The next summer, she returned to camp, but I decided to stay in New Jersey and work at Hahne's department store (I'm thinking of two separate posts that could be written about Camp Wo-Me-To and Hahne's). We both graduated from high school and I headed to Belmont College in Nashville, and Lydia moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University.
We each remember me visiting her in Atlanta at some point in our college experience, but we're not sure when it was, nor do we have pictures. We did have some kind of yummy dessert at a Greek restaurant and it was fun reunion.
The next time we saw each other was in 1991, when Lydia came to Nashville to attend my wedding. I remember that we saw each other, but of course, since the wedding festivities are the main event for the bride, I didn't have much time to visit with Lydia that trip. A few years later, Lydia and Darryl were married, and I got to attend their wedding. Again, not much time for visiting.
In 2001, my family took a trip to Georgia to see family and we got to meet up with Lydia and her family (each of us had a son by then) for a meal at California Pizza Kitchen. We had a fun time meeting each other's little boy (Daniel was six and Destry was a baby). That time we got some pictures!
Another few years went by and Lydia and her family moved to North Carolina, not far from where my cousin got married. On that trip, Lydia drove over and we had breakfast together and got to catch up on our lives. She had completed medical school and residency and I was working at a large corporate financial company (for just a while longer--I changed jobs a couple of months after that trip). Once again, we remembered to get a photo!
A few weeks ago, I got a text from Lydia. She was planning a trip to Nashville to attend a conference and wanted to get together. I was so excited that she chose my city and we made plans for what we could do together when she wasn't in her sessions. Since Lydia's only other trip to Nashville was over twenty years ago and she'd basically seen a couple blocks of the downtown area, she was open me playing tour guide. She stayed at a new hotel downtown that I hadn't seen yet, so it was fun to get to see the Omni and then walk over to the pedestrian bridge and take a little walking tour of the Broadway area. We also ate dinner at Acme Farm Supply, a cool new venue for food, drink and hanging out.
On Saturday night, my mom joined us and we went out to eat at the Loveless Cafe ('cause you can't get too much country cooking when you're visiting Nashville). Sunday afternoon we went to Calypso Cafe and an antique mall and then I got to show Lydia my house before I took her to the airport. We had such a good time catching up and were both thankful that we have been able to stay in touch.
Lydia loves to make jewelry as a hobby, so yesterday, I received a fun package in the mail. She made me a pretty bracelet and earrings to match, in my favorite color. I will enjoy wearing these and thinking of our friendship that has spanned thirty years and counting!