Wednesday, July 22, 2015


We will start here with the home blogs...

Okay, let's get background info going first, you all know I love my background...

We just got back from a visit to Albuquerque. We hadn't been back home since my dad died four years ago and the trip before that was for C's high school graduation to visit family who couldn't make it to his ceremony, the trip before that was for Brent's dad's funeral and before that I couldn't really tell you....but it had been a long time since we had been back and had time to see people other than family. 

When we first planned this trip it came about because we were talking about needing to go home to visit my mother. She's 83 and has been battling cancer for the second time and she just doesn't travel like she used to. Brent's mom comes up here once a year usually, but we hadn't seen my mom since Dad died. So we needed to head home. Then while we were talking about that visit the Class of 85 from our high school started talking about their reunion, and wouldn't it be fun if the Class of 86 joined in? We thought that would be a good chance to see people so we booked for the weekend they planned.

Then that fell apart. The Class of 85 wanted a reunion but they didn't want to help plan one. It all ended up falling on one person (Caren, she'll come back in this later) who was in the middle of just moving back to Albuquerque and starting a new job so not a lot of spare time when nobody else wants to help you. So it didn't happen. Which left us with an extra long weekend in Albuquerque and no real solid plans. We winged it.

Which turned out really well. (read that one sarcastically)

It started out with trying to get people together for dinner or drinks on Saturday anyway (the day the reunion was planned) and that didn't happen. I could understand Caren's frustration at that point. I can't plan things from Oregon, folks, let me know if you want to get together and where a good place would be....nothing but a lot of "oh yeah that sounds great let me see..." and then nothing. *side eye* Well we had already made plans with our friend Nikki to have dinner on Monday since she would be out of town until then so we thought, fine, we will just move that to a casual place people can come and go and who makes it makes it. Then another friend couldn't make that but sent a message saying hey, I still want to see you guys so how about I take Saturday? Great!

So now we had plans.

Which turned out really well. (read that one sincerely)

Dinner on Saturday was with our friend Chad and his wife Stormy. I've written about reconciling with Chad after a decades (not even kidding) long fight here and here and there was more after I wrote the second blog that I never wrote about because it wasn't my story to tell, someday he or Stormy will write about The Lie and I will link that, but trust me it makes everything he and I went through seem small. Anyway this was the first time we had seen each other face to face since we started talking again almost 5 years ago. I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous if the damage had been too severe and we would end up with long awkward silences. Yeah, no, that didn't happen. We caught up on current lives and filled in even more of the past issues and came out smiling. He's still my brother from another and now his wife is part of my family as well. The only weird part was that he got old and I didn't and we aren't sure how that happened. (joke, he said he got old I told him to bite his tongue because I didn't and technically I'm older than he is so it's not possible for him to be old when I am not) 

But there were a lot of gap filling stories. Things that talking about now made a lot of other things make so much more sense. And telling those stories, and the catch up stories made everything that has happened since then fit together like a puzzle. It's amazing how that works. When you can step back and look at things how they all fit together you get a lot of clarity. (this was a recurring theme) But dinner was great. Los Cuates, tamales, sopapillas, lots of laughter and a more than a few "Oh! Now that makes more sense!" moments.

And a picture before leaving because we have NO pictures from high school or San Diego. It's sad...
(also Stormy and Brent are totally ducking down here and are actually taller than me by a good piece)

Then we skip ahead to Monday....

Monday was originally just dinner with Nikki, then it was going to be Nikki and Caren and then we said, "hey, who ever is around, come!" and Eric joined us. Small group to be sure. But you know how it goes, people who are living there have lives to live. Kids need shuffled around places, work happens, spouses might not be all in for dinner with strangers, and really do we have anything to talk about with people we haven't seen in decades? I get it. And honestly, it worked out perfectly. There were people I would have liked to have seen, but I cannot imagine that it would have made the night any better, because it was a great dinner.

Nikki and Brent were in Entertainers together. Nikki and I became friends through that connection. We knew each other and were "friends" before that through the crossover of groups but not "Friends." When she realized that I wasn't going anywhere she made the choice to actually get to know me. As I've mentioned before that wasn't easy to do in high school. I was mad at the world and that came out as terrifying. But Nikki was important to Brent so I made the effort as well. And we ended up with a friendship of our own, friends to Friends. It was a good transition. She's also gorgeous. It was a little intimidating in high school, now I can just appreciate how blue her eyes are without wishing mine weren't so very brown. Okay, that's what I tell myself, but I would still love to swap. 

Caren and I knew each other in high school, we were both in drama, we were both friends with Nikki, but we weren't close. We were in different groups within the drama crowd and she was part of the friend of a friend circle that you know but you don't know. We reconnected recently and discovered we really dig each other. We both like sports (just a little). We have the shared history of Albuquerque and Highland, with a lot of cross over in friendships. We both tend to look at life from the ridiculous side. You know, "what is funny about this, let's find the joke." She's also pretty much the text book definition of vivacious. And she wore polka dots to dinner because she knows I love them. How great is that?

Eric was in Entertainers with Brent and Nikki so they are friends from that. Eric was in drama with me and Brent so we are friends from that. He's a twofer like Brent. Bridged both performing arts groups. Eric was probably one of the only people in high school more people were scared of than me. And that's only because of his size. He's 6'5"tall. Which is big high school? It was HUGE. We laughed because I was never scared of him (I had no real sense of fear) and the only thing he is scared of is small women (his mother is a petite lady) so I would boss him around constantly and he did what I asked. He also played a very funny part in the night Brent and I started dating for the last time...which is a different story for a different time.  Eric was a year behind us at school and Caren was a year ahead so they met for the first time Monday, but you wouldn't have guessed it. 

We all laughed so much. That's the main thing to point out. So much laughter. And then stories shared. And remember how I talked about with Chad how when you got the "oh that makes sense!" moments? There were so many of those! We each had pieces of stories and when we put them all together it made for a completely differently story. But one that finally made more sense. There were things that if you only knew part you really didn't know anything. And it was great getting all of those pieces to put together. Even when Nikki told me "this better not end up in a story!" and I had to admit that please believe it was totally going in a story, I was already writing it in my head! 

There was also the line of the evening, you know when you get those moments that are going to be jokes forever? "But we were good kids..." that's going to be on that list. Talking about us versus "these kids today" and Nikki said, "We were good kids" and we all busted up laughing. But it's true, we were good kids, in that sense that we all had decent hearts and grew up to be good people. But we made some incredibly stupid choices way back when and were very lucky at times that things turned out as well as they did. Alcohol, police, random nudity offers, more alcohol, cruising, Yale Park, scripts for parents, tornadoes, a few punches thrown ... but we were good kids... We needed the rest of the Entertainers there and a few gallons of iced tea and it would have been just like hanging at Carrows. 

One of many, many shots taken at the end of the evening, and who needs a selfie stick when you have Eric's long arms??

So yes, there were a lot of people we didn't see, there were plans that fell through and people that were missing, but it was still great. And the good news is that the Class of 86 is already planning for our actual reunion so we can do it all again next year, but with more people and more stories.

I hope everyone makes it.

If not we'll just head to Dion's and see who shows up...

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