This weekend, Jamie and I took Ezra to Lawrence.
This is a big deal for us, because Lawrence will always be wedged deep into my heart. Not only did I go to college there, where I learned a ton about western civ, journalism, history (particularly surrounding the holocaust), women’s studies and Spanish, but I grew up there.
No, I wasn’t raised in Lawrence, but that’s the town where I feel like I came into my own. I started thinking about values and morality and social issues based on my own thoughts and readings. I started cooking and feeding myself, starting the journey of my love of food and recipes (and pancakes… oh, pancakes…). I found Jamie and fell in love. Hard. I made friendships like none other that I’ve had in this lifetime. And it was here that my love of live music seeped in — seeing a few shows a month and developing my best friendships through these experiences.
And the love I had deep in my heart for basketball? It grew into my bones, my bloodstream and my soul. I had always adored the sport as I watched my high school teams or the Chicago Bulls on TV as a kid. But Allen Field House? That, my friends, is a whole new experience. And we got to live it again on Saturday night.
We met up with two of our college friends (who now live in Michigan) on Saturday afternoon, and we all walked down to the Field House for the game. Just like the old days, we waited outside for an hour or so to be let in an hour and a half before game time. We brought newspapers to turn into confetti for the starting lineup announcements, we sang the alma mater (followed by the rock chalk chant) and we stood nearly the entire game and screamed like we were 21 again. We had so much fun. Also, did I mention it was 55 degrees in Kansas? I could have lived outside all weekend long after this harsh Minnesota winter we’ve been having.
Inside the Field House, so much is new and shiny. It’s easy to fall into nostalgia and wish it was the same as when we were in school, but not so in this case. Everything is SO MUCH BETTER. And the team gave us a real show. A game that was decided in the final two seconds. The volume in that place was insane, as was the adrenaline rush that came with it.
It is here that I will tell you we left Ezra back home for the game. Jamie’s mother graciously agreed to come into town for the afternoon and babysit so we could head to the Field House. This was great because I don’t know what Ezra would have thought about the noise. We’ll indoctrinate him in a year or two. But for now, he just watched it at home on TV and tried to find us in the crowd.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend away. We saw some family, we showed Ezra where mom and dad met, we introduced him to our wonderful college friends, we ate delicious meals, we caught up with an old professor that we both adore, and we got to see the Jayhawks win at home. It doesn’t get much better than that, and we can’t wait to do it again next year.
For your internet shares of the day:
+ I love this photo project around album covers. Hilarious.
+ This is the video they play in Allen Field House before introducing the players. I can watch it 100 times and get goosebumps every single time. They update the video with fresh numbers and highlights each game, but this is the general idea.