Sunday, November 13, 2011

A 40th HS Reunion

WOW! He Once had Hair
Three large cookie trays were spread out on the counter. All were now greased and my daughter was beginning to flatten the stiff dough into the first tray. It looked like hard work. A slight smile was on her face as she methodically worked the dough.
This year it was just my wife and youngest daughter, for the traditional pre-holiday baking. Usually a few others show up for the occasion. Russian tea cakes, camel haystacks, chocolate covered almond bar things??? – I am not sure what they are called, and this year there was a new surprise truffle of some sort.
On these occasions I do my best to stay on the observer side of the kitchen counter.  All that activity looks way to much like work for my liking. And, staying out of the fray seems prudent, besides how many cooks does one kitchen really need? I thought two were plenty. 
My wife made the mistake of asking me to store the baking results in the freezer. Now, I know that is a lot of work, two trips to the garage, and a lot of responsibility, but she should know better. After all she’s had 38 years to learn my tactics. That said that smaller container strategically placed on the top shelf where short people cannot see, it could be empty before the holidays get here.
A woman’s ability to multitask has often left me with the feeling that we males are actually the weaker sex and that kind of rankles me. Like all God given gifts a person can become over confident in using such a gift and therein lies the opportunity. Sitting across from the ladies watching them do their cooking, I figured if I could distract, the possibility of a miss measure might occur. Yip, presto baloogal, one batch of goodies did not meet the quality control standard for the freezer. There is a nice batch of caramel hay stacks (my personal favorite) that do not hold together properly waiting on the counter for me. YES! I love it when a plan comes together.

It was a small group, strangers, really. Yet there was a familiarity in the air. A laugh across the room rolled her way, her memory banks stretched, that was a laugh she knew. The face it came from confused her. There was nothing to connect that laugh with the face. Wait, there was something, there in the eyes, something tugged deep pulling it out of the archives of hardened brain matter. She glanced down at his name tag, “Is that you Grayquill?”
Last weekend was my fortieth high school reunion. Thinking about how long a forty year time span was made me just plain cranky but after a bit I decided I would embrace the whole affair with exuberance. Now, I gotta tell ya, my exuberance quotient falls a bit below what others might consider high-spirited, but I went forward determined to enjoy the time with old childhood friends. Having had kids of my own and now that they have passed their high school days, I understand the maturity I felt at 17 was nothing more than a feeling and I was still a child at that time. Knowing I was not unique, I went into this affair with the appreciation that my old class mates were also just children the last time I had seen them. Throughout the evening I found myself looking for the children hidden inside my classmates that were housed by almost old bodies. Bumps and bruises of life’s pot holes were either inferred or spoken of openly by the more humble classmates. Successes both professional and relationally were varied from person to person and in the wrinkle department the forty year span had been a great deal kinder to the ladies then us men.
The evening ended, the only disappointment as normal, a highly charged emotional time kept my taste buds from taking in the wood cooked salmon prepared by an accomplished chef. There was profoundness in seeing people who were a part of shaping my personality and values. Seeing them again was better than great. To all my classmates of 1971, I appreciate each and every one of you!

Update on Grayquill Musings the book. Nine reviews have been posted on Amazon. Okay….most of them are from good friends and family but there are a couple that are mysteries to me. Thank you! The support is appreciated.  


Shrinky said...

Aw, I think it always warms the baker's heart to have an appreciative tummy waiting for their wares. As to the reunion, my, what fun to still be in touch folks you knew from childhood - I have never been to one of these (we moved around when I was a kid), and have always envied those with these kind of roots.

Arkansas Patti said...

At first I thought Justin Beiber but then I realized you were going more for the George Harrison look. Pretty similar actually. My what a smashing head of hair GQ.
Admire your pluck at going to the reunion. I have held off, I just like to hold on my illusions of that grand time.
I always think the guys aged better. The women just disguise it better with paint, plaster and expensive salon work.

Arkansas Patti said...

Just came back from Amazon and ordered your book. I must have missed your post where you said it was now on sale.
I'll post a review after I have read it.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

It sounds as if you had a good time at your high school reunion. I think they get to be more fun the further you get from those school years. We went to my husband's 50th last year. My 50th would be in 2013, but my class doesn't do reunions anymore. I think the 25th was the last one they celebrated.

Sylvia K said...

How about 61st High School reunion! Now, don't you feel like a baby?? Fun post for the day as always. Always fun to be the observer of the bakers and a great chance to snatch a goodie or two!! Have a great week!


Grayquill said...

Shrinky: Appreciative huh? Why do keep getting my hand slapped?

Arkansas Patti: I did have great hair. And now even the memories are fading. As for that paint, plaster and salon work...I am all in favor of it.

Linda: Linda, Linda, you could be a seed planner you have two years to put it together. Don't be giving me any of those excuses. :-)

Sylvia: Sixty first? How old are you? Oh that was kind of mean wasn't it? Should I ask for forgiveness now?

Anita Jeyan said...

wow. My Dad passed out engineering in 1971 and he still has his alumni party and get-together going on every year !!! It is such an awesome feeling to catch up with people who were just teenagers or young men when you met them.
I will not be home this Christmas as well, and all the baking and cooking prior Christmas reminds me of Christmas at home..

Debra said...

So glad you had a nice time at your reunion. I've never been to one of mine. I did go with my husband to his 40th. I don't know...I just don't like those kinda things, but then, I'm kinda wierd lol!

TexWisGirl said...

you make me almost wish i had attended my 30th reunion last month. oh well.

thanks for stopping by my blog, btw! really appreciate it! i loved your profile tidbit about the leftover cat... :)

Pat said...

Love the picture GQ, did your kids inherit that great head of hair? My kids inherited their dads unruly hair, you can't win 'em all.
I have a craving for caramel haystacks, even though I've never had them. Must find a recipe!
Glad you had a great reunion. Did you have someone wear a sandwich board advertising your book? I would have, I'm very subtle like that. BTW, I'm reading it over for the second time, and it just gets better and better. How do you do that? I won't lend it out. There are some unscrupulous people out there who don't return borrowed books, I just can't chance it. They must buy their own!

Grayquill said...

Anita: Every Year! They must all be great friends. I am sorry you will not make it home for Christmas – that is sad.

Debra: Of course you don’t like those things. YOU WENT TO YOUR HUSBANDS REUNION!!! I feel sorry for spouses who have to attend those things. Try going to your own it might be different.

TexWisGirl: You want a cat…I ship him to you ;-O

Pat: My kids have nice hair but my son keeps his cropped down short so its kinda hard to tell what’s going on there. I know you know what Carmel Haystacks are – they are probably just called something else.
Thank you for your very nice comment about my book. I love that!!! You are the best!!