Tuesday, October 18, 2005

ACU's 100th Homecoming: A Weekend of Friendship

This weekend’s trip to Abilene was much anticipated for myself! Having not visited Abilene since the May graduation, this weekend it represent my longest time away from Abilene since moving there in August of 2000 to attend school. While my current semester is keeping me crazy busy, I was anxiously awaiting my “vacation” to Abilene to see people who mean as much to me as life its self!

With shear excitement, I left the DFW area early on Friday morning, in order to make it to Abilene in time to attend chapel! This was a good time to visit with my sister and sit with her in chapel as well as take her to lunch at one of our favorite places to eat in Abilene, Rick and Carolyns! I knew, with my weekend filled with plans of spending time with my college friends, my time with my sister would be limited, so I was sure to spend the time I had unscheduled with her.

The rest of Friday I would consider my day of dedication to my friends. I dedicated the afternoon to important parts of my friends life’s which I had missed out on because of my time away from Abilene. I visited the apartments of two my friends. Cheryl and Lindsey had each moved into new apartments for the fall semester and nothing makes someone feel more important than getting to show off their new places. Now only have I had these two friends get new homes since I’ve been in Abilene, I also have friends who have new job positions or careers since I was last in Abilene, and I wanted to allow them to show off their pride and joy of accomplishments well deserved! I got to see Hollie at one of her Habitat for Humanity houses, as she took me on a tour of the framed project, as well as got to be escorted by Janaye on a YMCA tour and shown her new office as the Children’s Site Director. It’s a blessing to see my friends pursuing jobs in areas for which they have such passions, not to mention to see them excelling at the same time!

Through the whole day on Friday, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my friend Lindsey Miller. Not only did she show me her cute apartment, but she went with me to see Hollie, Cheryl, and Janaye! It was great to spend some quality time with a friend who I’ve just recently formed a closer friendship with via AIM. We even went and ate dinner together with Holly at Betty Roses, another of my favorite places in Abilene!

Friday night ended with a night hanging out at Janaye’s house with Naye, Lindsey, Holly, Becca, Cheryl, and me. We had a good time, goofing around, and even went out looking for the GATAs and flames at their float site and then up to Teague. Good times!

Saturday was pretty much the only day that reminded me of the fact that I was in town for Homecoming. First, it started with GATA breakfast super early (earlier than I like having to get up, especially after a late night the night before…HA!) While Homecoming Breakfast is usually a nerve-racking time for me, seeing all sorts of people, who I might not have seen for a while, it still comes as a fun and important time of the weekend for me.

This year’s breakfast reminded me of how old I am getting to me. I was honored to sit at a table of ladies who I pledged with, but still hold in high esteem. It was an honor to get to sit with so many ladies who I pledged with and don’t get to see all that much anymore. I was reminded by a comment I had over-heard from another GATA how important it is to have so many friends still at the breakfast. I heard one girl go up to another girl and say, “I’m so glad to see you! You are the first person I’ve seen from our pledge class.” It’s sad to think, that maybe even next year the number of breakfast attendees from my pledge class could really dwindle.

Breakfast also represented a time I was able to see two ladies I have grown to love and appreciate and respect in a new way over the past six months or so because of the blogging community. It’s amazing how blogging can truly influence friendships! It was great to get to see y’all, Julie and Laura!

Then it was parade time! I love watching the parade (though last year and this year were my first two years to get to watch it…HA!) AND, I’m working on a trend. Both years I have yelled so much during the parade that it has messed up my voice…HA! Even today at work I still sounded kind of funny from messing up my voice on Sat…HA!

Once again, chapel time! Good times! I love singing, especially with so many people!

Then I went to lunch with some more friends at yet another place I love in Abilene, Joe’s Italian! This time it was with Holly, Cheryl, Leah, and myself.

It was obvious that this weekend was more dedicated to rekindling friendships and spending quality time with people I’d missed, rather than focusing on the events of the weekend, because I sure was in no rush to get out to the Homecoming football game…HA! It started at 2 PM and we sure didn’t get there until 3ish, however, we did stay till about 7 minutes left in the game, which was a lot later than most…HA! And yes, we lost, 40-24...HA!

But the one event I was mostly looking forward too, but excitedly as well as anxiously was the Saturday night get together at Ellison’s house that I’d planned. Though I’ve never had an issue with laid back events, I still worry about how it will turn out with others in that I know how others can expect more than a laid back atmosphere with friends from an event. But overall, I think it went pretty well. I honestly think everyone was just so glad to get to see one another again that it truly didn’t matter WHAT we did!

The first hour or so people just mingled around and played “catch-up” with one another! It was great to see how people who maybe weren’t all that close while in club were sitting around asking how things were going for one another since graduation and stuff. I was honored to get to spend the night with so many people who have played a role of some sort in my undergraduate career! If my numbers are correct, I think 21 people ended up attending.

I truly think the highlight of the evening was probably the prank played on Ellison, as well as the MASSIVE game of Pit (no, sorry Misty, it wasn’t the karaoke you and I did…HA!)

It’s funny how Ellison wrote SUCH a great blog entry about the weekend, and I’d have to totally agree with her about most of it, but she SURE left out the details of the prank we played on her at her house! HA! While I won’t go into much detail either, I will say this, I’ve honestly never seen Ellison SOOO embarrassed! While it was classic, I SOOO felt for the kid! I mean as soon as it was played, she was literally STUCK in the midst of about 15 girls, so there was no running away from it! And when she got so speechless and bright red and hid her head in her shirt, I felt for my friend! While I was laughing so hard like everyone else, I was crying, literally! Not just from laughter, but from “feeling” for my friend! Bless your heart, Ellison; people shouldn’t be put on the spot like that! HA! But those 15 minutes or so of laughter honestly made the night for I think all the ladies there! Thanks for letting us have a good laugh and being such a good sport about it!

But besides, that, I was honored to get to introduce the game of Pit to so many friends, especially when I knew it would become a new-found-favorite of so many folks! It was a first for me to play it with such a big group, but it was honestly a BLAST! You’d never had guessed that a bright orange bell and some Home Depot looking cards could keep people so entertained for hours! And I honestly do think it is a GREAT stress reliever!

The night ended with a small group of four of my best buds and myself enjoying the crisp night air and reminiscing about times of the past together out on Ellison’s back porch from about midnight till 1 AM. Sometimes you can forget how much you love just being with some of your favorite people!

Sunday was more a time for myself. I slept in till about 9:30 (which is getting to be late sleep-in for me…how sad is that!?!?) and then went to get yet again, another of my Abilene favorites, Chicken & Cheese burritos from the classic Lantrips gas station out on Treadway! This has been a classic weekend breakfast for myself, my buddy Brandi and Cheryl for years now. I TOTALLY recommend them (even though they sound gross being from a gas station! HA!). We even introduced Holly to them this year (I’m pretty sure she liked them too!). Then it was off to take my sister for a Wal-Mart run and then to meet some friends for one last get together! I went to lunch (though I didn’t eat since I’d had burritos only about an hour before) at Johnny Carinos with Ellison, Kripner, Reagan, Misty, Slagle, and Brandi Jo. I was honored yet again to be invited to spend one last get together with people who mean so much to me!

This weekend had the presence of Homecoming, but that was really the underlying theme of the weekend for me. It was dedicated to treasuring the friendships I have. Remembering the importance of having quality friendships, rather than the quantity of friendships. I was reminded that even though I can go months without seeing some of my dearest friends, I can still hold them just as closely to my heart the next time we get to see each other.

I got to see many people I loved this weekend! I even hit up Chucky T’s grave before leaving town on Sunday. But whatever the case, there will be one thing that will stick out the most about this weekend to me. That’s the idea that no matter how old I’m starting to feel, and how long times might go between times I get to see some of my friends, friendships are only what we make of them. Those in which we let fall to the way-side will dwindle, but those in which we dedicate love to will flourish for years to come!

Blessings on all who have meant so much to me! Keep touching the lives in which you come in contact!


Ellison said...

Great entry, pal! And thanks for not spilling the details of my prank. I appreciate that:) Here's to more great times with friends!

GITCHA said...

Wow, should have hung out with you guys more. You went to all the good eating places! It was good to see you Kim. Keep it real !

Katey said...

I hate that I wasn't there, but there will be tons more Homecomings for us to hang out and spend time together. I don't think you'll ever have a problem finding girls from our pledge class Kim, we got so close I think we'll be there every year ready for some more pranking and catching up. Glad you guys had fun and obviously ate well. Hope to be there next year!