November 1, 1970
Today the delectable smell of chocolate filled the air as Cathy and I made our first attempt at dipping candy in her kitchen. Though failures outnumbered successes when we began, each of those lopsided pieces was thoroughly enjoyed — because we ate them all.
Eventually we got the hang of it, learning exactly how hot the dip should be so the chocolate would go on not-too-thick, not-too-thin. And we left our balls of crème centers in the refrigerator till the last minute when the chocolate was ready.
Quite a few pieces ended up at the bottom of our dipping pan, but Cathy’s husband John volunteered to fish them out – then made quick work of them. We did grab a few, however, for me to take home to Nate.
By 1:00 AM we were looking at nearly 200 pieces of finished chocolate candy. Some were dark, some white, and some milk chocolate. All in all, we were both pleased – with the candy and also with each other.
Cathy was part way through her own masters program at the University of Illinois and said, “Grad school is nothing like undergrad. Students are left on their own a lot, so that means less boring time in class. Mostly you just work at your own pace.”
That sounded pretty good.
As we continued to dip and talk, she said, “Why don’t you just apply? After all… what could it hurt?”
There were those same words Nate had used, and by the time I climbed the stairs at home, I’d made the decision. Nate was delighted to hear it and encouraged me to call Dad the following day to see what he thought. “He might be willing to go to Northwestern to pick up an application for you.” *
And so, Nate and I moved one step closer to defining our vague future. When we finally headed for bed, he watched me find a note he’d pinned to my pillow with a simple but precious message: I missed you.
“Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” (Romans 13:10)
* 7 miles from his home