This time of year always makes me reminisce about college and time spent with my sorority sisters. I don't know why this time of year in particular reminds me. It's not like we had a ton of sunny, spring-type weather there. We were frozen and usually digging out of snow. There always seemed to be clouds overhead. Yet, there is something about this spring weather that makes me think of college. Perhaps spring brings me back to the excitement we all would feel when spring would arrive in the great white north. It would be 40 degrees, but there'd be people in shorts because the sun was out and it wasn't snowing any more. Perhaps it's just because some of my favorite memories--the bonding moments in my life--seemed to have happened on nights just like tonight. This post is for all of my sisters wherever you are. I miss you and love you all for making me who I am.
|Spring 2006. I believe this was pizza and Savannah night (was that the name of the show?)|
If you asked most of the women from my pledge class and those who pledged the same year to name one of the single best nights, it would have been during spring term finals 1996. I remember the feeling of the night even though it was 15 years ago. (I can't believe it was 15 years ago!) We sat in the middle of the woods, by a small lake created by a damn. Lake Superior lay on the other side of the road, a distance away, but there (it was always there). There was a bonfire and logs. We all sat around talking, laughing, drinking, and telling stories. I can't remember the specific discussion, but I remember feeling like that was one of the nights that would stick with me always. So far, that remains true. I can still feel the connection that I felt that night.
(I also remember that there were about 5 of us who planned to camp out through the night. We had our tents and sleeping bags. What we didn't realize we didn't have until the last set of friends was leaving in a small vehicle, was that we had no way back to campus. Everyone expected to use my car, but someone had let all of the air out of the tires earlier that day and I hadn't brought it. I expected to use another friend's car. They didn't bring it. We were stuck in the middle of the nowhere and this was before cell phones! Luckily, our last drunk friend to leave with a not so nice sober driver came through for us and found someone the next morning to drive back out and pick us up.)
Spring also meant Greek Games, which was always a fun bonding experience. I remember a specific Greek Games where a very good friend came back to visit after graduating and bought some of us tattoos. Was that the same games where I was thrown into Lake Superior? I don't remember specifically.
There were plenty of nights sitting on porches and roofs, talking and drinking. The memories of Senior Walk, skinny dipping, and sitting on the deck at a local bar. I clearly remember sitting on picnic benches outside of the union, chalking, and taking my dog for a walk along the portage. Great Easter celebrations, with a potluck and lots of fun (too much at times).
Some of my favorite memories are from long drives to nowhere. Inevitably, my car would breakdown, but before then, there would be things to explore, such as waterfalls, new lakes, or interesting trails.
But what sticks out most from all of these things, is the conversations and feeling like I belonged. It was a time of great change in my life. I didn't know who I was, where I was headed, nor what I would or could do. But there was no question of who my friends were and how important they were to me or I to them. I'm very proud of the fact that most of those same women are friends with me still. I may not talk with them frequently or even know if they are married with children, but I know if I were with them again, it would feel like home.