Pavement Ponderings: Valentines Edition

“Pavement Ponderings” is a collection of short reflective essays, so-named from the walk along the paved sidewalk taken multiple times each day from the dorm to my apartment.

“It feels good to be the one in charge at the dorm. It makes me feel responsible and needed. At any given moment something could go wrong and I will have to be the one to fix it.”

I found these words coming out of my mouth on Thursday night as I began the long weekend alone by myself at the dorm. I was talking to one of our dorm subs, Anna, who comes every other Thursday night to help out and hang out with us. Only 30 minutes later, I would regret these presumptuous words.

The phone rang and it was Jodi. Natalie had fallen off her horse. She was lying facedown on the ground. An ambulance was coming to take her to the krankenhaus. Terror shot through my body and suddenly I became much weaker than I was only moments before. I called to tell her parents who had so many questions. I had no answers.

After x-rays and examinations, the doctors concluded there were no broken bones. Praise God. Only severe bruising that would be quite painful for this sixteen-year-old. She stayed that night in the hospital and I picked her up the following morning. Our first stop from the hospital: the horse stables, naturally. Natalie wanted to see her horse, to let him know everything was okay.

The weekend continued according to schedule. On Friday, Jane went in for her scheduled surgery and marathons of Monk commenced swimmingly. Saturday was Valentines Day, just as the calendar said it would be.

Only this Saturday was a different kind of Valentines Day. This Valentines Day didn’t begin the night before to the sound of orange Crush cans clanging outside my door, like at my Bible college. It didn’t even mean making red velvet cupcakes as I had for the last four years. No, this year it was just going to be me and the girls of Haus Jesse.

At first I was nervous that I would feel sorry for myself. I knew that instead of handmade cards, dirty dishes would be given and exchanged. Rather than receiving roses, I would be giving rides. But this year, Valentines Day turned out to be one of the best ones yet.

The girls woke up late on Saturday to a Valentines Brunch of heart-shaped stuffed french toast with raspberries and nutella. It was so fun and filling to be the one serving that I forgot about the romantic feelings Valentines Day normally conjures. The girls and I played card games and watched more Monk. It was such a fun, relaxing day. And the weekend turned out to be a good one, despite the few elevated moments of stress.

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