A Day with Nathaniel

A summary of our day is this: we drove to Charlotte, spent the day with Nathaniel, and came home. Those of few words could quit reading now and be satisfied.

The first half of the morning drive was in heavy rain. John had to concentrate on driving, and I could see little of the beautiful mountain scenery beyond the mist and fog. Thank heavens the day improved, with only intermittent showers the rest of the day.

Parking for the uptown church was in a garage next door. By scanning the ticket inside the church, the fee was waived. The skyscrapers of the city center are only a few blocks from the university campus, so Nathaniel walked around the area to pick out a church to attend when he started there last September. Walking in the church made this grandmother’s heart warm, as people greeted Nathaniel. They knew him. Think of it! He began going there when he was 18 years old and far from all his family and friends. The clergyman Nathaniel introduced to us commented that Nate was more regular in attendance than many of the other parishioners.

I took a photo from the back pew, Nathaniel’s usual seat, before people began to come in for the service. Immediately behind us was an aisle, a slightly raised section for the choir, and the beautiful organ. After the service, several choir members and the choir director greeted us. One man in particular spoke of chatting with Nathaniel from time to time.

I realized the photo Nathaniel sent me a few weeks ago was not the front of the church, but a gorgeous view of the back. I should have noticed which way the pews were facing.

I took only one photo of our brunch venue. What a typical family picture it was! I announced I was going to take it, stood up beside the table, aimed the camera, again asked people to look at me, and pressed the shutter. One was paying attention. The other two are constant punsters. I’m sure they assumed I was pressing the shudder button.

Who would have thought it would be difficult to find a place to chat on a Sunday afternoon? If there were a free place to park a car in the business district, we didn’t find it. We looked for a park, but it had metered parking on the perimeter only. We found a former church, now housing a charity, with a parking lot in the shade. We sat there to visit. After several minutes, I realized I could see Nathaniel’s face in the outside mirror, the mirror that tells you objects are closer than you think. Duh! His long toes were wedged under my seat. I would have squirmed if he had wiggled them under me.

The boys posed for one closeup as we said goodbye on the campus. We had a wonderful time together and hated to see the day end.

29 thoughts on “A Day with Nathaniel

    1. David and Nathaniel are half brothers. They have the same mother. David’s dad disappeared when he knew a baby was on the way. A few years later our daughter Kate married Nathaniel’s dad and had Nate the following year.

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      1. I think our grandsons are most alike in their faith and value system. Math is a pain for one and a joy for the other. Having opposites is probably the mark of many siblings. Isn’t it amazing how different two people can be when they’ve grown up together?

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      2. Yes. I get a kick out of my daughter who was raised by her step father and has many of his traits yet still has genetic traits of her birth father.

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  1. It is so wonderful to see them both thriving like that! What proud grandparents you must be. And how lucky they are to have you in their worlds.

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  2. A treat for you to have both boys together again, even if just for the day, and a treat for the boys to have their beloved grandparents with them again.You are a very close and lucky family.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    1. The church in Charlotte is Episcopal. There is no Lutheran church in walking distance of the campus. I think Nathaniel would be comfortable in almost any liturgical church. We were familiar with the service they used yesterday.

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  3. Oh Anne, loved this post. What a wonderful day, even though it began in heavy rain. The smiles are the sunshine. I also take the same photos of family. I’m never in them, and there is always someone not ready, or often goofing around, and that makes them even more special. The church is lovely. How uplifting to hear that Nathaniel is known and loved. I feel I know all of you.

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  4. Like Kathy said, I feel all of you are family- I know you all so well from the posts- even Logan.
    What a beautiful church.Sad to hear a church was converted to a charity though. Glad you got time to visit and enjoy Nathaniel. I feel great when I hear of young people going to church without being forced to do so. It is great to know one doesn’t have to or is not in control of everything- there is someone above all of us.
    Susie

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    1. David is a regular church-goer, too. Last week he drove the 45 minutes to church for choir rehearsal Wednesday night when John was in Tennessee. I was surprised and pleased that he was such a loyal choir member that he would go by himself.

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  5. So nice to see the photos of your guys! My grandmother’s heart would warm too if I know my grandson was attending a church where he is well known and well-liked. What a wonderful visit to Charlotte!

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  6. I just remembered I saw this post in Reader and never came back to it … how nice you got to see Nathaniel, likely the last time before he finishes the semester and returns to spend the Summer with you. Did you remember to ask him about his chef’s toque Anne? I have to believe he saved it as he likes and collects hats. How nice that he continues to go to church … there were many changes in his life since going there in the Fall to start school.

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    1. Nathaniel saved the toque. It was lying on top of his bag after the competition. When he came back in the room, it was gone. He asked about it and was told someone there threw it away. He tried to take it home!

      He won’t be with us this summer, after all. He was offered a job on campus and took it. We all hope we can visit him a few times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I figured Nathaniel would save that chef toque – his first of probably many cooking/baking contests in his life. What a bummer that someone just threw it away.

        Oh, that’s a shame he won’t be staying with you this Summer, but luckily he is close enough that you can visit him through the Summer. The weather is favorable – no snow or ice worries. Is Nathaniel’s job in conjunction with his school program?

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      2. The brief job description sounded like that of a resident assistant, someone to help other students in the dorm. He hopes there will be time for him to get cooking jobs, as well.

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