Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Real Oasis in Texas

So this year coming into Texas for internship, my personal biggest fear was that I would never see a Packer game and worse, I would be surrounded by Dallas fans.  A common fear for most Wisconsin ex-Pats, but that is why the Packer bar was created.  A heavenly place where fans of the Packers can congregate and be united when so far from Wisconsin and our beloved Green Bay Packers.  You can look them up online or you can stumble upon them like lucky old me.

I was driving to a nursing home to help put on a afternoon church service, something I had done a lot a couple summers ago, so I was glad to help out.  I did realize that the Packers were playing their first game that Sunday, so I was hoping to catch the second half somewhere on the way home.  While I was driving I had decided I would return home and skip the first game, but on the way I looked to my left and saw green jerseys.  Some jerseys said Matthews, others Rogers, and one Favre (ended up being his first name was Favre, true fan!).   Did I just stumble upon a Packer's Bar?!  I did not have time to stop and went on my way with renewed excitement.  About 2 hours later, I started back the way I came with the new goal of finding that place, hoping it was not a mirage in the desert of Cowboys and Texans fans.  At every corner I searched for my green and gold brothers and sisters, until finally I spotted my soon to be Packer family.  Quickly parking I came in the door with none of my usual attire, no Packers jersey, no Packers overalls, not even my green and yellow shoes.  I arrived and was filled with awe at opening the door to a rowdy room full of TVs and screaming fans.  So much green, so much yellow, they were even selling bratwurst and cheese curds for that at home feel.  I quickly put in an order for some food and as I mingled I was quickly assimilated and became part of the group.  Cheering, high fiving, and booing in unison.  Conversations quickly turned to, "why did you leave WI" and, "how long have you been gone?"  Soon it turned to, "will we see you next week?"  In less than an hour I had become a part of Billy's on Burnett, my true oasis
This place matters so much to me not because I love the Packers so much, but they remind me of home and they accepted me before they met me.

The same is true for seminary.  As much as I love Austin, I find that I miss LSTC, my classmates, and all the familiarities that my last two years have been built upon.  I miss feeling like a part of the group.  That connection was so quick I felt it when I arrived at LSTC the first day.  I was reminded me of a different Lutheran/Christian home and they seemed to accept me before they met me.  That kind of bond is hard to find, and to make such a bond in less than two years, speaks to the community at LSTC and what I am excited to get back to.  I have a wonderful year until I do though, and I will focus on making the most out of Austin, Texas, but for the time being...I have my Packer Bar!

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