Monday, September 28, 2015

Take Me Home, Mountain Roads

We spent the weekend in East Tennessee with friends who go way back.
Way way back.

But we're still young of course.

My daughter wrote last week about her college friends. How she misses that heart connection with the people who knew her when. She actually is still young, but I know exactly what she was trying to say. It's not that she doesn't have friends where she is, and she knows there are wonderful friends in her future too, but she recognizes even now that place deep in her heart where friendship and memory and youth are all tangled up and beautiful.

Me too child, me too.

There very rarely comes another time in your life where as an adult you get to live with your friends. I think the ex-pat community comes close and those friendships are also nestled down deep, but I was 40-something when we forged our bond, not a fresh faced 19 year old girl.

This past weekend was homecoming at our university. The minute I step out of the car and see these familiar faces my heart feels happy and light. It matters not if I saw them ten months ago or ten years, that feeling never changes. We've grown up and older together. We've married, had children, and collectively moved a million trillion times, but we're still us.

We stay in the same hotel, talk too loudly and too much and too late into the night. Coming home to them is like pulling on my favorite pair of blue jeans and I always feel a little blue when we part. For a minute I let myself travel down the road of wouldn't it be fun if we all lived on the same block, but I know I can't linger there. We're grown ups now.

Fraternities and sororities get a ton of bad press, but that hasn't been my experience at all. It's true  bad news makes the news, but there's much good that happens within the Greek community too. It's a place where leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy are developed and fostered in young adults, where friendships are built and nurtured through the years. I formed lifelong friends through my own sorority and also through hubs fraternity, bonds that have only grown stronger and more meaningful as the years roll by.

Oh how the years roll by.

Together we lived through the drama and angst of young life and young love. We bandaged broken hearts and laughed til our sides ached. We stood hand in hand on the brink of adulthood cheering each other on to new and different paths.

We cried together too, through some very tough stuff this grown up world brings, and now here we are, still us. Still celebrating life and accomplishment, still soothing hurts and heartaches, still hoping and praying the very best for each other, and still laughing til our sides hurt.

There are few places in this world that make me feel more nostalgic than East Tennessee. The hills still roll, those mountains they still beckon...

And we're still us.


  1. My heart is happy for you that you had such a terrific weekend with your dear friends. Old friends who know us inside and out are just the best. I have a few of them, too, and there is nothing better.

  2. I think it's so cool that y'all have kept in touch all these years! I've reconnected with a lot of college friends, but that was after YEARS of not having any contact.
    I'm hoping next year we can all get our acts together and meet for homecoming! (GO, BUCS!)

  3. Absolutely beautiful Joyce. I've tried to explain to a few people how I feel when I get back from a fraternity reunion and you have captured those feelings perfectly. Thanks!

  4. Sounds like a great weekend was had by all.

  5. How wonderful. You are indeed blessed to have these long term friendships and fellowships where you meet face-to-face and love and care for each other. My experience was not so pleasant. Trust me, doing life alone sucks.

  6. There's something special about staying in touch with old friends. They know you from a different time... pretty cool.

  7. As they say, old friends are the BEST! Seems we can always just pick up where we left off. Sounds like a perfectly wonderful weekend!

  8. Beautiful post Joyce. How nice that you got to connect with your friends.