gratitude-a-thon day 1093: I was born in a small town: the reunion

The last and only time I went to a high school reunion, it was my 20th and I was pregnant (yes, I double as my children’s mother and grandmother). I did not even let a sip of wine cross my lips (note to self for next life: DO NOT ATTEND A HIGH SCHOOL REUNION UNDER THESE CONDITIONS. You don’t need a lot, but a little social lubricant at an event like this is um, money in the bank). Anyway, I felt like it was a little bit wierd and that I just went from person to person asking the same couple questions: Where do you live? What do you do? Married? Kids? And I did that, like, 30 times. Very impersonal. I’m more of a one-on-one person. I prefer to have one deep conversation than many surface ones. I left feeling unsatisfied and empty.

 

 

I decided a few months ago, I’d attend my 40th and just see what might happen. And you know what, the best happened. First of all, there were a few more intimate gatherings before and after the reunion where I was able to connect in deeper ways, which felt really good. I did have a bunch of those more surface conversations, but somehow they were better than last time, but what was really amazing and made this event worth missing a Bruno Mars concert for (I felt awful when I got home and had to give the tickets I’d had since last Christmas, away–DAMN IT), was getting to know people I grew up with, but really didn’t know. Because of Facebook and the overlapping of friend groups, I hung out with a bunch of people I’d not been good friends with in high school, but now had a lot in common with.  And how fun is that? New friends, but who know everything about that little place I grew up, who have knowledge of the crazy teachers and bizarre tales of our small town.

And of course, there were the friends who I love deeply, who I was close to then, some still close to, and some I am now reconnected to, after being disconnected for who even knows why, over the years. These are people I carry with me always. This one’s laugh, that one’s thoughtful observations, all of them, deeply embedded inside of me, each one a part of my  DNA.

The now, the present, the right this minute is the place to be. But the past is a lovely place to visit, especially when it influences your present and future. Gratitude for the BHS reunion. I was born in a small town. Yup, I was. French fries!

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1027: small town

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The thing about the little corner of earth I live on is that you can walk everywhere. The other thing about it is that I have lived here a long time, so I have watched kids go from uterus to University (in what seems a half a second), seen neighbors  come and go (literally and figuratively) and been witness to the small miracles and tragedies of a  community (there have been many).

Yesterday, while walking the dog, on a warm and sunny day, in the park I literally raised my kids, and where a whole new bunch of babies show up every spring to remind me that life is a big, fat circle, I bumped smack into my friend Sharon, who I totally adore, but never see. It’s ridiculous that I never see her, given how much I love her, and the fact that we live approximately 10 minutes from one another, if that, but there it is. She is on the radio, so sometimes I think maybe I see her when I don’t, on account of I am listening to her voice. The thing is, she never speaks directly to me……

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The two of us were talking like it was our last day on earth, and an hour and a half passed (with poor Riley wanting to poop, but me forcing him to sit with us and eavesdrop) without even noticing the time. We covered everything from the unbelievable nature of politics (with the two of us shrieking and making wild and large hand gestures) to our work, writing, aging and kids. I finally had to go, because I promised I’d make my dieting husband, who has been craving french fries, fake bake fries, and I knew they would take a while to cook. But let me tell you, we could have talked all night, into the morning, and I could have gone to work with her, where we would have continued to talk while she was delivering the news.

Anyway, the nature of living in a small community is that you get to have these kind of unplanned encounters. We had a rich and awesome conversation, that filled me up past my forehead.

We think about moving all the time, but it’s this kind of thing, randomly seeing someone who has watched you raise your kids, and lived with you day in and day out, that makes me wonder how I could ever possibly leave this kind of magic behind.