Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time Traveler

One night last week, Husby and I went back to my old college stomping grounds to visit a friend who had two precious babies a few weeks ago. I hadn’t been back since graduation (almost four years ago – gracious I’m old!), so I was eager to see how the place had changed.

Wait, I take that back. I went back for a few hours for a bachelorette party two summers ago. But for dramatic effect, we’ll pretend like I haven’t been back in four years….okay?

It felt good to make that drive again. The drive that I used to make a few times a month after going back home to see my boyfriend (now Husby). The drive that I dreaded like the plague because it meant I had to say goodbye. The drive that I sped like a Nascar driver on - trying to beat my old time. The drive that weaves in and out of old towns and reminders of simpler times. The drive that led me to my independence all those years ago.

I definitely had a flashback of that period of my life. I found myself remembering certain things and feelings that I hadn’t thought about in years. I was instantly taken back into time.

As we rolled into town, I squealed about the new things they have now, where old things used to be and I told Husby hundreds of stories about things that had happened at those particular spots. He humored me by acting interested and laughing at my antics as he continued to drive.

We headed to our favorite BBQ joint where we used to eat when he would come visit. It had been far too long since we had sunk our teeth into their mouth watering ribs. It was just as good as when I left - if not better.



The visit with our friends was long overdue and so nice. Their baby girls are absolutely precious in every sense of the word, and they loved their Auntie Whitney. They are the tiniest things I have ever held, and if I’m not mistaken, Levi gave me a few jealous nudges as I oohed and ahhed over their cuteness.

I later apologized and played a game of “I’ll poke you if you poke me” with him. He forgave me quickly.

After we said our goodbyes a few hours later, I made Husby drive through the campus of my Alma Mater. It was the strangest feeling. I saw the light on in my old dorm room through the window and couldn’t help but wonder about the girl who now occupied it. Are we anything alike? I strolled past my old apartment and wondered if the girls were having half as much fun as my roommates and I had. Probably not.

I rolled my window down to take a picture of the beautiful chapel, whose steeple you can spot from any place in town, and as the sweet breeze hit my face I was taken aback. It smelled the same. It looked the same. The place was exactly the same, yet so vastly different from when I was there. The faces were new, the voices were unfamiliar, the entire feeling was different, but it was the still the same old place that I once called home.



I remember rolling into town at 11pm on Sunday evenings after a weekend at home, and feeling a sense of being home – back where everyone knew my name and I knew theirs – back where I belonged and flourished. Yet the other night, as I made my way through the campus, I felt like a total stranger. A stranger who chose to see the place that night as she remembered it from years ago. A stranger who cherishes the great four years she spent there becoming who she is today.

It was a good night.

31 comments:

  1. I am always captured by your stories because they make me feel like I am right there with you. Sweet stroll down memory lane.

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  2. I love this, and I can totally relate! I feel the same way about my college campus.

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  3. I LOVE going back to visit where I went to college! so many good memories!

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  4. thank you for the wonderful reminders of our college years :) I miss vans, and the chapel! i can't wait to go back there some day!

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  5. What a beautiful town!! Glad you had a good time. I feel the same way ever time I drive through my home town.

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  6. Gosh, makes me want to drive back "home." I miss the BBQ Pork Sammies!!! Thanks for the Tour!!

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  7. This was very nicely written! I have fond memories of college as well, but it would not be the same now! I love that picture of the chapel--beautiful.

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  8. I work at the University I graduated from, yet it feels like two different places to me. Right now at 9:00 on a Wednesday morning it is the place I work. But when my college friends come into town and we walk around campus talking about all of our memories, it becomes my alma mater where I 'grew up' and really found myself. Its such a strange feeling!
    LOVED this post! College days are so special!

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  9. I haven't been back to my college town since I graduated either. I have friends that visit often for football games (they live closer than I do now) and I'm always jealous when I hear that they are at one of our old hang outs. I should get back there soon...

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  10. I miss it too! Van's is so good! It's funny how I couldn't wait to leave, and now I kinda miss it. (except for classes of course) :)

    p.s. nice picture of raley!

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  11. This is such a great post! I live in the town I went to college in, but as soon as I step on to campus memories come flooding back.

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  12. Um, I want to see pictures of those little babies!! I love going back to my college campus. I loved that place!

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  13. Since this is a college post, do you remember that we sat next to each other at graduation? We didn't talk though. I was so nervous and worried they were going to tell me I couldn't really graduate :)

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  14. I still LOVE my college town, and I love my visits back :)

    My husband and I are also HUGE fans of Vans!! Best ribs in town!!

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  16. you have lots lil babies in your life :) I LOVE Van's!!! YUM..Wish we had one here...happy hump day!

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  17. Yes, things do change, whether we like it or not. It sounds like you had a fun time rembering what is was like.

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  18. awww... did you cruise the poo? Cause you know that's crucial. I feel the same way when I go back i like to visit the bookstore and get a cool hoodie - I guess I've been twice since I graduated, about once a year. I walked through the new fitness center and was really jealous. But yeah, it is so weird, because when I was there for school i knew everyone... and now the place is the same, but the people are all different. I guess that's the point of homecomings. I guess I should go to one sometime. hmm....

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  19. Awww Whitney ~ what an awesome post. I felt like I was right there with you. I love strolling down memory lane.

    Enjoy your day!
    Hugz,
    Michele

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  20. This is soo sweet, and I can completely relate! I miss college every day, but I love your line about it making you who you are today -- so true! :)

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  21. Oh how I know this feeling. I went to a small Christian school in a small town, and now Caleb lives there. It's so bizzare to be there....but know no one. And, I totally get the smell thing.


    And.... congratulations on being an aunt!

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  22. Wowsers. Good ol Bison Hill...those were the days.

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  23. PS - I think the most disctinctive smell of all is WMU. I wonder if it will still smell that way after renovation. Probably not. sad.

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  24. I feel that way when I go home too...comfort but somewhat of a distance.

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  25. I felt the same way last weekend Whit. We ate at Bennedict Street Market though. I am grateful for my time at OBU and miss our dinners at chile's!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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