Friday, March 11, 2011

Lent Begins in Asheville

We are in Asheville NC.  As fate would have it and because of our perpetual bad luck, it snowed last night.  I discovered that tickets to the Biltmore are $39 a person.  Somehow, while I really, really want to see the Biltmore, spending $78 doesn’t seem that wise.  The waitress at Waffle House told us to come back in mid-April.  She said it might be worth the cost then.

As usual we opted for a cheap hotel.  I tried to push for a mid-range one but we are at the Super 8.  I’ve stayed in worse hotels but this is certainly not that great.  Plus it is noisy.  Here we sit.  Our anniversary trip is being spent sitting on opposite ends of king size bed with laptops on our laps. 

Now before you say, oh boy, she really does complain a lot, that’s not my intention this morning.  I’m just sharing the reality of our anniversary trip.  This was my consolation prize for an anniversary trip to Phoenix that didn’t materialize because of poor planning.  I’m rather disappointed but I’m going to try to make the best of it.

This morning we had a good breakfast at Waffle House.  Ahhh, Waffle House!  If you’ve never lived in a part of the country that has a Waffle House you don’t know what you are missing.  In some ways it is a throwback to a diner.  Usually the servers are a bit colorful and good hard working women.  Often, the only male employee is the cook.  Orders are yelled out and the cook remembers them.    Eggs are dropped, potatoes are scattered.  Anyone who minimizes the intelligence of these hard working individuals should try it – it takes a lot of higher level functioning to remember orders, people, and keep them straight.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these trips that end up like so many other things in my life.  Somehow there is a pattern of disappointment that seems to go along with them.   I realize that in part it has to do with my expectations.  I claim to have lost my optimism but somehow it always creeps up on me.  I hope for a great trip.  I hope to do something fun and new.  I hope to see the Biltmore on this trip.  I think all my hopes are going to be dashed.  I should be used to this by now, but I’m not.

Nevertheless, I am doing well.  I have survived the crucible of South Dakota.  I am enjoying life.   I passed my test with a great grade in Research Methodology last Saturday.  I saw that professor and he approved my research design.  I was terrified and was so sure I had no idea what I was doing.  Funny, I did.  I was surprised as I saw in his office and saw the confident Joyce who hides so well come out.  He probably thinks I am a very confident person.  HA!
I saw my advisor.  My Chapter Two was solid.  Not a lot of revisions to be done.  I think my advisor is a little bit aware of the nervous, anxious Joyce but I think she’s pretty fooled too – thinks I’m confident!
I went to church with my daughter on Wednesday.  We received the imposition of ashes.  We are entering Lent.  Afterwards we shared good conversation over fish sandwiches at Arby’s. 

I don’t know what we’ll do today in Asheville NC.  Husband is looking for junk yards in the area to find a headlight for his car.  Hmmm, not the romantic fun filled activity I had in mind J.  Nevertheless, as I think of how life is for me right now I’m thankful.  I’ve been thinking a lot about Lent.  I’ll eat fish on Fridays and try to be better about my personal devotions.  I will also be thankful.  

As I begin the season of Lent in the Mountains of North Carolina, my purpose is to be thankful.  If I am to bear the cross of ashes I must remember that sacrifice and unconditional love go hand in hand.  I’d love to see the treasures of Biltmore, but I have a great treasure-the guy sitting on the other end of the bed with his laptop on his lap.  I’m going to just enjoy being with him today and make the best of a dreary gloomy day in Asheville.

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