Friday, August 16, 2013

Life in a College Town

OSU Student Union
paparazzi1004 on Flickr
We have enjoyed a somewhat sleepy, slightly slower paced summer in our college town.  The population dips, not like it used to “back in the day,” but enough to make it noticeable, from mid-May through the end of July.  But then, they come back.  Starting late July as Greek women head back for work week and recruitment, camp counselors return to start camps, and Leadership students begin their fall semester plans.  Then, it continues to grow as these activities gear up into full swing – Camp Cowboy, Formal Fall Recruitment for the women’s Greek organizations, Welcome Week for Freshmen.  Of course, since Britt and I both work on the Oklahoma State University Campus, we get busier and busier too.  Summer is Britt’s SUPER busy time – glad we got to squeeze in a road trip during a slightly slower time before this month started.  And before we really even are ready, the MASSES are moving in!  Wal-Mart is sold out of everything.  Out of State car tags are everywhere.  KIDS (college kids, that is) are jay-walking on 4 lane thorough-fares!  Then, classes start.  Monday is the big day!  

I have a tale to tell about this summer in Stillwater, and how God’s whispers can turn in to amazing blessings.  One of the things Britt does with his job at Student Health Services it to attend EVERY Freshman Orientation session over the summer.  (There are lots of them!)  While there, he talks to future students, parents and families about the immunization requirements the State of Oklahoma has for college students, and *hopefully* collects records from these students at that time.  He talks to NUMEROUS people during one of these sessions.  As a member of the Weaver family, it is not rare to be out in the evening to get dinner, groceries, or take a kid to an activity, and Britt will say, “Hey!  See those people over there?  The dad in the blue shirt and the kid in the neon shoes?  Yeah!  I met them at orientation today.  They are from Woodward.”  Or something along those lines.  All the time.  Night after night.  Sometimes he has a fun story to go with it, sometimes, he just “recognizes” them and points them out.

Thursday nights are “Kids’ Night” at Eskimo Joe’s.  When you have 4 kids, this is HUGE!  (***Shout Out to Stan Clark for knowing some families have more than 2 kids – including his – and giving 2 kids meals per adult entrée!***)  One Thursday night in early July, the Six Dream Weavers were eating dinner and behind us at a tall table was a family of 3.  Dad, Mom, college-aged girl.  Britt pointed them out and said he had talked to them earlier in the day at orientation.  Then he says to me, “I feel led to buy their dinner.” (God Whispers!)  I looked at him like he was off his rocker, but said, “OK!  Good idea.”  Then, after a closer look I said, “Hmm.  Maybe not.  They’re drinking beer –that makes the bill larger! LOL!”  But, I agreed it would be a very nice thing to do.  So we did.  When that Dad asked for his check, and the server told him it was taken care of?  The look on his face was priceless!  He came over to thank us, profusely.  Britt briefly introduced our crew,  and we left feeling good about the gift we had given. 

A couple of weeks later at work, Britt got a beautiful thank you card from the family - all the way from Colorado!  They mentioned how we made their visit to Stillwater memorable and how they looked forward to their daughter being here in the fall.  Again, super sweet note from a great family.  We put the envelope in our desk, thinking we would send them a Christmas card when the time came.

Fast Forward to Formal Fall Recruitment week for the Greek women’s organizations on campus.  As an advisor for Alpha Delta Pi, I am involved in this week a bit and offer my time to help out our chapter.  Britt had asked me if I knew of a list of who was going through.  I asked why, and he reminded me of our dinner encounter form a month earlier.  I told him there was no way of knowing, and again, blew it off and forgot about it.

First. Finest. forever. Since 1851.
Last Saturday was Bid Day.  The day all the young ladies who went through Recruitment find out which house they will be a member of.  Which sisterhood will be with them the rest of their lives.  It is a fun, crazy, exciting, memory-filled, HOT day!  I had to be at our Chapter house in the morning for some bookkeeping issues, and while I was there working, I got a 2 word text from Britt.  It was the young lady from Colorado’s name.  I knew he wanted me to check the list of ladies coming home to Alpha Delta Pi.  I was tied up, but one of our other Alumnae asked if there was anything she could do.  I showed her the text on my phone and told her to go check our bid list for that name (the houses get the list before the new members do).  Again, really thought nothing of it, just wanted her to feel useful.

Shine Bright Like a Diamond
She came back into the room, and with no idea why I was looking for THAT name or how I would react, she very casually says, “Yeah.  She’s on our list.”  I jumped up, said “WHAT?  Are you SURE?!?” like 10 times.  Went to check for myself.  Texted my husband.  And placed myself at the parent check in table as soon as parents started arriving.  I was in COMPLETE shock that not only did this young lady go through recruitment, she came to MY HOUSE on Bid Day!  She is going to be my sister (God’s Blessing)!  WHAT ARE THE ODDS?  

Throw What You Know!
As afternoon rolled around and the young women got to come to the houses, I made sure I was where I would run into her parents.  When the dad came to the parents’ table to check in, before he could even introduce himself, I said “Do you know who I am?’  He looked bewildered, but my husband and kids had come to the house for the festivities, and Britt was standing right behind me.  Since my husband is pretty distinctive looking, the dad instantly recognized him and his smile was SO BIG.  He was almost as shocked to see us as we were t see him!   After the day’s festivities, meetings and information sessions, we exchanged contact info before they headed back to Colorado that night.

It came full circle!  We listened to God’s whisper, and we got the blessing of being able to be in this family’s path as they send their daughter to college far from home.  We are excited about watching her come to love OSU the way WE love OSU and watch her grow during this adventure.  I thought Britt was crazy for randomly wanting to buy this family’s dinner.  But, I get the biggest blessing of all – she is now my SISTER.  
 First. Finest. FOREVER.

and for Alpha Delta Pi