Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 5:00 PM

my how we've changed
my how we've changed

What happens when school’s out?

Classmates go separate ways – to college, to marriage, to work, to ??? We become busy, wrapped up in what we are doing. We make new friends and new connections; ones that we now have more in common with. The things that were so important to us then — Mrs. Wood’s English class and the cute guy on the football team and who is going to the prom and with whom — fade into the universal background noise and are lost.

Life takes over and carries us along on its inexorable tide and slowly we forget.

If we’re lucky, there are regular reunions that help us reconnect with those long-ago BFFs that are now only names and pictures in a yearbook. I’m not so lucky. My High School class has only had a couple of reunions – one I was not able to attend and one that I found out about only after it was over. And I’m not all that good about keeping in touch with people. I sort of suck at it. My intentions are good, but you know what they say about good intentions, eh, gentle reader? I get busy… and then I realize it’s been weeks and months and sometimes years…

So I was surprised when, just before Christmas, I got a voice mail from my brother saying that someone I went to grade school with was trying to get in touch with me and here was his number.

I went to an 8-year grade school. There were 50 kids in my class. While there were a few kids who left or moved away during those 8 years, and a few new kids who joined, for the most part it was the same 50 of us together in one room for 8 long years. But only a couple of them went to my high school, and so I hadn’t seen many of them for years and years and years – way more years than I wanted to admit.

I’m a curious sort. So after thinking about it for awhile, I picked up the phone and called Carl and told him who I was. And it turned out that Carl and Ralph and some of the other old cronies were drinking coffee together one day and got to reminiscing about old times and realized that 2009 is the (drum roll please) 40th anniversary of our graduation from 8th grade. (yes, I’m old. deal with it.) They’d managed to track down all but a few of us, and was I interested in getting together?

Was I!!!!!

Carl added me to the “found” list and forwarded me a spreadsheet of names that I hadn’t heard for… a long time. I called my cousin who was in the same class as I and got her on the list. And last Sunday I joined a planning teleconference with several people who don’t sound much like I remember, and probably don’t look much like I remember, either. But nobody had talked to my long ago BFF, Ann. We were thick as thieves for awhile there, and I thought we would be forever. All that teenage drama, you know – boyfriends and dances and first jobs and who and where and why and what… But… life happens and gets in the way. By the time we’d been out of high school for four or five years, we’d both moved to other towns and just sort of drifted apart. There was an old contact number on the spreadsheet, but nobody knew if it was still good.

So last night I picked up my phone and dialed the old number, and Ann answered.

I can’t begin to express how good it was to hear her voice, and catch up a little on how she is and where she’s been and so on. We might not be able to hook up at the reunion being planned, but we will find a way to hook up because we need to get together and talk about all that stuff way long ago… Mrs. Wood’s English class an that cute guy. And bring each other up to date, and start anew. And keep in touch this time.

That’s me, by the way, from my 8th grade class picture. The picture had no names on it, so I wrote the names below the faces, just in case I forgot (and, it turns out, in some cases, go figure, I had). I’d even helpfully labeled myself. I wonder how long I fussed with my hair to get it that smooth. I remember ironing it sometimes, and setting it on soup cans in a vain attempt at getting it straight. I’m guessing this was soup cans, since it has a little flip at the bottom. 40 years later, I’ve finally given up.

Thank you, for your kind comments on my secret projects. Both were a lot of fun to knit. I’ll have knitting content next time, maybe. But thanks for indulging this little foray into the past.

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