What? Another boring High School Reunion, that serves only to remind you of the people you didn't like, and still don't care for? Nope! Quite the opposite in fact. Yup, I just went to a very fun and festive picnic, where a few of us from the very old days got together and had a terrific time!
As usual (at least for me) it starts with a rather lengthy journey, by car, to drive down and across my state for a bit over four hours, to meet up with this gang. I'm not really sure how we all found each other (lo these many years later) on FaceBook, but I have a sneaking suspicion that our dear Faye was behind it. They do refer to it as "FayeBook" after all *chuckle*.
So downstate I go, check into the hotel, and then Faye picks me up to continue on to the picnic. The picnic was at Stony Creek Metro Park, and we had a beautiful spot on the lake. This was mostly due to Faye, who camped out at our spot since the wee hours, and refused to let anyone else in! She even had signs made up, and organized the event. Yup, our dear Faye is a mover and shaker for sure!
As soon as I clamber out of her large-as-a-living-room-sized van, I am greeted by a bevy of beautiful women, and hugs all around. Oh yes, it's good to be the Jamie :) Some of the group I had seen recently, some I hadn't seen for a few decades. My gawd, are we getting old or what? But no matter what our bodies tell us, we all feel quite young and energized on this fine day.
I was put in charge of grilling the hot dogs, so naturally I had to have a beer first ;) And get caught up with some folks. But after Faye nearly had an apoplectic fit at some unsuspecting driver which had the nerve to run over one of her signs, I wisely decide to start the fire and get the dogs a roasting.
So yes, the food... what a glorious spread! The gals really outdid themselves this time. We had at least three tables laden with a banquet, along with the Margaritas, and plenty of beer all around. In other words, we had a great time! We all kinda milled around, swapping stories, and laughing along with each other. Really, rather amazing as some of us didn't hang out together back in the day. And some brought their kids along, which was a wonderful surprise. All the little, and some not so little, ones enjoyed themselves as Mom, or Dad, was busy with the other so-called adults.
So here we are, some 35 years or so later, around a picnic table, sometimes huddled under umbrellas, and just enjoying being with those people. I doubt that any of us back then would have predicted such a thing. Some of the gang didn't stray far from home, and settled down, post college (or not college) and entered the time honored tradition of having families. Some of us went afar, looking for our fortunes across this vast land. Yet here we all were, for just one afternoon, together after all the years and miles. Together after all the anguish, and the triumphs. Content and happy to merely enjoy being with such select company, and share stories. Yes, the stories were all what you might expect to hear. But they were stories of a real, identifiable, person, not just words in a sentence to be discarded after reading. Sure we shared our pain as we felt appropriate, but mostly we shared our joy, and our love. I think that honestly sharing love, can be even more of a challenge than sharing the pain, but this group was well up to the task. These are the afternoons that make a rather mundane day become so brilliant! This day was one to be enjoyed by us, and just for our time together, to be loved by each other.