7 stops for gas:mucho deniro
denting the car by running over a HUGE racoon:$0 because I'm not having it fixed
Room for the night:$40
Getting to traverse through five states on the 17 hour drive in order to see a good friend's wedding:Priceless!
I was super busy this last weekend, to say the least. On Friday, YS came to Sis and BiL's house so that she could watch the boys and I could get ready to leave for my mini-date with J, and go to seminary friend's wedding 4 states away. When I got back to Seminary, I found J at the party that was being held on the quad. A couple of students (and one recent grad), a professor, and the president of our seminary are in a musical group. They were playing music and a whole mess of people were out there listening. It was fun. J was doing some paperwork things, so I talked with some friends I had not seen in a while. Thankfully, we did get to spend a little time together before I had to go. It was good to see him, and good to see some of my friends. I can't wait to go back next week. I love the nephews, and I'm sure I'll have a little bit of sadness when it's time to go, but I need adult time, each and every day.
Anyway, about 10:00 p.m. I left the seminary for my friend's wedding. Google maps said it takes 13.5 hours to go from Seminary to the place where the wedding was. However, I figured it'd be a bit longer than that with gas stops. When I got on my way, I thought at one point I was off the plotted course, and it turns out I was. Google told me to stay on a particular road, and I did, but it turns out, I should have stayed left at the fork. I only tacked on about an extra hour to the trip, though, so it wasn't that bad. I drove all through the night, watched the sun come up over the prairies, and arrived safely to the place of the wedding at around 1:00 p.m, despite hitting a racoon somewhere in Minnesota (I think) in the middle of the night. I'm a little bit neurotic about watching for deer, cops, and critters, but this thing just darted right under my wheel. Maybe the thing was suicidal, I don't know. And it was a HUGE racoon. I saw it dart out from the grass on the side of the road, realized I had no time to do anything to avoid it safely, and tensed up as I went "kaplump, kaplump" right over it. When it got light out, I stopped for gas and surveyed the damage. The thing dented my front bumper up pretty good, but I think I might be able to fix it myself. It looks like if I give it a strategically placed whack from the back side like it could pop back into place. When I got to the camp where the wedding was being held, another seminary friend who also used to work at the place told me to take a nap, so I did for about 35 minutes or so. It was good enough to refresh me a bit.
The wedding was at 4:00 p.m, so I changed clothes and woke up a little bit by talking to some people. After a little while, we went down to the lake where the wedding would be held. People were starting to be seated and so I saw one of Bride's friends who I had met when the friend visited at the seminary. I sat with her and her husband for a few minutes before the wedding was to start. Unfortunately, I had a MONSTROUS headache, and sitting in the sun was making me feel weird and gross, so I had to go to the back and sit in the shade. But, I got a good view of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girls, and the bride and her dad as they walked down the aisle. The bridesmaids wore deep blue dresses, while the groom and the groomsmen wore tannish colored suits, perfectly colored for such a warm day. Bride looked absolutely beautiful in her white dress, that wasn't Plain Jane, but wasn't over the top, either. She was gorgeous!
The ceremony was beautiful, as well. It was like a worship service, but with vows in it. We sang, as well as listened to readings and a sermon. There was even communion, which I am a fan of at weddings.
The reception was also quite nice. The food was good, the company was good, and I had been given some ibuprofen to get rid of my headache. I also saw a couple of other seminary friends who were there. We sat together at the reception. It was fun. Those friends are getting married (to each other) on the 16th in Arizona. I wish I would have felt up to dancing, because I can bust a groove (although with little to no coordination). But, by the time I got back to the camp (the soon to be married couple drove me back around 11:00), I had been up for 39 hours, with about 45minutes of sleep in there. But, I am so glad I went. I wouldn't have missed it.
The next day, I slept in and missed church (I know, I know... My bad. But I figured God would prefer me to get a good night's sleep in order to make it safely back to Illinois so that I could attend faithfully in years to come than go that morning and get into a wreck or something on the way home!). I woke up around 10:00 or so, settled up with the payment part of it all, said goodbye to my seminary friend who was not the bride, and left around 11:30 or so. I drove and drove and drove. For some reason, the drive toward home through the first two states seemed to take longer. They're beautiful states, just kinda boring to drive through. I stopped at the first rest stop over the border at the second state though, and refilled my water bottles. There were two ladies who serve as information givers or something. We struck up a short conversation. They asked me if I was a teacher and I said, "No. I am a graduate student at MySeminary." They said, "Oh really!? That's really neat." I said, "You've heard of us?" They both replied that they had, and I was impressed. Maybe they are Lutherans! :) But, we talked for a few minutes, they gave me some information about their lovely state, and we said goodbye. They wished me luck on my schooling and my ministry, and I went on my merry little way. They were quite nice. It was a good place to have stopped.
The drive back took me about 17 hours or so, but I was well rested, so it wasn't too bad. I even drove past one of the churches to which J has been called. I took a couple of pictures on my new camera phone (YS and I are on the same plan because that was her gift to me for my birthday a couple of years ago. Because the contract was up, we got new phones for renewing it). There were several folks who looked to be going there, and I was impressed because they waved when I waved. Good sign.
When I got home, I brought in the essential things that I had gotten out of my suitcase, came inside, put my pjs on, and went to bed. I was beat. It was a great weekend of fun and friends, which I wouldn't have missed for the world. I'm thankful for making it home safely, and with no big occurences. One of my high school friends, who is one of the group with whom I get together multiple times a year, lives in one of the cities I had to go through. I wish I'd not gone through the city in the dead of night, or I would've stopped to visit. But, I did get to talk to her to make sure my roads weren't hindered due to the flood and the damage it did. I was all set. Thanks for helping me out, homegirl! You're the bomb!
Anyway, that was my weekend. Now I'm back here in Illinois, watching the boys. They're being naughty little dudes today, but I think it's because they're not feeling well. Oh, and I'm no longer "homeless." I've come to think of Seminary as home, in a way, but I still have Illinois license plates and what not, and I want to vote in Illinois and all that stuff, so I didn't want to make SeminaryState my home. But, I changed the address of my license online to Sis and BiL's house, so I have a house again. I also updated my voter registration. So, that's kinda nice that I have an official home. And now, I need to go because I hear a little boy who wants up from his nap and is telling me so by kicking the wall by his crib. Have a delightful day.