A short visit home... to Dallas

I’m still processing all the events of last week. 

I left last Wednesday to go back to my “home” in Dallas. I call it home, even though I no longer live there, because if home is where the heart is… well, that would be Dallas. There are so many people there that I love so dearly, and I’m not just talking about UD students (I point that out in rebuttal to Denise, who is no doubt shaking her head as she reads this).

On the way to Dallas, I read the first six chapters of The Education of Henry Adams. I figured it would get me in the right mind for being home. But, as I finished the Rome chapter I felt restless. I got out my ipad and opened the Greek Bible to Luke 1, and discovered to my great horror that I could no longer read it. It’s been that long since I’ve read Greek. Not a good sign as I’m going back to UD.

I arrived in the familiar world of Love Field and waited for my bag that I had checked. After it showed up, I called my dear friend, David, and he told me to look for Kaitlyn’s car, then realized he meant Meg’s car (really, David, my car was in Indy!). My heart leapt when I saw the car and my two dear friends waving frantically. I ran over to them. It was so good to see their faces and be wrapped in their hugs. Then, they took me back to my old friend, Anselm 230, so that I could see Nate at Open A. It had been since before last Christmas that I’d last seen Nate and when I touched his hand and he looked up and saw it was me, he nearly knocked over a couple freshmen in getting to me (and I would have fallen over, too, if there hadn't been a counter behind me). It was so good to see him, to hug him, and to just be in that room where I had dedicated so much of my college life. Seeing him as a junior working with freshman just as I had worked as a junior with him when he was a freshman was kind of fun, kind of surreal. My, how the time passes!

After my time at Open A, I spent the night at my “little sister” Kim’s dorm, talking almost all night with her and some of our other dear friends. I made it to Dr. Hanssen’s class the next morning at 8am, running on only 4 hours of sleep. Then I went to see Dr. Roper, my favorite Rome professor and, I think, a friend. It was lovely. Being home, being with people I love, and having so many opportunities to remember such wonderful things was a blessing for me, and it helped me to see both where I am now and where I’ve come from.

Over the course of the weekend, I got to see many UD friends and spend a great deal of time talking and remembering, but also learning new things and making new memories. There were some goodbyes that I got to say and some unfinished business that could be cleared. I got to see where my friends who are now seniors are planning on going with their lives: what they want to do, who they want to be. I also got the first “party” experience of my college life (a little belatedly) and David made me an Old Fashioned, which is some sort of drink (it tasted good and I wasn't allergic to it, so that's a miracle).

I was also blessed with the opportunity to go to the Ministry Conference, where I heard many wonderful talks (the notes from which will be up soon). I got to hear from a cardinal (which was fun), from my diocesan director (who apparently likes butter pecan ice cream… must remember this), from my favorite UD Theology professor (Dr. John Norris—who is just wonderful, and also very insightful and honest), and several others. I think that the Conference was as much something I needed at that point as the time with my friends was. I’m still thinking about the things that were said and how I need to implement them in my life. You will hear more about this as I post my notes.

The second night of the Conference, after a lovely dinner with Cody and a short shopping trip, Amanda took me to my second family’s house (The Ponikiewski-Parents). I was blessed to spend the night and a whole day with my dear “family”, as dear to me as anyone. Patty, Mark, Travis, Trevor, Randi, Rachel, and Radar (their dog)… spending time with them was simply wonderful. There is just something about being around people with whom you can just simply be. There are no words to describe the absolute joy and the complete inner peace that filled me during the (too short) day I spent with them (even if the day was not quite peaceful!). Trevor was even kind enough to drive me over to Holy Family so that I could say hello to my former students (many of whom came running over to hug me, some of whom hadn’t noticed that I was gone). By that evening when Kim came to get me and take me back to UD, I was ready to stay forever. Had Holy Family found the funds and offered me a full time job, I might have easily just never returned to Indianapolis. This is not an indication of my unhappiness in Indy (primarily because I’m not really unhappy here, just a little homesick), but rather an indication of my simple joy at being around the people I love. Patty and I are trying to convince Travis and Trevor to come up to Indy for a party we’re hosting in January, and I think everyone should try and pressure them into coming. I would just love to have them here! I miss them so much already. 

At any rate, my last day at UD involved seeing all of my other favorite professors: Dr. Davies (who taught me to love Greek), Dr. Sullivan (who welcomed me into the History Department), Dr. Sweet (one of my other Greek professors), and Dr. Maurer... who was singlehandedly the reason I went to UD in the first place. The only one who I did not see (and who I simply must see over Christmas, depending on his health) is Dr. Sommerfeldt, my thesis advisor and very dear friend (I often say the most meaningful moment of my UD career was when he referred to me as his "girl." My friends make fun of me for this, but really...). I even got a smile from Dr. Maurer, something that is VERY rare for those of you who do not know him. I also, however, got a lecture on how I must start reviewing Greek and Latin. I know, I really must, though not because he’s pressuring me. I miss it. I miss Greek almost as much as I miss my friends. Alas, something else to add to my (already full) plate.

After such a warm tale of my time in Dallas, I feel I must say that I am happy to be back with my community, although I might not have been at first. Patrick, Joe, and Amy are wonderful, and it’s unfair of me to leave them out of my litany of friends. I had a wonderful time with them last night during community night and I look forward to the weekend, when we get to spend more time together.

At any rate, now I’m back at Butler, getting ready for Women’s Ministry. Today was another conference (INHEM), and I was pleased to see how much the lectures from last week were connecting with the conference talks I attended today. I’ll try to type up notes from those as well, since I know that many of the people who read this (if anyone actually reads it) are working in ministry as well. I know that not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to attend conferences like these, and so I feel like I must share whatever knowledge I gain.

Many blessings and good night,