Warning: I got a little nostalgic. This post went on a liiiiitttllleee longer than planned!
What seems like forever ago, but was really 'only' 7 years ago, I was graduating college and getting ready to head to graduate school. Headed to a school that was turned out to be a great experience for me but was in a city that had lost its charm and I was going it alone - out into the great unknown I went and I wasn't super thrilled about it. Before I headed that way though, I spent my last summer at a camp where I had spent all my summers from childhood on and where I had experienced all the highs and lows of life. My home away from home. As a kid, I would get home from my two weeks of camp and close the door to my room and CRY and CRY and CRY. I was writing letters to my friends about how much I missed them before we were even down the mountain on the way home, I longed for the smell of the dirty cabins, the damp feeling of my pillow under my head from the humidity of an afternoon rain; and all I wanted was to be back there. As I think about sending Emerson to camp once she is old enough, I feel sad for myself that I will be so excited to be picking her up to bring her home at the end of those two weeks, knowing that all she will want (if she's anything like her mama) is to STAY PUT.
But I digress. All that to say, I was spending another summer there, in a comfortable place, before I moved on to that something new. Things for school were a little up in the air and I didn't even know where I would be living. Not really wanting to live in Johnson City, but not knowing I had another choice, I half-heartedly started the hunt for an apartment. The longer the summer went on, the more (as always) I wished I could just stay in Asheville - just an hour's drive down the mountain from Johnson City. But I didn't have any more reason to stay in Asheville than I did to go to Johnson City alone. UNTIL. Until I asked Kristi (BFF, almost-family-member-stuck-with-me-through-it-and-still-loved-me, one time co-counselor) who had an equal magnetic pull to Asheville and was at camp that summer as well having just finished up at University of Florida with no concrete plans of what was next...didn't she want to live in Asheville too? Well once our old counselor from when we were ten (see how helpful all these camp connections are proving to be) - who lived in Asheville, told us she and her roommates were moving out of their house and we went by to have lunch and see the house, we were SOLD. And that was that; and for the next two fabulous, wonderful, marvelous, freeing, find-yourself-and-love-yourself years, we were the residents of "the Baird house." I drove up and down the mountain 3 days a week for class with Erin, another classmate who lived in Asheville also. This was a saving grace in more ways than one - so great to have someone to talk to and ride with; but even better, it was a built-in 2 hour study session every day! It might have helped me make it through school!
Well, we were the residents of the Baird house along with Fred, the ghost. Seriously. The people who lived there before us once called the police because they were so scared and convinced; Kristi and I definitely huddled on the sofa together crying after one window shutting, glass in the bathroom shattering, freaky night! After we had lived in the house for a few months, I got a phone call from some girl I had never met who wanted to be our roommate. She worked at one of the other camps in Asheville and a mutual friend from Crestridge told her that we were living there and had an extra bedroom. Enter Emily Ogletree (now Dimitris). She was a shoe-in right from the very start and she was a great addition to the frick-and-frack of Kristi and I living in that house. Emily is the most put together on the outside person you will ever meet. Until you see her bedroom. Or her handwriting. The first time we sat beside eachother in church and I looked over at her notes, I think I audibly gawked. I don't know why this chicken scratch surprised me to be coming out of this girl's pen, but I guess she just seemed so put together that I couldn't imagine anything other than typewriter like handwriting to go along with her personality. I love Em for her messy handwriting and piles of clothes in her room, as well as how quickly she could get it together and put on a party and be a hostess, a little mini-Beth Moore - wait and see! I even love her for writing a note in the peanut butter container she put in the trash can telling me to just leave it and not try to wash it out to recycle it after she had already thrown it away. Who....me??
Well, in one week's time, I have had impromptu visits from BOTH of these girls, making my heart so happy! Kristi, Daniel, and new baby Carver who is only 7 weeks younger than Emerson were on their way through town to see Daniel's parents who live in Winston. We were on our way out of town to meet Bella, but got to get together for a super brief 'meet & greet' at Brueggers (a favorite old stomping ground of Kristi & I's - nothing glamorous, but a treat coming from Demorest) :) I was so glad to get my hands on Kristi's cute little guy and to get to hug her and see her even if it was super brief! I loved getting to be pregnant with Kristi and other friends who were pregnant at the same time (Nellie, Debbie!) - it is such a fun thing to share. Then, Thursday I had a voicemail from Emily after work saying that she was in Charlotte for a girls' weekend with her mom and sister. Except actually, when she called her mom from the airport to tell her she was there to pick her up, her mom reminded her that the girls' weekend is actually next weekend. Doh. Oh well, we got to enjoy her mistake by having her over for dinner and a glass or two of wine - we were trying our best to get her to spend the night! My little Em was so happy to meet my other Em and aunt Kristi this week! I love these girls and am so thankful for BOTH of you and our time together in Asheville - it will always be in a top spot in my heart of times that changed and made my life!