Monday, January 28, 2013

A junior high school reunion

January 26, 2013
North Fort Myers, Florida
Seminole Campground

I went to junior high in the upper peninsula of Michigan during the 1960s. My freshman year of high school, I moved to Crystal Lake, Illinois, and though we kept a summer home in Michigan, my relationships with my friends from Michigan changed as the years went by. About once a decade I was able to reconnect with my closest friend from that time, Dorothy, when she and I happened to be visiting the UP at the same time. Another friend, Kim, moved to Venice, Florida and I reconnected with her about ten years ago when she was visiting my step-sister in Tampa. Fast forward to the present and I received a message on Facebook from Dorothy that she and her husband, Billy Mac, would be at an Orlando convention in January. At the time, we were in the Bradenton area and I suggested that we meet halfway in Tampa. She surprised me by replying that she and Billy would drive to Bradenton Beach to see us and that way our other friend Kim could join us. The only catch was that I had moved from Bradenton to Fort Myers, but oh well.  We went ahead with our plans to reconnect at the Beach House in Bradenton Beach and arranged to pick up Kim in Venice for our little reunion.

It couldn’t have been a lovelier day—not a cloud in the sky and temps in the mid-70s with a gentle breeze.  We all enjoyed a very long lunch together overlooking the turquoise waters of the Gulf.  Billy Mac, known for his extroverted nature, kept Vic entertained with all kinds of stories while the girls and I tried to catch up on multiple decades of life happenings. Having never been to any high school reunion, I have to admit that there is a surreal quality to relating to each other like we are kids again while at the same time realizing we are all senior citizens now.

After lunch we all took a walk on the beach as we clearly were not ready for this day to end.  Dorothy  invited me to head up to Orlanda and go to Disney World with her. I wished I had taken her up on it as it would have been ultra fun to indulge my inner child in this way—maybe next year?

After about four hours, it was time to say adios for now.  Never easy for me to say my goodbyes, but about twenty years ago I learned an affirmation that always helps: I can say my hellos and goodbyes to people, places, things, and events. And so I can, but I am also very clear about the precious value of taking time to nurture all my friendships, new and old.

group shot


  1. Wow- I cannot even name a single person I went to junior high with:( I went to my 20th high school reunion many years ago. I found it less than satisfactory. Probably because after a lifetime of moving regularly with the military, I was out of touch with all those that stayed where they grew up.

  2. What a nice day with old friends.....
    Looking forward to future posts...until next time.....enjoy!


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