I wrote this blog post a couple of years ago while I was chaperoning a senior trip to San Antonio, Texas. Things got busy and I didn’t finish it and then other things happened when I got home and it has stayed in draft form ever since. When I saw that this week’s theme is ‘music’, I knew it was time to pull it out and finish it. I’m going to leave it mostly as I wrote it back then, even though it’s been two years. This was originally written 20 May 2019.
Just a side note for anyone new to the blog: the Stories for the Boys series is specifically written for my grandsons so they will know a little about mine and my husband’s lives in addition to those of their ancestors. It is my hope they will be interested in these stories at some point in their life. I know there are so many times I wish I’d listened closer to my grandparents and great-grandparents when they told stories. Now they’re gone and I can’t ask them for details anymore. Hopefully this will help alleviate that problem for my grandchildren. Additionally, I mention my son in this post. When he was in high school, he “copyrighted” the spelling of his name. He always wrote “DeReK” with a little copyright symbol after it. So I will often retain that spelling when I’m writing about him. So no – it isn’t a grammatical error, it’s a tiny homage to my son and his unique personality. I hope you enjoy reading the post this week.
May 20, 2019: Ft. Worth, Texas to San Antonio, Texas via Amtrak
I’m currently en route to San Antonio, Texas with a group of 12 teens who graduated from high school last week. This is their senior trip- their final moments together before they launch into their adult lives. Two of them were aides for me in my library this past school year so I got to know them better than other students. It’s always a little bittersweet saying goodbye to a group of students at the end of each year knowing that it may be years before I see them again- or maybe I won’t see them again at all in this lifetime.
To be completely honest with you, I’ve been dreading this trip all year. It didn’t help that one of the other (experienced) senior co-sponsors spent one evening telling me all the senior trip horror stories. Then my dad, bless his heart, told me a couple more senior trip horror stories just yesterday. There are a lot of reasons I didn’t want to be on this trip- mostly selfish ones. But, from the moment we boarded the train in Oklahoma City I began to find many reasons this trip was a good thing to do. We haven’t even reached San Antonio yet and I’ve already experienced a moment that I know I will treasure. Let me tell you about it.
When we switched trains in Fort Worth, Texas, we boarded a train where a group of Amish women were already on board. Sometime in late evening they began singing hymns in the lounge car. When I realized what they were doing I moved into the lounge area to listen and a few students also came to listen.
It’s always so nostalgic for me to hear the old hymns and they were singing a capella which I love. After a while there was a lull so I got up some courage and went and asked them to sing one of DeReK’s favorite hymns, It Is Well With My Soul. You can hear it below.
Later one of the students got brave enough to request I’ll Fly Away which is one of my all-time favorites. You can also hear that one below.
I’ll leave you with these beautiful hymns (the recordings don’t do these women justice- I had to sit too far away due to all the seats being full) and I’ll also leave you with my view from the train car window during our impromptu concert. God is good.
While you’re listening, say a prayer for these women. They are traveling down to Mexico to teach English for six weeks.
What a way to start the trip. Music calms me. I loved this moment in the trip. It was like a reassurance from God that everything was going to be okay.
Update: as I edit this on 30 March 2021 in preparation to finally publish it, I’m adding a couple more photos that were taken on the trip down to San Antonio and one more snippet from a song sung by the Amish women. I hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane. I sure do miss these kids and hope they’re doing well in life.
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog