It was my husband’s 50th high school reunion,  but we made it a week filled with reunions, from high school classmates and college buddies to other friends and family members we haven’t seen in quite a while.

The high school reunion was the main reason for our trip to Chicago. But our first visit when we got into town was with friends we’ve known for well over fifty years. In our younger days, we used to go camping together, often with little more than a tent and some matches to start a campfire. On this trip, we didn’t camp, but we spent an afternoon in the trailer they now own, reminiscing about our many camping adventures from years ago.

At the high school reunion, I knew only one person – other than my husband – but I enjoyed hearing stories and memories from everyone who was there. Many who still lived in the area kept in touch with each other, but those who had moved away – which was most of them – were learning about each other all over again. I met several people who had lived in Virginia, Colorado, and Minnesota, places where we have lived as well. So I had common ground with some of them, too.

After the high school reunion, we spent some time – and watched a Bears game – with our sister-in-law, and also got together for dinner with a group of friends I still fondly refer to as “my old drinking buddies from college.” Although we did some reminiscing about ”the old days,” most of our conversations centered on our kids – where they’re living and what they’re doing now.

Among all the people we spent time with, a running theme was, “Where did the time go? How could so many years have gone by?”

And such is life. Now that we’re back home and I have time to reflect on it all, I find myself feeling very blessed and grateful that, having reached this age and stage in my life, I have family, friends, relationships, and memories that go from the recent past to “long ago and far away.” I’m grateful we can still get together, even if it’s not as often as we’d like, and enjoy each other’s company and the history we share. And I’m grateful that, in spite of various aches and pains and  health issues and challenges, I’m still able not only to look back to experiences of the past, but to look forward to dreams for the future.

Still, I’ll try to savor every moment and every day. The older I get, the more quickly time seems to fly. I’m sure that before I know it, we’ll be packing up for a 60th reunion.

October 17, 2022
©Betty Liedtke, 2022

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