Tuesday, December 11, 2007

People, People Who Meet People

One of the neat things about Stephen’s graduation weekend – for me – was visiting with old friends and making new ones. I’m not trying to sound like Barney here, but it was a cool trip because of the people.

Melissa had put out a call to her e-mail buddies in the MOMYS group (Mothers Of Many Young Siblings – I think) to see if anyone lived in the Columbia, SC area and we got hooked up with U. S. Army Captain Jonathan Fowler, his wife Jackie and their kids Joy, Josiah, Joel, JoAnna and Julia. Jonathan is an Army Chaplin. They opened their home to me and, for about two hours, Stephen. Jackie was particularly interested in the bees we have. They are considering the potential of one day doing what we are doing and moving out to the country. They drink raw milk and Jackie makes their bread. It was neat to meet a MOMYS family. Melissa is the one on the list, but I hear about it all the time and feel like I am a part of it in some small way. I found myself wishing that Stephen’s graduation started later because I was enjoying talking to them and playing with their kids. It wasn’t like I had been away from home for very long, just a day or so, but the kid fix was so nice.

At about 8:00 a.m. I left for Stephen’s 9:00 a.m. graduation. It was cold and there was a concession stand where I could get coffee. I sat in the stands and waited. At about 8:45 a family sat next to me. I got there early, so I had pretty good seats. The father sat down next to me and I thanked him for breaking the wind for me. Turns out he was retired military and this was his fourth time to attend a basic training graduation for one of his sons. He is also a plumber and I got to ask him a couple of questions about the new house’s venting. The ceremony started at 10:00, an hour later than expected. While we waited, Stan told me what the little slashes and ropes and ribbons and all meant on the uniforms. He told me about Iraq, his two tours over there and the differences we are making – for the better. He was just a friendly guy, or perhaps very bored, but it was a blessing to sit next to him.

Finally, with the ceremonies over and the shopping done for my soldier/son we arrived at the home of Ric and Frances Kuhlbars. Ric was my youth minister in high school and is a retired Army Chaplin. They fed us and bought Stephen and me an ice cream cone. Stephen had to be back to the base by 0600 (Army time, dude) and Ric took us there as his car has the pass we’d need to get through without a hitch. I bought him breakfast at a Cracker Barrel and we went to see the lake lot he has been planning to build a house on since about 1985. I enjoyed meeting Stan and the Fowlers, but getting to hang out with Ric and Frances was almost as good as getting to hang out with Stephen. We looked at old pictures and tried to remember the names of the people in the pictures. We laughed at old junk that I forgotten all about in the years between graduating from high school and now. Someday I will find another reason to get back there with my entire family so that they can all meet each other; two of the most important people during my teen years and ten of the 10 most important people in my current life.

Well, I gotta go play a game with four of my favorite people. I love them, but I also plan to whip them.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't happen to know if Jackie's maiden name is Jacqueline Kay Llull" would you? I grew up with a girl that sounds very much like this woman. A big heart!