Monday, August 11, 2008

Old Friends, New Friends: Quick Thoughts on a Great Weekend

I write briefly, not from lack of things to say, but because I am once again on a library computer with a keyboard that has definitely seen better days... so I'm sure I will want to expand more on both topics mentioned here when I can.

The 50th anniversary party went wonderfully on Saturday. It started at 2pm. At 2:30 a handful of people had arrived and Mom was wondering if the other 100 rsvps had changed their minds and wouldn't show. By 3pm she realized she was having a fantastic time with hordes of people who were thrilled to have been included and were having a wonderful time catching up with each other as well. The bulk of attendees were retired professors and spouses who had known one another for 20-40 years and didn't have as many chances to spend time together as they would like. Mom's imposter syndrome ("How DARE you plan a party for yourself") coupled with an austere Quaker upbringing ("keep low" was a common instruction for life) prevented her from seeing this in advance. She did have fun though. Dad did too. We all did. I did take some photos, but can't download them yet. Keep in mind too that the subject matter was exclusively human beings, which we've long established as not my forte when it comes to getting things in focus. The thumbnails look better than average though. Fingers crossed.

The dinner we held for out of towners was also fun, and much noisier. There's a difference of opinion as to whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. We were in a much smaller room of course, with lower ceilings rather than the single ugliest conference room one can find on the college campus. I think that had as much to do with the decibels as the alcohol. The low ceiling, I mean.

It was wonderful reconnecting with old friends and relatives on Saturday, then Sunday I had the joy of meeting Birdie in person. Her trip home took her right through Richmond, and she was kind enough to extend what sounds like an action-packed weekend to come meet me. We had gotten maybe less than an hour into a great conversation before she was forced to deal with my entire family plus two adopted relatives over a noisy Sunday dinner. It was such a wonderful feeling for me to have the blogging world and my family meet for the first time. I felt a sense of connection and belonging being strengthened and expanded. Everyone adored Birdie of course, and she didn't seem too overwhelmed by all of us. We never lacked for things to talk about.

She and I then got to talk after dinner, picking up where we left off and getting a good start on what I'm sure will be an extended conversation. What was that wonderful quotation from John Lennon, Joe? "What people really like to do is sit in living rooms and talk"? Or that general sentiment... well, he speaks for me, certainly. The mix of crowd and one-on-one, old and new friends, reminiscence and discovery... I can never get enough of this.

The librarian is giving me the hairy eyeball, so I need to close this now. More as opportunity allows.

12 comments:

Doug said...

OMG. You use the LIBRARY! I am so proud of you! And I like the story, too! Why was the librarian giving you the eyeball? Were you drinking a Doctor Pepper and talking on a cell phone?

Jess said...

Glad your trip is going so well. You are missed!

Birdie said...

My laptop decided to quit working today; but I borrowed one to get online. I need to write, but it feels kinda odd doing it on another computer.

Anyway: I had a WONDERFUL time with you and your family! I haven't laughed so much in years. My cheeks hurt from smiling too hard for so long. The jokes, one-liners and puns were flying fast; it was hard to keep up. Thank you for making me feel so welcome. It was a joyfully memorable evening. And please thank your family as well.

Java said...

I'm so pleased that you and Birdie got to meet each other! Two of my favorite bloggers together at last! Of course I knew you two would hit it off immediately.

It's great to hear the anniversary party went so well. I'm glad your mother loosened up enough to really enjoy herself.

Has your mother calmed down now? Is she at ease now that the party is over?
Enjoy the rest of your stay with them. I hope you have a cool, relaxing time away from the city.

Butch said...

The party and dinner sounded like old gatherings around a huge dining table with my mom's family. Unfortunately, those days are gone but your gathering certainly reminded me of those times. Thanks for sharing them, and I'm happy you are having a great time.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Sounds like a great time, I am so glad your mother allowed herself to enjoy the party. So cool that you and Birdie were able to meet.

I was at a huge 50'th this past weekend for an aunt and uncle, it was nice catching up with people I don't get to see that often any more.

Greg said...

I love that you and Birdie were able to connect...what fun to watch the strands of our web becoming more tangible.

That librarian sounds bored to me. Is there a time limit for using those computers? Or were you just having too much fun composing...?

Trailboss said...

Hairy eyeball! I haven't heard that used in years. Too funny. Sounds like you two had a good time.

Dantallion said...

"Hairy eyeball" Always gives me the heebie-jeebies...

Glad the party worked out so well!

Ben said...

Glad to hear it went well. I feared from the advance word that your mum would curl up in a ball & hide behind a curtain during the festivities. I look fwd to seeing some pics.

oscar said...

Ha ha! Amazing! I have to admit I am a little jealous of Birdie. You and your whole family seem to be the best company anyone could wish for.
Sorry I haven't been around to visit more often, Patrick. I've just had... well... a lot of stuff going on. But I will be back soon to read and talk and enjoy this wonderful 'theme park called Laceyville'!

tornwordo said...

It sounds kind of like camp. And no fair, Birdie gets to meet everyone.

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