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Sunday, March 11, 2012

15 years or 150,000 miles

My car’s odometer flipped 150,000 while I was driving over to Leah’s last night.  That’s a lot of time behind the wheel, and, of course, given my impecunious state, I’m hoping to see another 150,000 from behind the same before my little Honda falls into rusty dust.  I do need to procure a new set of tires much sooner.  I noticed the other day that the back ones are nearing smooth, whereas the fronts are deceptively new-appearing.  What we have here is a failure to rotate.  One of the front ones (I’d been checking the air pressure in all obsessively, and meantime overlooking the rotation schedule) has a double-plug in it thanks to absorbing a bolt last year, so I’ve been preoccupied with the potential for flats, rather than attentive to routine maintenance (besides oil changes, which I’ve religiously observed).

At Leah’s all the usual suspects were assembling—my friends since undergraduate days, the three girls who drove/flew all the way to GA at a moment’s notice when they heard my father died, and then drove me back up here afterwards (today is the 21-month anniversary of his death).  They are the best.  Given that Leah’s 10th wedding anniversary is approaching (a date she and her husband shared with my grandparents—May 17th) and her and my 15th undergraduate class reunion is taking place that weekend, we’ve determined to combine these observances (he went to our university, though with our other friends, he preceded us by a couple of years), and they’ve rented a house for all of us to share.  I hope it will be comfortable—it should be a little easier in some ways than the last time we all shared vacation digs, since the four little boys (my honorary nephews) are now all out of diapers and nap time is no longer de rigeur—though, come to think of it, all of us adults enjoyed nap times, too!

I’ve mixed emotions about the reunion…  I’ll be with friends, so it’s not like I’ll have no one to talk to, (which is always a hazard at such functions), and it will be fun seeing how cushy things have become since our hard-knock tenure (to tell truth, we had it good—I particularly remember the good D-hall food and the church-like cafeteria); I know they’ve got many more luxuries now, though they are missing some of the old-fashioned joys we shared, which included climbing in and out of classroom building windows at any time of the night, so we could sit on the roofs underneath the stars.  I know at least one classmate has died (we two were the finalists for the year at Oxford program—the award went to her) and of a few other unwelcome developments.  I do hope to see some of my old professors, and hope they are happy to see me!  I’m in an unusual position of not being socially changed—I have no husband or children to introduce to acquaintances of yore (or to show the hallowed colonnade where I once trod), I’ve no distinctive career to claim as a self-identifier.  I’m just older.  Wiser, too, I guess.  I don’t really remember too many people in my own class, since most of my friends were a year ahead, and with the core group that met at Leah’s I’ve kept in regular touch, so a reunion is superfluous in that regard.  But it’s a beautiful town, and a lovely campus, and I hope to enjoy the show, so to speak, as one of my ever-expanding collection of “interesting cultural experiences”. 

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