There and Back Again

Again, Yes, the title is a nod to J.R.R. Tolkien and again, No, the following content has nothing to do with "The Hobbit" or J.R.R.Tolkien)

I am of a curious turn of nature, that is to say, I have a curious nature and not to say that I am some sort of curiosity of nature. In most ways I'm a fairly normal person...or at least I like to think so.

Ani, my dear daughter, however, takes issue with that assessment and prefers to refer to me as "The Freak Show". Me, her dear, sweet, ever loving and supportive mother, she calls a freak. This coming from the girl who dressed like a Turk from FFVII on Friday the 13th because Friday the 13th is Vincent Valentine's birthday, and wonders why everyone thought she was strange for doing so. (Well, everyone but SuziQ because she also was dressed as a Turk.) Seriously, these two girls are a bit obsessive about this FFVII thing lately and Ani calls me a freak.
Takes one to know one, I suppose. Perhaps some day I should take the time to chronicle a list of all the reasons that makes my dear daughter refer to me as "The Freak Show", but I digress.

What I am is a wonderer, what I am not is a wanderer. I will cop to having a curious nature but this curiosity it would seem does not extend to seeing the world. To my oldest son's great dismay, I am not much for traveling and although I did say that this post was not about "The Hobbit" and it isn't, I will however, admit that in this, I have much in common with Bilbo Baggins.

I am an armchair traveler, I was not born under a wandering star, if there be any lust in me, it not be wanderlust. Please don't ask me why, I don't know, it just is. I don't have anything against traveling per se, and there are places in the world that I wouldn't mind seeing should the opportunity arise, but I don't have any burning desire to see the world and if I never travel any further than I have already in my life time I would be content with that.

That being said, makes the fact that I have spent the past couple of week ends traveling all over the place, all the more ponderous. One weekend was spent I driving with my son to and from Wisconsin and then the next weekend, I found myself driving all over the Twin Cities Metro with my daughters. This much traveling is quite unusual for me, I must say, quite the anomaly. (Not that I mind driving, I don't mind driving, I rather like it. Although I don't get much any knitting done if I'm doing the driving, a bit of a drawback that)

The trip to Wisconsin had a two fold purpose one was to visit with my family and oldest son (who is currently living in Sheboygan with my parents) and second was ostensibly to attend my twenty fifth high school reunion. Gah.

Have you ever seen "That 70"s Show"?

Hanging out, down the street.
Same old thing that we did last week.

Can you find the pretty smart girl who was probably perceived as quiet and shy*, who mostly kept to herself. Who carried thick novels to read and spent every lunch hour in the art rooms. Who lettered in Art, no less (Who knew you could letter in art?) and didn't go to prom, not because she wasn't asked but because she wasn't interested? Oh and didn't have a boyfriend, this time it was because they didn't ask?

Not a thing to do,
but talk to you.

How about now?
Yep, that was me. Look, see the dimple? I still have that dimple, BTW, it won't come off no matter how many times I wash it. I'm thinking I look pretty much the same.
I've been told I'm, ah, thinking wrong. Ok, maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.
I graduated from Sheboygan's North High in 1981 from a class of about 440 students and never looked back, until now that is. (I'll let you do the math on how old that makes me now.)

We're All Alright, We're All Alright!

So why did I go to a high school reunion when high school held no significant attachment to me?
I was guilted into it.
There is only one friend that I have had any contact with since I graduated, my friend Kelly. My friend Kelly lives in the Camen Islands. She and her husband make their living as scuba diving instructors and underwater photographers.
Kelly called me about a year ago and said her friend Laurie was on the reunion committee and wanted to know if she could send my address to her for the reunion.
Sure, no problem.
"Do you think you'll go?"
"Not so sure."
"I know that you didn't go to the last one, even though you were in town the last time."
"I know, but if I had known that you were going to be there, I might have gone even though my husband crapped out on me claiming that he was sick"
"Well if that's the case then I'll let you know that I plan on going to this next reunion if that will sway your decision in the direction of going."
[Not fair, using my own words against me]
"Okay, if you can make it all the way from the Camen Islands, I think I should be able to make it all the way from Minnesota."

From Right to left: Jenny(Mattila)Pasche, Me and Kelly.

Jenny has this advice for you all. She says whatever you do, do not spoil your spouses.
Her mother passed away in January and she is currently taking care of her father. Who was so spoiled by her mother that he has no idea how to do anything domestic.

The reunion was interesting if you enjoy people watching. The people that I seemed to remember the best were the ones that I started out with in grade school. It was strange, people that I probably never spoke to in high school would say hi and they remembered me from grade school.

Kelly had one classmate who came up to her and said that he always remembers her as the girl who accidentally, (and Kelly would want you to know it truly was a tragic accident, she loves animals and would have never done something like that except by accident) stepped on the gerbil in their kindergarten class.

Unfortunately many of the classmates that I would have liked to see, didn't come. I don't blame them really, nobody was more surprised than I that I actually went, except perhaps Kelly. I think she was pretty sure I would not be there. Most of the women were, I thought, easier to recognize than their male counterparts. Men seem to age differently, their appearance changes more dramatically, not in a bad way, just different.

When I arrived at the Blue Harbor Inn, I was unsure of where the reunion was being held, so I drove up to the Inn and an attractive young valet with his clear blue eyes and wind tossed blond hair came to the car and asked if I needed any help. I asked him where the reunion was being held. He pointed me in the direction of the conference center.
I thanked him and as I was closing the window to be on my way, he leaned over and said,
" Have a good time at your reunion " and then he winked at me.

That alone made the whole night for me, if for nothing else.


*It is a common misconception about me, people believe because I am a quiet and reserved person that I am shy, but I'm not really shy.

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