Since moving in with Mom seven months ago, I’ve had a nagging desire to host a neighborhood reunion. My dream came true yesterday.
Several recent phone calls and Facebook conversations later, the people who are partially responsible for who I am today, came together to share memories and admissions that we had an idyllic childhood. That even through all of the arguing, tattle tailing, and rule changing we did while playing as youngsters, the bond we unknowingly established all those years ago held us together then, and forever unites us.
Thoughts of underground forts, tree forts, forts made of ferns, and blow pops came to mind. Reflections on flying kites, playing croquet, hide and seek, and splashing around in the creek bed surfaced. We had unimaginable fun growing up, and we had times when we wanted to kill each other. But I think we all agree that although we’ve been disconnected by years and the insanity of life, we’ve never lost our deep attachment.
Margie and her husband Pete came over to meld into the old crowd. Way back when, “Madge”, as we called her, had the best record player in the hood, and unselfishly played records for us for hours on end.
Eric and Lori (brother and sister), graced us with their presence, and were leaders and masters in building things like our forts.
Diane from across the street showed up which sparked memories of how she used to entertain us with her wit and talk about cool cars and snow mobiles.
Her brother Donny, who married my dear and close friend Bonnie, strolled through the front door too. Donny was a tad older than a bunch of us, so we looked up to him. We thought he was a man of the world back then, and he was only 12 years old.
And then there’s Maud….and her husband Paul, who are the parents of Eric and Lori. They were the go-to adults when we needed assistance engineering things or having our blackberries turned into pies. Having them with us yesterday was priceless.
Bob came over after his car show to get a bite to eat and say hi. He was a teacher at our high school. While growing up, we thought it was very cool to live next to a teacher, especially one from our own school. I don’t think anyone loves animals more than he, and he was always ready to assist us with birds, snakes, or any animal that seemed to be in need of attention. He hasn’t changed.
At the last minute, Gary showed up. I haven’t seen him in at least 35 years. I reminded him that he saved my life the day we were picking up glass and I unknowingly cut my thumb. I was about 8 years old; he was 14. He carried me home and convinced me on the way that I wasn’t going to die. I never forgot his kindness.
My brothers Vincent and Paul were in the mix too, along with Mom, all having a fun time.
So, I think it’s safe to say, that for the rest of forever, our little neighborhood will be united in a mystical bond that can only be understood by its members.
Yesterday’s gathering proved that.