January 26, 2000 – Wednesday – 9:30 a.m.

Yesterday this area received its largest snowfall in recorded history.  It’s only about five inches, and I’ve seen close to two feet in Banner Elk, but it’s fun to watch this whole region freak out.  They just don’t know what to do with it.  Everything is closed.

Marie and I spent the day together.  We watched Anne of Green Gables, played in the snow, and I took some pictures of her.  We had lunch and dinner together, and spent hours just holding each other and affirming each other.

Yesterday was a perfect day.  It seems I’ve waited through so many other days just to get to that one.

It has been exactly three months since Marie and I drove down to Currituck.  Three perfect months of a beautiful friendship.  I just reread all my journal entries from the past three months.  God is amazing.  I feel so loved by Marie and by Jesus.  I know so much beauty because of this little trio.

Three months from now it will be April 26th.  Spring Break will have just ended and the semester will nearly be over.

Wow!

January 29, 1998 – Thursday – 10:30 a.m.

That beautiful thick pure white snow that began Monday night didn’t stop until Wednesday afternoon.  The campus is drowning in three feet of snow.  Classes were cancelled for yesterday and today.  The National Guard is even up here trying to help out.  We’ve had no electricity for a day and a half.

Sarah twisted her ankle, but all seems to be okay.

The phones were down and I had my phone interview with Regent University scheduled for yesterday.  I knew they wouldn’t be able to reach me, so I walked around town until I found a phone that worked and asked them to call me next week.  I spoke to Elinor and she called me “sweetheart.”  She felt like a mother to me and she treated me with such care.  That place already feels like home.  There is no doubt that is where I’m supposed to be next.

Three months and 13 days.

I slept in Allen’s room last night, because there was no heat in McAlister.  We had a nice time; Lindy and Derek came to visit with us.

Sarah and I spent some time together yesterday evening.  We are so good for each other.  Yet it’s like we are a bird and a fish trying to find a place where we both can exist.  We’ll just have to wait and see how this story turns out.

So, here I am.  I’m surrounded in snow, surrounded in love, surrounded in memories.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly escape this place.  Part of me will linger here and part of it will linger in me for the rest of my days.  What a sweet time I’ve had here.  I wonder what it has done for me?  What if I accidentally went to the wrong school?  Is everyone’s college experience this good?  I don’t want to leave, but I also do.  I want to fulfill all that I am to fulfill.

And I want to leave this place for the simple fact that I know I will miss it.  And missing it will mean it truly mattered to me, that I was truly here; that I truly loved.

January 27, 1998 – Tuesday – 12:30 p.m.

A beautiful thick pure white snow has fallen.  Everything is heavenly white.  My life is a paradise.

Sarah gets more beautiful as each day passes.  I love her so much.  We laugh over the phone.  She is so wonderful to hold.  Her skin is as soft as the snow looks outside.  Her lips have now become a part of mine.  We are getting closer and closer.  Our love is changing us.

Cuckoo’s Nest and Next are keeping me busy, but I notice not how hard things are, for God has given me a constant joy.  Sarah’s smile makes everything easier.  Her birthday is in six days.  She will be 19.

Thank you for her God.

October 27, 1997 – Monday – 9:15 p.m.

It is now the 27th of October.

I’ve been kinda busy.  I’m running sound for the dance concert opening on Thursday.  I enjoy the dances so much.  I am surrounded by beautiful artists.

My tech rehearsal for Masks went so smoothly.  Everyone seemed really impressed with how prepared I was.  I don’t feel overly prepared, but I do pray a lot for anything I work on.  Abigail is the star of my piece, and I told her I felt so at home when directing.

I got a call from Heather, who lives next to Kate.  She called because she could hear a very serious fight going on between Charlie and Kate through her walls.  And I was called to rescue and console, which I tried my best to do, but those two are hurting so much.

I did not attend Heaton on Sunday.  Instead, I went with the Highlanders to video them in High Point.  I sang along with Abigail and Ann-Marie to The Little Mermaid soundtrack on the way home.

It is now the 27th of October.  And the first snow of my last Lees-McRae winter has just covered my most favorite corner of the world.

April 18, 1997 – Friday – 10:43 a.m.

It is snowing!!!

It started last night.  The ground is covered.  Everything is pure.  My room is clean.  I am clean.  As clean as the purity outside thanks to Jesus.  He humbles me.  He shines down me.  On my dying flower.  Take me God.  I give myself to you.  Heal me and mold me and make me new.

You save me again and again.

You purify me again and again.

January 11, 1997 – Saturday – 8:45 p.m.

What a day this has been!

I woke up in a wonderful mood.  I did some homework, wrote in my journal, read my Bible, and prayed.  I went to lunch and everyone was there.

Around two o’clock, myself plus Timothy, Tracey, Jeni, and Abigail played in the snow around Cannon Cottage.  I took a couple of pictures.  After that we went to buy some condensed milk so we could make snow cream and then we watched Anne of Green Gables.  That movie is absolutely wonderful!  Anne is so beautifully amazing.  Abigail picked on me and said, “Is she the girl of your dreams, Jacob?”  I wanted to say, “No, you are,” but I kept my thoughts to myself.

We watched the movie in Jeni and Tracey’s room, and when dinner time came, everyone else went to eat, but Jeni and I stayed to finish the movie.  We had a special conversation.  Our friendship is so wonderful, possibly better than our relationship two years ago.

Near the end of the movie, before everyone left for dinner, Gilbert reached up and touched Anne’s face.

“Take notes Jacob,” said Tracey.

“Always touch the face!  Always touch the face!” Abigail shouted.

“Trust me, Jacob doesn’t have to worry about that.” Jeni said.

“What?” I asked.

“She’s saying you were a good boyfriend.” Tracey said.

That was so nice to hear and I was glad Abigail was there to hear Jeni say that.

I then left and played in the snow with Josh, Dan and Vince.

What a wonderful day!  A girly movie and snow cream with my girls, and a snow ball fight with my boys!

November 11, 1996 – Monday – 10:10 a.m.

The snow hasn’t stopped.

Saturday evening Curtis came into my room to borrow a movie to watch with his new girlfriend.  Her name is Ryan, and she’s going to App State, but it’s not my Ryan from back home.  At dinner that evening I was talking about how cute and funny Curtis sounded when he came to ask for a movie because he hates watching movies.

Jeni spoke up, “Jacob, you’re not being very sensitive.”

I turned to see Ann-Marie was almost in tears.  She is so overdramatic.  I apologized.  I didn’t know she had THAT big of a crush on Curtis.  I called her that evening and apologized again.  She was crying when she picked up the phone.  We talked for a while, but then she said that she didn’t feel comfortable talking to me about it and she said goodbye.

She’s a strange girl.

Yesterday, Abigail was sitting alone and all of her friends (Jeni, Tracey, Ann-Marie) were sitting at our table.  There wasn’t enough room, so I gave up my seat and just went back to my room so she could sit with her friends instead of sitting alone.

Abigail seems very strong in her Christian walk and I think Ann-Marie takes her for granted.  At least that’s the way I perceive it.

In 15 days Vince and I will fly up to New York.  That means I have 15 days to finish all of my work.  I want to get all of my work done so I can have a truly relaxing time in the big city.  Once we get back from Thanksgiving break we only have one week of classes before finals week.

I’ll be back in Siler City in about a month.  I will have not been home in over six months.

Can another winter already be here?

 

November 9, 1996 – Saturday – 11:15 a.m.

It is still snowing.  It is beautiful.  The movie was amazing last night.  I didn’t like the beginning, but after the two saw each other through the fish tank it slowed down a bit and was great!  Ann-Marie seems to be such a lonely girl, but she won’t open up to me.  She just doesn’t see me.

I called my mom this morning.  She and Henry have been married for 14 years now.  I told her it was snowing.  She was amazed.

It feels good to look outside see everything covered in white.  My windows are open.  My room is so cool and fresh.

I am reminded of last year.  I was crazy about Laura.  We were trying to get Vince and Melissa together.  Kate had just gotten baptized.  And on the 11th of November, it began to snow.

Oh Father, I long so much for a pure heart.  A heart as pure as the snow.

November 8, 1996 – Friday – 6:00 p.m.

Snow is falling now.  The first of the season.  Tonight I am going to the movies with Abigail, Ann-Marie, Ray, and Jeni.  We are going to see Romeo + Juliet.  I haven’t been to the movies in a while.  I am excited.

I wish someone would look at me and offer me a special smile; a smile so innocent that we both instantly feel the chills down our spine.  I want to share love with someone.  But for now, I’m simply seen as that great Christian friend, but nothing more.

Even if no one stands by my side, I will press forward.  I’m surrounded by simple brief moments of peace and joy, and that is all I want.  I fear they come more often than I am able to realize.

Life is passing by me.  I sure do hope I’m noticing it.  I guess that is why I’m writing in this Book of Days.  It is only for me.  I doubt anyone will ever read these words.  But it helps me remember what is really important.

Heaven is real.

And sometimes I feel like it is already here.

April 6, 1996 – Saturday – 4:10 p.m.

It’s Easter weekend.  We have no classes on Monday, so everyone’s gone.  The dorm is empty.  Only the dripping water from a broken shower-head fills the lonely hallways.  A misty fog fills the air.  I can barely make out the evergreens through my window pane.

I am on duty.

I spent the day simply enjoying solitude.  I read some of The Oath.  An absolutely amazing book.  It’s too cold to work at the Humane Society for my community service hours.  I called my mom.  My summer plans are definite.

Earlier today I planned out my courses for the rest of the year, and it donned on me that it is April again.  Last year this time I was constantly calling and writing Emily.  We even spoke the words “I love you” to each other.  And we did.  We loved each other’s voice and words and soul.  But all good things must… well, you know.

Soon, this year will end.  This means I will be a Junior.  Charlie was a Junior when I met him.  Charlie graduates in a month.  He has been offered youth pastoring jobs in Kentucky and even on the coast of North Carolina and one down in Florida.  He and Dan and I talked about it last night.  We reflected on the past year, the guys on our hall, my problems with Jeni, and we even laughed about everything we experienced that was painful at the time.

And then, Dan opened up.  He told us how he cried on the last day of ski season.  He reached the bottom of the mountain, the snow was melting, the thing he loves most was disappearing.  He was alone.  No skiers around.  He sat on a bench and wept.  A whole summer and early fall would have to pass before he could fly over the powder again.

We talked about Charlie and Kate and love, and Dan wanted us to change the subject.  He can ski down the side of a cliff, but he’s afraid to talk about love.  As a young child, he saw a woman take his older brother away.  Does loving one subtract from the other?

I’ve been selfish.  I’ve forgotten the people around me actually have beating hearts.  They are alive.  I learned that under the endless Arizona sky.

And it all comes together.  It all makes sense.  I now know the secret to life:  every now and then, take a moment to lie on your favorite bed and look out the window.  Then dream about the lives that have touched you, and write them down so you will be forced to remember and never forget.

This, and prayer, and the giving away of all of my love, is how I survive.  It is the food that sustains me.

As I walked back from lunch today, a pebble got caught in my sandal.  It was carried a little ways, then it fell out and found itself in a place…

a new place,

totally different from where it began.