Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Restoration of All Things (Part 16)

It was nearing semester's end and Christmas break's beginning. In the Hanwell's living room, Genevieve (whose eyes told me she was up to something) handed me a tiny gift bag. When I pulled the tissue out, I found a pair of earrings. Two little glass pink elephants. After all our talks about my pink elephant in the room with Eddie, it couldn't have been more perfect. I loved them.

Christmas breaks were always a welcome reprieve from school and life in general. Oh, to be home with my family, constant side splitting laughter with my brother, the antics of our dogs, and my mom's quiet reassurance that things have a way of working themselves out. On top of all that, I swear my Dad's love language is food. The man loves to cook and to feed people. Kitchen gadgets turn him into a kid in a toy shop.

This year, I ended my 12 hour journey home and emerged from my car to my Dad poking his head out the front door with a plate of meat, shouting, "Hi Sarah! Want some thinly sliced roast beef?!"

Ah, I see that the new gadget this year was a meat slicer.

Winter to spring. Another semester of pressing through school, battling professors, and wondering why frat boys always have that glassy-eyed  look about them coupled with a dopey grin that said to me they had no clue what was going on. How is it possible that they always go around looking like that with shorts that were clearly not the proper length and yet still maintain that constant air of superiority?

Ugh. Boys at this school. I thought about transferring, but a glance at Kentucky taking notes next to me was a powerful reminder of all things tremendously more important. Thank you, friend, I thought at her.

My professor disrupted my thoughts to call me to get a paper from him. I startled, pushed myself up out of my chair with my hand on the corner of the table Kentucky and I were sharing, making it to the front of the room in two long strides. My pushing down on the table's corner, however, caused the folding legs underneath to buckle, which in turn succeeded in launching Kentucky's mug of coffee clear across the room.

Everyone stopped and watched it fly through the air in slow motion, turning sideways over Kentucky's paper and fully upside down by the time it reached our professor and I at the front of the room. It was actually rather impressive that coffee ended up all over absolutely everyone's papers between where I had started and where I had ended.

The mug landed sideways, unbroken on Professor's desk. Kentucky was making all kinds of faces trying not to crack up as she gathered up all the things from her notebook that went flying and put the table back up right. I looked helplessly at my Prof, who wiped a splatter of coffee out of his eye and said, "Not 'Sarah', I said 'Clara'."

"Oh. Erm... Sorry. Mr. Hendrixson."

Spring to summer.

A decision that the best use one can make of dresses is to play in a river while wearing them.

Visits with bands at the end of concerts. Carefree days spent intentionally allowing neither school nor Eddie a thought. 

Finally I was forced to think about school again because I had put off registration until the very last second. That and the impossible absolute drudgery of filling out the FAFSA for federal financial aid. I finally took care of both of these cantankerous tasks as quickly as I could and shut them out of my mind again. I was happy with my schedule, especially because I had no classes before 9:30am. 

When school started again, I moved into a dorm room with Verona and went to my classes as usual. The only problem was that I wasn't on the role in any of them. 

Momentary panic attack. I went to the admin building to see what was going on. First they told me that I would have to complete the FAFSA again due to lack of critical information. I called Mom who told me that all of the paperwork that could answer those questions had been lost in the move. 


I had already taken out a loan to cover that semester. I had signed on the dotted line and promised my firstborn if I failed to pay it back. Or whatever it is they take from you. Your soul? 

It took an afternoon of sitting in an office with a woman who would rather be uploading family photos to her computer, being told again and again that I hadn't taken out a loan and that I had to take out another one, and persistent calling of the federal loan agency before someone finally realized that I was telling the truth. My loan had been lost in the shuffle by some higher up with a job that I don't understand a thing about. 

Sanity was restored to my world. I was put in all but one of the classes I had previously registered for, and the only real annoyance that remained was that I had to swap my 9:30am class for an 8am American history class. I've never been great at mornings and given my Dad's constant historical ranting and drilling, I hardly felt I needed an American history class. 

I've learned, however, that it is one of life's tricks to take something trivial and annoying and turn it into something that has tremendous impact. 

Did I say life? It is possible that I meant God. Just, maybe. 


  1. It is almost 1 AM and I have to stop reading. But I probably won't, cos I always have to read just one more page.

    I haven't read anything..really read about 4.5 years. This is wonderful. You really need to turn it into a book.

  2. Yey hooray!!! ((hug)) :D Actually, turning it into a book is my goal! I don't know how yet... but um... I shall figure it out! :D

    Thank you for your encouraging words!