After posting my summary of our holiday, I found this by James Lileks. He expresses it much better than I do.

” I hated to let the day go. It’ll never be like this again. It might be similar; it might be better; it might just be different and interesting in a way I can’t predict. But everything that mattered was here for a while, in some fashion, and everything felt normal. It was a cloudy dank Saturday, but the weather didn’t matter. Nothing felt like goodbye. Everything felt like Hello.”

This Easter weekend was unique in several ways.  We spent it out of town, it rained continuously, and we went to someone else’s church.  It kept us on our toes.

This year, everybody was invited to Melissa’s brother’s place in Arkansas.  I always write that it is Fayetteville but in reality it is south of there near Winslow.  You turn one way to get to Devil’s Den State Park, the other way to get to his house.  Normally, if we stay the night, we sleep in one of his spare rooms but this time he was going to go out of town on business Monday so we chose to give him a break and stay in a hotel.

But first the rains came.  We have been in a drought for awhile and there have been many wildfires on the prairies all over Oklahoma but on Friday a weather system stalled right over us and started dumping rain in vast quantities.  This is all welcome of course but I guess we’d like to have spread it out a little – perhaps share some with the western half of the state.  And so we drove to Fayetteville in the rain to pick up Evan and have our Easter throw-down on Saturday.

Mel found an incredible bargain on Orbitz: $30 per night.   This was one of the extended stay places and Orbitz put us in there for one night.  Unfortunately, through some foul-up, no rooms were available.  This had apparently happened before so the manager sent us to a much nicer ‘normal’ hotel up the road where we happily stayed.  Same price too.  SCORE!

We picked up Evan and took a short detour so he could show us the townhouse that he and his buddies will be living in this summer and for their senior year.  We then headed down south to Winslow – again in the rain.  These things are always fun and so we spent many hours there talking, eating, watching the newest children, etc.  One cousin has recently had a baby and so there was a six-week old infant to fawn over. Meanwhile the downpour continued; at one point adding in some hail.  We turned on the TV to the weather radar channel and saw a big red and purple splotch on top of us with a little rotating symbol on it.  Mel’s brother Steve said, “Oh that’s at least a mile away!” so we ignored it.  Probably wasn’t a real tornado anyway. There was no ignoring the hail though.

We dropped Evan off at his dorm afterwards and went back to the hotel to bed.  On Easter morning we had agreed to go to Evan’s church where lots of college students go.  (At least those college students who go to church at all which is a small minority of them).  We got lucky – the hotel had a breakfast bar!

We picked him up and went to the early service.  It meets in the Boys and Girls club gym since they haven’t actually built a building yet.  They had the usual rock band which I suppose is cheaper to put together regardless of whether you like rock music or not.  I like it but I did sort of miss the pipe organ turned up to 11 and the huge congregation of my own church singing “Christ The Lord is Risen Today!” but this was plenty worshipful.  We enjoyed it. 

We also got to meet the girl that Evan has been dating recently which was pretty exciting.  We had brought Evan an Easter basket full of candy and had also brought her one but we gave it to Evan to give to her later.  We didn’t want to make too big a deal out of this whole thing.  We invited her to lunch but she had been one of several to organize a potluck for the college students who stayed in town and so was tied up.  Melissa’s mom for years made a cake shaped like a bunny for Easter and Melissa took up that task years ago.  We brought one for the big family thing and a lot of it was left over so we left that for the college student’s potluck.  We took Evan to lunch.

We had a bit of trouble finding a place for lunch since it appears that even though it’s a college town, a large number of restaurants close on Easter Sunday (or perhaps Sundays in general).  We weren’t picky; picky people go through life constantly disappointed with things.  We found a place that suited and had a good time.  It’s all about being together anyway.    Erin had gotten word late in the night via text message that she had won yet another scholarship so that was a topic of conversation.  It was all good.

Meanwhile the rain came down continuously. Runoff rain water was making little waterfalls and rivers all over town.  We dropped him off and drove home in this.  Driving in a downpour is pleasant but gets stressful at times when semi-trucks pass you and throw up mist that you can’t see through.  Occasional hail makes you worry about the sanctity of your paint job.  As a result, I got home and took a brief nap.

We should be back there in a week or two.  Evan’s finals are coming up and after that, he moves out of the dorm for good and into the townhouse.  I have a truck all lined up for this little party.  I expect we’ll be there many times this summer.  He has lined up an engineering internship for the summer and will be living there by himself since his roommates will be working elsewhere.  He’s never lived alone before so I expect some visits will be in order.  Mel will not be working so she’ll be free to take stuff over there that he has forgotten.

Life is playing out more or less as expected.  The girlfriend seems very nice; too bad we didn’t get a chance to talk longer.