Well, I made it back safely from Canton. What a great weekend! I’d better back up…
Wednesday was spent with friends, catching up on all that’s gone on in our lives since we were last together. We had dinner and drinks at the Sunset Grill in Boston, as the weather gods did their thing outside. Thunder, lightning, torrential downpours, wind – it was wild! And I was thrilled. Except when those same gods sent tornadoes to Springfield, and four people died – then weather is not so exciting. After months in the desert, I loved the rain!
Then it was off to NH to meet my sis and BIL, and prepare for our reunion weekend. Daryll chose to stay home – he and Deb have attended each other’s reunions numerous times, so he bowed out this time. Deb and I got up at Dawn’s Crack on Friday morning and headed north through the wilds of NH and VT, arriving in Canton just after lunch.
It’s been years since either of us had been there, so we were amazed at the changes. Lots of new buildings and landscaping, lots of renovations in existing buildings (except the dorms, which haven’t changed a bit, unfortunately!), fancy new bookstore, fancy new medical center – there were times we had no idea where we were, and it’s not that big of a campus. Anyway, we checked into our not-so-fancy dorm room (how did we ever share two shower stalls with so many people??) and wandered around campus, checking out the changes.
Then it was a nonstop chain of events. Ice cream socials, meals, rehearsals (Deb was attending a singers’ reunion while I attended my 30th), drinks with old friends, music, picnics – we ran from one event to the other, and still missed a lot. We ate too much, drank a little, walked and talked and laughed and reminisced. Caught up with friends we hadn’t seen in decades. Saw my college advisor, and was amazed to find he was only 10 years older than us – at the time, he seemed SO much more mature.
We marveled at how tall the trees were. At how sad the town of Canton has become, now the drinking age is 21 and there aren’t 18 bars to bring students downtown any longer. And at how so many folks looked SO old, yet we hadn’t aged a day. (Nothing like rose-colored glasses, huh?) I kept watching for the 19-year old Beth to cross my path, busy with her 19-year old life, unaware of what the future held.
I even had the chance to tour my old sorority house, which has long since been turned into a music library and housing. It was sad to see how it had changed, but my memories are vivid of the three years I spent there with dear friends, working toward a common goal (we weren’t a normal rah-rah sorority – long story that I’ll tell at another time).
It was a wonderful weekend, and it ended way too soon. I could have stayed longer, talked more, laughed more, drank more – ate less. Sunday morning we said goodbye to both friends and campus, and made our way back home. Stops in Burlington, VT for Cabot cheese, wine tasting, cider donuts, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream made the trip a little easier to bear!
Now I’m back, and the weekend is a distant dream. Part of me longs to return to that simple life, before bills and divorces and broken hearts and – well, before life happened. Looking back, we didn’t realize how rarified our lives were, tucked away in a quiet town in a quiet corner of upstate NY. Where all we had to worry about was studying and exams and parties and growing up.
Maybe in 30 more years I’ll look back on my life today and feel the same way, that I was lucky to be where I am, doing what I’m doing. Although I hope life will get easier, instead of harder, from here on out.
Anyway, it was fun. I spent lots of time with my sis, which is always wonderful. Reconnected with old friends. And relived some of the best years of my life. I’m not sure when I’ll be back but until then, I have more fond memories of the cozy corner of the world that I called home for 4 years.
Today it’s one more day of playing with my family, then tomorrow it’s back to Phoenix to tie up loose ends before heading to California, and then Idaho. I have no clue what happens after that – stay tuned and figure it out with me!
And if you haven’t been to a reunion recently, think about going. It’s amazing who you might find there!