Yes, it's true-I love it here! This was affirmed today as Brian and I took a picnic out to Noxubee, the wildlife refuge outside of Starkville. Being a hazy day, there were a lot of people out fishing. But not swimming nor letting their small dogs run around, because there are some huge alligators out there that would like a tasty snack.
Back to the picnic. Some friends of ours gave us this handy-dandy picnic basket for a wedding present-it is legit! Two plastic plates, real forks, knives, and spoons, as well as cloth napkins, plastic (durable) wine glasses, and a cork screw-awesome! We put it to good use. As we were driving/walking around Noxubee, we saw some interesting things. Artifact 1: people fishing with cane poles. Yep, didn't know people still did that, but we actually saw a girl making one-it was interesting! Then as we were leaving, we saw a car swerve over to the side of the road and man hopped out of his car. There was something large in the road, so we slowed down to see what it was...a huge, scary, snapping turtle! Not something you want to play around with! Oh, but he popped up the back of his SUV, got out a towel, and threw it over the turtle. Next thing you know, he's giving me and Brian a lesson on how to catch a snapping turtle. (we stayed in the car...I've seen what those things can do!) Turns out, if you throw a towel over the turtle, step on the shell (not too much pressure), grab the tail, and hold the turle at an arm's legnth, then you can catch a snapping turtle! Try it and let me know how it goes for you...
So other than our two cultural spottings today, I also realized that Mississippi has taught me a lot while I've been here. While people pick on this dear ole state quite a bit (I hear we're kind of fat...), there's a lot of good here too! I think it has most importantly taught me to slow down and enjoy where I am and who I'm with, and that this aspect of time, friends, and family is more important than money, worldly possessions, and status. I've taken on a new life-perspective thanks to my time here, and for that, I am grateful!
In our daily news, Brian is currently cleaning house (he's earning lots of husband points right now) and I'm locked in the library studying. No, classes have not started yet. I'm studying for my "get out of grad school exams" (aka, Comprehensive exams) which I have to take on Wednesday. It's 8 hours long, all to answer 4 questions! Hooray! I'm going to go ahead and assure you that I will NOT be in there that long. Partly due to the fact that if I can't get my point across in under an hour, well, I must not know what I'm talking about...let's hope that doesn't happen! Basically it's 4 questions from four of my major classes that I've taken in grad school. I'm feeling good about all but one...my research class. I just was not born to do research and state null, directional, non-directional, deductive, or inductive hypotheses...no, gracias!
Brian and I got back to work successfully last week and I start class on Thursday-the end is in sight! Having a bit of a class fiasco with my last course, but more on that later...still no concrete decision. Meanwhile, Brian and I are trying to enjoy our last three weeks in Starkville, which means I'll probably have some more tearful mornings in church, with my friends, and probably in the grocery store. (Not really...let's hope not at least.) While I've known this move was coming for a long time, it never really hits you until it is upon you. I feel like the Lord is constantly reassuring me of the last big change in my life--coming to college. I was so anxious about so many things-finding friends, finding a church, enjoying life-and he was so faithful in all of those things! I would have never imagined my life being as rich and blessed as it is now 5 years ago, so I know I can rest in His providence again during this life change...I just forget that sometimes! Hope everyone is doing well-love and miss you all!