Sunday, August 3, 2008

Class Reunion

It was my high school class reunion. My 40th--yikes! About 70 of us, including 42 classmates from the original 92, met at the local museum (Would that be the museum of ancient history? asked my daughter Kari), where we ate and drank and talked and talked and talked. (Actually, if you want to see where we met, it's here www.miamicountymuseum.com)

I was not a mover or a shaker in North Miami High School's class of '68. I was more of a sitter and talker. But 40 years after the fact, when most of us are a little heavier and a lot grayer--well, some are grayer; many use a lot more hair color, myself included--it doesn't really matter who moved and shook and who didn't. It was just fun to see each other and finish each other's sentences because even though our lives have gone off in a starburst of directions, our beginnings were the same.

The subject matter of conversations was different than it used to be. We used to talk about our kids and now we talk about their kids. We used to talk about beginning new jobs and now we talk about winding down the ones we've had for a long time. Many of of have retired. Many more of us are thinking about it. What will you do? we ask each other, and we are pleased that no one plans to be bored or go quietly into that good night. We made noise and had sometimes raucous fun when we were young and I believe we intend to continue that into our old age. With somewhat less agility, of course.

Do you still write? people asked me. And I shrugged and mumbled and said I didn't know if I really did or not. But I do. Of course I do. Writing's like breathing to me, so I'll always do it. And I want to go to college--which I've never done--and volunteer at this place and that one. But I'm not sure, I told my friend Patty who has suffered such great pain in recent years and still looks wonderful, what I want to be when I grow up.

Some of us know. Nan is going to play more golf. Call me, I said. I'll go along and ride in the cart and drink. No one wants me to play golf--I'm godawful--but I'm a good rider-alonger and I'm fond of margaritas. You know, the frozen kind with very little booze but a lot of delicious slush. Marsha's going to play bridge. Jim's wife Becky, who is not a classmate but is funny and puts up with Jim :-), doesn't know what she's going to do, only that it will be whatever she wants. Many will travel more, will do more on ebay, will spend more time with the kids' kids.

And in five years, we'll meet again. Someone asked if our next gathering would be in the nursing home and Jeann said, No, probably the retirement center--the one after that will be in the nursing home. And that'll be fine. We'll talk and talk and talk and hug each other hello and goodbye and discuss what we want to be when we grow up just as we always have.

Wasn't it Dickens who started a story with, "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times..." I'll cut that a little short in reference to the the class reunion. It was just the best of times.

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