Day 7 – The Connection

Sean’s Journal: It says in Genesis that God rested on the seventh day. On Sunday, my family would usually go to church and then we’d either take a quiet hike in the forest or we’d take a nap. Often, we read the scriptures together and, if there were some neighbors who needed help or friendship, we would drop by to check on them. My mom loved to take everybody bread or muffins. 

This Sunday was a quiet day. I enjoyed the Lutheran “Divine Service,” which is what I think it’s called. I sensed some similarities with Catholic Mass. Of course, it is a more formal worship service than that of the Latter-day Saints. After the service, the Taylor family, took me to lunch. Our family generally does not shop or go to restaurants on Sunday, unless we’re traveling. So, I reckoned that I was a hungry traveler and could use the services of a dedicated cook to give me the energy to continue my journey. I said goodbye to the Taylors. Their son thanked me for telling him more about laminated auto glass and duct tape, which his folks may have already told him.

I decided that a restful thing to do for the rest of the day would be to go hang out at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) campus to meet some young people my age. Of course, anyone who follows college football and other sports knows the Huskers. The UNL campus is like most college campuses—impressive buildings and lots of trees with shady places to eat lunch outdoors. What I like most is the energy. Vince, this isn’t a thing about young versus older people, but it is cool to hang out with young people who are eager to learn and get ready for life. Except, I mentioned earlier the hang-ups some college kids do have these days. The campus was relatively quiet, but there were still plenty of young men and women to meet. Here are a couple of highlights.

I met a group of Air Force ROTC cadets. I love their blue uniforms. I told them about my great-granddad who was an Army Air Corps (later Air Force) pilot in World War II. I’ve always heard stories about his service in what was called the CBI, China-Burma-India theater. He was stationed in Burma (now Myanmar) and flew cargo missions over the Himalayan Mountains to deliver diesel fuel for the Chinese army tanks in China. The guys I met were very enthusiastic about their ROTC program.

Air Force ROTC cadets on their way to a base visit.

Toward the end of the afternoon, I met and chatted with different groups of college women. There was one who I really liked–maybe because she was from the Intermountain area. She lives in a small town near Twin Falls, Idaho. She was attending some special program at UNL and is regularly a student at Boise State University. She is very pleasant, smart, and attractive. We hit it off. Her name is Ellen. I told her about my cross-country journey and she said it could be the basis of a cool master’s thesis, if I planned to continue my college education. I showed her our Bookends blog. She loves it and is going to follow us, Vince, and tell her friends. She asked if she could text me some of her comments. Of course, I am happy to include her. 

Anyway, great day. I’m ready to move on. My next big destination is Chicago. I’m excited. I’ll be crossing Iowa and I’m sure there will be some cool encounters with my fellow Americans along the way. Dad, please give hugs to my sisters. Vince, say “hi” to Marie. I’m anxious to meet her when I return.

Vince’s Response: It sounds like our families both approach Sunday in the same way. Yours was a good day. That Taylor family will remember you and you them. UNL has a good reputation. One of my grandsons has spent some time in the Lincoln area. Apparently, the highlight of your day was meeting Ellen. Keep me up to date on your friendship. I’ve been to Twin Falls on business. I’ll tell you about it sometime. 

As for the Air Force, I have a son who is an officer and Air Force dentist and is enjoying his experience very much. Another son is a Navy Corpsman who provides medical support to the U.S. Marines. He has a good career going. The military is a great option for young men and women. As a business consultant, I have always been impressed with those who have served our country. My major clients hired veterans not only because they deserved the opportunity, but they came to the job with a sense of organization and self-determination that was often exceptional. Well, you’ll have pleasant dreams tonight of a Boise State coed and shiny jets flying off into that “wild blue yonder.” Have a safe trip. Don’t get drowsy on those long stretches of Iowa and be ready for the traffic in Chicago.

Bookends: (1) Sunday is a good day to rest from the hustle-bustle of life. (2) Go Huskers. (3) God bless the men and women in uniform who bravely serve our communities and our nation. (4) Last but not least, the right connection with a fine young woman can turn into something very important. I know.