Did I do anything thrilling this weekend? mmmm tough question.
In the past, especially with children growing up we have had ‘exciting’, busy long weekends. We went camping and/or waterskiing, travelled to family reunions or travelled to spend time at a beach. If we stayed at home we usually planned a big home improvement project like makeover the bathroom. We achieved something over the weekend or at least had something to take as ‘news’ back to work on the Tuesday.
This long weekend has been somewhat different.
Exciting? That’s a difficult question to answer. Define exciting.
Big project? If you call cleaning my home a big project..yes, it is spick and span for a little while at least.
Travel? The longest I travelled was to town, 15 kilometres. Once. However in that trip I travelled back almost 30 years.
Time travel? That sounds sensational for a long weekend doesn’t it!
I completed high school senior year just over 30 years ago. Early in the decade of the ‘80s. Music at our school dances, referred to as discos, were hits like Come On Eileen, Jack and Dianne, Eye of the Tiger, Gloria, Oh Mickey, Flashdance…so many recollections in those tunes, even now.
One of the biggest droughts on record at that time ended in my final year. I can remember sitting in Chemistry and my teacher stopped lecturing as the whole class had turned their heads to watch rain fall in the quadrangle outside. It had been a long time since we had enjoyed such a sight…but I have to admit we were easily distracted in Chemistry.
To one edge of the school quadrangle a group of woodwork students had built a five sided shelter a few years before. Our senior year claimed that shelter as our hangout spot for our final year, fondly referred to as the Gnome Dome. It was our place and was continually filled with laughter. I’m sure there were times of great stress and high tension as we prepared for exams that would dictate our path in life but these are not what fill my memories some 30 years later.
During this past long weekend I travelled back to these times, ever so fleetingly. One of my school friends happened to be back in town to visit her aging mother. She has been back before this but had made a promise to herself that she would track down and ‘catchup’ with friends this time.
Through the power of Facebook her job was made easier. We have been conversing on this wonderful voyager’s paradise for over 5 years but have not physically seen each other for about 28 years. Her detective work resulted in four school friends together over coffee.
There was the usual “What have you been up to?” to start. Have you ever tried to put the highlights of the last 30 years into a few short sentences?
Did we laugh? Yes. Did we laugh a lot? Yes. Did it feel like it had been over 28 years since we were all together? No.
We reminisced about some of the good times that were clearly marked in our memories, a good test of the grey matter at our age. We shared updates about others that we haven’t heard from and the passing of some parents and former teachers. We were proud of our children and shared highlights of our lives. We complained about the passage of time, the need to wear to glasses, the slowing of our bodies. We supported each other as we spoke of our aging parents.
We were somewhat relieved we didn’t have Facebook or any social media while we were at school. We marveled at how we still managed to communicate with each other back then despite no mobile phones or internet. There are few photos that record our time at school (though I have found a few this weekend!), things seemed much more simple back then.
All this in a few hours in a bustling local coffee shop while the present world progressed around us.
As we parted company and passed back into the present we promised to “do this more often”. I hope we do. I enjoyed my journey back in time this weekend – I look forward to the next trip.
Image: Long Weekend – © Can Stock Photo Inc. / ulegundo