Monday, September 29, 2008

The 65th Reunion

Ronni, of TIME GOES BY asked me if I was going to write about my High School 65th reunion and I told her that I wasn't. However, since I really need a break from politics for at least one day I think I will ruminate on it. After all, this is a hodgepodge.

As I usually do, I left Tucson sleep deprived. I am always afraid that I may have set my alarm clock wrong and won't wake up in time to leave. Add that to the stress I always experience before I travel and I am lucky to get in three hours.

This is the first time I have flown since the plastic bag rule was installed so I made a list of items I thought I needed to put in it. I ended up with the quart bag full of cosmetics, perfume and meds. I hoped that none of them would leak and spoil the others. I sealed my perfume so tight I had trouble getting it open when I needed it.

I had to change planes in Phoenix and that was not the problem that I anticipated. (I now get a wheel chair every time I board or disembark the plane to avoid standing in line.) Even so, I managed to fall down and bruise my ego on the plane. I was trying to stand from a very limited space and found there wasn't enough room to do my 'bend over and lurch" movement to achieve an upright position. I then tried using the arm rests on each side of the narrow aisle to gain leverage and ended up on my well padded rear. The flight attendant was a man and I was facing another kind man and between the two of them they helped me achieve my goal of being able to walk to the rear of the plane to the only facility.

That, unfortunately, was not the end of my embarrassing experiences. I fell outside at my friends house and discovered to my horror that I can no longer get myself up. You remember that commercial "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up." Well, that was me and my friend had to call 911 for assistance. Mercifully, it was dark so the neighbors couldn't see me; at least until the paramedics arrived. Again, the only thing bruised was my ego. It was a wake-up call and I am now researching medical alert devices.

My hostess met me in Colorado Springs and there was a mix-up in my arrival time and I had to wait an hour wondering what might have happened. It is still in the high 90's in Tucson and I think the Colorado temperature was around 68*. My coat, which I wisely took, was packed and the 'chair pusher' left me outside so I was cold. I guess I should have enjoyed that as I returned to Arizona extreme heat.

Our reunion was held at three wonderful clubs, plus a brunch at the High School we graduated from. The first night was a get-together in an old, but lovely, club. I had never been in it before and felt like I had stepped into an English movie - wood paneled walls, stained glass, comfortable leather chairs - the whole private club setting. Since my hostess was on the committee and had to stay at the sign-in table I decided to take photos of everyone as they entered.

Let me tell you, if you haven't seen someone for sixty or so years you sure find out how they have changed. You have probably heard the old joke about the two people who met and the first person said that the other person had gotten so old that she didn't recognize me. "Tain't funny, McGee." (And for all of you too young to recognize that quote, ask your mother.) White haired women and men (some with no hair) were in abundance. There were walkers, canes, and other aids used by we 83-84 year olds. Nonetheless, there were still those who could hop around like teenagers and those who could still 'cut a rug.' (Ask your mother). There were the usual success stories. One of our classmates was a retired Judge, another was a retired Oncologist and I am sure there were others that I didn't know about.

The following night was held at a golf course club house and was a dinner dance. I would like to think it was because I had a cane that no one asked me to dance, but I was probably a wallflower again. Some things never change.

If you read my previous blog on this you know my camera let me down that night. I did enjoy getting to chat with former classmates and renewing acquaintances. It is my hope that we continue our renewed friendship. I really was pleasantly surprised to find out how much we had matured and how comfortable we were with each other. Those teenaged clicques were missing, as was the tense competition of youth. Some things do change.

The next morning we had our last event. We were lucky that one of our fellow grads was a memeber of the Garden of the Gods Club and had reserved a room for our brunch. The view of the Kissing Camels (a red rock in one of my stories) was magnificent and I viewed it from an angle that couldn't be seen when I lived there. The fact that I couldn't photograph it was disappointing, but it was beautiful and I hold it in my memory.

We said our fond goodbyes and promised to meet again there in five years. Now that's optomism.

My sister picked me up after the reunion for a family mini-reunion. I am glad I went in spite of the mishaps.



One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene, I smile at what you shared. But so sorry about the falling. Please be careful.
I know you were the most attractive one present from your class. I am pleased for you that you took this trip. Sorry about your coat.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh make me laugh so much.

First of all...I am SO glad you didn't hurt yourself in those couple of spills...honestly, young were very lucky. Egos heal pretty quickly.

So glad you went to your reunion....I've managed to miss all of mine for one reason or another. Yours sounded quite nice actually....but, you tell quite an amusing story sweetie.

Glad you got home safely and lived through all the 'airport' mumbo-jumbo. That's the part I'm not in love with....and that's the part that keeps me from traveling more often. Could those planes be any tighter? I don't think so. It's a wonder you could even get up once you fell...thank God for those gentlemen. Much love to you.... ~Joy

Rain said...

Traveling sounds like a real challenge for you but you seemed to have a sense of humor about it which is the thing that gets a person through so much.

I have never gone to a high school reunion but do think about it whenever they come along. Something always was in the way though. To me they are still 18 and it'll take going to one to change it.

Mildred Garfield said...

I'm so glad that Ronni asked you to write about your 65th reunion. It's been 65 years since I graduated from high school but I haven't heard anything about a reunion.

Traveling can be hard for "us seniors." things go wrong and even when they don't it''s still hard.

I use a wheel chair also and it is a big help in many ways. I can't stand for a long period of time and the "wheeler gets me through quickly and also helps me with my carry-on.

Last time I traveled I wore a pair of shoes that had velco so I didn't have to lace and unlace the shoes.

It's good to go and it's always good to get back home!

kenju said...

Having just attended my own 50th high school reunion, I know just how nice it was for you. And the former cliques: I took photos of people hugging who probably never said boo to each other in high school, but seemed genuinely glad to see each other now.

Fibber and Molly were my favorites when I was very young, and I know how to "cut a rug", too!!

Anonymous said...

Did any teachers turn up ? ;-)

Darlene said...

Ernestine: Thank you for your kind remarks.

Joy: Wow - to be called 'young lady' was an upper. I haven't heard that one in years.

Rain: That was the nice surprise about my reunion: the classmates are no longer act 18.

Millie: Maybe you should contact a former classmate. They may have lost your info so they are unable to notify you about reunions. My class has one every five years.
I buy most of my shoes with velcro now - so much easier. ;)

Kay Dennison said...

1. Be careful!!!! I want you to stay well.

2. I didn't have task my mom -- she and dad and my grannies and gramps used those phrases.

3. I'm glad you had a great time despite your travel difficulties.

Darlene said...

Thank you Kay. I guess Mom gave you a good background to understand my teenage lingo. ;)

Nancy said...

Hi Darlene,

Well, are you all excited about the big debate tonight? I am. I can hardly wait.

Poor Joe Biden. He has to walk very softly but I still hope he carries a big stick of facts and figures to dazzle Governor Palin.I also hope he reminds the audience that he debated Senator Clinton many times and not ONCE did she complain about any unfairness or criticism because she is a woman...

I think Sarah Palin is going to hold her own so I will be anxious to hear the different analysts give us their opinions about who won.

I know already if I go to Fox, Palin won, but if I go to MSNCB then Biden won. I will watch CNN or C Span.

Tomorrow will be the day to have the TV on to the "Talking Heads"

Darlene said...

Nancy, I am biting my fingernails down to the quick. They say this will be the most watched of any of the debates. A Vice Presidential debate will be watched by more people than a debate between the Presidential candidates. Is that nuts, or what?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Darlene, just reading about your falls hurts! Glad that you had a good time. I've observed that most people mature once they leave high school--thank goodness!
Like Kenju, I was a fan of Fibber's and Molly's. (I have a closet named after Fibber!)
Best wishes!
Cop Car

Ronni Bennett said...

I'm still catching up reading after my few days away last week. I'm so glad you wrote this. I'm curious how many of your class attended. And DID you recognize anyone?

Be sure to get that medical alert device. We don't want you falling down with no one to help.

Well-done story, Darlene. I felt like I was there.