Monday, July 1, 2013

Ben is going to medical school

We drove to Nashville on a Thursday afternoon in May to meet our family at a restaurant in Nashville to celebrate an important event!!  Ben was graduating from Vanderbilt!!  Family events are very important, aren't they?  We struggled with whether to go or not because Mark had to take a day of vacation and we both had to leave work early on a Thursday afternoon . . . but I'm glad we went.  We drove up to Nashville and our first stop was at the home of our friends, Jan and Hayden.  We visited with them for a few minutes and freshened up and piled into their car and drove to the local drugstore to get a graduation card . . .because I had forgotten ours!!  We all then drove to dinner at a locally owned restaurant, Nero's.  We pulled up in front of the restaurant for valet parking and I didn't have on my high heels . . .I had on my flip flops.  If you know me, you are not surprised by that sentence.  I could not get my shoes changed fast enough!!  The valet drove the car about ten parking places away from where we were standing and I realized that I left the camera in the car during all the shoe changing business.  Poor Hayden had to run get the camera out of the car.  By that point, he could have parked the car instead of tipping a valet.  Of course, we were laughing like crazy . . .we always LAUGH LIKE CRAZY when we are with Hayden and Jan.  EVERYTHING is funny when we are with the two of them.

Ben is the middle son of Mark's sister, Susie and they live waaaaayyyy up in Delaware.  We've loved knowing that Ben was just a short drive away in Nashville . . in the SOUTH.  Now he is going to medical school at Jefferson way up NORTH again.

Some of the highlights from that night:

1.  Hayden's daddy was a doctor.  Hayden and Jan gave a reflex hammer to Ben that belonged to Hayden's daddy.  What a thoughtful gift!!!!!

2.  The owner of the restaurant came into our private room and visited with us and gave us the recipe for the corn muffins that we devoured (we devoured the muffins not the recipe).  He would NOT give us the recipe for the spinach that Mark asked him to share.

3.  The valet came into our room to find Hayden (after the previous aforementioned adventure - I've always wanted to use the word "aforementioned").  Hayden said, "we aren't ready to leave yet."  The valet said, "I am!!!!"  I don't believe that has ever happened before.

4.  Susie (sister-in-law not mother-in-law) had made little favors for each place at the table -- chocolate -- Mark ate all of his before dinner was served.  Everyone hid their candy from Mark after that.

5.  Our nephews are cute and funny and polite and I wish they all lived in Alabama.

We had a nice group for dinner and we were in the perfect private room.  Susie (sister-in-law) on the left and then her mother-in-law, Betsy from Delaware and then Jan and Hayden and Quint (Susie's father-in-law from Delaware) and Thomas (youngest nephew - will be a senior in high school this year . . .hoping he will come to college in the real south!!!) and Ben and Paul.  I have no idea where Bob and Grandmother (Susie) and Mark and I were - I guess we were all on the other side of the room or in the bathroom!!

So after dinner, Hayden and Jan and Mark and I went back to their house and sat around and laughed and talked.  Mark and Hayden took the dogs for their bedtime walk.  Jan and I visited.  We all went to bed.  We got up the next morning and visited over breakfast and then Mark and I headed over to the Vanderbilt campus for graduation.  The ceremony was supposed to be outside but . . .wait for it . . .guess what . . . .it was RAINING!!  So instead of sitting outside, we were inside an unairconditioned gym IN THE SOUTH.  Yes, you did read that correctly.  To be honest, I really didn't think there were any unairconditioned public buildings in the south anymore.  That sentence shows how spoiled I am, doesn't it?  Bob and Susie graciously arranged a parking pass for us at their hotel so we parked our car there and walked several blocks to the building.  It was raining so we were a little damp when we arrived.  I was a little sweaty at first.  .  . not dewey . . .but sweaty . ..I know that is not ladylike.  I was not feeling very ladylike at that moment.  It was a coat and tie affair so I had on a dress . . .and I was sweating.  After settling into our seats, which Bob and Susie had graciously saved for us even though there was a "no saving seats" policy, it was not so bad.  It was not as warm as I thought it would be with that many people in one building.

You can see that everyone is dressed up.  The men had all removed their jackets.  When we were sitting, you could see lots of folks fanning (they provided fans - that was nice!).  This is my handsome brother-in-law, Bob.

Bob and Mark even allowed me to take their picture together.  Looks like Mark was about to say something to me.  I can't believe Mark still had on his coat.

I forgot my big camera lens.  It was probably a good thing because there was not much room in our seats and I was already juggling my camera, my phone and a purse.  There is Ben . . .lining up (last one on the row)

Well, I'm going to be honest.  We sat there for a few minutes after Ben was awarded his diploma.  Mark got up and walked around a little and then he came back and said, "let's go."  So we walked back to the hotel.  Once again, Bob and Susie graciously gave us their room key and we were able to go in and get a snack and go to the bathroom.  We then went down to the lobby and waiting on everyone else to return.  As soon as they got back, Susie and Grandmother Susie took a cart to the room and loaded Grandmother's stuff onto the cart and we loaded her into our car and we headed to Birmingham.  She had been with them for about two weeks and I think she was ready to be at home in her own house.

It was a whirlwind trip - round trip to Nashville in 24 hours - dinner, a short visit with friends, graduation, late lunch in some fast food place (Arby's I think? - it was sustenance, not good food - just fyi) and home again. . . but in reality, it was priceless.  and now . . .now . . ..Ben is going to medical school!!!

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