. . . but not to watch the big game.
No, we were in Mobile, at Spring Hill College, to visit Emily, our oldest, for Family Weekend. Emily is a Junior, and some of us have attended the weekend each year, but this time it seemed especially important for us to be together, since she has not been with us during the recent trials and tribulations.
John in particular felt nervous about leaving our new home considering what happened the last time we went out of town, but I convinced him, and we took Lorelei along as well. And we had a great time. It was the nicest weather we’ve ever experienced at Spring Hill, which was a balmy 102 the first time I set foot on its campus! The highs were in the 70s and it was sunny but breezy.
There are some planned activities that are part of the weekend but most of our fun was spontaneous: A trip to Target to shop with some of our gift cards at a place with a lower sales tax, dinner at Felix’s Fish Camp, dessert at Yolo–where we were surprised with free cupcakes to go with our frozen yogurt, afternoon coffee and cider and Carpe Diem, visiting the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception downtown.
The highlight of the trip for Lorelei–who hung on Emily like an affectionate parasite the entire time we were there–was probably spending two nights with Emily in the dorm. But for the rest of us it was certainly the two hours we spent at the Book Nook, the little used book store in the basement of the college library. Emily told us she had a surprise for us on campus. What can I say–she knows what we like!
I started at one end and made my way mostly around the whole store. We each had our own approach. John was looking for all new books. I was replacing the classics–not all of them, but the ones I just KNOW I will be wanting to read again–The Canterbury Tales, David Copperfield, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, to name a very few. Emily was replacing some that she had lost and finding others that had been on her list to read. Lorelei was poring over picture books, mostly about animals.
Soon the four elderly ladies and the one college boy who volunteer at the store noticed we were getting quite a big stack of books. They were hysterical, by the way, talking about books and politics in their Alabama accents and teasing the boy who they said works there because they are so good looking. It was kind of an intellectual Steel Magnolias vibe. Of course I told them why we needed all these books, knowing instinctively that they would understand the tragedy of our loss. In the end, we had a plastic container (which they gave us, and had the young man carry to the car) about three feet long and two feet deep full of books, which they sold to us for half-price–$75. It was a good afternoon in a good weekend.
And everything and everyone at home was fine when we came back.