I can't lie. My return to Gainesville was bittersweet. We were there for a walk-a-thon in honor of our sorority sister, Lisa who passed away this fall.
Gainesville was the logical place for the walk since that's where we all met. And so on a beautiful spring morning in April, we met at a pretty park I never knew existed when I went to UF and walked. And talked. Because really, a lot of us hadn't seen each other in about 15 years. So there was a lot to catch up on.
She should have been with us, our friend Lisa. Really quite cliche to say how good and sweet and wonderful she was but it was all true. I do think she would have gotten a real kick out of seeing us all there and been thrilled that she still found some way to get us together. In a perfect world, the walk-a-thon would have had a few more people participating. But no matter. The important thing is that it happened. We raised money for the center where she had her treatment. And her husband and children saw it and knew how much she meant to us. And hopefully, that will mean something to them.
And then we went to Target.
I know. We are lame. But we are city dwellers and needed Gator gear for the next part of the weekend...the Orange and Blue game. In case you are wondering, that is where the Gator team plays each other. So who do you root for? I decided to root for blue because I just think it's a nicer color. Then I started rooting for the possibility of a breeze. How did I not notice how much you basically roasted in the stands? Oh, right. Because I was too busy socializing. This is how I managed to graduate from a major football school without understanding the concept of the two-point conversion.
And then we went to our sorority house.
We had too. Lisa was a big part of that house and the trip would not have been complete without a stop there. We rang the doorbell (since none of us could remember the combination to the side door...a sure sign of early dementia) and finally, a friendly incredibly young-looking girl answered the door. She opened the door and it hit me...the smell of the Dphie house. Okay...seriously...I suppose you could insert some joke in here. Try to contain yourselves. But it was true. It smelled vaguely like shampoo and my Grandma's house and chicken dinners of days past. If that doesn't sound appealing, I'm sorry to report that in the context...it was. It really was. We wandered the halls, checking out the rooms and meeting a lovely young sister named Carly who didn't seem to mind showing us around and giving us the scoop on the Greek scene. Interestingly, she also graduated from high school....20 years after I did. Gulp.
It was official. We were freaking old. I had always sort of suspected as much but now it was confirmed.
We inspected the old composite pictures, complete with frighteningly big hair and alarming eye liner. And looking down the hallways, I half expected some of my sisters to come bounding in, wearing cut-off jean shorts and big fat puffy socks or scrunchies or Champion sweatshirts or in the case of one sister in particular, bows and floral dresses and an ever present smile.