Monday, August 8, 2011

High school: the mouse race to prepare you for the rat race.

I've been going through old pictures this summer and, as a result, feeling the need to reconnect with people from the past. "Ag Days," an annual celebration that takes place in my hometown of Mt. Carmel, Illinois (population 8000), gave me the excuse I needed.

I had hoped to drive up on Thursday but Nathan had to be at school Friday morning to pick up his class schedule and meet his homeroom teacher, so it was almost lunchtime Friday by the time we actually got on the road. Everything that could go wrong did; I made a wrong turn in Canton, drove through a thunderstorm the other side of Chattanooga, missed my road in Nashville, then crawled through rush hour traffic there. But we finally arrived at our hotel, the luxurious Super 8, around 8PM. This was the view from our window.

Almost like being at the beach. Except the ocean is made of corn.
We spent a lot of time with my parents.

We feasted on fried chicken and cucumber salad and peach pie with ice cream - summertime delights. I caught Mom and Dad up on family happenings and they filled me in on hometown gossip. For example, I found out that my former high school band director is now the mayor. Who could have predicted that?

Saturday we went to the local Mexican restaurant for lunch. I had sent out a blanket invitation to all my Facebook friends, received a handful of RSVP's, and wondered who else might show up. We ended up with a table for eight.

l-r: Debbie, Carol, Mary, Kim, Jon, Julee, Pam (Nathan took the picture)
Debbie was valedictorian of my high school class. Carol sat next to me most mornings on the school bus. Mary has become one of my best online pals and had said she would be at Tequilas if she had to crawl. Kim graduated with my younger brother Jim so we shared a moment missing him. I had a mad crush on Jon junior year. Julee came to my my wedding and is also a writer and a beading fanatic. 

We were all connected with band in some form or another so we had music in common, too. There was a great energy in this little group. Our outward appearances have changed a little bit and we have done some living in the almost 35 years since graduation, but we are still the same people on the inside and it was surprisingly easy to be together. It was great to reminisce about the past, share our high school experiences, and relate to each other as adults.

Nathan and I never made it to the Ag Days celebration, but we hardly missed it. In the meantime, I intend to plan another Tequilas reunion the next time I am in town, only I hope to fill up the restaurant next time. Who says you can never go home again?

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Please stop by Petit Fours and Hot Tamales on Tuesday, where I will blog about 17 Things I Wish I'd Known in High School, and I'll see you back here again on Wednesday.


Julee J. Adams said...

That was too much fun! Thanks for driving up and initiating this--what Pam didn't tell you is that Jon saw my Facebook post Sat. morning and went from his hotel in St. Louis, rented a car and drove over to visit family and have lunch with us. BTW, I had a crush on him in 4th grade!
So, glad you got to visit with your folks, too before the school year. And everybody, do try to get in touch with your old buddies. It's a lot of fun!

Pam Asberry said...

I wouldn't have missed last weekend for the world, Julee. What a thrill to give you a hug after all these years! Having Jon and Kim join us was icing on the cake. I do hope others will be inspired to plan similar reunions. It was richly rewarding.