I went to Kansas for my college’s homecoming this past weekend. For those of you who didn’t go to a small school, homecoming is more like a reunion than anything because I pretty much know everyone who comes. I still have 4-5 really good friends who live in Kansas, so I’ve made it a tradition to go to homecoming every year to see them.
I stayed with my best friend Becca and her husband Micah while I was there. I had signed up to run the homecoming 5K by myself, but when I was packing I couldn’t find my iPod. That was annoying because running by myself without music isn’t that great. So on Saturday morning I asked Becca, “You wouldn’t happen to have an iPod, would you?” Knowing Becca’s technology deficiency I figured there was no chance. But she said, “Yes! That is one thing we do have!”
Then Micah dug an iPod shuffle out of a box and handed it to me. He said, “I think there’s only one Josh Groban song on it, though, and maybe a sermon.” I figured it was better than nothing.
Becca asked him, “Did you win the iPod or something?”
“No, my parents gave it to me for Christmas.”
“Last Christmas?” I asked, not believing that he had it a whole year without putting songs on it.
“No, a few Christmases ago,” he replied. “There’s a reason Becca and I got married!”
Driving to Hillsboro from Wichita is a lot of highway with farmland surrounding it. I slept in the car, and woke up when Becca realized that we had missed our turn. So we turned around and as we were backtracking our friend Julie said, “I think the turn’s coming up, there’s a silo that looks familiar.” That’s a phrase I don’t hear in Houston!
The 5K went alright, except that there weren’t that many runners and the cross country team ran and left me in the dust. It was kind of embarrassing. I was probably one of the last ones to finish, and I still ran it in a faster-than-normal time for me. Afterwards I showered and we spent a lot of time wandering around campus. We ate lunch at the “young alumni tailgate party” and then drove to a neighboring town to visit our friend Erica who couldn’t make it to the festivities. All of us fell asleep while there. After a couple of hours we returned to Hillsboro, watched the second half of the football game (we lost), and then ate dinner at Pizza Hut. Hillsboro has exactly 5 places to eat: Pizza Hut, Subway, Sonic, Olde Towne Restaurant, and a new Mexican restaurant. The McDonald’s in town actually went out of business.
During the evening I hung out with one of my college roommates, her husband, and their new baby. We didn’t get back to Wichita until about midnight, and I was so exhausted. We went straight to bed, and then I woke up in the morning and flew home.
It was a quick trip, but definitely worth it. I find that every year I go, there are less people that I really care to see and spend time with. But the ones that I do want to see are very important to me, so the tradition will continue. I like taking little trips like this, but I love coming home. I’m very happy with my life here and the people in it. These are strong ties that I hope I don’t ever have to cut.