(I'm spending a few days this week continuing the Summer Camp Love Story I began telling...uh, way too long ago. If you need to catch up on the action, click here.)
(GRAMMAR NERD Update: I am cringing and clawing out my eyeballs over my misspelling of the word "flyer" in the title. Please, please, please Mrs. Lusk, Mrs. Williams, and Mrs. Post forgive me!!! I'm afraid to change it in the title now--for fear of messing up its permalink, and other garbledy-gook techno meanings like that.)
That Fall semester was a blur of airport hellos and quick before-the-airplane-door-closes goodbyes, his and her football weekends overflowing with people to meet and special places to see, always wearing the appropriate Razorback red or Aggie maroon, and long distance bills that still shock me, even all these years later.
We settled into a long distance rhythm. The ebb and flow of happy weekends jam-packed with events and people and sleepy, lonely airplane rides home, and long stretches of days and weeks between, where we lived out separate lives-- describing the mundane details of our days to each other on the phone every single night.
It's odd, having a relationship across 600 miles. Walking through our days completely separate, and yet not separate because we shared every detail of those days over the phone at the end of the day. I'd lie across the bed in my apartment in Fayetteville, twirling my finger in and out of the phone cord, telling him all about my day and my classes, while Dave usually paced around his loft bedroom in New Braunfels, and told me all about the students he was teaching. (The phone bills confirmed just how many details we were telling daily!)
Dave flew to see me a lot more than I did, since I was still a student at the University of Arkansas, and he was newly salaried as a 4th grade reading teacher. I visited twice in those 5 months, compared to his 4 visits.
Oh my goodness, I still remember trying on about 15 different outfits for my very first solo plane flight. I settled on the most sophisticated outfit I could create out of my closet--a knee-length fitted black skirt, a mossy green flowy tunic, and my very favorite black high heels. And don't forget the pantyhose. That was 1990, when ladies in skirts never went bare-legged.
I still giggle about that outfit. I guess I was trying to look like a snazzy business lady traveling to San Antonio. By the end of the flight, I was hating those beloved black heels. I couldn't wait to change into my usual blue jeans.
I can only imagine what Dave thought when he saw the snazzy business lady heading towards him with a shy grin, followed by a shy hug.
Those first arrival moments all Fall were awkward and shy. That always surprised me, since we'd spent hours and hours talking about everything on the phone the whole week before. However, by the time we pulled out of the airport parking lot, we were always back to our normal selves--chatting happily and holding hands across the front seat.
Those whirlwind travel weekends were everything new love should be--new adventures, romantic locations, and meeting new friends. I especially remember my visits to Texas, soon to become my own residence. Oh, how I loved the colorful character and flavors of the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and the quaint shops and slow pace of Gruene. Everywhere I visited in and around the town of New Braunfels made me more and more excited to move there. When I visited, I stayed at the Behlings house--family friends of Dave's who accepted and loved me like I had known them my whole life.
I was excited to make New Braunfels, Texas, my new home. But, mostly, I was just excited to start my life with Dave. Little did I know then, that some of my darkest moments would be in that quaint town that I loved so much, and in that home that still has a little piece of my heart. And right beside the man that I couldn't wait to marry.
Young girls in love can get pretty caught up in the misty-eyed romance and the new and exciting. Sometimes, it takes a few months for the misty-eyes to clear. Once all young couples can see each other clearly--with faults and flaws--how they deal with reality tells a lot about their marriage ahead.
Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself! First, I need to tell you about my favorite time Dave flew to see me. Right before Thanksgiving weekend--the weekend forever embedded in my heart.
To be continued...