November 26, 1999 – Friday – 9:00 p.m.

I was in Lynchburg, VA most of the day and Thanksgiving day.  Tracey and family had to change their plans for Thanksgiving, so I went up to Vince’s and his parents got us Hotel room within walking distance of their house.  Natalie was there as well.

On Tuesday night Marie and I drove down to Currituck.  Once there, we really talked about what we are supposed to be.  She told me that her parents know about me and that when she talks to her sister, her sister always asks how I am.  That was nice to hear.  We both agreed we would let the relationship define itself, so we’ll see how that goes.

So, on Thanksgiving Day Vince and Natalie and I walked on an island in the middle of the James River in Lynchburg.  It looked so dead and barren, but also peaceful.  I did get to see Tracey and her family earlier tonight in Moyock.  They seem to be doing well and she is making a living teaching dance in Avery and Watagua Counties.  What a wonderful friend I have in her.  They live not too far from where Marie and I go to watch the moon.

Goodnight Lord.

 

November 27, 1998 – Friday – 8:15 a.m.

I’m in Lynchburg, VA.  This is an interesting little town.  I left Wednesday morning and the drive was so peaceful.  Vince’s parents’ house is an historical one that they are renovating.  It looks amazing on the inside.  Allen and Vince arrived Wednesday afternoon, and we went to a movie that night.  On Thursday we went for a walk downtown, and I took a bunch of pictures of us being silly.  It’s so good to be around them.

Yesterday’s meal was nice, but I’m not sure if Vince’s family are Christians.  I missed everyone sharing what they’re thankful for.

One thing I have noticed though, I had to leave Lees-McRae in order to grow.  Vince and Allen still seem like they are in the same place as they were when I left.  There’s nothing wrong with that, we are all on our own journey; I’m only looking at me and seeing what God is doing.

God gives me such good things.  Our moments of laugher with my friends this Thanksgiving were more than I ever deserve on this planet.  Every fleeting moment is a treasure.  Thank you Lord for these days.

November 28, 1997 – Friday – 5:00 p.m.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I spent most of the day on top of Sugar Mountain.  Marisa, Mason, their cousins, friends, and parents were there and Mason asked me if I would pray for the meal.  I was happy to do so.

The meal was nice, but the family was not.  They are full of bitterness and not love.  But they sure could make me laugh.

I came home and stayed up until two in the morning, writing a short story about the kiss Sarah and I shared on Saturday.  What a perfect Eternal Instant it was.  I feel like I’m still living in that moment, my lips on hers, yet it was so unexpected.

I watched The Spitfire Grill this morning and cried.  Then I met up with Marisa and skied for the bulk of the afternoon.  Their whole gang was there skiing as well, but I never saw them.  It’s easy to lose people when skiing.  It really felt like I spent the afternoon on those slopes alone, with the occasional few moments with Marisa.

This was my first Thanksgiving in Banner Elk.  Three years ago I was in Cincinnati.  Two years ago I was in Hampton Roads.  Last year I was in New York City.

I’m going to meet up with Sharon and family for the evening.  We are going to see a movie.

November 29, 1996 – Friday – 11:00 p.m.

We went into the city again today.  We saw Miss Saigon at the Broadway Theatre.  It was great!  I couldn’t believe I was actually there.  I was right next to the Ed Sullivan Theatre where David Letterman hosts The Late Show.  It was just amazing.  We drove through Time Square; I was at one of the major crossroads of the world.

Things are very different here.  Food is very important in this house.  We had lobster and steak tonight.  My parents never cooked like that for my friends and I.  This family must be loaded.  Buck, Vince’s stepfather, bought my Miss Saigon ticket for me.  He has given me money for train tickets and other things.

I’ve gone to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I’ve seen a Broadway Play, I’ve eaten lobster, even at Thanksgiving I tasted wine for the first time.

I called my mom tonight.  I told her all that was going on.  She was happy for me.  Sharon gave me $100, but Buck continues to buy everything for me so I haven’t used it yet.  I think they enjoy showing this little Southern boy a good, wealthy, New York time.

Thanks guys.

Buck turned 50 today.  We had a little birthday party for him.  He’s a cool guy.  I really respect him.

November 28, 1996 – Thursday – 6:30 p.m.

Vince and I went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning.  New York City is huge.  Tons of people were all around.  I’ve never been colder in my life.  My feet felt like blocks of ice.  I couldn’t believe it.

We got off the subway and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the skyscrapers.  Vince kept telling me to look straight ahead or I was going to get robbed.  I’m so small.  I’ve seen so many movies that took place in New York, but it still blew my mind.  So many homeless people were around.  They looked so hungry.  We stopped to get a bagel and I’ve never seen so many options for a bagel before.  And the guy at the counter didn’t say, “May I help you?”  He just expected me to shout my order at him.  I froze.  Everyone around me was yelling bagel orders, I homeless guy was looking at me to buy him something to eat….whew…it’s a very big world.

The cliche is true.  It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  In fact, I don’t want to live anywhere near it.  Give me a nice place out in the country.  That suits me perfectly.

Miss Saigon is tomorrow.  Last Thanksgiving I saw The Phantom of the Opera.  It used to be my tradition to go see a movie on Thanksgiving day; now it seems my new tradition is going to a Broadway Show for Thanksgiving.

I’m growing up.

 

 

November 27, 1996 – Wednesday – 10:00 p.m.

I’m having a great time.  Vince is feeling better.  Today we spent most of the day playing this computer game called MYST.  It was really relaxing, just the two of us working on that together, solving the puzzles, etc.

His sister Jennifer flew in from her college.  Tonight, she and Vince and I went to their grandparent’s house.  We ate lasagna and played pool and ping pong.

Tomorrow, the three of us are going to the big parade in the city.

For Friday, Vince’s stepfather got everybody Miss Saigon tickets.

On Saturday, we are going into the city again to go to an IMAX theater.

We fly home on Sunday.  Wow!

November 26, 1996 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

It’s a whole different world up here.  Everybody’s in a hurry.  Everybody is picky.  This is weird.  It’s cool, but weird.  I don’t know what to say.

Vince got sick and threw up at the airport and on the drive to his house.

Everyone sounds funny and no one is smiling.

I’m a little uncomfortable.

November 26, 1996 – Tuesday – 2:30 p.m.

We are in the air right now.  It’s a small propeller jet.  Vince is across the aisle from me.  I’m drinking sprite and eating peanuts.  We’re above the clouds.  I’m flying again.

Sharon, Laura, and Hannah drove us here.  They are perhaps the three most beautiful women on the planet.  May I always have those faces in my life.

We land in Pittsburgh, then fly to Islip, NY.  I’m excited.

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 23, 1995 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

For Thanksgiving lunch I ate with Mom, Henry, Nate, and my mom’s parents.  Kevin stayed back home.  He had to work.  It was good to be there I guess, but I missed Banner Elk.  By the time I was having dinner with my Dad’s family I wished I had stayed in Banner Elk and gone to Sharon’s instead for Thanksgiving.  I know that family would understand and practice the true meaning of Thanksgiving and not spend the entire evening complaining like my Dad did tonight.  That’s all they do!  Him, his brother, my grandparents, they only know how to complain, to find the negative side of everything.

Only one good thing happened tonight.  My uncle’s 3-year-old niece came up and kissed me on the cheek when she was saying goodbye to everyone.  So gentle.  How lonely I must be if the affection of a 3-year-old blesses me beyond measure.

I thought about what I was thankful for today.  And beyond a shadow of a doubt, I realized I was thankful for Lees-McRae, for Heaton Christian Church.  These two places are a part of me now.

Tomorrow night I am going to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera.  It’s been almost two years since I saw Les Miserables.

Happy Thanksgiving.