Friday, November 27, 2009

50 is the new 30

That was the idea I was trying to promote this evening. I'm not sure if it caught on or not, but I gave it my best shot!

You see, I'm back home in Sigourney. Some friends decided it was time to host a Happy 50th Birthday party for classmates that had graduated around 1976-77-78. Lots of us came in for the party. It was great fun to see faces and reconnect with people I haven't seen in years. I'm still processing on all the stories I want to tell, one of these days I'll get them written down.

We drove into town early this afternoon and as I saw the Sigourney water tower in the distance, I got a little choked up. For 9 years that water tower had signified home to me. My friends and family walked with me as I grew from a child to a young woman. They knew my parents, we played together, laughed together, competed against each other, learned together. We had secrets together, we hurt each other, encouraged each other, protected each other. These were the people that knew me well.

I started pointing out landmarks to Max and then warned him that I would probably get good and lost at some point because I would forget my way around the town. We drove around for awhile as I reoriented myself. The streets all seem smaller, the distances between places are shorter. I had always wondered about that long, long, long, long walk from my house to the high school. Hmmm ... not such a long walk after all! And the distance from the parsonage to the church. My goodness, but that was a quick block and a half. I was sure it was much further away.

Our evening entertainment centered around the square if we weren't at the high school. We would drive around, pull over into a parking space and chat with friends and then get in our cars and start again. We might head to the Tastee Freez (the building is empty now and up for sale) or the pizza place on the square (that one is no longer open). There was always a reason to be hanging out with friends.

So, I pulled onto the square, parked in front of the courthouse and Max got out to take pictures. I just sat there and reminisced. There was the spot where my boyfriend punched a kid out for insulting me. That was where we got out of the car and sang "Black Water" at the top of our voices. That's the cleaners that was owned by my friend, Susan. On and on ... my mind was flooded with memories.

It's good to come back to the memories that remind us of the fun and passions of our youth.

Tonight's party was great. The band that took us through high school - "Double Trouble"- played covers of our favorites, just like they did when we were much, much younger. Those guys did a great job then and believe it or not, they've still got it.

It was great fun watching everyone peer at name tags, hoping that we wouldn't embarrass ourselves by not knowing someone we should have known very well. At some point, you just have to admit that we changed just enough to make it difficult to put a name and a face together.

That was one of the weirdest things for me today. As we drove around Sigourney, I would see a house and say, "Oh my, I spent time in that house and I can NOT tell you who lived there." Some I remembered, some I just looked at blankly, wishing for the memory to return. That's probably the same way I looked at people tonight. Some I remembered immediately, others I just prayed for a memory before they realized that it was a blank look on my face. For the most part, once I got a name, I was doing great.

It was a great evening. I'm glad I came back. I'll be back for more!

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