Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tom

Tom was a guy I barely knew in high school. He WAS in my home room as our last names began with the same letter.

I really didn’t get to know Tom until we worked together on our 20th class reunion. This was before computers and we spent hours on the phone. Don’t get the wrong idea, I adore his wife and maybe I even like her better than him, but Tom and I would talk about every little thing. I don’t really know why.

We became close and I consider us still close. One day Tom said something like “Why didn’t we go out in high school?” and I had the freedom to come back with “Tom, you were a HOOD!” Whatever hoodness was in him, he outgrew and became a fine producing member of society. I like him very much.

Picture taken in 1996 (25 years). Again we are
side-by-side, because of last (maiden) names! Tom
and his lovely wife Mary Ann.
He moved to a town that was further away and made it pretty much impossible to join us in reunion committee work. By this time we had the internet, but we also had unlimited minutes on the phone plan. I hear from him about every 3-4 months, and you know it’s going to be a conversation—about work, the condo association he serves, retirement, family, and sometimes we do talk about classmates and reunion stuff.

The funniest story I can tell on Tom happened one summer day when he came to drop something off at my house. I don’t even remember what it was. He was coming to town to have dental work done, and stopped off while he was here. It was 90 degrees and he didn’t take off his jacket. My son was expected home any minute.

Finally he tells me why he didn’t take it off. He is carrying a firearm of some sort and didn’t have the proper “trunk” to leave it out on his motorcycle. There are rules about these sort of things. Well, I didn’t have a problem with it at all, although the household I was raised in and the household that I created have never had firearms in them. Ever. But I trusted Tom to be able to handle his weapon in the correct way.
I literally stole this from
Facebook! I loved it!

However, had my son or my husband walked in and a gun was lying on the couch, they would have flipped out! Of course, I told them about it later.

Time has marched on and Tom and I still keep in touch. I have hopes that he will join the committee again. Whether or not that comes to pass, we’ll see. It’s been entirely too long since we’ve seen each other.

And I miss his wife too!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cassie

Cassie and me at Class of 70 Reunion July 2015
We’re afraid to return to a class reunion unless our “friends” are there. It is natural to want to be with our old pals and spend a weekend reminiscing, laughing and crying. However, somewhere in our minds, there’s this thought that “I won’t have fun unless—fill in the blank—is there,” and friend, this simply is not so. People that you didn’t know well are interesting; they have done interesting things and they have interesting things to share. Some of these situations will take you by surprise!

Today I begin a series on relationships that I have developed since high school. Each of these people, I barely knew, but in the past 44 years have developed real friendships. We are the same people, we are not the same people. Our experiences have taken us many places in life, and somehow, we have meshed.

These will not be all female. (If I can get permission from the men) One thinks of becoming close to other women and that is certainly true, but there have been a couple of men who fall into this category. These are not filthy relationships and my husband is certainly aware of them. He may not “get” some of them, but nothing is withheld or secret.

The first one up is my dear friend Cassie. Cassie and I had no connection in high school; she was not in any of my classes and we weren’t in any organizations together. She did have a good church friend that was in my 8th grade class, but that’s the only connection we had.

Although we met during the 10th class reunion planning, we didn’t really connect there. It wasn’t until the 20th reunion preparation that we got to know each other better. We worked together on the 25th and the 30th and after that reunion, we decided to go to a Christian women’s retreat to do something “other than reunion” together. I believe this was very instrumental to us becoming closer.

We are both Christians, and that has always been. We do have a different Christian heritage, but are open-minded enough to accept those differences and rejoice with each other. I can’t remember who spoke at the retreat, but I do remember feeling closer to all the ladies that went.

At the 35th reunion, I needed a break. Cassie knew why, and I believe she’s the only one who knew why. Although I said it was because I was planning a wedding, it was not. There was something else going on in the dynamic of the committee and I needed to step away. Certainly, I was called to advise on something, but I turned over everything, only keeping a back-up database and some info from the 30th on my computer.

During that time, I found that my relationship with Cassie was NOT based on the reunion, but on US and the things we had in common. We started the lunches during that time. Our first one was a gathering because another classmate was in town. (That classmate will be dealt with later).

Cassie and I don’t “do” very much together as her world is in a different direction. Our husbands don’t even know each other.  She is my Mary Kay consultant and I see her for that. On occasion I visit her home and we try to have a visit, but for many years, she and her husband were babysitting grandchildren during the day and there could be as many as 5 or 6 there. By evening, she was too exhausted for good visits.

Cassie has worked in childcare for many years. I worked in childcare for 10 years. I can speak the language. We can relate. We have watched our parents age and lost other family members.

When it comes to a heavy situation and discussion, Cassie is the ying to my yang. We come to the same conclusion, but we look at it from different perspectives because we had different backgrounds. I think we are mature enough now to respect those backgrounds.

Both of us knew A LOT of people! But, you have to understand, that when we were growing up, there were two sides of town and they were literally divided by railroad tracks. There is an overpass now which changed our world. But there were several elementary schools that fed into two junior highs, before we joined together in one high school.

When we were freshman, at separate junior high schools, I was told we had 750 people in our class. We did not graduate that many, and some dropped out of school, but we are dealing with around 700 names, 60 of which are deceased (that we know of). So it helps that Cassie knows one end of town and I know the other. It just works in this situation. When we go to lunch, there are more people from her end of town that show up and we kid about it. (They may not live there now, but they are from her junior high school)

I LOVE the man she married! This is a relationship (Cassie’s and mine) that is not bound by awkwardness with the spouse. We’ve all had those and I won’t elaborate, but Cassie’s husband is the sweetest man, and I always feel completely comfortable in their home, no matter what I have interrupted. He is also an AWESOME cook, so I must remain friends with him/them.

I know her children, but not well. When her oldest daughter got married; she chose the church that I was secretary for at the time. I ended up acting as a liaison between church and actual wedding. It was lovely. That was 1996, the year of our 25th reunion.

Cassie is a person I text. This new communication with all the different types—some things don’t work for some people. I know that sometimes she is in a group—her family is large and I never know what they are doing. So I text and she returns the text. There are times it leads to a phone call, but it seldom needs to. We can be of few words, or we can talk all afternoon!

After our 40th reunion, which I returned to help with, we decided we wanted to meet monthly for lunch. We include our classmates and anyone who wants to join us, but if no one else shows up, we have lunch and catch up. We find that we need it. I have retired and she will within the year, so we’ll have more time—although none of us knows when we will have more family demands upon us.

I consider Cassie to be one of my closest friends, a sister-in-Christ, and someone I thoroughly enjoy being with. Naturally, during all these years, we have running jokes.

And, I never knew her in high school at all!




Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The September Reunion Committee Meeting

We had a Reunion Committee Meeting last night and got much work done. We are doing things much simpler this time and by the 50th we’ll need more people, but this is going to be fine.

As I mentioned in my former blog, we have had to change venues. We discussed this some, but there wasn’t much to discuss. We are blessed to have Dave W. doing the music again for us. Remember: if you want to dance, he can just crank it up somewhat, otherwise, it will be background-talking music.

Becky S. R. has some projects she is working on, but she and I can keep in contact via email. It is not necessary for her to come to a bunch of meetings. Dewey is busy building a new house. FIFTIETH AT HIS HOUSE!!! HAHAHAHA! He won’t read this. All this is to say that we are to the point that we are not doing everything. Last time about killed me.

The venue is nicely decorated and we don’t have to decorate the room. However, as I mentioned before, it would be nice to have “organizations” (choir, football team) decorate the tables. The tables are only round 8 toppers, so not a whole lot of room! If we don’t get enough response on this, the venue has centerpieces, but I would like to do something else. Anyone with creativity in this is welcome to chime in, but we don’t have to worry until next spring. Donations for anything in particular are certainly welcome.

We are keeping the costs to the venue, food, postage, printing of postcards and really cute nametags to be reused (put in box as you leave). Unless someone steps up to go to businesses in Fairborn or nearby areas for donations, we won’t be having door prizes. (We may do a 50/50 for a specific organization in Fairborn TBD).

As mentioned before, all events will be casual. Casual means something different to everyone and I am not getting into it.

I hope I haven’t lost you. This is the most important paragraph. Sometimes other classes have a “motto” or some other moniker. If someone comes up with something; woohoo, but I don’t think it necessary. I just think that the Class of 1971 has some of the most remarkable people I know in it. They are generous, thoughtful and kind. They know how to behave. We were raised at a time when we were taught right from wrong. Many of us tested those limits, but have come out fine on the other side. We are big in numbers, but we do have ways to keep in touch these days. The Class of 1971 consists of wonderful people. I couldn’t be prouder to be numbered along with them.

So, what to expect now? Becky is working on quotes for her project, the very cool nametags. Once I know more about them, I will elaborate. Nothing is done without a reason. I will order the postcards in November, and we will buy forever stamps. I am planning on 400. There are many of us reading this who do NOT NEED a postcard! You are engaged and you know what’s going on. I am always but an email away.

The mailing will be in January. The dates, if you need to make work arrangements are July 29-31, 2016. Along with the mailing, I will have the registration page up on our web site www.fairborn71.com. If you are uncomfortable registering online, we will have other methods, I assure you. There will be a link to register for the hotel from our registration page. As always, you can call them.

Once registration is underway, we’ll be talking about the details, but it will be what we have money for or what someone will donate. At the meeting we were talking about other schools (not Fairborn) and the prices they charge!!!! BUT they have FABULOUS door prizes, which the classmates are paying for! We just don’t believe in that. We are there to visit and love each other. If door prizes are donated, great; if not, we shall survive.

At 63, my priorities are not things. They are people.

Until we “connect” again…..




Tuesday, September 8, 2015

When Chronic Pain becomes a Part of Your Life

The first thing you do is get some diagnoses from some professional people and figure out if anything can be done.

As I write this, I have an appointment with a chiropractor about my back. Diagnosis: Significant compression between L5 and S1. Can this be reversed? I must take a drug (generic Arimidex) to keep my cancer from returning. This is not forever, but it causes osteoporosis. We need to get on this STAT. I take Calcium, but more seems likely (Fosemax, or a comparable).

Next week I see my orthopedic surgeon as I am not healing from my knee surgery the way that I want to. I have so many questions. Is it something I have failed to do? Did it just not “take?” I also see my oncologist, and we will be talking about it too.

Up to this point I have not taken ANY pain medication since the three days after the operation. This is not to say that I never will, but I’ve got to figure out what’s going on first.

I’ve lost about 11 pounds on my Virgin diet and seem to have stalled. I have one soda a week at my son’s football game, but other than that, pop is out of my life. I watch the other things I eat, but I do not count calories. My stomach has shrunk to the point that I can’t eat as much anyway.

Whenever we “stall,” sometime we add more exercise. Well, I can’t do that, and I fear my “boot camp” days are over. That doesn’t mean my exercise days are over. The pool has been great for me—on all levels—physical, social, mental, but it’s September now and there are not many days left.

What is next?

I don’t know, but some of these professionals are going to help me figure it out!

What I do know:

  • Wearing flip-flops to anything other than the pool is ridiculous. It throws my balance out of whack and affects anything that is hurting at all.
  • I can’t stand for more than fifteen minutes without having pain. This affects about everything in my life—from housework, which I can manage, to doing any type of volunteer work!
  • Moving is better than not moving, but it hurts.
  • Getting up from a seated position makes me feel that I might buckle. I have to be very careful. Which leg do I lead on? (This depends on how long I have been sitting, riding in the car, etc.)
  • Bathtubs are a thing of the past. Enough said.

My head is full of questions right now, and I hope to get some answers soon and work on what I can and what I must. If a total knee replacement is on the horizon, well, UGH, but it must be done. I can’t live like this. I feel like I am 80 years old.

Until, we "connect" again.......



P.S. I will give a shout out to the man I live with. He helps with housekeeping. I guess this is fair since outside work is so limited in a condo. (But you know he is still trimming, spraying and by next year we will have fabulous flower gardens)