How can it have been 50 years since I graduated from high school? That was the question bouncing around in my head when I received the invitation to attend my 50th reunion. Having been absent by choice from most of the reunions over the years, I decided that this event was a must, and so I sent in my $$$ to reserve a spot for myself.
As the day of the party approached, I began to get apprehensive. Going to functions by myself is not something I relish, but I decided to just get over it. And I did. However, thank goodness for the standard reunion name tags strategically pinned in place to assist in recognizing classmates unseen in fifty years.
With Kathy and Mary Jo
The best part of the experience was that a few old friendships were renewed. I now have in my possession emails of pals that I am eager to see again in the near future. Most surprising was that, at last, the high school cliques seem to have vanished. They were very much alive at the last reunion I attended in the 80s. This time we really were one happy group with people mixing freely. Of course, that does get easier as the numbers of attendees decline; from a class of 400 there were only 65 of us in attendance, 113 if you count husbands/wives.
All in all it was a good time. I would do it again.
As I placed my well-used luggage in the driveway this morning for pick-up by charity, I plucked this worn tag off the handle of the largest suitcase and felt a few pangs of nostalgia remembering those long ago days of airports, jets, baggage, and adventure. Yes, I have morphed from tourist and stewardess flight attendant into this contented homebody with scrapbook pages filled with jaunts to far away places.
I didn't last long as an employee of Pan Am, only a little over a year. Marriage beckoned. However, I did manage to cram a lot of travel, on the job and off, into those few months. Though I spent much of my time flying the Pacific en route to Vietnam, the bane of a junior employee with no bid line power, I did manage to scrounge up some magnificent trips.
Egypt with Mom
Now the view is quite different, as I relax on my deck with a good book in hand.
Do I miss those days? No. I don't even have a current passport anymore. But I do have the memories of the night lights of Tokyo, the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, the art of Florence, the picturesque canals of Venice, the changing of the guard in London, the stunning harbour of Sydney, all beautifully captured in the pages of my scrapbooks... along with many other glorious sights of those travel times.
My days as a volunteer have officially begun. It's not that I needed more to do; it's that I felt like branching out now that -being retired- I have time to do exactly what I want to do. So, I signed up to work at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens gift shop, passed the interview, completed the training, and survived my first day as greeter, tour organizer, and sales person of the store merchandise.
I was slightly nervous about operating the computer. It, of course, is v-e-r-y smart...even tells me how much change to give to the customer, but it is quite a complex machine, having multiple steps to opening and closing. Being a computer, I have to do everything exactly right or it doesn't do what it is supposed to do. However, the store traffic was light those first few days so I was able to successfully bumble through without causing any disasters.
The Back of the Burbank Home
Starting to get the hang of it and feeling moderately confident, I reported to duty a few days ago. As I approached the shop, I noted that there were many more people in the garden than usual and wondered why. It turned out there was a Master Gardener convention in town at the Hyatt, just a few blocks from the Burbank Gardens. Oh, my. I was swamped from the minute the doors opened and found myself dealing with multiple firsts: credit cards that were refused, merchandise that was nowhere to be found on the computer, running out of one dollar bills and quarters, and so on.
The day was a fluke. Or, at least, I hope that is the case .