Go back with me a few (!) years to my 10th grade school year. I went to a private christian school all the way across the country from where we lived, by train, to Florida..
Most of my classmates were preachers kids or missionaries kids... PK's and MK's. I was a PK...
This school had been started some years before by the DuBose family, a staunch old line Presbyterian family, who purchased the estate on the lake. It had at one time been a beautiful and private school for girls.
The 3 kids in my family each spent at least one year at Hampden BuBose Academy.
It was a strict school!
It also was a year of many special memories, fun, growth, homesickness and so much more. I spent the Christmas vacation there, as there was no money to fly home. Christmas at H.D.A. was magical. We went by busloads into Orlando, and caroled for nursing homes and churches. One of the stores in Orlando gave a gift of a complete outfit for each student who stayed at the school during Christmas. The boxes under the tree were huge, and it took forever to open everything. We were all so excited! The kitchen preparations were absolutely a ball! We hand scalloped each orange with fluted edges to hold the fresh fruit salad. Pies by the dozens were put together, and turkeys stuffed and roasted, all by the students and faculty. We laughed and sang our way through Christmas vacation!
On Saturday nights, the whole student body hiked up the trail to our campfire. We played games and had more rounds of singing, smores, hot dogs and burgers. It's where I learned to love cole slaw on a hot dog.Every day we had chapel. The speakers who came by through the year were amazing. Billy Graham's daughter GiGi was my sister's roomate while she was there, and the best speakers in the world were guests at our chapel services. I know I shared that Elizabeth Elliott's younger brother was a senior during my time there, and it was that year that Elizabeth's husband Jim, was murdered by the Auca Indians. I still remember getting the news in chapel that day.
Long story short... the thing that caught my attention today, was this real estate video on You Tube, which the alumni email included this week.
This was my 'dorm'... it has been remodeled to some extent, but the basics are the same. It is now for sale, it still makes me feel like a 10th grader as I view the pictures and reccall the memories of those days.
If I had a 'few million' extra dollars... wouldn't it be fun to buy this place!
On that very lake in the background, one of my good friends water skiied right up and over the back of a crocodile. We swam there every day and never saw another one, but they have it on video and it actually happened.
On Sunday, after our church services on campus, families of local students came and we ate chicken ala something on the sloping lawns that fronted the lake. The little flying gnats were so common in Florida, that we all poured big amounts of black pepper on our chicken so we couldn't tell which kind of protein we were eating!
We sang at H.D.A., EVERYONE sang, in chapel, in concerts, and all over the grounds as we worked and did gardening, cooking, serving food, etc. I have never before or since heard such singing. The roof almost came off during chapel worship. We did an Easter sunrise cantata right on the shores of our lake for all of the surrounding communities to attend. It always ended with The Hallelujah Chorus.
My thoughts are drifting back to Zellwood, Florida this afternoon, and I've enjoyed remembering...