Wednesday, March 14, 2012

For Everything There is a Season....

My heart is filled. . . 

Barbara, Carole, 'Lena
It has been a a whirlwind couple of days and the week is not over yet. I had the opportunity to return to my roots in Texas this week. I flew in late Monday night and am staying with my dearest friend, Carole. She and I met in the lunch room in high school in about the 10th grade. We never had a class together in all four years of high school, but God knit our hearts together so tightly that years and thousands of miles have never been able to pull us apart. Last night we had dinner out with Barbara Leon, another friend from high school that neither of us had seen for 34 years! It was an amazing evening of  catching up, building up and encouraging one another. And of course, lots of laughter and so many memories!

These are the doors I once walked through every morning.
 Now they are the side doors.

Carole lives on the opposite side of Houston from where we grew up, so today we decided to head back to the old neighborhood. It was a bit like going through the twilight zone. I haven't been back to this side of town in over twenty-two years and my, how things have changed. New freeways! New shopping malls! Gone were the fields of sugar cane; gone were the pastures with cows and horses. We used to live in "the boonies"; the boonies are no more!

High School Stadium where I graduated 34 years ago.
We drove through the old neighborhood and then found the school. What used to be one little high school out in the field is now only part of a huge complex that includes two high schools and other educational buildings including the stadium where graduation was held. They have had added more athletic facilities and increased the parking lot.

My old apartment complex.
It's in the "international district" now. 
We continued on down the road and tried to find the apartment complex I lived in my last two years in high school. It "used to be" just down the road from the school... I suppose it still is, but so much had been added on the road. Including a six lane toll road! I told Carole, "I don't think this is Kansas anymore!" We finally found it and oh my goodness! What once was a beautiful family friendly  complex was now run down and just plain scary! As we drove past the complex I took a video with my phone. Carole said, "I'll drive slow" and as we  passed a few unsavory characters on the side of the road looking back at me, we decided that perhaps she should drive fast!

Braeswood Church sanctuary
It was time to head home and we found ourselves on Fondren and I realized we were just blocks from the church I attended when I grew up. We pulled in and I decided to go inside. It has been close to twenty four years since I have been there and while they had done some remodeling, much was the same. Shirley Elkins, who remembered me from all those years ago, opened the sanctuary and let me go in. Oh my goodness!  Almost immediately, tears came to  my eyes as the memories flashed by.

Sunday School Classes
White water rafting trips. . .

Fellowship Hall

We held my parents 40th wedding anniversary celebration in the fellowship hall on July 29th, 1988. Pastor Earl Banning officiated as they renewed their vows. What a precious memory!

"To every thing there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under the heaven" 
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

 It was time to head home, but as we left I couldn't help getting a little nostalgic. Looking back into my past here in Houston I realize that this was an important part of who I am now. It molded me; shaped me and sent me on my way in life. The school years created friendships that I will never forget. The church grounded me in my faith and introduced me to my husband of 29 years. It was a time and a season in my life that was vital to the development of my faith and future. Every season of our lives has a time and a purpose.

 So today, my heart is filled. . .
Filled with nostalgia for the past
Filled with a bit of sadness for the changes
Filled with joy for renewed friendships
And overwhelmed with gratefulness. . .
because I have the best friend in the whole world!

Carole, today we reminisced, cried a few tears, laughed our silly heads off and, according to the GPS... found ourselves in an unrecognized location. And made it home all in one piece! Thank you for dragging me all over Southwest Houston in one afternoon. It was a whirlwind ride!

And it ain't over yet . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 comment:

Nancy newman Crivellari said...

love reading what you write!!! we truly were blessed to live in Alief Tx growing up!!!