Well. The days fly by at the New Job, and things seem to be coming together for the next school year. I had some wonderful connections throughout the week, which is always a great thing.
One day's mail contained three chatty letters from former students, and a postcard from Young Son (who just finished another long-distance bike ride) that said, "Mom, I love you more than my bike." High praise indeed.
And speaking of Young Son, who is enamored of all things 1970s, he is now living in a co-op in a funky downtown Austin neighborhood. I can't fault the "House Rules": no alcohol and no serving meat. He is a semi-vegetarian who eats healthy most all the time. Apparently there is something about not being able to have something that makes you want it even more. When I went on a tour of his home last week, he told me he missed meat sometimes and kept a bag of beef jerky in his room. Meat as contraband. (Have a mentioned a time or twenty that Austin's quasi-motto is "Keep Austin Weird"? And maybe meatless.)
Young Son and I went out to eat with one of his friends from childhood. Tyler lost his mom to cancer just weeks from the time we lost D. You know how most of us talk about writing books about our experiences? Well, Tyler's book was published this spring. It chronicles his journey in the loss of his mother, but the perspective of God that he gained. You can order it here on Amazon as a paperback or a Kindle download.
I got to have lunch with my mentor in education. She was my sixth grade teacher in elementary school, and made me want to pursue a classroom of my own. She went from being Mrs. W to Dr. W with a PhD in Educational Administration. She has been a principal of another local private school for 30 years. I met with her to ask a lot of Big Questions. Her answers were concentrated with the wisdom of many years, and we had an amazing exchange of ideas. She wants me to call her by her first name now. Somehow, the adults of our childhood don't transition easily to being peers. I'm practicing her name in front of the mirror in anticipation of our next meeting with (many) more Big Questions on my part, I'm sure.
Today, I drove to one of my favorite little "antiquing" towns, to find my favorite store locked up tight. Guess I should have paid more attention to Sunday's store hours. No connection made here today!
But the best connection of all? I happened to have Facebook on for a few minutes early Saturday morning and a message popped up. A precious friend from college was in town with her family for a wedding: could I go to lunch with them. COULD I? What a joy to have friends from "back when". It seems as though not a day has passed since those late night marathon talks on the third floor of our dorm. She and her husband have a lot to show for those years since graduation; three beautiful and charming daughters among them. What a wonderful ending to a great week.
It takes a long time to grow an old friend. And surely there is no better investment in our lives.