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Getting older brings … eek! … reunion number 30

Apprehension filled my body as I prepared to enter the meeting room. I could see several of the people who were already inside turn and look out the windows.
Did they recognize me? Or were they asking each other who I was?
Not one to walk away from a challenge, I squeezed my husband’s hand one last time before we walked through the door. There was no turning back now.
Once inside the building, I saw several familiar faces. Some of them were easier to recognize than others, but I could still see enough of their old features that, for the most part, I could pull their names from my memory bank.
The occasion, on July 29, was my 30th class reunion. Only about 18 members of the Class of 1976 from Cascade High School gathered at the Inter Urban Depot in Plainfield. That’s a little better than 10 percent of the class, probably close to the same percentage that we’ve had at the last few reunions. Only those first couple of reunions were better attended.
At the reunion last month, an old yearbook, from our senior year, was there for viewing. Most of us looked at least some of the old pictures. They sure brought back a lot of old memories.
Thirty years. Where did the time go? It seemed like just the other day we were excited that we were finally going to be the upperclassmen, that we had one last year to make our mark. There was so much potential.
Three decades ago, when all 135 or so of us gathered together for one last time, we each had our own hopes, dreams and goals for what was ahead of us.
At the reunion, we shared with each other the news of our lives. Some of the people I hadn’t seen since graduation; others I’ve been in contact with off and on.
It was interesting to note that while the 18 of us may have run in different circles during our teen years, we shared common concerns as we are approaching the end of our 40s: the increasing price of gasoline, job security, community involvement (both locally, nationally and internationally), and, the number one topic of conversation, our children, and, in some cases, grandchildren.
There was quite a range in ages for our children. Some classmates were preparing to send their children back to school in elementary grades through high school, while others talked of coping with taking their first child to college.
It was a great evening of fellowship, with anticipation of doing it again in five more years. Hopefully each of us at last month’s reunion can encourage someone who wasn’t there to attend the next one. There are a lot more classmates we’d like to see …
Besides going to my class reunion last month, I also had the opportunity to check out the Clayton Public Library. My mother insisted I take a few minutes to see it from the inside. (It’s rare that I get to visit at my parents’ for more than a few hours at a time any more, so a two-night stay at their home was a nice getaway and gave me time to do more things.)
I had written a column last April about the old library I used to visit as a child, and mentioned that the town had built a new library several years ago. While the new library is a good stone’s throw from my parents’ house, I had never stepped foot inside it until last month.
What an improvement over the old one! Of course, something new almost always wins hands down over something old. What I first noticed was how inviting the new facility is. And it has rest rooms! (The old one didn’t.)
I hope the children in the surrounding area, as well as the adults, take advantage of its services …
Something else I noticed getting used lately is a large birdbath I finally got set up in my front yard.
It needs a good cleaning, but the birds have let me know that they don’t care. I counted five of them using it at one time over the weekend. The popularity of the small watering hole prompted me to take a few minutes to work on leveling it, and I’ve made more of a point to add fresh water daily.
During this heat spell we’re experiencing, we need to watch out for our pets and wildlife. Maybe we’ll get some much-needed rain later this week …
The heat took its toll on many at this year’s Harrison County Fair. One swine and a few rabbits succumbed to the almost unbearable humidity, and a few humans were treated for heat exhaustion.
If it wasn’t a record-breaking fair in the heat and humidity department, it had to be near the top. And I’m not one to complain about the temperatures, unless it drops below 80; that’s when you’ll hear me ask for a sweater or maybe even a blanket!
This was the first fair in a long time that I didn’t have to worry about 4-H entries. My daughter, Kimberly, was too old to participate in 4-H this year. As she and I walked through the 4-H exhibit building looking at the hundreds of projects, Kimberly remarked how much she missed 4-H. I remember having the same sense of loss after I completed my 10th year of 4-H.
My mother just recently told me how my sister, Jill, and I use to drive her nuts as we waited until the last possible minute to complete our projects. And my daughter did the same to me.
Procrastination probably has an adverse affect on people compared to what that fourth H ‘ health ‘ represents. (For you non-4-H people, the other three Hs are head, heart and hands.) But when you’re trying to live by the 4-H motto ‘ To make the best, better ‘ it takes time.
And that’s why I’m sitting in front of a computer at 10 o’clock Sunday night trying to pull this column together. Life is about opportunities. Don’t let them pass you by.

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