Fall is always a crazy time of year. Back to school, back to sports, weather can’t make up its mind, and back to South Bend. Like most Notre Dame alumni, we find ourselves drawn to campus for football games and meetings, and just about any excuse to head back to the ‘Bend.

Last week it was a mix of Notre Dame meetings and reunions. While the meetings are somewhat “business,” they are also a reunion of sorts, as many of us haven’t seen each other since our last set of meetings, and there are always life events on which to catch up. Facebook and social media only gives us the highlights.

Last week also included a reunion with my Notre Dame coach, Tim Welsh. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year, although we text and talk and email to stay in touch. It was a reunion that was good for my soul. To know Tim is to love Tim. Just ask anyone who knows him.

The last reunion of my visit was with my ND Trail and Tanzania friends. It’s been two years since we walked the ND Trail (time flies!) and 8 months since we hiked Kilimanjaro (time flies!) and many I have not seen since we left Africa. We text and talk and email to stay in touch, but there is nothing like a real live hug (and some wine and chocolate and plans for our next adventure).

One of the great gifts of my life is friendship. Friends from high school, friends from college, my adult friends, and my Notre Dame friends. Wait – aren’t Notre Dame friends also “friends from college”? No, not really. Friends from college are my teammates and classmates. Notre Dame friends are friends I have met through Notre Dame: ND Trail friends, Kilimanjaro hikers, Monogram Club friends (I could write ten posts about them!), ND Women Connect Friends. We all share the common bond of Notre Dame, but we are diverse in so many other ways. Except reunions. We all love a good reunion and a good hug.