Now, back to Graceville. We enrolled in college and were somewhat a novelty on the little Baptist campus. With enough preacher boys and khaki to kill anyone allergic to khaki, we were there with leather and jeans. People constantly came up to us and said that they wished they could do what we were doing and that they wished they could go to people we were going to. Funny thing is that anyone can, just not everyone will. We simply told them that we all had a people group to go to, we just all had to find that group. We made many friends in Graceville and still cherish some of those friendships as we are blessed to be able to remain in touch with many of them now. We strived to be the best students possible. We were blessed to earn good grades and Chas even served as SGA class representative for a few terms and then as SGA President.
Early in our time in Graceville, we were in the mall in Dothan. Really, we were simply walking and looking, Lord knows we couldn't afford anything from the mall. When we walked out of a toy store, a couple was standing outside the store waiting on us. The guy stuck tracks in our faces and began to witness to us. At that time, we pulled tracks out of our pockets and told him we would like to share with him ;). Basically, they had seen us in leather and assumed that we were lost bikers needin' a savin'. When they found out that this was not the case, they invited us to church to worship with them. Their church was almost an hour from Graceville, but we went to visit. Much to our surprise, the congregation welcomed us warmly. We knew this was the congregation for us. A few weeks and visits to Logan Road Baptist later, we joined. At the time of this post, we are still members of that very church, but more of that story in another post. I will go ahead and state that that pastor resigned a few months later & Chas did some supply work there, was called as interim, then as pastor.
So, in our time in Graceville, we experienced many things, including the blessing of having a son who never complained that he did not always have the things he had once had. We also experienced a miscarriage and then another pregnancy and the birth of our second son. We love our sons very much and words can never express what they mean to us. Both of our boys are truly a blessing from the Lord. We love you David and Mike.
So, we packed four years of college into five and a half. During that time, as I stated, we had a miscarriage, a baby, I had a hysterectomy, and our baby had to have tubes put in his ears, along with tonsils & adenoids removed. While Mike was struggling with the issues that led to tubes and removal of tonsils and adenoids, I became ill with acute epstein barr virus. I still struggle with this (mono in adults) from time-to-time. Through all of this, the Lord never forsook us. He is ever faithful. We finally graduated in 2002. Chas graduated Magna Cum Laude and I graduated Cum Laude.
Also, while in Graceville, we had blessings upon blessings in so many ways. In addition to the blessings our sons were and are, and our grades/honors, we were blessed by friends who took us, wrote a check for a bike, put it on a trailer & said pay us as you can....thanks Bob & Angie! Also, on that same visit to Ga., Bob GAVE Chas an old Goldwing that he had ratted out. Chas aspired to get it going one day. Meanwhile, we both rode the 550 they had blessed us with. On one of my rides to Graceville from Ozark, I hit a dog and went about 50 feet up the pavement. I got back on the bike & rode the broken-up thing back to Ozark. At the time, I didn't know it, but I was pregnant with our Mike. What a blessing! Not only were we going to have a second child after trying for many years and not being able to, he survived a motorcycle accident (I found out the following week I was pregnant).
Ok, so we are feeling pretty blessed, as we should. But then, more blessing....we were going back to Ga. for the holidays and Herman (President at the time of HBW) called and asked Chas to bring a trailer up. He stated that he had a lot of old Goldwing parts and he wanted to give them to Chas for the bike Bob had given him that he had hoped to get running. Well, when we got to Herman & Susan's the whole gang was there. Seemed a little odd, especially because a couple of them were no longer actually members of HBW. But, hey, we were just excited to see our brothers and sisters and to spend a little time with them before heading back to G'ville. Herman asked Chas if he might put the Goldwing up on the trailer to see how she would tie-down because he thought he might start trailering her some. I thought this a bit odd since Herman had recently bought a Harley, but didn't question it. As Herman rode the bike up onto the trailer & got off, the whole gang gathered around...something was up. Herman got off the bike, reached into his pocket and pulled out a tag receipt. He handed it to Chas and said, 'Merry Christmas, I love you brother.' What? Had he just.....yes, he had just GIVEN Chas a bike! WOW! How exciting, how humbling, a flood of emotions an it is still indescribable. Chas still rides that bike. She is not pretty, she is old and needs some work, but he loves her and hopes one day to fully restore her. Oh, by the way, we named her Maybel.
So much occurred during those Graceville years, but I have spent enough time on them for now. In the next post, I will discuss the Logan Road years. Part of these years run simultaneously with the Graceville years, but extend beyond the Graceville years. Come back, read, and walk through the years with us to better help you understand who we are and where we came from.....