Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Can You Go Back? Yes and No.

I took some vacation time this past week. I was able to do some work on my music and sculpting and then Karen, Dylan and I flew to Kansas to participate in the Mundy reunion. We had a reasonably good time. I was able to spend time with the usuals and also with the unusuals—perhaps it would be better to say the family members I do not usually or normally get to spend time with. I was able to see my brothers, Tom and Dan, and their kids and a lot of their grandkids. And I was able to see my younger sister, Janna and three of her kids—her married kids and grandkids were unable to make it this time around. My oldest sister’s—Anna, who passed away about 29 years ago—kids were represented by her two oldest kids. My next oldest sister to reach adulthood, Sharon, and her family were unable to attend. I got to play some golf with my oldest son, Jesse and his fiancĂ©e, Amanda, and my daughter, Ingrid’s husband, Jeff. We swam and barbecued, hung out, talked about old times, and went to church. I came home physically tired but spiritually refreshed.

Family is very important to an individual’s growth and development and continues to be a source of strength as you continue through life. By the same token, the individual is important to the well-being of the family. It is good to touch your base once in a while to reflect on the connections we have and appreciate who we are and who the most important people in our lives really are. Families should be for ever.

On the other hand, I also dropped in on my 40-year high school reunion which happened to be going on one of the nights I was there in Topeka and I was a bit surprised that I only recognized three guys, who happened to be brothers—twins and a younger brother, by one year—and whom I had seen a few years earlier while I was living in Kansas again for a stretch. It was nice to see them of course—we had been good friends—but, it was not a big thrill for me to be there. Just about everyone there, besides Karen, Dylan and myself, were swigging on their alcoholic beverages and chatting amicably and watching the newcomers who entered to see if it might be someone they could recognize. I faked recognizing one gal after my friend, Dave Boyles, told me who she was. It was kind of mean to put her on the spot, because she clearly had no idea who I was, but I am not above that kind of stuff if I can get a little self-satisfied chuckle out of it. I owned up to the deception though, and when I told her who I was, I was not convinced that she remembered me. Most of my very best friends, with the exception of Danny Wood (my best friend), are people I have known outside of my high school setting. They are people with whom I have shared mutual interests in music, art, literature, politics and faith. I guess I have moved on and there were no serious ties that bind in regards to school to make me very nostalgic.