Harleigh finished up finals on Wednesday and then had to be out of her dorm yesterday by 11:20. It took us two cars to get her moved in and two to move her out. And so it was necessary for me to head to Stateboro. But we had other fun things to accomplish, which made the trip something to look forward to!
I left yesterday morning at 5AM. Bought a giant coffee at MacDonald's (hands down my favorite of all the coffees, including Starbuck's) and detoured into Cracker Barrel to rent a books-on-tape. What a great resource that is! Great selection, $3.49 a rental, and a guarantee that the trip will not only fly by but be spent doing something I rarely get to do . . . read a book (or in this case, the relaxing relative of book reading: having a book read to me). I rented I Think I Love You, about an insecure 13-year-old in Wales in 1974 with a mad crush on the pop star David Cassidy. I had heard Terry Gross's interview with author Allison Pearson on NPR's Fresh Air. So when I saw it as an option for an audio book, it seemed too good to pass up.
I didn't want the drive to end. I adored it (and am, actually, still listening to it, all 10 CDs of it!). As a product of that generation, I could relate, achingly so.
Here is an excerpt from a New York Times review:
"A romantic comedy tailor-made for the movies, 'I Think I Love You' is a sort of witty mash-up of 'Mean Girls,' 'Bridget Jones’s Diary' and one of Nancy Meyers’s fairy tales for the middle aged, with a little nod along the way to 'Cyrano de Bergerac.' Though we know after two dozen pages or so exactly where this novel is headed, Ms. Pearson writes with such humor and affection for her characters that we’re perfectly happy to sit back and see how she steers her people toward that happy ending. It’s a novel that’s as light and sugary as a pop song, but if its plot is a little too predictable and jerry-built, the book still easily transcends the chick-lit genre. It showcases its author’s skills as an observer and her uncanny ability to render on the page exactly what it’s like to be a teenage girl, trying to navigate the merciless social hierarchy at school, while pouring all her yearnings into the impossible dream of somehow, someday becoming Mrs. David Cassidy and moving to Los Angeles."
Good book, good cup of coffee, 3 1/2 hours later in Statesboro. We got Harleigh all packed up, cleaned the apartment, and said goodbye to freshman year. Surreal.
Next up, we got her bike rack onto the back of her car, then fastened on the quite-heavy Huffy cruiser (a bike I got for a steal, but one that she rarely rode — just not made that well). On our way to the next errand, Harleigh hit a bump, the rack fell off, the bike skidded across her trunk . . . ugh. Needless to say, two girls standing in a parking lot, surveying a scuffed-up bike, a rack that we knew we had put on correctly, and facing a long drive home (no, this could not happen on an interstate!), we did what any smart chick would do. Across the street was a pawn shop (neither of us had ever been in one, much less knew how they work), and so we wheeled the bike in and walked out with $20. Easily solved. And we could move on to the fun things in store for us the rest of the day.
At a local pottery shop, Harleigh picked up a bowl she made for me for Mother's Day, bearing two verses from one of my favorite Psalms. How lovely.
We had lunch with Connie, her mentor from Statesboro Baptist Church. They have a mentorship program where women of the church are paired with Georgia Southern girls. Connie — a woman my age and very similar to me in personality — and Harleigh would meet every week for lunch and to talk. Sometimes there was a Bible study involved, other times discussion of a book they'd been reading. I adored Connie the minute I met her, and know why Harleigh has cherished their relationship. They plan on continuing their mentor partnership this coming school year. What a blessing.
I met staff at the campus Baptist ministry where Harleigh is super involved and on council, met lots of her friends, said goodbye to many, and then headed home. Harleigh decided to stay the night with some girlfriends and plans on being home (home with me!) today. My 3 1/2 hour drive home took an extra two hours due to accidents on the interstates, my car overheated, I almost ran out of gas in the gridlock . . . but Harleigh's coming home. That easily turns the bumps into joy!
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