REUNION

Not everyone keeps in touch after high school.   I have one solid friend from Sophomore year, my first year in LA.  And one solid from university and one I occasionally keep in touch with.  But before that…. No one

Except this year there was a milestone reunion and there was Facebook.

I left Minnesota after my freshman year.  Some of those kids had been in first grade with me (we lived in the country – there was no kindergarten or preschool.) so when I got the invitation to go back to that reunion, I decided Pourquoi pas?   I reconnected with one of my closest junior high friends on FB, then we texted and finally chatted on the phone several times.  She convinced me.  I made arrangements to stay with a faux cousin.  Bought the plane tickets.  And then school friend realized that her flight to Europe was leaving on the Saturday of the reunion, not the Sunday after.  Bummer.    But I had left enough time so we could spend the Thursday together from Brunch til dinner.  Great fun.  With some people, you just reconnect and the years disappear.  Then Saturday was the event,  At times I can be introverted and shy and other times extroverted and genial.  I kicked the genial into high gear.

But it was strange.  Without Anita there I kept wondering why I was going…. And throughout the night I continued to think that.  I saw my next door neighbor.  His older brother was the first boy I kissed -at 5!  And Donny from across the street.   He had always had an invisible friend when we played. It was so cool I wanted one too.  But I kept losing her.  She’d be there – we’d be all four together.  And then we would run down to the woods.  Three of us.   His friend, him and me.  And when we got there, there were only three of us.  I had no idea where mine went.  I think she was twiddling her thumbs in the tree house.  I finally gave up.

Imagine.   He didn’t recall at all.

Anita said all these kids were anxious to see me.  Fortunately I didn’t believe that.  Three were excited.  Maybe another 5 chatted briefly,   My memories stopped at grade 9.  They were all about 10 through 12 and mostly 12. So I was oddly disconnected.  No real surprise but I hadn’t thought that through,

We left on these highs of keep in touch!!!  Yadaydayda…. I figure we really won’t.  Maybe Anita.  But the others… in the light of day on Sunday, I saw the experience as just that…. An interesting experience.

On the other hand,  I was so happy to have reconnected with my faux cousin. My siblings and she and her sister were older than me so I always felt a tag-along kid.  To connect as adults was terrific.  We had seen each other many times as they came to visit my mother or we went out there.  But always with others around and always for a short few days.

Truly sympaticio as my mother would say.  She saw more of the Twin Cities than she had for years.  Me too.

Do you remember the house you grew up in?  I do.  My dad built it.  I had visited on an earlier trip to Minnesota for business.  We drove by this time and saw a lot of construction going on.  So of course we stopped.  It was being remodeled to become an AirBNB house.  And actually, many of the cool things my dad designed were still there and left intact.  We looked down the very very very steep hill I had to climb to get down to the lake.  Now it looks like a gentle sloop.  Age will change the angle of the climb dramatically.

My faux cousin lived in the house bought and added on to by her grandfather in 1911.  Her mom had been born there.  She came home from the hospital to this house.  I can’t imagine living in one place that long.  Although I am working on 15 years in Sacramento.

The Minnespolis Institute of Art had an outrageous exhibit – one that was more theatre than art.   https://new.artsmia.org/power-and-beauty/  if you want to find out more.

And overall I was so impressed with Minnesota’s welcoming feeling.  Very diverse.  Big population of Somalis.  Very Macy’s had the mannequins wearing hajibs.

Very different from my protected childhood amidst the Swedes and Norwegians.  But good!

Back!

Well!  I have been very lax I know.  And yet, I wrote at least two blogs… but forgot to post them.  So here’s something from May and then from June.  And if I can keep the energy flowing, I will catch up.

Bonjour

So I have actually been back for almost  months.  And where has the blogging gone?

Actually it’s gone on in my head.  I find myself composing such interesting passages and pithy observations as I go about daily living.  But I don’t seem to sit down at the PC anymore.  Today I am trapped on a Delta flight from Sacramento to Minneapolis for not quite 3 hours.  So what better time to catch you all up.

 

I arrived back in January.  Jet lag was not horrible.  Either it is age or conditioning.  Is my body just used to the 9 hour time difference after three years of these trips?  But wait – I have been making the transatlantic crossing annually since 2007.  Maybe when you get to double digits trips, it improves?  Or disappears?

 

I had a full schedule.  Home things.  Family things.  Political things.  Always rushing.  Always making lists.  Then making new lists.

 

My house.   Time to re do the flooring in the shower and closet area.  Shower was lino.  Closet and vanity was carpet.  Got that done in record time.  I like the company – I had the same guy who laid my kitchen floor three years ago.  It wasn’t the half day project – when is it ever?  But it was done in a day.  And I mischose the color tile.  Yup.  Big sigh.  It’s very pretty,  I know I liked it.  It’s just that a decision I made in this house 15 years ago still haunts me.  I selected a cool black tile for the entry and kitchen.  And it would have been very cool except the entry was already dark and then it became darker.  So for this tile, I wanted to avoid too dark and ended up overcompensating.  Especially when there is a solar tube in the shower and the daylight can be powerful.

 

Oh well.  I am getting used to it.  And it is very nice to not have carpet by the sink.

 

Then I sat in my backyard.

 

It’s a beautiful calming serene. Back yard with two Buddhas and two Kwan Yins.  Can’t have too many is my thought.  And a pond with cascading water pools.  Lovely.  Gurgling.  Relaxing.  Except you have to have the pump turned on for the water to flow.  And you have to have the pond full of water for the water to flow.  And you have to have the pond empty of leaves for the water to flow.

 

I have a guy who will clean it.  Had a gal who charged me $80 but she retired.  The guy wanted $250. So I sat outside in the balmy 70s degrees of a Californian January afternoon and sighed for the sound of the fountain.  And said to myself, put on your big girl panties and clean it out yourself! And so I did.  I am getting too old for this.  But later I could enjoy it.

 

Going out one day, I saw the Gardener at my friends house,  I slammed on the brakes and arranged for him to clean out the rest of the yard.

 

Home after a fine flight from CDG to SLC to SMF.  A friend picked me up.  Got home and decided to try the car.  Nope.  Of course it didn’t work.  But what was worse was that the key didn’t work.  The battery was dead in both of my keyless ignition units.  Batteries Plus was still open so my friend ran me down there.  They replaced them, but now even though I could now lock and unlock th care, the battery didn’t turn over.

 

Next morning after an evening of fretting over where to buy a new battery, I found AAA, got it going and they said it will be fine after driving for half an hour.  The bettery was in good shape.  Nice.  However, then I discovered the flat tire.  He put in air so I was able to get to the gas station.  Two tires later – well, the next day as they had to order them… I was good to go…. Radial tires might be good but dammit it’s expensive when you have to replace two.  And this is the second time I have come home after Paris to tire issues.  It was the back two last time, this time the front.

 

The car is 8 years old.  But with my three years in Paris, it feels like its only 5 years old.  Still.  Was it time to buy a new one?  My personal commitment to the environment was that the next car would be a hyrbid.  So I looked.  And looked.  And I don’t like any of them. Not at all.

 

Then my tire warning light comes on.  Huh?  I just got new tires!  And of course its while I am driving to the Bay Area.   The consensus of Toyota dealerships is that the Sensors in the tires are defective.  Apparently they have a -7 life span.  Replacement…. Maybe 400 bucks.  I decided to fix them and save on the new car for the time being.  Now the car should be fine.  Right?

 

So the underbelly falls off.  Well, it cracks and drags along the road.  Another hundred bucks….

 

I swear it’s the year of the Repair.

 

But you have to have a car in California.  I miss the public transportation.

 

Last year the garage spring broke. That’s held up so far.

 

My sister who had the stroke in 2016 has recovered well.  She is back to making her overalls and her knitting has improved dramatically.  But she had decided to move into a senior residence – not assisted living.  Just a nice studio and they provide the meals and cleaning.  She has a fridge and micro and sink.  However, this year it was time to sell her house and get rid of the things in it.  That was a chore.  And it’s not over – my next challenge is learning ebay for selling family antiques.

 

Working with her and her fabulous step daughter got me primed for my place.

 

Three years of living in 400 sq feet has changed me.  Those family heirlooms that I loved to see don’t mean as much to me.  Instead of reliving memories, now I see potential cash.  So I have been going through all the rooms and all the closets and other storage places and sorting and tossing and stocking to sell.

 

A former rentor told me I could run an office supply company out of my closet in my office.  She was right.  I think it was four trips to my girlfriend’s full of boxes to donate to the schools she works with.  Other things have ended up in my garage to await the ebay store.  It’s not done but I need a break.

 

Politics.  So I came back to work on politics.  I attended a Sister District Captains conference in Oakland in the first two weeks that I was back.  Somehow… I went there as an interested party and came out as SD Captain for Sacramento. I have been frustrated.  At first, just learning.  And having all these other house and family obligations so I didn’t reallly start work on it until May.  Then frustrated because the Sacramentans don’t seem too interested.  I had 5 informational meetings…. Only a handful of people showed up and at two no one showed.

 

Now I am off to Minnesota for the high school reunion.  When I come back, I shall try again.