As pretty as a song
A song could ever be
Like Christmas on a river
Without a boat or Christmas tree
This afternoon with you was something like a letter
The kind that someone writes but never sends
And when you look at me
You remind me that someday it's gonna end
And when you pass on
I bet you miss your friends
And people wonder why I love Ryan Adams so much when he writes lyrics like that.
Say what you will about that entity of ambiguity we like to call Myspace, but it sure as hell can be a marvelous way to get back in touch with old friends you wish you'd never lost touch with.
When I went to my ten year high school reunion, it didn't really feel like my reunion. It was great to see certain folks and I don't regret going, but my best friends from the old days were either younger or older than me. As I looked about that room last summer at the 25 classmates out of a hundred that actually showed up, I wondered if it would be in poor taste to crash next year's reunion (and the next year's for that matter). But thanks to the wondrous Myspace and Adam being the sweetheart he has always been, we got our real reunion (minus one or two) Saturday.
I was a bit nervous about the whole thing. It had been ten years since I'd seen most of them, and I was worried that it might be a bit awkward. Plus we were visiting a member of the old crew who has a three week old baby, and me being the socially aware Southern girl that I am worried that it would be a bit weird or tacky to have not seen this feller for ten years, then suddenly visit his little girl. I found out rather quickly that nothing was awkward, weird, or tacky.
We hung out at Jason's apartment, met his remarkably cool girlfriend and their adorable little girl, and it was just like the old days when we used to just sit around and talk about any and everything. We went to lunch, had some beers, remembered old dramas that now seem so silly. We went back to the apartment and talked about our lives now. A couple folks had to leave, but those of us who remained had supper (at a place where you can STILL SMOKE INSIDE - Yay!), went to Dave and Busters and played pool and geeked out on the video games. Simple stuff, really, but I couldn't tell you the last time I had such a good time.
As I get older, I realize more and more that most folks don't really change that much fundamentally. We're still basically the same people we were in high school, but evolved. The problems are more complex and the conversation more sophisticated, but we still like each other for the same reasons we liked each other then. And it really put some things into perspective for me. I spent years trying to improve and get away from who I was, but I liked who I was then, and it's helped me to understand that I like me now too. I just have to remember that and be the best me I can be. These folks always liked me for who I am, so why can't I?
And I hope they know that I've never forgotten them. I hope they know how proud I am of them. I'm amazed at the careers they've built, the children they've had and how good they are with them. Kind of gives me hope that I can do those things too. We're convening again in April when one of the key members of the group will be in town from Boston, and I absolutely cannot wait to see her and to see them again. Why does it take ten years to realize how good you had it in high school?
As usual, I couldn't find a video of the song I quoted, but here's one of Ryan Adams doing "Let it Ride" which also has nostalgic qualities to it.
Since I was so worn out by Saturday's Nostalgia-fest, I didn't do jack on Sunday, but Monday night was the NERA Annual Membership meeting.
For those of you who don't know what NERA is, it is the New Echota Rivers Alliance, a non-profit organization that I'm on the board for (I'm the mighty Secretary). We try to involve ourselves in all things concerning the Oostanaula Watershed and how it's managed and in the recreational possibilities that we can develop and so on. Now, this may not seem very exciting, but it was for me because I enjoy and am proud of the work we do, and there are certain people also involved that I am very fond of.
We had a keynote speaker, who happened to be the director of the Rome and Floyd County Recycling Center. It was really interesting and really informative and eye-opening. It's amazing the money we waste when we toss recyclables into the landfills. I won't go all preachy or anything, but it's something to think about.
Here are a Couple of Links to articles that may be of particular interest to any of y'all who live or used to live in the Calhoun area.