Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Been A Long Time

In many respects.

I have had an eventful two weeks. Two Mondays ago I loaded up my kids, got in the minivan, and headed west for California. There was a lot of planning and thought before the actual heading, but not too much, I couldn't chance realizing I was doing a stupid stupid thing. Not until I was at least in St. George, too far to turn around. My plans called for a stop in Vegas to visit sister Elizabeth and family, then on to Clovis to visit the parents, continuing down to Norco, to see sisters Susie and Erin, and brothers David and Daniel, back through Vegas, then home two weeks later.

I am not an adventurous person. I realize this goes without saying, Mom, but some readers may not have ever met me. I do not plan things. I do not instigate social or recreational outings. I may even go so far as to avoid them. But I hafta say, I was pretty inspired. By her. http://connecticutaly.blogspot.com/
Yes, YOU Alyson! Alyson is an old friend from junior high (Modesto days) who just boggles my mind with her adventurous spirit. We had a facebook reunion last fall and I am back to thinking she is the coolest and I want to be like her. Except she has a weird fascination with ghosts and dogs and I say P.U. to both. But she has no qualms about packing up her four kids and just heading out of town for an adventure. Crazy. But she is the coolest and so she got me thinking....
Next inspiration. My old friends from high school decided to have a little reunion of sorts. Not an official class thing, just people we like. So. If you weren't invited, I guess you can make the necessary assumptions. I was involved in Drama during high school. Mostly because my friends were and I'm a follower. And dance and academics. Same and same. So if you were a dramatic dancing scholar at Clovis High in the early 90s, and are my friend on facebook, you should have been invited.

So with the inspiration and the motivation, I organized this little trip. Pictures of the family trip will follow in a later post, mostly because they are stuck in my broken camera and I can't get them out. I don't know what to do about that. My gifts lie in other areas. So for now, just the reunion.

I am waiting to be emailed a picture of the whole group (anyone?) because I didn't get one with my camera, but here are the few I have. These are people who were really important to me during a formative time in my life. I can't believe the blessings I had in the form of wonderful, strong, good friends during my teenage years.

Here are Kasie and Annette (and Kasie's husband Jared, but we've only spoken a few times. I don't consider him formative. A trooper-- yes, for coming, but formative-- no.) Did I ever tell you we were voted "Best Friends" in high school? Oh yes. Best. Friends. So of course, we slowly drifted apart, but here we all are again, and don't we look happy? (I was happy behind the camera.) I love these girls. Kasie is an aspiring writer and mom of four. We were in the same ward at church, she befriended me when I moved to Clovis in 8th grade (don't read too much into that, she befriends everyone) and nipped off my budding melancholy with her attentions. Annette, who recently had the good fortune to move to Utah from Southern California where I promptly never visited her, also has four kids. Hey, did you catch that? We all have four kids!!! Jinx!!!! We are so cute. Annette had a thing for British punk and against pink. She was soooo anti-establishment. She married her high school boyfriend (one of them... hee hee) Dave, who was also present, but you know, Dave doesn't like the camera. Or me. Kidding, I think. Hope.

Nextly we move to these three. Chai is first. The Asian one with the Asian name. She was a year younger than me, and like a sister to me. Only we got along and didn't sneak into the other's closet when they were out and steal their clothes. At least, I didn't. Dewi sits on the right. Dewi was an actress. I think the majority of us were just messing around, but she was good. And intimidating. And so much fun. I think of her as one who actually took advantage of their high school days. She's an engaging, witty, gifted girl. And I have to say it shocked me (but only for a second) when I learned she had married the man with his arm around her. Who was also a high school friend. Jon. Jon was also witty, but more acerbic and frightening. To me. Because I was a mouse, not because he was mean. I scare easy. Jon was hilarious and quick and is a perfect match to little Miss Dewi.

And then we have Shannon. I love my Shannon. I think that part of my heart will always be with this girl. I had not seen her in many many years, so it was so amazing to see that she had not changed at all. We're bosom friends. And big fans of each other.
For some reason I didn't get a picture of Kasey, the other Kasey. She was there with her husband, too, whom I had never met. Kasey recently started a wedding cake bakery with her sister. She was a brainy, creative, responsible type in high school so I guess she decided to just go with that as an adult.

I had smart, hilarious, accepting, happy, understanding, generous, caring friends in high school. How many people can say that? How lucky I was to be in the company of people who built me up with their own confidence, cared about me when I didn't care much for myself, had fun with me and loved me. I love my old friends.

And then, three of my high school teachers were there, the ones that organized our school plays and productions, and that was mostly just weird. Mrs. Kehler, Mrs. Mennucci, and Mrs. Rigby. Of course you still call them Mrs. even though you are 33 now. And you find yourself stunned that they aren't like 70, because when you were in high school the teachers were so old!!! and if you add 15-20 years on to old, you get 70. They all looked exactly as I remember them. It took me back a little. But I'm sure it's just as bizarre for them to see a bunch of rotten ingrate 16 year olds you taught just last week parading around talking about their children and careers and wrinkles and such. They are all such strong women, great role models who cared about what they did. That makes a big impact on a student, and it certainly affected me. Great great teachers and people, I can't say it enough.

It was a fun memorable nostalgic evening. I could have stayed all night. I could have stayed all week. I think when you die, one of the greatest gifts of heaven will be to have all of your happy memories back, as bright as the moment they were made. You will have full access to the far reaches of the brain where they are stored safely in some unreachable dusty vault. The pain and angst will have faded, or at least your perspective will be such that you won't be troubled by it anymore, and all that will be left will be glad, joyful, appreciative, sweet. And that describes my reunion perfectly. What a lovely lovely night. Thank you so much to all those who came and made it that way. I love you all. Still.