40 hours in a car gave me a lot of time to think. And eat lemonheads. And listen to audiobooks. And sing songs at the top of my lungs. I actually didn't think all that much.
But I did take note of several things during my cross-country journey.
|photo by E. Bell|
- Thank God for Google Maps. I would be at a loss without the calm and collected automated voice telling me which exits to take. She didn't even yell at me when I took a wrong exit and had to backtrack. A human navigator probably would have.
- This was the first summer I visited every single state I lived in. In late May I first took to the highway to surprise Moriah Jo, and my overnights in Nashville and Raleigh fulfilled the other state requirements. What a treat to reconnect with so many friends in the course of three short months!
- New Hope Academy is the best elementary school to exist. The relationships I built there in kindergarden through third grade, with both teachers and my student peers, have lasted 13 years. To truly care about what is happening in the life of your elementary school classmates is a special thing and I'm not sure all schools cultivate that level of compassion. Beyond the student bond, I had the privilege of staying with my kindergarden teacher, Mrs. Tracy Utley, who writes a lovely blog of her own. She was pregnant with her oldest son at the time she taught me and my friends, and I got to meet the whole crew: Jack, Charlie, Harry, and George. Classic names for boys who will never go out of style.
- No matter how much I missed running in my Stonebridge North Carolina neighborhood, it was not enough to rouse me out of bed early in the morning to retrace my middle school steps.
- Just seeing the Bojangles sign causes my mouth to water and visions of chicken biscuits to dance in my head.
- Snapchat bridges the gap in any stale friendship. Double chins bring people closer together.
- Skeet shooting isn't my forte.
- My blog has a bigger audience than I thought. Both secretly satisfying and increasingly pressurizing.
- Little girls I babysit grow up and go to high school and meet adult situations that make my heart hurt.
- Maintaining relationships is so possible and infinitely rewarding. I recently finished a book, "Kisses from Katie", and was so struck by these words: "God holds all of the chaos in the palm of His hand, giving even the pain a purpose." I remember the agonizing pain of moving away from Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas, and today I rejoice in the escape these locations provided me during a tumultuous summer. An escape I never would have had if I had never moved away. The realization gives A Very Lucky Girl hope for present pain.