in and didn't get out - guessing that it was me, and they were right. We only had about an hour together, but we were able to cover a lot of ground in that time. This was my 6th time to meet a blog friend, and it is just as delightful every time. Susan and Mickey are just as wonderful IRL as they are here on the computer. We enjoyed delicious pulled pork sandwiches.

Mickey took pictures of us - in front of their cute orange car. . .

. . . and in front of my cute little rented yellow VW Beetle - I have always wanted to drive one of these little cars, and I enjoyed every minute. When I get to the point in life when I don't need a gramma van, this is what I want to have!

Susan and Mickey presented me with a lovely gift - such a nice surprise. They gave me a lovely little Christmas goodies cook book. I can hardly wait to try it. And, best of all, a jar of the honey they make from Mickey's bees. YUMMY!

Thanks so much, Susan and Mickey.

On the way home, I decided to stop by Braum's for a totally unnecessary bit of dessert. I did this for a rather ornery reason. I have a friend at church who quite often mentions how much she misses Braum's from when she lived in Texas. I asked the young man behind the counter to take a picture of me with the cone - so here it is, Coe!

The day continued -- at 6:00 Sharon and I headed for the first gathering of the Class of 1969. We had a great time visiting with those who had arrived so far, while there was a basketball game going on below us - it made it a bit difficult to talk, but we made the best of it. I didn't get many pictures, but here is one of Sharon and me with one of our classmates.

Saturday morning we had a brunch, by which time many more classmates had arrived. Nobody wanted to leave - we had a really good class and it is always so wonderful to catch up. By the time you are at this time in your life, nobody is trying to prove anything - we're too busy showing pictures of our grandkids!
Our freshman class president, who was an amazing young man, was tragically killed in a car accident the summer after our freshman year as he was out traveling with a quartet. The sponsor and another quartet member were also killed. The young man that was elected as president for the next 3 years gave us a few words. He made the statement that he never realized when he was elected that it was a life time office.

This lady was one of the popular kids in college days. I wasn't in her league back then. But it is amazing how these many years later, all types of hierarchy are gone, and we all just enjoyed each other's company. She has been an executive for Redken cosmetics and has lived in New York for years. She did a great job coordinating the whole week-end. We spent quite a bit of time that day making a video that will be worked into a recruitment tool. We had quite an emotional time, as we related the many reasons we have such fond memories of our years in college.

The rest of the week-end I spent going to a football game (going, as opposed to watching!), going to a banquet honoring alumni awardees, going to church with my brother and SIL, eating lunch with them, going to dinner with Sharon, and finally getting to bed early last night.
I was awakened a bit later than planned, so had to do a bit of a rush to get to the airport. I had plenty of time, as it turned out. The rest of the day went flawlessly, and I got home in good order. Now I have to get everything ready to leave again on Thursday morning for Maine. Our flight leaves at 6:30 a.m., so we'll be getting on the road around 4:00. Yikes.

I am looking so forward to seeing Kevin and meeting his friends. We have a banquet there, and will hear some wonderful testimonies and music from the guys. We get to spend two days with Kev, and we hope to do some good touristy type activities. We're staying with
Groovy and her family, having lunch with Joey, Maine Mom and her mom, and breakfast with Midlife Mom. Over the years of blogging, when I have made friends with these three women from Maine, it never occurred to me that I would have the opportunity to meet them. What a blessing. More to come when we return next week!


A Hint of Home said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I hope I can meet more blogging friends in the future. I only have met a few.
Have fun with Kev and your other blogging friends.

nancygrayce said...

Wow! What a weekend! I know you had the best time! I like the volkswagon too, but I think you'll have a little wait for that one!

I'm so glad you're going to get to see Kevin! I hope that it is a time of seeing great progress!

How exciting to meet the friends we only write too!

Midlife Mom said...

What a great post! It got me to thinking about some of the people that I went to school with and haven't seen since 1969! We came from all over the place, lots of missionary kids so it's hard to get together. So glad you had such a great time! Loved your comment on how 'nobody was trying to prove anything'. Isn't it wonderful as we get older so many things just don't matter any more?!

Loved you VW! I've always wanted one of those too.

Yes, I will see you at the Senator at 8 o'clock! :o) My sister is coming with me as we are meeting up with our two other sisters there and going to do some Christmas shopping. Can't wait to see you!

Coe said...

I love it that you went to Braums! Your comment made me laugh. I am sure you enjoyed your ice cream cone. I am glad you had fun.

Hootin' Anni said...

Amazing Dawn!!! You mentioned near the beginning..."the emotions were right on the surface".....I know that feeling!

Wow, I really don't know where to begin. First, I'm a car freak, and I LOVE your rented Yellow Beetle! LOL Then....meeting Susan and her hubby, wow. How fun is that? You had a wonderful, beautiful trip down memory lane. It was all worth it. I so enjoyed your reminiscing and the look back to your day at college and what it all looks like today. Some things change, but others never change. And that's the FUN part.

Wonderful, wonderful post. And..........

now hear this: "You have another smooth journey"!!!! And enjoy. We all await your return.

jmckemie said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, Dawn! Thanks for sharing with us. Glad to hear you enjoyed your chance to drive the VW. I downsized a couple of years back, going to a 2-door convertible. Wishful thinking! Going back to a bigger car than ever in order to accomodate the grandkids and the mom who has given up driving! In reality, precious chances to enjoy being together.
Prayers for a wonderful trip and visit with Kev.

Morning Glory said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend. Loved the pictures.

Needled Mom said...

It sounds like a perfect trip, Dawn, and what fun you must have had walking the campus, seeing the changes and remembering the "olden" days. It is funny how over the years the lives of the others have created who they are now - so different from the flighty school days.

I am glad that you got to meet some fellow bloggers and play fast catch up on their lives. I am looking forward to hearing all about your Maine trip.

Mary said...


What a great time and all of the photos are wonderful.

Isn't it fantastic to meet people we've met online. I've met a few friends that I made online. One in Arkansas, one in Kentucky, our sweet Pea and Denise from North Carolina. They were all as lovely IRW as they are online.

Wishing you another wonderful trip.

Susie said...

Loved seeing all the pics and hearing about your reunion :) Your VW is so cute and maybe someday I'll trade my "Grammy Van" in on one!
Have a wonderful trip to Maine and give Louise a big hug from me!

Nadine said...

Wow - what packed trip. So much fun. I love the before and after pictures. I was hoping you would do.

I'm glad you got to meet Susan and Mickey. Yum - home grown honey.

Mimi said...

I enjoyed the trip down momory lane with you...such fun going to reunions...
enjoy your trip to maine and have lots of fun with Kevin!!!!

grammy said...

I feel like I was there with you because you described it all so well. How nice that you got to meet bloggers and will meet more. Lots of great pictures (o:

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Glad you had a good trip and good time revisiting good memories and friends as well as meeting IRL with blog buddies. Hope your next trip goes as well and you have a nice visit with Kev.

Love and hugs,


Susan said...

Glad you had such a grand time, and took time out that we could meet. Enjoy the next leg as good or better than the first.

Gigi said...

Thanks for sharing your reunion with us, Dawn!! It sounds like you had a great time, which is as it should be!

Aren't VW Beetles the best? I've had one since "babycar!" So fun to drive!

PEA said...

Oh Dawn, what a fantastic trip that was and I can well imagine how many memories seeing the school and school friends brought back:-) As you say, it's amazing how things have changed through the years and yet haven't!

How wonderful that you met up with Susan & Mickey, love the picture of the two of you!! Next you'll be meeting Groovy and Louise...I'm sooo envious! hehe I told Louise to give you a big hug from me and now I'm asking you to give her a big hug from me:-)

I'm also so excited for you that you will be seeing Kevin again! xoxo

Maine Mom said...

What a fun, eventful weekend!

I'm so glad I get to be one of the bloggers who will meet you in real life. See you tomorrow!

Sharon Lynne said... does strange things to our heart when we walk back into the past and travel the old familiar paths.

It's interesting how the hiearchy disappears when one gets older. We all grow more mature and wiser (most of us).

I was most amused by the statue of a man you remember. (It reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia...the final book, where Aslan breathes on the statues and makes them come to life.) Thank goodness he IS ALIVE in heaven!

nannykim said...

Wow are you busy!!! Hope your time in Maine is wonderful!!

Kathleen Marie said...

What a great and fun trip! Friends are so precious. What memories you both share. Hugs!

Hootin' Anni said...

Been thinking about you and your trip to Maine...hope all is going well, and you're having the time of your life!! Miss you!

groovyoldlady said...

I was so busy cleaning my house for your arrival that I never even saw this post. (*wink*wink*) Of course, I saw many of your pics on your camera and heard some of the stories when you were here. I'm so glad you got to meet Susan. I so enjoy her blog - I know I'd love to meet her!

Robin said...

I've been doing a bit of traveling myself and just had an opportunity to read your post. I'm so glad your reunion was so fun. And what icing on the top to be able to meet some blogging friends - I'm so excited for you!
We had the same setup in our freshman dorm - but we were called potty partners! I don't know which one is worse!
Enjoy your time with your son. We had our whole family together for a few hours this past Sunday in Oakland - I love it when that happens.