Those first holidays away from family were going to be rough. Our good friends, Joe and Lara, invited us to their home for our first Thanksgiving in Dallas. We had the privilege of celebrating 'southern style' as Lara is from Mississippi. Scott and Joe knew each other from their days at Washington Bible College together. Then, Joe is the one who convinced Scott to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Joe had his own lawn care business while going to school and Scott worked with him. I was nervous to meet Lara. She was first-runner-up in the Miss Mississippi Pageant prior to marrying Joe. But, I found out quickly how sweet she was and how welcoming they both were. So, we joined their family for Thanksgiving. To this day, I still make her 'chicken rice-a-roni casserole at least once a month. It has become my family's favorite casserole, and it has broccoli in it!
Sometimes I would drive to their apartment to have lunch with Lara over my lunch break. This meant driving Central Expressway *BIG SIGH*. We are talking 6 or 7 lanes in ONE direction! But, I learned quickly. I had to or I would have been run over! There are probably more lanes today....this was back in 1984.
Then, there was *Sam*. We would leave our apartment for church and when we returned home, Sunday after Sunday, there would be *Sam* sitting in his car waiting for us. *Sam* is a friend of ours and was single. I can't imagine being single and living in such a huge city....we enjoyed his company, and he enjoyed ours.
Macaroni and cheese became our favorite meal when we found a 'Jewel T' store that sold them 10 for $1.00 (remember, I said this was in the early 80's) and we would stock up. You knew it was pay day when we had hamburgers! Well, on this particular Sunday we didn't have any macaroni and cheese left. And, it was NOT payday! I went through my cupboards and found that I had soup....just not two of the same kind. What to do? Mix them! So we had something like chicken noodle vegetable rice cream of broccoli soup (or something like that). And, *Sam* commented that it was the best soup he had ever eaten. And, that I would have to make it again....if only I could remember how I made it the first time around! I guess this is confession time...*Sam*....I didn't have a recipe for that soup and now is the time to 'fess up'. It's been 27 years, and you should know the truth.
Finding a church was a really bad experience considering there are churches EVERYWHERE in Dallas. the small churches were TOO small, the big churches were TOO big. No one knows whether you are a visitor or not in the larger churches. We visited small churches, large churches, mega churches....until a fellow employee invited us to a Baptist church where her husband was on staff. We visited and really liked it. The bad thing, was, Scott would be graduating in a few months and we would be moving. This church really made us feel welcome. They had a baby shower for us and those little old ladies loved Nicole. They were so proud of the little booties, blankets and sweaters they crocheted and sewed. They hated to see us go, and we FINALLY found a church family...only to leave them. They even had a covered dish meal after church on our last Sunday with them. They really were our family, if only we could have found them sooner, but it was not meant to be.
We had a lot of great memories of our time living in Dallas. I still want to go back and visit. I would love to travel there with Nicole as this is where she was born.