Monthly Archives: September 2006

Nooo… It can’t be…

A few months ago, while in the shower, I was sickened by the sudden realization that it was 2006 and that my 25th high school reunion should be coming up over the summer. My mind whirred as I calculated how much time I would have to lose weight, get in shape and renew my attitude (I was much more outgoing 2 1/2 decades ago!). Crap, not much. The only way to lose a quick 50+ lbs would be to lop off my legs.

Would the reunion be as soon as June? I made a note to check the online "reunions" section of the local paper.

For the next couple of weeks, I religiously scanned the reunions section – no mention of my Class of '81. In fact, there were NO 25th Anniversary announcements. Maybe the Gods were on my side and I would actually have another 5 years to get back into my fighting weight. (Of course, I've had other opportunities to do this – I attended my 10 year reunion, then skipped the 15 and 20 year reunions…)

The summer quickly passed and I figured that I was safe. Phew.

Then, as the calendar flipped to September, the mailman brought the dreaded invitation… Sure enough, somebody was working on a reunion (of course, it was the cheerleaders… damn them to hell!), scheduled for the end of the month.

Panic immediately set in. I'd have to lop off my arms, too.

No, no, it would be impossible to attend an event of this magnitude without any of my limbs. Who'd do my hair?

I was surprised at the clarity and swiftness of my response – nope, I won't be attending. Period.

While it's true that I liked some of my classmates, I hated high school. I was a wallflower, whose confidence was fragile to begin with but only got worse as the years went by. My little clique disowned me for reasons I can't remember during my senior year (you know how high school drama can be – especially when hormones have yet to gel firmly). In hindsight, I'm not sure anyone remembers – since I was welcomed to sit at "their" table at the 10 year reunion.

Kids.

But is it worth $35 to put myself in a position that would only serve to make me feel bad? Everyone will be married (a few will be divorced and maybe remarried), have kids (probably a few grandkids, too), exciting careers, full lives. I'm perpetually single, barren and stuck in a dead-end job. While I would prefer that these things were different, the fact is that they have all been my choices based upon decisions I've made.

Skipping tonight's reunion is another choice.

Falling into Fall

I blinked.

And Summer's gone.

Well, technically not until 11:03 CT tonight (autumnal equinox marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere). But to look at the leaf-littered yards, observe the constant wind-driven drizzle and changing colors, Summer packed her bags a few days ago and blew south.

I'm hoping that we'll have a few Indian Summer days before the snow falls, but the speed at which we descended into Fall has left me extremely skeptical. (Moi, skeptical?! Oui.)

Clinging to Summer’s End

Visited the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Zoo in St. Paul last evening to see the Giant Victoria water platters. These night blooming South American natives can grow pads or leaves up to six feet wide and hold up to 120 pounds of distributed weight. The flowers are open for two nights at a time.

GiantLily0016

The first night these flowers are white with a pineapple aroma and on the second night they turn a scarlet red. (Don’t know if we’ll make it back tonight to see the scarlet red… it’s rainy/dreary outside and a brisk 51 degrees at the moment. Brrr.)

GiantLily0038

Other tropical water lilies fill the pools. These poor guys get completely ignored because of the “stars” of the pond.

Lily0051

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

This beauty was sunning him/herself this morning in the garden. Temps dipped into the chilly upper 30’s over night and all the flying critters were slow to get moving this morning.

I know how they felt.

AWOL

I am shocked at how quickly the month of September has flown by. I've been AWOL for most of it, locked in the drama that is my life. Or non-life, since it's pretty mundane.

Yesterday was unseasonably warm – and as the day progressed, the humidity continued to rise, leaving it clear that a storm was brewing. A tornado watch was issued in the late afternoon lasting until 1am. Summer was going to be ushered out in style.

We were safe in our house, thunder in the distance, when the storm front blew in around 10pm. Unfortunately, it brought death and destruction in the form of an F2 tornado to a community less than 20 miles away. A 10 year old girl lost her life when the house she was visiting collapsed on her. So sad.

Work's been very busy and extremely stressful. But, honestly, things like last night's storm help to bring reality back in to check.

Another example of reality… Thursday I visited Stillwater, a community on the edge of the St Croix river between Minnesota and Wisconsin. I took several photos of one of the town's historic landmarks – the Lift Bridge. It was a glorious day, sunny and warm, although there was a stiff wind blowing from the south.

liftbridge

Two people, a mother and daughter, lost their lives today when the car they were riding in apparently experienced brake failure and plunged off the open bridge. Tragic. The driver, another daughter, survived.

It could have been even more tragic – the sister ship of the one shown above had just passed under the lift. Had the timing been off only a few seconds, the car would have rammed the boat's second level and killed or injured dozens. (These boats are usually packed with tourists, wedding parties, etc.)