Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dordt days

I was recently in California being an "auntie nanny" to my sweet niece Jenae.  While I was there,I visited with my college room mate, Jan.  She lives within an hour's drive from my sister.  It's been great to be able to keep in touch with her over the past "couple" years since we graduated from Dordt!!  I also visited with her parents, Charlie & Gert.  They are living on the same almond farm that I visited oh-so-many-years ago.  So great to see them.  FYI, they pronounce them "AMONDS".  They informed me of this years ago - because when the nuts are harvested, they shake the "L" out of them. True story.

Anyway, I've done some reminiscing since then and I thought I would share.

I went away to Dordt not knowing anyone, except a girl from my church, Jane.  Jane went to a different high school than me (she was a "Jackrabbit" of all things) but when I asked her about attending Dordt, she kind of sold me on it.  Jane and I drove off that fall in my blurple Vega - we drove straight through to Iowa.   One of my unknown 3 room mates was Jan.  In one of our earliest conversations, we realized we shared the same birthday!  We were best buddies the next four years.  I guess that's one of the fun things about Dordt College - you make life long friends from all over the United States AND Canada.

Jan and I both loved to travel.  Our freshman year spring break, 4 of us drove back to Seattle so those California girls I had met could experience a ferry ride, see the Space Needle and see our mountains.  They saw my family's alfalfa farm.  A fun trip.  The beginning of our sophomore year, Jan flew up from California and the two of us drove the blurple Vega back to Iowa, but we CAMPED along the way.  We went through Yellowstone.  We actually got kicked out of our campground there because bears were in the area.  **Please keep in mind we were 20 years old and we did not have cell phones in those days.  No phones with maps on them - just old fashioned paper maps.  Camping, just the two of us.  Craziness.**  For some reason, we always ate Captain Crunch. Always.

Our sophomore year of college a group of us drove (again, the blurple Vega) to Breckenridge, Colorado and went skiing.  So. Much. Fun.  It was a warm spring and we got FRIED while skiing.  Girls were wearing bikinis!!  Us nice Dordt girls wore ski pants and t-shirts.  My face got so sunburned I couldn't open my eyes one morning.

After that sophomore year, Jan and I drove to California.  Again, camping along the way.  We visited the Grand Canyon.  We ended up at my aunt's house in southern California.  I can't even imagine how terrible we smelled when we showed up in our overalls and cowboy hats. 

Junior year spring break I drove home to Washington with my sister Sharon (she was a freshman at Dordt and had been dating my friend Denny).  She was getting engaged while we were home - Denny came also - so I tagged along.  I think Jan went to Texas or something.  The last week of our junior year I met Les.  Since I was dating/engaged our senior year, I of course didn't spend as much time with Jan, but we decided to take one more trip that spring break.  We decided to drive to Washington D.C.  The blurple Vega had been sold (I needed money!) so we took Jan's mustard yellow Toyota .   Off we went.  I had a high school friend who was going to Med School at George Washington so we had arranged to stay with him in his apartment.  Jan and I had a great time in D.C.  I remember feeling so patriotic while visiting all those famous monuments.  We visited Dan one day at his school and he showed us some kind of room with every body part you can imagine jarred up in formaldehyde.  I had totally forgotten about visiting that room - Jan just reminded me of it last week!!!  That trip we also drove to New York City and Philadelphia.
Washington Monument in the background.  Great photo quality back then!

Graduation Day!! 1981
Jan was in my wedding along with my sisters.  She moved back to California, I stayed in Iowa.  Jan and I actually took another road trip when my son Kris was about 1.5.  Her brother had gotten married in Iowa and Les and I were living there.  Jan and I drove back to California together again after her brothers wedding!!  Many many miles we have spent together.
May, 1982
Later visits - 1987 and 1989
Last week, Jan and I talked about traveling again together.  I think the top of our (my) list is the Sante Fe area.  She has been there a couple of times so she will be a great tour guide.  I'll bring the Captain Crunch.