I’m a week shy of forty-five.

I’m a week shy of forty-five.

Maybe, that’s why I have started thinking about old friends, because, we. are. you know. old. (Smile)

I was thinking about us, back in school at the Shoals (Barnett and Cedar) and even the difficult years, those many of us would just like to forget, at Hilsman, when they still called her Patti. I started to let myself miss you again. Faces flew up at me, as did scenes long stilled, silenced and stashed away. They started whispering, “It’s time to see and hear some stories.”

So, I went  on FB to find some of you guys and gals from way back.

Up to this point, FB has primarily been about the now relationships in my life: keeping up with kids that have graduated from my school, the kids from our youth group, and a few adults from my writer’s world.

But, as I looked at the pictures of you from whom I have again solicited a friendship, post-modern style, I sensed you more dear to my heart than before.

I didn’t much appreciate you back then. I was not particularly social, my sister, Laura, handled all those duties. I liked my books and my few close friends and never gave most of you the chance you deserved. I missed out on a lot.

I love seeing who you have become. The writer in me is curious, the stories of your lives call to me. Most of them are somewhat sketched out on your fb sites, if one looks just a little. Some of your stories break big smiles across my face. Some of your stories catch my breath in my chest, make me bite my lip against tears that flow so much more freely, now.

I don’t know why I feel closer to you now, 25 years absent from you, than I did then. But, I do. I miss Athens, I miss sharing it with so many of you. Home calls louder each passing year. Sometimes, I cannot bear to head back into the sun toward house and hamlet. Sometimes, I stay up late trying to formulate a way back.

I’m nearly through a solid year of writing. Practice. Mainly. Most people who have read these posts have no connection to the things I hallow. But, you just might.

So, I invite you to read and remember with me…see anew some sacred spaces and scenes. I offer you some snapshots of teachers whom you will recognize and places whose passing we all surely mourn.

I would be so honored to have you visit these memories with me.


You may want to start with posts tagged “home.”



Filed under observation

4 responses to “I’m a week shy of forty-five.

  1. Becky Rogers Slade

    Wow!! I so enjoyed reading this…I am with you on how at our age now, it is very often that “I go back..” (Have you ever heard that song? I am not a country fan, but the words to that Kenny Chesney song are so true and very applicable here!!). Maybe we are grasping for that place in our youth where stress and responsibilities were far and few…I do know that I so encourage my teenage children to soak it up..because whether they hate or love their school years, they will recall them one day and they might as well be good memories!! Truly enjoyed your article!! Best of luck !

  2. Thank you for sharing these with us. I’m looking forward to more!

  3. Miriam

    I am 45 today. I don’t look back as much today as I did a few years ago. It seems life is getting busier than then, fuller, more immediate. The future calls to me more now. I delved so deep a few years back, it hurt, wasn’t entirely healthy, but maybe necessary, don’t know. I met you when I was 16, it was, and still is, a very confusing time for me. I remember being struck by the clarity in which you lead your days, the search for honesty. It struck me, because, it was what I was searching for too. Hypocrisy utterly confused me then, still does, although I’ve become with age, somewhat immune. You may not remember some of my epiphanies amongst you and Kim and Beth. They were probably sidenotes to your own time of discovery, et al. But they have followed me a lifetime. Much of my “Athens” time was a backdrop to those experiences. My daughter came home today from a mini-retreat, mission, praise weekend at a local Church. I could see in her exhausted eyes the light and power of what she had experienced. It is growing in her. The commitment to something bigger, more powerful than self. Those moments, I think of you.

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