Jeff and I marked six years of marriage on March 18th. To celebrate, Jeff had the great idea to take a day to retrace our steps, namely the special places in our friendship and then dating relationship. That meant heading north to our alma mater, Cedarville University, and the surrounding area. The 17th was a Saturday, a perfect warm spring day for our nostalgic day trip.
First stop was lunch in Xenia at Los Mariachis, just down the street from my apartment where I lived the summer before and during my senior year. (Unfortunately, the spot for our first dinner date and many dates thereafter, Xenia China Inn, has been torn down or else we would have gone there.)
We drove past my old apartment and the park where I loved to walk and sit, enjoying the view, gazebo, and lake.
With Mom, circa 2005:
Part of our reminiscing included getting together with special people in our life and introducing Sam to them. “Aunt Sandi” still directs the degree program where we spent many, many hours together. She also made our wedding cake as a special gift to us! We met her at one of the local coffee shops in the town of Cedarville.
Next, we drove out to spend some time with Julie at her home. Jeff and I first met in her Composition 2 class during the first quarter of our freshman year. That class was full of people we’d be in contact with for the next four years, some even longer. Fast forward three years and Julie was the director of the campus writing center, and Jeff worked for her as one of the writing tutors. She is also a published poet; if you like poetry you should check out her book, Slipping Out of Bloom.
Random, fun fact: her kids have the same names as my sister’s kids.
By this time, Sam really needed a nap so we drove up to Springfield to visit the church where we were married. It was closed, of course, but it was fun just to see the building again. I attended there for three years plus the summer of my internship, and worked with the Awana program on Wednesday nights for three years. Jeff and I attended together during our senior year.
We also hunted down a little Chinese restaurant near the church where we would sometimes go for Sunday lunch. It’s still there, but we had other plans for dinner.
We drove back into Cedarville to take a long walk around campus. It was really nice to be back on just an ordinary day. No crowds of alumni with strollers and kids galore to detract from the normal feel of campus. We poked around the student center, then walked along the lake to ENS (Cedarville is acronym crazy… it’s like another language) where we looked in on the classroom where we had that first class together with Julie.
Of course we had to visit Tyler and room 102, the hub of all things TPC (our degree program, Technical and Professional Communication). I even made us take a picture in front of the door, like the big nostalgic dork I am.
The Writing Center just so happens to be right next door to Tyler 102. We spent so many cumulative hours in those two rooms over our junior and senior years.
We continued our walk through the academic buildings, past Milner and the library and the new Bible building, over to the DMC which houses the chapel. And The Seal.
I figure now is the time to take these pictures, when he doesn’t know what I’m doing and isn’t yet sick of hearing about Cedarville.
Of course we had to walk through the AC (athletic center) and out to the soccer field where I also logged countless hours.
Finally it was time to head to a mainstay of every Cedarville student’s diet: Colonial Pizza. We polished off an order of cheese sticks (the accompaniment to so many dorm meetings) and most of a large pizza. Sooooo good!
Even though we’d already eaten enough to feed a small army, or so it seemed, we HAD to stop by one last Cedarville institution: Mom and Dad’s Diary Bar. Jeff snapped some iPhone pics to prove to a co-worker that penny candy still exists, and we took our “tornados” to go.
It ended up being a fairly exhausting day and we didn’t get home until after 10pm. But it was fun to catch up with old friends and walk our old paths together.
Most of our actual anniversary was spent apart with Jeff on A/V duty at church and then picking up a new-to-us Craigslist fridge with the help of some friends. We did manage to take our usual Sunday breakfast-for-dinner meal up a notch at IHOP though.
It’s been a good six years, eight years if you count dating and engagement. I’m looking forward to many more great years together, Lord willing.