Our young friend Andrea Brune, recently graduated from Indiana University (go Hoosiers!) with a degree in Biology and fast becoming part of our family, is now doing an internship in Tyrone at the headquarters for OM. Operation Mobilization is a worldwide organization of over 6,800 volunteers and staff serving ministries in 118 nations and planting churches on every continent in the world. Andrea is working on an experimental portable greenhouse with these good people and when she visited us Friday night we had not seen her since before Christmas, as she had taken a break to visit family and friends in her home state. It was a pleasure to be reunited with Andrea and our plan for the evening was to finish the second half of “Fried Green Tomatoes.” On our last visit with Andrea, we only had time for an hour and fifteen minutes of the movie filmed here in Senoia and in parts of Fayette County. We were all really looking forward to getting back to Idgie and Mrs. Threadgoode’s tale. Popcorn and ice cream were on the menu; I was excited about the ice cream!
Just minutes before Andrea was to arrive, I was still frantically rustling about in the drawers of the TV cabinet looking for the film. No luck. I called two friends, and though Jane Arnold was very kind and looked through her entire collection, which like mine, was supposed to have a copy in it, no luck. My next door neighbor offered me a couple of Disney classics, but no Tomatoes. Well, Andrea got here before I could call anyone else and, the good sport that she is said, No problem, it would be fun just to talk and that if that wasn’t entertaining enough, she had her new ultra-violent-quick-set-acrylic-nail manicure machine in the car and would I like to have her treat me to a fancy-polish manicure?
I am always so amazed at how mature this young woman is; she can hold her own on just about any topic we throw into the conversational ring. There is never an awkward pause while she gathers her wits; her responses are confident, educated and interesting. At 22, she never appears to feel that we ask too many questions about her work, her friends, her life, or that our questions are somehow silly or too personal, and she is quick to share her ideas, her beliefs, and her dreams with us. It is a joy to get a peek into the fun and funny brain of this delightful girl who, while making us laugh with her youth and freshness, can also in the next moment, be candid, serious and very sure of her own political and philosophical views.
In just two weeks, Andrea will be showing a new product she has helped develop at OM. I call it the “Go Grow Bubble,” and it is designed to maximize hydroponic plant growth in developing countries where food sources are not always readily available. We have been following the Bubble experiment since we first met Andrea last fall at an OM event and are super excited to see it come to fruition. It has been such a delight for us to watch this young woman explore and experience her first real adventure on her own in the grownup world. We have been privileged to observe firsthand the blossoming in her work and in her chosen church, giving back by teaching a young girl’s Bible study group, participating in a worship team, and more. AND, how cool is it that she doesn’t think we are some weird old people who are totally out of touch with this Millennial generation?
Our friendship developed quickly with her first visit to Senoia; Andrea came to a program at the Museum, and we planned another evening where we shared supper and a sunset on the patio at Matt’s Small Town Pizza, and she was hooked. We followed that up by taking her to a Friday night football game where we splurged on hamburgers and fries and where she saw my grandson play in the Starr’s Mill Marching Band and met my daughter and my granddaughter (who bears a striking resemblance to Andrea…they are both beautiful!) As we became closer friends, we took Andrea to see the Christmas light display at the Gaddy’s on Sandy Creek Road and then to supper at Italian Oven. After touring Senoia in our golf cart and admiring the historic homes, we just had to do a Movie Night with Fried Green Tomatoes on the playbill. When she left to drive home alone for Christmas break we made her promise to call and let us know that she had arrived safely. We got to talk to her mom and tell her how much we enjoyed her daughter and what a fine young woman they had raised. And that is how we fell in love with a pretty, pert and precocious young Christian girl from a small, small town in Indiana! And that is how I got my nails painted a gorgeous, shiny, deep maroon!
Check out Go Grow Planters on Facebook and see Andrea at the Go Grow Planters exhibit at the North Atlanta Home Show Feb 10 – Feb 12 · Infinite Energy Center.