A Homecoming Tale
Last weekend we made the 1 hour+ trek back to our alma mater in the middle of the beautiful Ohio cornfields. And I don’t mean that sarcastically: I do actually like cornfields. Even though we live pretty close by, this was our first official time at Homecoming since graduating in 2005, though we have been back on campus plenty of times since then. If you just did the math in your head, then you may have already hit upon one of our main reasons for going: our 5-year reunion. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long!
We drove up Friday night after dropping off the dogs with our brave friends, Neil and Kelly. I say brave because as much as I love our border collies, they (and their energy) are not for everyone.
We met up for dinner at Beans ‘n’ Cream, a local coffee shop, with our good friends and fellow classmates, Rae and Lisa. Rae and Lisa were roommates, and, when their husbands couldn’t come, they decided to road trip it together. We all graduated from the same major: Technical and Professional Communication, or just simply TPC. It was so so so good to see them again. We have been fortunate enough to see each other a few times through the intervening years, but with us in Cincinnati and them in D.C. (and Lisa oversees for 3 years), we haven’t seen each other nearly as much as we would like.
One of, if not the greatest blessings of my college years were the friendships formed, moulded, and grown. The PR department calls this “friends for life,” and they are right. When you live and work in close quarters with people the way college life throws you together, it creates a special bond. And when Christ is at the center of that bond, it is even stronger. What a gift to be able to pick up with someone right where you left off and still be friends through the different seasons in life.
After dinner, we headed over to Kevin and Lynn’s (the newlyweds) house. Kevin (aka Rope) has been a wonderful friend going on 10 years now. Again, hard to believe. They graciously opened up their home and sleeper couch to us for the weekend. We just chilled with them at their house for the rest of the night and watched Up! after Rope got back from a couple fire department calls.
Saturday dawned bright and cold, but thankfully rain free. We woke in the morning to find a text from Rope saying to meet him at Beans ‘n’ Cream for breakfast (Lynn had a bad sinus headache). Of course, just after we got there, Rope had another fire department call, but we enjoyed our breakfast anyway. He caught up with us again about five minutes before we all needed to leave for the women’s soccer alumni game. You see, I first met Rope because he is the goalkeeper coach for the men’s and women’s teams.
This was our first year for a women’s alumni game, and it was a lot of fun! It was great to get out on the pitch again with old teammates (and some I never played with) even if most of us were out of soccer shape.
We were supposed to play the JV team since the varsity team had a game right after our alumni game, but we ended up scrimmaging each other 8v8 with with some help from the JV girls. Thankfully for our out-of-shape lungs and legs, we also moved the goals in and played from 18 to 18 (yard line, this is, for those of you who don’t speak soccer).
The game was a lot of fun, even if it did make me feel old. My stupid left ankle (the one diagnosed with “chronic ankle instability”) still hurts almost a week later, but my bad knee felt fine. I’m such a bag of injuries. :-P
Also, our camera batteries died or I’d have more pictures.
After the alumni game, Jeff and I went down to an old favorite for lunch: Mom and Dad’s Dairy Bar. It’s just a little ice cream shack on Main Street, but I sure do love me their spicy chicken wrap and potato wedges. They also have great ice cream and penny candy. We got our lunch to go and headed back to the soccer field to watch the women beat up on Point Park, 4-0.
The cold rain started with five minutes to go in the game; we were glad we couldn’t stay for the men’s game. Instead, we went back to Kevin and Lynn’s for me to shower and clean up before meeting a professor friend, Julie (she insists we call her this now, and I’m trying), for coffee at Beans ‘n’ Cream. We had a wonderful, but too short conversation before we had to leave to meet Rae and Lisa for our reunion dinner.
(That’s three times at Beans ‘n’ Cream in the last 24 hours, but who’s counting?)
It was fun to see so many familiar faces at the reunion, including the college president, Dr. Brown. There was less of a program than I expected, and the food was fine, but again, lesser than expected. However, it was another chance to hang out with Rae and Lisa. We stayed around chatting so long that we pretty much shut the place down.
That picture just cracks me up. We’re such nerds… hahaha. Love you guys!
After saying goodbye to our friends, we headed back south to pick up the doggies and settle back in at home. It was a fun, full weekend!