Maybe I CAN time travel….

I walk down the wide brick paved walkway and look around.

A familiar feeling washes over me.

Much has changed and much is the same.  The buildings greet me with their familiar Jeffersonian beauty.

The trees are taller, there are now benches to sit on and as I take in the beauty of this place a peace washes over me.

Maybe you can go home again or is it a sort of time travel with special memories and familiar places guiding me?

Who knows?  What I do know is this place of serenity always feels like home the minute I arrive.

Mary Washington College was my home for four years.  It is where I made life long friends and found the love of my life.

We lived on campus all four years, shared so many meals at the dining hall, pulled all nighters, drank a tad too much, maybe :), cried, laughed, did stupid things and fun things, drank Tab, ate popcorn, walked everywhere and somehow managed to live without cell phones, computers, microwaves, uber eats or door dash, Amazon, and television save for the one in the dorm rec room.

It was glorious.

Real mail was king and the familiar sound of typewriters late in the night lulled us to sleep as they churned out term papers and essays.

Money was tight.  I have a letter from my father where he is chastising my spending habits and says ” If $10 a week isn’t enough for you to live on maybe you should reexamine your spending habits”  hahahaha

Please know all my meals were covered ( 7 days a week) so it wasn’t like I was going to starve plus in one of my old scrapbooks I saved an advertisement from a local pizza place offering a large pizza and 2L soda for under $3.

Oh Lord I’m old.

Mary Washington College ( now University of Mary Washington) was the all girls counterpart to the all male University of Virginia .  Both schools went co-ed shortly before I arrived.  The Wash as we fondly called it was still mostly female and I loved it.  It was like one long slumber party with some classes and studying thrown in for good measure.

Our dining hall was a throw back to good old southern charm.  Square tables with seating for 6 and real white tablecloths.  Sunday noon dinner was always chicken, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Always a favorite. Everyone knew however to skip the evening meal on Sunday which was often chicken ala king served over leftover blueberry waffles. My first two years the college still ran the dining hall ( later a food service took it over) so we could bring back small cartons of chocolate milk and ice cream sandwiches.  This helped contribute to my personal freshmen 10 as in 10 lbs.  Thankfully walking everywhere and teenage metabolism mitigated my poor choices of vast quantities of food.

I think it was the shared meals I loved the most.  We could only eat at certain times and we would often go together.  One time one of our friends showed up dressed up in a skirt and jacket as opposed to our uniform of jeans and t-shirts.  She claimed to have a job interview but we weren’t buying it.  Turned out she hadn’t done laundry and that was the only outfit that was clean.

Two of my friends made sure they had 31 pairs of underwear.  Yup 31.  Guess how often they did laundry?  If you guessed once a month you were right. 🙂  Guys wouldn’t do this..they just keep wearing dirty clothes.

It is such a comforting at home feeling to walk the campus I make a point to do it every time I am near there.  It helps that two of my children and 3 of my grandkids live nearby.

I stopped by the old library the last time and sat for awhile at the wooden table with the built in lamps.  I chuckled and thought I probably should have spent more time there.  If I had been alone I would have straightened the books and the chairs and cleaned off the tables ( the Mom in me) but there were too many students in there to watch the crazy woman cleaning up.  Maybe next time. )

I walked all over and savored the peace.

The dorm where I lived for 3 out of 4 years  is being torn down this summer.  A little bittersweet but its all good.

Many of us are going to the “Grill on the Hill” to say goodbye and remember the chickens someone let loose in the common area, other pranks, sleepless nights, new loves, broken hearts, pay phones, friendships, and fire drills.

It’s also where I met Paul at a party who tagged along with his other Naval Academy glad he did 🙂

A little time travel and peace for my heart.  I’ll take it.

It will never be as it once and time must march on.  I do wish the current students could experience Chicken al King over leftover blueberry waffles 🙂  It was an experience!

Much love to all my Wash friends.  You are the best!

As always…Keep triing, Jennifer

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