Stillwater…and such

It’s Labor Day. I’ve always found it ironic that we don’t work on Labor Day, no?

In case you missed it last week here’s my college football preview and (not to be outdone) Jen’s. Hers is high comedy, possibly the highest form of comedy I could possibly glean from a blog.

By the way blog isn’t in predicted text for Word in case anyone was wondering. This is 2010 and not 1020, correct?

We’re driving home today after an awesome 4 days with some of our oldest friends and both of our families. We miss Stillwater, Jen is starting to obsess over Dallas and I suppose I’ve lived worse places than one where I’m 20 minutes from watching every Josh Hamilton at-bat my eyes can handle. But we do love Stillwater.

There’s just something so magical about it, as if it continues to progress economically but the spirit of its people is frozen in time. It’s a slow place so not much changes, which is ironic in a town where the populated turnover is at least 50%.

Maybe we’ll retire there someday. I just started my career like 19 months ago and I’m already speaking of retirement, this cannot be good. Or maybe it will just be what it has been to us. Not the place we grew up but, at the same time, the place we grew up.

I could get into a lengthier-than-you-care-to-read post about the ways in which Stillwater and the people I’ve met there have affected me but I’ll spare you. It’s non-working Labor Day, remember? But I will say this, some special moments in my life went down there, things I’ll never forget. It’s one of those places that gets inside you and every time you sit down to really think about the memories you made  something wells up within your being that you can’t explain with words or thoughts. It’s just this overwhelming sense of goodness. Maybe I’m the only one experiences it but I hope not because it makes me feel like I was alive when I was in that place.

What town or city or place or thing makes you feel nostalgic like that?

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To Have a Friend

Moving to a new city proves to be more challenging in some areas than others. I’ve decided which supermarket I like best, I know how to get to my favorite thrift stores, and can even go most places without a map. Our apartment is shaping up, the days are proving to be much less mundane, and I’m starting to feel more at home all the time. However, we keep coming back to this one tiny issue: We really only have a few friends here.

When we left Stillwater, we were in the middle of everything. I worked for a church, which connected me immediately to 150 volunteers, 9 staff members, their volunteers, and every person who came through our doors on a weekend. Kyle had great community within his work. Our weeks would usually be full of softball or basketball games, coffee with friends, evenings at the church, or great conversation with roommates over dinner and wine. And while we knew a few people coming into this great city, it still provides a stark contrast to the fellowship and friendship we had in our recent past. Here’s a synopsis of our friend making so far:

–       We see a fun looking couple on the street walking their dog. One of us says, “Ooh they look really cool.” The other agrees.

–       We drive by an old woman working in her garden. I say, “Oh Kyle I bet she’s so sweet. I want to be friends with her.” She keeps digging. We keep driving.

–       We shake hands with people sitting next to us at church. But only on the weeks they make us. We make eye contact, sit back down, and one of us says, “They look like a fun couple to hang out with.” The other nods. End of discussion.

–       One week at church Kyle leaves to use restroom. Comes back with fly open. Negates everyone who sat close to us that week as possible future friends.

–       The next week we arrive at church and I realize I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth. Knocks out another 10-12 fun looking couples. Almost literally. No discussion that week.

And the list goes on. We find ourselves surrounded by possible community and fellowship everywhere, and yet it seems very out of reach. So we continue to play “I Spy” with unsuspecting Dallas residents while we wait for small groups to start at church in September. And hope that none of them sat by us for examples 4 or 5.

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