photo by Bertha Henderson Swango

photo by Bertha Henderson Swango

Ahhh–Labor Day is behind us, and even tho summer isn’t officially over until late September, most people consider Labor Day to be the segway into the Fall season.   After all, football has begun, pools are closing, the days are getting shorter, and many of us have packed-away our white sandals until next Memorial Day. (or Easter, depending on how far south you live.)

Reunions seem to be a big thing over the Labor Day holiday.  Harlan High School–the school that I attended during the  majority of my formidable years (grades 2-10), had it’s 100 year anniversary reunion last weekend. I did not attend, but have thoroughly enjoyed examining the photos that have been posted on facebook. 

In the last year, I have become a facebook addict, and in the course of that time, have re-connected with several people that I knew from those 30-44 some years past.  You see,

I left my hometown as a junior in high school to live at a boarding school in another state. And, with the exception of a very brief marriage that took me back home for two years, I’ve never really returned.  Most of the ties were severed when I left, although the memories will remain.

Sewanee Academy 1986 reunion

Sewanee Academy 1986 reunion

Sewanee Academy was nestled on top of the Cumberland Plateau, and there I was thrown into a melting pot of other students from all walks of life. What we had in common was that we were all juveniles (delinquents???) living away from home.  Having lived 24/7 with these people for 2 years, it was tough transitioning to a completely new life at college in yet another state upon graduation. So many of us made a pact.  We would return to “The Mountain” yearly, during alumni weekend. And you know what? A large segment of us from a 5-year range actually made that pilgrimage for many years. In a span of 15 years, I believe I made it to 9 or 10 of our gatherings.  I haven’t been back now for 17 years, and had, until recently,  kept in touch with only about 6 of those classmates on any sort of regular basis.

What’s her point?, you ask. It’s this. There are reasons that so many people feel that they can never go “home” again.  Maybe they didn’t feel that they lived up to expectations. Maybe family had moved away or died. Maybe there were painful memories from a turbulent adolescence, or maybe they thought that no one really cared if they came or not. Are you following me? Can you relate?

I’ve admitted in several of my BLOGS  (press and scroll down to the “true confessions” blog to see how this all began) that i was a facebook addict. I now realize that that is NOT such a bad thing, after all. With the touch of a button (invite), it is possible to reconnect with other fb users (sounds like a drug, doesn’t it???) from the saftey of my own home, protected by a computer screen and keyboard. By pressing that button, I’ve gotten fresh glimpses into the lives of old boyfriends, ex-best friends–some as far back as third grade–and people who had just disappeared from my life for no reason at all, except graduation. We’ve all lived our own lives and grown into different people with many stories to tell, for better or for worse. Most have been divorced, maybe remarried. Many are Christians. A few are Buddhists. There are Democrats and Republicans. Several are writers. One is a Veterinarian. A few are Doctors, One is a Chaplain in the Army (stationed in South Korea), and too many have passed away.

Facebook IS a reunion. It puts us back on even terrain. And thanks to it, I’ve had the opportunity to visit, in the flesh, some dear old friends. I look forward to reconnecting to more people in the near future.

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