Thursday, September 10, 2015

A blast from the past

Are there friends in your life whom you are always happy to see? People who bring passion and intelligence and a sense of fun to every get together? Are there friends who—even if you haven’t seen them for two years—pick up in the middle of a sentence and it’s as though you were never apart? I have been very lucky in my many writing and reading friends, but today I want to tell you about another special group.

Some of the gang about four years ago.

Some of the best reunions for me have been with my library school buddies from what was then Dalhousie School of Library Service.  We were all strangers when we started in the fall of 1979 and I was years older than the rest of them.

Back in the day!

But over our  trials and tribulations (Cataloguing class, anyone?) friendships were born. Fun was had. Scamps got active. For example, the Government Documents class protested being moved to an earlier hour (8:30)  because the professor had a meeting with the Senate. The entire class showed up in early morning  gear: shower caps, housecoats, slippers, and, I believe a more than one toothbrush.  To his credit, the late great Dr. Norman Horrocks did not blink or let on that he’d noticed.  To tell the truth, I wasn't there because 8:30 was way too early for me.

The class of ’81 lives on in legend, at least we think.  Most likely no noisier group ever stomped through those halls.  Perhaps there’s still laughter ringing in the stacks.  

I like to think so.  
Our small class of about twenty-eight scattered across the country and some to other countries, because this was back in the day when people could graduate and actually get jobs.  There were great careers, new relationships, children, happiness and heartbreak, and yet, so often so many of us kept in touch.  Even if you weren’t that great at keeping in touch, ahem, you could always catch up at the next opportunity. Over the years we've gathered in different combinations, but always with fun and laughter.

Recently we had the pleasure of welcoming back our friend, Ruth, who now lives in New Zealand and was visiting Ottawa.  Could we get together?  Who was available?  Although many of us are still in touch, only a few lived close enough.

Seven of us were able to gather at our friend Doris’s riverside home for an afternoon of fun and a pot luck dinner.  Ruth came halfway round the world.  Nancy drove for four hours. 

Robyn and Louise did too.  Heather managed to SKYPE from the West Coast.

Catch the Nova Scotia flag in the background!

As usual there was lots of food and laughter and catching up. There were updates on the classmates  who couldn't make it, 

Do you think there's enough food?

Plus there was an amazing boat ride. Perhaps no noisier group had ever boated down that section of the river.

Captain Doris with Attitude!

Along with the laughter, there were tears as Robyn read from letters from our much-loved friend Peter who passed away years ago but lives on in our hearts.  As we were gathered around the table, Robyn also brought photos of a cranberry picking excursion in 1980 with a picture of tiny Victoria Maffini (aka the other half of Victoria Abbott) busy picking with the rest of us.

It was a day to remember and these are friends to treasure.  I feel lucky to have them and grateful that I was able to be part of this group and able to seize the day. 

So what about you?  Let’s hear about your friendships, buddies, old schoolmates. Do you have one  special friend or a group? Do they enrich your life and make you laugh and sometimes cry?