Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Life goes on...

It was the first week of February 1965. I'd returned from visiting my friends on the campus in Mississippi feeling more than a little sad. Life had, of course, gone on without me there. All these years later, I remember the long Greyhound bus ride back home. It had given me time to think...mostly about the choices I had made. I made up my mind then to make the best of it at Memphis State.

Memphis State was much larger than the small Baptist college in Mississippi. My friends from church and I sought refuge and friendship at the Baptist Student Union. The BSU met in a craftsman style house which was situated practically right on campus. The house had historical character with its large rooms, built-in bookcases, wood floors and large paned windows that let in lots of light. There was a big front porch with a swing and enormous shade trees on the grounds. In the large front room, there was a fireplace, a baby grand piano, comfortable sofas, chairs and tables. It was a welcoming place.

This was our retreat between classes or any other opportunity we had. We'd gather there for "Noon-Day" services each day, where there would be a brief devotional and music. Afterwards, a group of us would sit around the long oak table and eat the lunches we'd brought from home. Occasionally, we would meet at the cafeteria on campus, but to tell the truth, I preferred the fellowship at the BSU. I was beginning to cherish the friendships I was finding there...with all the laughter and sharing. The BSU would also be where I would later meet the love of my life and the father of my three children...

I was dating a young man named Mike who was frequently reminded that he looked just like a young Sean Connery, and he did. It seemed I always ended up dating ministerial students for Mike was headed to a Baptist seminary after graduation. Most of the time though, there were groups of us who would get together to go skating, bowling or to the movies. One memorable Autumn Saturday night, there was a fun hayride and bonfire at a nearby farm. One long weekend, I went with a large group from the BSU to an international students retreat at Lake Barkley, Kentucky, where I met students from all over the world.

I had decided to major in English with a minor in secondary education. Among my other classes, I was taking a couple of advanced literature classes and history which I basically hated for all the essay questions. Nothing was easy. Honestly, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do for my future. I thought I wanted to teach high school English and Spanish, and I proceeded in that direction. Little did I know then, that while I would spend time teaching in the classroom, that wasn't what I would eventually end up doing...

Looking back, I wish I had know then what I know now...don't we all?

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dianne,
    Oh how true, if we had been able to see into the future then maybe we (I) could have saved ourselves (myself) the extra lessons of life. They say lessons build character, you think? I would say yours built the character of life very well, great children and lessons learned well. lol.........love