Old Friends and New Beginnings
This is the end of my fourth week into the new job. I was a bit spoiled by the first two weeks. Since September First was a Tuesday and the second Monday was Labor Day, I started out with two four-day workweeks. That was nice. Looking back already, it was real nice!
The days have been long and full and I have met forty or fifty new people. I don’t mean “Hello” in the hallways; I mean significant interactions and conversations. Most of the conversations have been work-focused. In fact, nearly all of them. I set up appointments with all of the department chairpersons, most of the directors and with both assistant or associate vice-presidents. I’ve also met with several teachers. Good conversations, every one of them.
But my favorite thus far has been the one with the VP for Institutional Advancement. That conversation was not scheduled in advance, was not intentionally arranged. It was more of a consequence. Actually, sort of a casualty.
Ben happened to be standing in my line of sight when I stepped out of my office door last Thursday, needing someone to help me pick up and move in some furniture into the new house. I’d already called a couple of other guys here at the College but they weren’t available. Ben was.
So, he helped me load up the little pickup with two dressers, a couple of night stands and a nice used occasional table. And a really nice re-purposed console/bench. Then, he helped me unload it, set everything into the house and re-arrange most of it when it turned out my first choice wasn’t the best choice.
After that, we sat out on the little back deck, sipping our drinks and watching the sky fade into dusk. We talked about work, raising children, church, remodeling and a few other things. And in the process, a couple of colleagues moved toward becoming friends.
I miss my family as well as friends from church, from work, from the neighborhood all back in Doniphan County. Some of those stretch out from over eleven years and a few from nearly thirty years. I miss them all. But I also embrace the opportunity of making new ones.
In one regard at least, love is a bit like closet inventory: it always expands to fill the available space.