Thought for the day: Time can be spent, but it can't be bought, so we've gotta spend it wisely. (It isn't always on our side...)
Last Saturday was our high school reunion, but Smarticus and I didn't spend all day driving to Maryland so we could attend. It wasn't our hundredth, but in human terms, it was a pretty big milestone. Fifty. (gulp) Fifty. (Maybe we'll attend our hundredth?)
To celebrate that rather auspicious half-century mark, I offer you the following poem about reunions. (Author unknown.)
Every five years, as summertime nears,
An announcement arrives in the mail,
A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand;
Make plans to attend without fail.
I'll never forget the first time we met;
We tried so hard to impress.
We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars,
And wore our most elegant dress.
It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel.
We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined,
And everyone thought it was swell.
The men all conversed about who had been first
To achieve great fortune and fame.
Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses
And how beautiful their children became.
The homecoming queen, who once had been lean,
Now weighed in at one-ninety-six.
The jocks who were there had all lost their hair,
And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.
No one had heard about the class nerd
Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon;
Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain;
She married a shipping tycoon.
The boy we'd decreed 'most apt to succeed'
Was serving ten years in the pen,
While the one voted 'least' now was a priest;
Just shows you can be wrong now and then.
They awarded a prize to one of the guys
Who seemed to have aged the least..
Another was given to the grad who had driven
The farthest to attend the feast.
They took a class picture, a curious mixture
Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties.
Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini;
You never saw so many thighs.
At our next get-together, no one cared whether
They impressed their classmates or not.
The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal;
By this time we'd all gone to pot.
It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans.
Then most of us lay around in the shade,
In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.
By the fiftieth year, it was abundantly clear,
We were definitely over the hill.
[Hmmmph! How can we be over the hill
when we haven't even reached the top
So how did
we spend our time in lieu of pretending a bunch of old farts and fartessas still look just like they did fifty years ago? We spent it with youngsters... four of our grandchildren. Rather than feeling old
and (hmmmph) over the hill,
we played and laughed and felt... young.
This summer, while our son and daughter-in-law are at work, their kiddos will be spending weekdays at karate camp, which is like a totally cool daycare, with karate lessons, and all kinds of other sports activities, field trips, and adventures. So while waiting for the family to get home, Smarticus and I visited the Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus. We'd been there before, but there was a new exhibit there that we hadn't seen: the Maple Leaf.
This paddle-wheeled steamer, which was built in Canada, (explains its name) and contracted by the U.S. Army during the Civil War, was sunk by a Confederate torpedo, and now rests at the bottom of the St. John's River, near Jacksonville, Florida. This shipwreck contains the largest collection of Civil War military and personal items in the country, and some of the recovered 130+ year-old items are currently on display at the museum in Columbus.
Plate and eating utensils.
Various recovered weapons and other items.
And of course, there was lots of other stuff to see at the museum, too...
Anybody know what this
It's the iron hull plate from the Civil War ironclad the Monitor.
It was recovered in 1998, and weighs about 375 pounds. [This cool piece is currently on loan from the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Very nice of the Yankee aggressors to share, don't you think...?]
Okay, I don't want to screw up
by making this post too long...
So I'm gonna drop anchor
on talking about the museum, and move on to the kids.
Kymber looks surprised to have won her school's Student of the Year
award, doesn't she?.
L to R: Kymber, Devyn, Jaiden, and Aaron. Yeah, Aaron is the hambone. Also the one who's fascinated by weird facts, so you know
I had fun telling and showing him about some of the disgusting things I know.
Now, thanks to their weird grandma, the kids know about lizards that squirt blood from their eyes, animals that break their own bones as a means of self-defense, beetles that squirt toxic liquid out of their butts, a toxic bird called, appropriately enough, the patooie,
and they even saw pictures of dead cockroaches clad in tiny costumes. (Which used to be on display at a cockroach museum in Plano, Texas.)
Weird grandma? Maybe, but also a very happy one. No question about it. These kids conquered me and my heart a long time ago, and they still take it hostage every time we visit.
An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, you start to age quickly.
But ya know what? It is totally
worth it... and one of my favorite ways to spend time.
How about you? Have you attended any of your
class reunions? (We went to one... our thirtieth. There were a bunch of old people there...)
Do you, like me, ever look at other people your age and think they look much older than you do? If so, you'll appreciate this joke:
While sitting in my new dentist's waiting room, I noticed his diploma on the wall, and seeing his full name on it immediately brought to mind a tall, dark-haired, handsome boy with the same name, who'd been in my high school class nearly 50 years ago.
Could this dentist possibly be the boy I had a secret crush on in high school?
When I saw him, I quickly dismissed that possibility, because there was no way this gray-haired, balding man with the deeply wrinkled face could have been my classmate. He was way too old. Or was he?
After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he'd gone to Dundalk High School.
"Yes, I did!" he said with a smile.
"What year did you graduate?" I asked.
"In 1966," he said. "Why do you ask?"
"I was in your class!" I exclaimed.
He looked at me closely. Then, that ugly, wrinkled, old, fat, bald, gray, decrepit SOB had the audacity to ask, "What did you teach?"
Smarticus included the following in an email of funny stuff
he sent me recently, and it puts some of the changes that have occurred in the past fifty years into perspective:
1966: Long hair
2016: Longing for hair
1966: Acid rock
2016: Acid reflux
1966: Moving to California because it's cool
2016: Moving to Arizona because it's warm
1966: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2016: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
1966: Seeds and stems
1966: Hoping for a BMW
2016: Hoping for a BM
1966: Going to a new, hip joint
2016: Receiving a new hip joint
1966: Rolling Stones
2016: Kidney stones
1966: Screw the system
2016: Upgrade the system
1966: Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2016: Children begging you to get their heads shaved
1966: Passing the driver's test
2016: Passing the vision test
( For the record, I still like the Rolling Stones...)
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.