". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Little Trip South

We have been on the road the last few days, taking my older son to audition for the music program at University of Alabama. The school was not one that was originally on Trevor's list, but they came after him with a pretty enough offer that he decided to give them a look. The visit went well, but Nebraska is still number one on his list. I think Trevor is theirs to lose. I am amazed when I think back to the beginning of his college search to recall that UNL was not even under consideration. It was an accident, really, that it came to be so. Sure, my husband is a huge Husker fan, and he raised Trevor to be one, too. But that's not the reason Trevor began looking at UNL. It all started when I took Trevor to a local college fair. There was a UNL table there, but hardly anyone was visiting it. We stopped by "just for fun" and in doing so discovered how well they treat National Merit scholars. And then Trevor researched their programs and became even more interested. Finally we visited the campus and met a top notch piano professor that impressed us in more ways than just his music. And then UNL turned on their recruiting machine. It's not final yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the path between our house and Lincoln gets well trod over the next four years. We should know in a few months, and when we do, I'll announce the news here!

But back to the weekend. It was a quick trip with a lot of driving. We left Thursday, spent Thursday night in Nashville, Friday night in Tuscaloosa, and Saturday night back in Nashville, arriving home tonight. Everyone went, including Caitlin and Evan. It was a lot of time cooped up in the van watching the Sponge Bob movie more than most of us cared to, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the time together away from responsibilities, not to mention the warm temperatures in Alabama Friday and Saturday. We hit the 70s! We had a meal at the highly recommended Full Moon BBQ in Tuscaloosa, and several of us enjoyed a swim in the hotel pool (actually, that swim occurred in Tennessee, as the pool in Alabama was an outdoor one). And on Sunday we had the pleasure of worshiping at Grace Lutheran-Clarksville, shepherded by the meandering Pastor Larry Peters. We were warmly welcomed by Pastor Peters and several of his flock. The music and preaching were excellent and we felt right at home. I was interested to see something I have not seen at many Lutheran churches. Following communion, Pastor Peters invited those who desired it to come forward and kneel for anointing. Enough people did so that the altar rail was almost full. Pastor went from one to the next, speaking Scripture and praying over each one while anointing him or her with oil. I was touched by the love and affection that I saw demonstrated for each individual that came forward. It was a beautiful ritual. I am not sure how often it is performed, but my guess is that it is a periodic event. Fifth Sundays, perhaps? Maybe Pastor Peters is reading and will let us know.

All in all, it was a fine weekend. We did have a larger than usual number of fast food foul-ups. The worst was Thursday night when we arrived in Nashville. We dropped our bags at the hotel and went in search of a late night snack. We were happy to see a Jack-in-the-Box, one of our old Texas haunts that doesn't exist in Illinois. We went through the drive-through lane only to realize that no one knew what he wanted and there was a car behind us. So rather than making that car wait we decided to drive around and just go in. Of course, as soon as we did we encountered another car at the window, and that car seemed to be having a problem with its order because we were stuck for a long time. Finally we got out of the drive-through lane and parked and went in. But wouldn't you know it, after everyone finished studying the menu and we started placing our orders (which were heavy on the ice cream products), we were told, "We're out of ice cream." I couldn't believe it. Who ever heard of a Jack-in-the-Box with no ice cream? Evan was crushed. Out we went. Can you guess where we ended up? Say what you want about McDonald's, in all the times we have been there they have never, ever run out of ice cream.


Elephantschild said...

Yeah, McDonald's isn't fine dining, but it's reliably mediocre.

At least we know about what it will cost and about what the quality will be before we even walk through the door. And honestly, the salads aren't horrible. Never gotten sick from one. :-)

Roadside dives? They're a complete crapshoot, and since most "independent" diners and restaurants use Sysco's food services, I'm not all that convinced they're that much better in the quality department than the big food franchises anyway.

Phillip said...

Great read. I feel like I've just lived our trip all over again!

p.s. Jenny, glad you've had good luck with those McD salads. I, myself, cannot say the same thing. Christmas 2007 was a huge crisis at Bethany thanks to an Oriental Chicken Salad I ate for lunch on Dec 24 that year. Susan Keller remembers it well: she had to fill in for me at all the services as I spent a day bent over with a case of botulism. Still can't eat one of those things today!

Holli said...

A church I was going to up here annoints with oil the first Sunday of the month. It definitely caught me off guard never having been exposed to it. The church does it in conjunction with communion - as you're leaving the communion "rail" you can veer to the annointing line.