DAY 2: Home(s) for the holidays


Amanda Tu

For Manual graduate Jordan Lee (Class of 2015), heading home for the holidays will be a little bit different this year.

Since Lee’s sophomore year of high school, her father has commuted daily from Louisville–where Lee has resided for the past 12 years–to his job at the University of Cincinnati. After Lee began college at Western Kentucky University, her family made the move to Wilder, Ky., a small town just outside of downtown Cincinnati.

“My parents have an apartment there, and now my mom and dad work together in an office at University of Cincinnati,” she said. “I think they’re a lot happier because there’s a lot less stress.”

This Christmas, Lee will be splitting her time between her parents’ home and one of her high school friend’s houses in Louisville.

“I’m going back to Wilder this Friday, and I’m mainly going to be working,” she said. “I think that my class is going to have a reunion around New Years because a lot of us haven’t seen each other in awhile. I really hope that I’ll be able to visit all the places in Louisville that I’ve missed and see people I haven’t seen in awhile. Then I’ll be back in Wilder for the rest of the break–our break is seven weeks, so it’s a really long time.”

Photo courtesy Jordan Lee

Lee said that though her college experience has been largely positive so far, she does dislike the fact that she doesn’t have the opportunity to visit Louisville more often.

“I’ve only been to Louisville once in the last six months, which has been hard because I was really close with my class in high school,” she said. “I haven’t seen most of them for six or seven months. Louisville has this certain vibe and feeling of community even though it’s such a big city with different areas and types of people. It’s such a great place and I miss it so much.”

Despite the distance, Lee said that she’s sure her strong emotional connection to the city where she grew up will never fade.

“I’m originally from Colorado, actually, and even though I almost never get to go back there, it still is home to me,” she said. “And I think that Louisville is just like that–it will always be home. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is definitely still in Louisville.”

In our new 12 Days of Manual series, RedEye will be publishing one holiday-related feature each day from Dec. 7 to Dec. 18. Check out all of the 12 Days posts here.