Today and tomorrow are all about reunions for me.
I got up, hit a cafe and then went straight over to an old youth leaders office where he is a dentist.
He recognized me right away which is impressive after 20 years and a beard. He made me feel like I’d never left and I wished I could just sit there and talk for hours. Unfortunately it was my fault for interrupting him at work so our reunion was brief. I love that guy. He really helped get me in to mountain biking and he was a solid shoulder to cry on when my brother died.
After that, I hoped on my bike and spent a couple of hours riding around my old haunts. I found my old home, several friends houses and a few old places where I worked. I then rode down the hill to see my old school. It has been completely rebuilt. I really don’t think any part of the original structure exists. Maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder but I have great memories of that school. I’m even still friends on Facebook with one of my teachers who was instrumental in my life. I still love her to this day. Thanks Mrs. Watson. I thought about you a lot today.
After a quick lunch I rode for almost an hour to a ski town where one of my best friends ever lives with her husband and two kids. We were inseparable for a long time and she understood me better than many people in my life. She was my counselor in tough times and my accomplice in way too many acts of teenage mischief. I have missed her dearly for 20 years and I really wish I knew why I walked away from so many great friendships.
I tried to make up for that yesterday. When I arrived at her home she didn’t even give me time to get my helmet off before giving me a warm, welcoming hug.
We talked for hours and hours. I didn’t leave until just after 11pm.
In the meantime she took me stand up paddle boarding on a lake near her home. I always thought it would be easy. Nope. My legs were so tired from shaking so much trying to keep my balance. I couldn’t even stand up on the damn thing until I went close to the shore.
My friend was kind and kept encouraging me but I think she was just being nice. I truly sucked at it. But…it’s something I’m going to commit to practicing more. My kids would love one of these.
Her husband left work early just so he could meet me and I instantly took a liking to him. He is a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor and a pure outlook on life. I am so happy for my friend that she found him. Mostly I’m happy that she is happy and that her life is going well. I think if we could go back in time and talk to our high school selves about what our life would be like in the future, we’d just want to know that we are safe and happy. That’s a great thing.
It was hard riding away. I hope I don’t let it go another 20 years. I vow to change that.
One of many things I need to change. I’m working on it.
Tomorrow night, the 19th, I am having a get together at Masa Mexican Kitchen and Cantina at 5pm in Seattle. If you are nearby and would like to come, consider this your invitation. I’d love to see everyone. Yes, I have anxiety about it but I’m handling it. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Tomorrow my last day here and then I’ll head out Friday morning.