Saturday, July 31, 2010
Hmmm, nothing like "Coors Light" sponsoring the class banner in front of the location where we had our concluding reunion dinner. Michele and I had to pose next to it, just for the fun of it.
The location just happened to be about a mile from Mom and Dad's house - which NEVER happens, because we grew up living a good 10 miles from anyWHERE. Anywhere except the Springfield Country Club (golf course) the venue where the reunion was located. So, shortly before showing up for the dinner, we dropped off all five kiddos for some quality time with their grandparents, took a few "prom-like" pictures out front (with the men that will be our dates for life!) then took off to gather with some fellow alums.
As I'd hoped, I was able to connect right away with some folks missing from the picnic, which was fantastic until everyone kind of scrambled to table locations while John and I were stuck in line for beverages. That didn't work out quite like I'd hoped as far as seating goes, but the dinner was excellent and we managed to find enough small talk to cover over the fact that our table mates were people that, while very nice, were folks I may never have had a real conversation with in high school.
Post dinner, things started to pick up. Some deeper conversations from some unlikely sources unfolded, that literally gave me goosebumps. The way God moves is just so amazing, and finding Him in action in people you wouldn't expect, just SO COOL, and so worth any effort made in attending the reunion.
Before we left, we managed to get that original elementary class together for a group shot. Getting hugs from everyone in that group - particularly from many of the guys who I rarely crossed paths with in the halls of Thurston, was a sweet time indeed. We were proud to represent the Mohawk Mustangs, and began a trend of other elementary schools snapping shots as well.
I have to end this whole reunion banter with just how affirming this experience was for me and Michele. I painted a picture of how great our class of '90 was, but it didn't mean that high school was all roses all the time for either of us. Michele and I (along with another friend, who we would have LOVED to have seen at the reunion) were co-valedictorians. It was a goal we worked very hard to achieve, so we were mighty thankful when it did end up happening for us both, but it didn't come without a cost. Toss two girls who look alike, weren't entirely hip on fashion, were VERY late in the whole physical maturity thing, were constantly in over our head with homework and studying, and didn't have the self-confidence to see anything but the list I just recited......well, you end up with a couple of sisters who have a great time laughing it up about our mishaps in high school, but deep down really wonder if anyone thought anything about us except that we had a tendency to annoyingly pull A's in all our classes.
Tonight put an end, once and for all, to those feelings. It kind of felt like everybody took off their "this is who you were in high school" glasses, and looked instead to who we all are today. And today, I'm a VERY different person than I was in high school. I think most of all us are. There's something to be said about walking in knowing that your life is right where it's supposed to be, and no one can discount the abundance God has provided. And, I think that's why it felt so different tonight - knowing that in the end, God has had it all worked out in His perfect timing and plan, even if I didn't believe enough all along to recognize it.