Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This past weekend I went on a road trip. I got in my car, alone, and drove five hours southwest to Normal, Illinois, to the campus of Illinois State University. A dear man, a father figure and mentor, passed away and I attended his memorial service. In addition to paying my respects, I had the chance to reunite with several people with whom I spent four happy years. I hadn't seen most of these people in thirty-five years and wasn't sure what to expect, but I really wanted to go. So I made a hotel reservation, filled up my tank, and went.
The weekend surpassed all my expectations. The small town of Normal has grown so much I was glad I had printed out directions to all the events as well as the hotel, because the streets have all changed so much. The wide-open spaces between the high rise dorms have now been filled in with various businesses. Even the twenty-nine-story dorm where I lived is no longer visible from the highway. I didn't see it until I was only a block away! But I got to all the places I needed to go, and got some great pictures.
It was so good to see my old friends. I wasn't the only one who had traveled. Above is a picture of me talking to two women who were sorority sisters. One drove in from Kentucky, and the other had flown in from Delaware! We talked, laughed, shared memories, and at the end of the weekend, promised to keep in touch and return. Thanks to social media, keeping in touch is a lot easier.
So my trip down memory lane was a good one. I listened to several success stories, some funny stories, and a few of heartache. Most of us are retirees or are close to it. Most of us have kids who are young adults, and we proudly shared what they're doing with their lives. We're planning another get together next summer, and I won't hesitate to go. It'll be great.