Procrastination (But I Digress)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


So I get this flyer several months ago telling me about an 8th grade reunion. The flyer states that two of my 8th grade teachers will be attending. I have no interest in seeing the people from 8th grade, but I am intrigued by the idea of seeing my old teachers again. I asked Gretchen if she wanted to go and she said yes--it was even kind of an enthusiastic yes. Also, it's an excuse to visit Michigan which I promised myself I would do more this year. Erika was on her cruise when I found out about the reunion and I kept meaning to ask her if she'd want to go--of course she'd want to go, I said in my head. Airfare was outrageous and not even for a straight through flight. I wanted to rent a car, because I wouldn't have Mom's any more to just pop out for chips. It is very important to have a car available for buying chips and pizza when you are on vacation. But I didn't have to pay for a hotel and the setting was lovely--so many great trees at Holiday Park.

Melody and Lynn came the same day as I arrived and Erika and Jackson came a few days later. Gordon had completely "transformed" the house and it was great. The olympics were on just about 24/7, so except for the night I somehow got forced to watch Big Brother, there was always something pleasant on in the background (except for all that beach volleyball--I mean really, my limit for beach volleyball was surpassed by far). Steph and Arn came over and spent Sunday with me, and I stayed up just about every night into the wee hours of the morning gabbing with Aunt Rita.

So Friday, Robin and her kids and Erika and Jackson and Gretchen and Gordon and Melody and Lynn all went swimming. I hung around to help with Lynn, got into a fight with Jackson and then entertained Robin's kids with a great game of Go Fish and Old Maid. At 6, I went upstairs to see if Erika and Gretchen were ready to go to the reunion (that actually started at 6, but since they were in the pool til 5, I wasn't holding my breath to get there on time). Erika was gone to McDonalds with Jackson and Gretchen really didn't seem all that enthusiastic anymore. She was supposed to pick up Megan and had no idea what time Megan would be calling. And since Erika had never said a word about the reunion, I realized that maybe she didn't want to go. I found out the next day that she didn't know anything about it--I had forgotten to even ask her--big dummy me.

Anyway, Gretchen went on line for me and got directions and I got in my nifty rental car. Left, left, right and then something away from Melvindale, I repeated to myself, hoping I would remember the directions. As I was driving I tried to figure out why I was going again. I didn't really care about seeing any of those people, but of course watching more beach volleyball and waiting for Megan to call didn't sound a whole lot more thrilling. Going to the movies did. Man, if I had passed a movie theater, I might not have gone. I made the first two left turns correctly, but the right was wrong. This city is a square grid, Grandpa Beauregard used to always say, so I can't get lost, just turn left at the next big street and I'm bound to come to the correct right. The street sounded familar, but soon I was stopping at stop signs instead of lights, so it wasn't such a big street after all. Eventually I found the correct right, but when I got to Allen, I went toward Melvindale--who knew. When I finally turned around, it was about 7, so I was already an hour late. The place was almost on the corner where I had made the wrong turn and parking was easy.

The first face I saw at the reunion was completely foreign to me. No teachers showed. There were two full tables of people who also did not look familiar and then a table with just a couple guys. One of the guys looked very familiar--his name was Tom and I sat in front of him in First Grade. He gave me a big hug and then passed me to another guy, who looked a tiny bit familiar, but his name was incredibly familiar and I got my second big hug. Right behind me walked in another guy, who looked exactly the same as high school and I got another big hug. [There were twenty five people there in all, so I must have gotten 50 hugs, because we had to hug when we left too.]

I sat right down and started listening to all the great stories--more people came to the table with more and more stories, the memories so thick and lush that I couldn't remember enjoying myself more. Donna, whom I had always idolized (because she could play baseball) sat down (after giving me a hug of course), and I found myself telling her how much I had admired her as a girl. Later I was laughing with Ruta, whom I had always hated in school--we were very competitive at the time. Mary, who had set up the reunion was the center of attention--going from table to table getting everyone talking, grabbing people from one table and dragging them to see someone else at another table. Janet and Donna were there--they looked exactly the same as they did in high school too. They are twins and they said that some people can't tell them apart--that seemed impossible to me--they are so different. John came in from out of state, but was very late--we wouldn't start any pictures until he got there. When he finally arrived, the whole room was waiting for him. He sat at my table for a while and we caught up. A few days later I was looking at my year book because I really couldn't place John at all. The kid in the year book was someone I had never spoken to in all 12 years we went to school together, but at the reunion we laughed and joked like old pals. Go figure.

As each table that I sat at started to resort to naming all the stores on Vernor, the party was starting to wind down. I got hugged and people left. I got hugged some more and more people left. Soon those of us left sat in one big circle. Most of the coolest kids in the 8th grade were in that circle and it was very interesting to hear their memories. At one point someone turned to me and said did you go to that party and I said don't look at me, I was a fringe kid. They talked about smoking pot in the 6th grade. I knew some of them smoked pot, but I remember my nieces and nephew in the 6th grade--I just can't imagine. Finally, most of the circle was getting up and hugging to say good-bye and I knew it was time to leave. I hadn't remembered Mary as a girl at all, but I was so glad to meet her as an adult. What a great time.

Then on Monday night I was going to see my group of friends from high school. They had gone to a different grade school, so they didn't go to the 8th grade reunion. I must admit, after having such a great time on Friday, I was rather looking forward to Monday night. It was a Carole's house and I was also looking forward to meeting her daughters. She has the most beautiful three daughters and each year they have a Christmas photo. It was a much quieter evening of good food and good memories.

A great vacation. I was a little sad to come home--lots of work on my desk and the rod in my closet broke. I have a large closet and now I have a large closet full of stuff spread out everywhere that I can't hang up until I get it fixed. I miss Aunt Rita's nice trim and tidy home already.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


My 16 year old niece, Megan was visiting for a few weeks and I wanted to make sure that we did fun things while she was here. Four years ago when she visited, she really wanted to go to Sea World. The next year, she visited again and really wanted to go to Sea World. Two years ago, I again offered her Sea World, but she requested Disneyland. I thought she wanted Disneyland because that's her sister's favorite place (and her sister was living here at the time), so this year I once again offered Sea World. As the day got closer I casually mentioned that we could go to Disneyland if she preferred. She practically jumped out of her chair to say yes to Disneyland. Lucky me, I thought--I love Disneyland and although I like Sea World--it's just not love.

Adam and Jade came along making a perfect group. Although it was a very long drive there, and I took a wrong turn before finally getting to the parking lot and I almost swallowed my tougue from sticker shock at the price for four adults, it was so worth every bit of discomfort. We had the best time. It's a Small World was closed, bummer, but we didn't have to wait too long in line for many things. We got right onto the Tea Cups and the Train. We did wait for Nemo, but we had a fast pass for Soaring over California (best ride except of course for Space Mountain). The kids went on the Madahorn, but they closed splash mountain while they were in line. At the end of the evening, we shopped at the Ikea of Disneyland (one giant store with everything from every store in Disneyland in one place near the trams).

One thing I noticed was how many employees there were--it was an asounding number. And we heard many different languages walking around, so the number of foreign tourists was also very high. And then of course the sheer number of people was unfathomable. Adam said, how many people are we coming into contact with--how many people do we come into contact with in our lifetimes--millions. It boggled the mind (but I didn't get a chance to try the turkey leg-darn and I don't recommend the pizza, but Adam and Jade found many vegitarian things to eat and Megan found her chicken tenders). That was such a great day.

So if there are any tourists out there, I'm all ready to play tourguide and go to Disneyland again. It's a Small World opens in November--I'm clearing my calender now.