So a couple of weeks ago now Katie and I made the treck up to northern Indiana for my graduation from AMBS. The trip started off by picking up a rental from the wichita airport. We were supposed to get a minivan but we wound up with a big old SUV. Which was a pretty cool, at least for those of us who were driving. It turned out that my lovely wife, who happened to occupy the third row which was primarily designed for kids, not to be exactly the best way to ride for 14 hours. I love my wife. On top of the seating arangement the trip up was made by Katie and me, my sister melinda and my parents. The last I remember, it’s been since high school since I’ve been on a trip with my whole family. For the most part it was good, but all the old family dynamics came out.
We arrived on a thursday evening. Friday morning Katie and I went to AMBS for the deans breakfast. It was mainly some formalities, pictures and such but it was still good to see my old professors. After that katie and I ate lunch with some friends from Katie’s old job at Elkhart General Hospital. In the afternoon I had graduation practice and Katie went to hang out with Charolotte, one of our best friends at AMBS. While Katie and I were at AMBS my sister and my parents went to Shipshewana. They went to all the great little tourist shops and to the Mennohof. They just had a fantastic time. For supper we met a bunch of our AMBS friends out on the patio by the apartments and got food from our favorite places and brought it all back. Then it was on to the commissioning service in the evening. Tim Froese, one of my best friends at seminary, gave a blessing to me at the service that brought a few tears to my eyes. It was really a fantastic service. By that time Katie’s parents had also arrived in Elkhart and were at the comissioning service too. We wrapped up the day by going out for wings with some of the guys as well as hanging out with a bunch of friends back at AMBS. It was really a great time.
On saturday we got a chance to sleep in a little bit which was really good. Actually we didn’t get to sleep in all that much because Katie and I went around to the AMBS bookstore where I spent a bunch of money on books that I didn’t know I’d be able to get other places. After that katie and I went to our bank in Elkhart and closed out our account. After lunch we headed out to the Goshen College Mennonite Church for the graduation ceremony. I’m not ususally one who enjoys commencement ceremonies. Which is kind of odd considering my chosen profession. Working with youth means I’ll be going to commencement ceremonies for the rest of my life. In anycase, this one was actually pretty good. That might be because it was really more of a worship service than anything. There was great singing and a great message from Dorothy Nickel Friesen. I’ve known Dorothy for about 6 years now, mainly because she was the conference pastor when I was at Buhler Mennonite. Dorothy has been a wonderful mentor to me and it was a wonderful thing to have her at my graduation. It really was an incredibly meaningful time.
Come sunday we took the time to sleep in and get rested up for the trip back home. We went out to lunch at a great little hole in the wall called Granmas pancake house. Omlets the size of your heads. Amazing hashbrowns. Not exactly low in fat or cholesterol, but still fantastic. After our goodbyes we took off for home. We decided to stop somewhere on the other side St. Louis for the night and then made it back home on monday night. Taking two days to drive back from Elkhart to Kansas is always a good idea.
Overall it was a wonderful time. While the graduation was good, by far the best part of the trip was seeing our old friends. It was tough to leave again, but we’ve already got plans to see them again. It’s a difficult thing to say goodbye, but we just hope for our paths to cross again.
Below are some picture from our trip.