The last time I saw Donna and Linda was in 2001. Donna flew in from Kentucky, Linda drove down from Georgia and I came in from Oregon. We met up in New Orleans. We had a swell ‘girl’s weekend’ in the jazz-filled, fun town. We made a pact to do it again in a year or two. Then, we all got busy with family; work and life in general and never fulfilled that promise.
Recently, a speaking opportunity in Cincinnati prompted a visit to Lexington, Kentucky, where Donna lives. I decided to pay her a visit and Linda decided to drive up from Georgia. Our little reunion finally came true, it only took us eleven years to get together again.
I had not visited Lexington and the University of Kentucky campus since graduation. As Donna drove me around the campus the many changes to the campus were evident: old dormitories had been torn down, a brand new library was built, the student center had been expanded and one-lane roads became two and four-lane roads. Everything looked so unfamiliar and unreal, yet I managed to evoke memories by walking the little path between my dorm and the classroom buildings and stopping by a couple of places where we used to hang out.
I was surprised by how little I knew about the town and campus. Back when I was a student, there was no Internet, social media or smart phones. Donna, Linda and I didn’t even take a lot of photos, because it was expensive to develop film and we were just a bunch of poor students. I didn’t have a car, therefore, I didn’t venture out to downtown a lot. However, I did go to most Wildcat’s basketball games all four years. Whenever there was a home game, thousand of students and fans would walk from all directions toward Rupp Arena. Basketball is our religion in the “Big Blue” university town. We would congregate and cheer for our awesome basketball team. That was certainly a lot of FUN!
Sitting down in Donna’s kitchen, we chatted about the old days and the silly things we did. Despite the many fun things we did, we agreed that we could have done more. We also agreed that we spent way too much time worrying about hair, make up and clothes. I kept thinking about how studious and uptight I had been. I wish I could talk to that little Asian girl who had arrived in the US only two years earlier and tell her to relax and have more fun. I would tell her to do the best she can and everything would eventually work out.
It was wonderful to see old friends again and reminisce over the comfort foods that Donna prepared for us. We made a pact “again” that we would make our best effort to meet again in a year or two. It would be a crime to wait another eleven years to see each other again.