Linda Cherry and I were in the same Alpha Chi Omega pledge class at UGA, in the fall of 1984. We tall girls gravitated to each other and a friendship, sisterhood, and roommate-situation developed.
Other than one quick reunion luncheon about 6 years ago, it’s been 35 years that the two of us have seen or spent any time together. After UGA in the late 80s, we went our separate ways. I didn’t know her life; her grad school days, career, marriage, motherhood. Until this past weekend.
Linda and I are Facebook friends and I’ve enjoyed her posts over the years, especially the ones about her travels. She has come to a point in her life where she’s adopted a “hippie” lifestyle; sold her home, quit corporate America, and hit the road. She’s got the travel bug, has been many places, and has more to go. This is a woman after my own heart! One of her recent posts was the “Quintessential American Road Trip” that would take 40 days to complete. I knew I couldn’t be a part of that, but a scaled-back version, I was definitely game for.
Linda had the idea to build a trip around the Outer Banks of North Carolina; she had a curiosity about Rodanthe, the setting of the novel and movie by Nicholas Sparks. I said YES and before I knew it, we were off. First, she decided to rent a car but had to settle for a mini-van. Neither of us knew, but each of us had sworn off mini-vans during our young mom years, as we both feel driving one would have chipped away at our individual identities and given into Mom-ness. This is not a knock against mini-vans, as much as it’s a supreme desire NOT to give in to practicality. IRONY had the last laugh when it watched us drive from Atlanta to Charleston to the Outer Banks in a Chrysler Pacifica.
I delightedly found out that Linda and I share a lot of the same outlook on life. But what makes our reunion so sweet is that we are the same age, and we shared a 4-year bubble at UGA: a sorority, cultural references, dorms that had been around forever, the Dawgs, socials, and more. Annnnd, icing on the cake, she got to meet my JIm; a treat delegated to only a handful from my UGA days.
Linda is still a great beauty. Still tall, even more intelligent, with a lot of travels under her belt. That exposure to the world is what draws me to her now. We talked Universe, yoga, makeup, skin care, vision quests, family, and Colorado (our sons all live out there), photography (a hobby of hers), and sunsets (a hobby of both of ours). And we both at some point during this trip, referred to each other by our maiden names.
Linda, you’re even more rad now than you were back when.
Love in the bond,