21 September 2011

Ten years later

Oh, you guys. Thank you so much for letting me write here about the life and death of my grandpa. I know it’s supposed to be all about the homey-projects here, but I wanted to write publicly about him because we’re not having a traditional funeral. Doesn’t seem right for a man who never liked the center of attention! Anyway, he deserves a better memorial, but it’s the best I could do. And thanks so much for all your kind words, here and elsewhere. You guys are the best!

But let’s back up. It’s been a rather crazy couple of weeks, as you may have deduced from random allusions here and there – even besides my grandpa’s death, if you can imagine. I had my ten year high school reunion, for one! Followed by a fairly wild school retreat in the woods in rural Tennessee. I’m not even sure what day it is any more. Flurbsday? Flurbsday sounds right.

So, even though I have a few DIY project posts lined up, we’re going to keep the photo-heavy week of reminiscing going. Sorry. It’s a mixed bag here.

Ten-year reunions are worth celebrating, though! I was excited enough to stretch out the celebration to the night before, when we went to my high school’s homecoming football game. And because I went to college in the same town as my high school, I got to show Mr. P my university in addition to my hometown (a different town than the one my parents live in).

Sure, it’s a small state school, but it certainly served me well! Well enough that I wanted to crawl in the landscaping on the busy main street to have my photo taken with the university’s administration building, with pride:

Too bad Mr. P is still having trouble keeping my swanky camera steady.

We walked around the campus, or at least the parts I used to frequent. I tried to find my old biology lab where I did my senior thesis project, but I couldn’t find it. At least, not before Mr. P asked me to please stop crawling in the brush and peeking in windows. I was happy to find that not too much has changed in the almost-seven years since I was there, except perhaps this building:

THAT would be my daddy’s band room. Or rather, what’s left of it before it was turned into a European-style open-air pavilion. My father was the band director at the university for over twenty years, so I grew up in that building. It was a little sad to see it torn apart, but I’m excited that the university is getting a new fine arts building. It’s long overdue!

After wandering around the main campus, we went to the university stadium – where my high school plays its football games! There I met up with some old but current friends, also in town for homecoming:

Mr. P has a trademark photography style, no?

I was pumped about the game, but also pumped to see the band. My old director is still there, and the new assistant director is one of my dad's old students. They're still doing a great job:

We actually sat with the band, partly because I didn’t see any other classmates, but also because... well, I am still a band nerd. As evidenced by the fact that I went along with this:

Turns out that, in addition to the current field commander and myself (a former field commander), there were two more former field commanders in attendance. So the band director convinced me that we should all direct together. I guess it was fun? It’s been ten years, people. My arm-waving is not the award-winning arm-waving it once was.

But the kids were sweet! The band director introduced us to the band kids first by asking them what each of our names are. Not a problem for the more recent field commanders, but because these kids were IN KINDERGARTEN MY GOODNESS when I was last directing a band, they of course didn’t know my name. When asked who I was, one clarinet player said “A pretty girl!” Oh, honey. Can I put you in my pocket and take you home with me?

That’s become creepy now that I’m old, hasn’t it?

Anyway. Based on their record, it seemed like my alma mater wasn’t doing so hot on the field this year, and they were playing a ranked team that night. But...

We won! In a bit of a nail-biter at the end, even! School spirit yay!

The next day was the beginning of the end for my grandpa, so we ended up missing the Soybean Festival downtown. Don’t laugh. It’s a big deal! This year’s headliners: Kansas, Diamond Rio, and Uncle Kracker. Come on, you know you loved Uncle Kracker. “Follow Me”? Takes you back, doesn’t it?

Anyway, because of the drama at the nursing home, we actually just barely made it to the reunion on time. And we made it on time only because I forgot my camera. ME! ME WHO LOVES TO TAKE PHOTOS. NO CAMERA.

That was a fun string of swear words Mr. P had to hear when I realized that!

So I’ve grabbed a few from other peoples’ photo albums. Here’s Mr. P and me upon arrival. We looked pretty good considering the circumstances. Oh, who am I kidding, I think this guy is a hottie all the time:

Continuing the "band nerd" theme, that's my letter jacket hanging up there, masquerading as decor. I'll have you know a cheerleader asked me to bring it.

A lot of my high school friends couldn’t or didn’t want to go to the reunion, but I was glad to get to see a few old friends – people I’ve stayed in touch with on facebook, sure (how else would I have these photos?), but haven’t seen in literally ten years:

The event was good for catching up, since it was mostly mingling. However, I kept waiting for someone to organize a group photo – because, honestly, I was ready to go home and crash. Since no one did, I finally suggested it to the organizer... and here we are!

Pretty good for ten years later, eh?

I'm just going to go ahead and pretend you said yes.


Rachel C said...

Thanks for the Martin pictures! It let me have a little walk down memory lane too!

Christal said...

how big was your high school? And looks like you've still got it! Go, award-winning Field Commander, go! Anyway, doesn't the drumline set the tempo, anyway, in their oblivious, arrogant sort of way? ;-)
And I totally remember seeing the signs for the soybean festival...when is the No-Till? :-)

Sarah said...

I think my graduating class had just over 200, or so? There wasn't a huge turnout at the reunion. It's a small school but not that teensy.

And for the record, the drumline did NOT set the tempo when I was in charge ;) It helps to be BFFs with the first snare and first trumpet. But yes, everyone else basically followed them, not me. Still. Indirect-directing!

We just missed No-Till, apparently! Mark your calendars, it's a July holiday! ;)

Mary Beth said...

Awww! You saw Victor and Michelle!!! Wow - that takes me back. And I'm trying to see if I know who most of the tiny people are in the group shot...I kind of wish I could have been there, except I didn't graduate from there and maybe no one would remember me...oh well.