18 December 2012

day 5: an unexpected journey

april 2003: heading to cades cove to start a corner to corner bike ride of the state of tennessee

these three men. three boys who all grew up in the same town. all named michael. they went to high school together. and married fetching girls who happen to be best friends. 

one of the things i miss most from nashville is friday nights. every friday night for about 5 years these three men along with their wives and children, 15 total, gathered for what we very originally dubbed "friday night dinner". the wives organized it of course, but these three men went along, happily. showing up after work at whomever's house we had settled on hosting.tired. but still cheered. the wives buzzing around breaking up fights{usually among siblings}and refilling cocktail glasses. the men sitting on the back porch talking work or whatever movie they were going to meet up to watch later after they had helped their wives bathe and put to bed the babes. their attention usually distracted, sometimes unaware that the children were beating the crap out of one another until one of the wives popped out to say, "honey. would you watch the kids?!!!" 

dirty feet running through the kitchen. chaos. and calm. these men were the calm. and they remain the ones who have steadied the sails that have felt tempest torn. the wives have felt distraught and disjointed whilst these men have set their eyes like flint. i suspect they have felt a sense of foreboding disappointment when friday comes without the plan to meet up for one of mr. jones' famous burgers or a nip of mr. butler's moonshine or another of mr.utley's blazing bonfires. 

i am grateful for these men. all three. and i am grateful for the baggage that comes with them. wives, pets, children whom i love like my own, shortcomings and dazzling talents. 

our last friday night dinner was almost 4 years ago. we stood weeping{the wives, not these three} and vowed we would never forget these sweet years of watching our little ones grow up together and observing the interconnectedness of our lives. and someday i hope we can pick up where we left off...


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