Yesterday was a getaway day. I fled Beaver County. Granted, my destination really wasn’t the most exciting location, but it served the purpose for a feasible afternoon adventure. I went to my old home: Grove City, PA. I eased myself back into the area, starting with the always-welcoming outlet mall. The sunshine made the day a beautiful day for sauntering, peering in the windows, adoring all of the vibrant clothes, seemingly placed to tease each shopper that strolled by in the frigid air. Impressed with my ability to conquer the premises in just a couple of hours, I had some time to kill before distracting an old co-worker from his work. I took the round-about route, taking my time to drive by my old apartment and other favorite spots in town before heading to campus.
This was only my second time stepping on campus since I had left my job there. Thankfully, I wasn’t as nervous and shaky this time. I didn’t make a big scene about my trip – only two people knew I was coming. I was keeping a low profile. As I waited in the student union for my Grove City “big brother” to come see me, I sipped my tea and took in the scenery. At times, it felt like I had never left, and yet, that I hardly knew the place anymore. All pondering came to a screeching halt when my dear friend, Josh, and his fiancee entered the Gee – of all the gin joints! (know the reference? you should.) Josh and I graduated from Grove City together and are now at Geneva and will graduate together (again) this May. A familiar face in a familiar place at an unlikely time. It was a bit comforting.
The afternoon went on to hold pleasant reunions and long-overdue chats. My day was topped off with a wonderful dinner with my Grove City “office mom” – definitely had a family feel to our office, as you can tell. Linda helped me survive the hard days. She knew the look when I was about to burst into tears. She knew when I needed to take a walk or rendezvous in the bathroom to talk. I don’t know how I would have faced some of those days without her. I was so thankful to have this time with these two people – they knew me well and loved me the same.
The drive home seemed eerily familiar. The stars illuminated the sky on a cold, dark winter night. It was beautiful. So many times I made this drive through the rolling hills; instead now, home is at the opposite end of the drive.