Monday, August 15, 2011

Reunion Wrap-Up

40th Reunion
East Clinton High School’s Class of 1971
August 13, 2011
Wilmington, Ohio
100 East Clinton High School Seniors graduated in May of 1971. We all went our separate ways in the world. Some stayed close to home and others scattered from coast to coast. We’ve gathered for reunions many times, but I think this one is my favorite.

36 members of the Class of ’71 gathered this past weekend to have some fellowship and get reacquainted with one another. And we all looked pretty good for our ages! ☺

Truth be told, there were some that we hadn’t seen since graduation day. I finally gave up trying to remember one guy and asked his name…but it didn’t make me feel quite so embarrassed because he had to ask for my name first! I asked our class president about nametags. Penny replied that as long as she was in charge, we’d have to figure everybody out on our own! Good answer, Penny. It helps keep the aging mind sharp doing things like crossword puzzles, word scrambles and faking it through a dinner with people who look somewhat familiar but you can’t remember the names. But I think all of us looked pretty doggone good for the years that have been added to our faces and other parts. I told one friend that I consider my body a Temple of the Holy Spirit, but that I’m adding on a Fellowship Hall. (When I was pregnant, it was a Family Life Center…and now that I’m 58 and things are shifting, it has become a Multi-Purpose Room.)

Two of our ranks are now widowed. There have been several divorces and we met new spouses. And then some are still married to their high school sweethearts. To my knowledge, two of our classmates have passed away – Vic Bernard and April Stirr. One almost left us this past year – Bill Musser – but God must have had other plans. Bill and his wife were there with us for most of the evening.

Some of these classmates were labeled “12-year Seniors” in our yearbook, The Galaxy, which meant they attended school in that system all 12 years. There are four or five girls who grew up together – born and raised in the same small community – and it was special to see them laughing with one another again.

After dinner, we each stood and shared where we were from…introduced spouses/friends in attendance…and told what we’ve been doing all these years. Some are already retired! Wow! When it became my turn, I got to say something I’d always wanted to share with my classmates. It went something like this:

“In 1969, I came to your school as a junior. I didn’t want to be there. I had left a school that I loved because my dad had been transferred to another church to become their minister. I walked into the halls of East Clinton High School reluctantly, but with no choice in the matter. Then something happened. You took me in just like I’d been with you all along. I didn’t expect that. Suddenly, I was a part of things…making friends, learning and enjoying my life. I will never forget you for that. Thank you.

I might not have realized it at the time…but they changed my life! I finally got the opportunity to say what had been on my heart for so many years. These people helped me feel like I belonged there with them. And I did. Lifelong friendships developed because I went to that school. I had my first love…and my first broken heart there. I sang in the school’s talent shows…was a cast member in several plays…and even won the female Thespian award at our Senior Awards Assembly. I got a good education. (I didn’t set the woods on fire with my grades…even though I could have if I had put in more effort!) And I learned that I could speak in front of an audience…something that my schoolmates encouraged in me. Who knew that would end up being my life’s work!?!

I didn’t really follow the teachings of Jesus in my younger life. I could talk a good game but He wasn’t in charge. In fact, I was 20 years old before I finally said “yes” to Him without trying to add some amendments to that Yes. I had been living my life for me…for what made me happy…what gave me pleasure…and what was most convenient. All the while, God had a plan. I wasn’t in on it. I didn’t really care about the plan. He had His mighty hand on me all the time. I just didn’t realize it.

Oswald Chambers was a wise man. Regarding that last paragraph, here are two of my favorite quotes from him:
"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it knows and loves the One who is leading."
“I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate. "

I should be glad that God doesn’t give me everything I ask for. I would have missed out on knowing and loving some pretty amazing people!

Lest you think I’m sermonizing – I’m not. That’s my husband’s job. And lest you believe I’m getting waaaaaay too serious in this posting…let me put your mind at ease. You are used to lighter, funnier fare from me and that is what you’ll get!

There are several things to remember when you’ve just attended your 40th high school reunion:

Aging is not for wimps.

Not all men should use “Just for Men” hair color. In fact, no men should use it. It neither blends the gray nor leaves you looking younger. Leave the color to the ladies.

If I could have pretty gray hair like Teda Bowermaster Henline, I sure wouldn't be messing with coloring my hair blonde! But I don't, so I do.

Bald can be beautiful.

Wrinkled was not one of the things any of us wanted to be when we grew up. So we have ‘laugh lines’ that add character to our faces. (…with the other parts, you’re on your own.)

I’ve had necessary surgeries on my eyes, wrists, abdomen, knees and feet. If I keep getting stuff fixed, by the time Joe and I have been married for 50 years, he’ll have a whole new girl! If I could just stop the effects of gravity…

And going to a reunion with a zit under your left nostril isn’t that big of a deal if you use enough makeup! ☺

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

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