I put the top down on my convertible and start up the car. The air is warm and mild and it smells sweet. It is so quiet that I can hear my tires on the road as I pull away. It is a rare and perfect early summer morning.
I drive slowly from the Grosse Ile Yacht Club while still basking in the afterglow of a successful event and a wonderful night of laughter and silliness with friends. My 35th high school class reunion has just ended.
I leave the radio off, drive in the silence of a 2:00 a.m. morning, and get lost in fun recollections of the evening.
My first thought is of me tending the table at the entrance to our party. I remembered NO ONE! I recall how I began the evening with, “I’m sorry, I don’t remember too many of our classmates; what’s your name, please?” and ended up with, “Who are you?!”
Patti, a kind classmate, recalled me asking her to join the committee and then promptly proclaiming my exasperation at my own involvement and saying, “But I don’t even like people!” She told me tonight, after several drinks, how that had scared her a little. But she joined me anyway. And she was vital to the resulting wonderful evening. I call her brave. And gracious.
One of our committee members wore a striking ensemble that inspired the evening’s most memorable quote which involved a wedge of watermelon and was thusly dubbed, “the watermelon lady!” A title I suspect that she will wear for a very long time. I remember telling her to act like a rind. She laughed and did something funny with her arms. (I will post something like this on her Facebook wall later).
And our poor DJ. I kept calling him Tim, although his name was Paul. Thing is, I hired him. He smiled a lot when he saw me coming.
And my somewhat reserved friend, the “closet” dancer. She was quite the flexible little creature out there dancing tonight. She moved so quickly that I was only able to get one pic of her. I muse now in understanding of her intense addiction to, “So You Think You Can Dance?”. . . And another piece of the puzzle falls into place.
I remember how we all laughed at our graduation pictures that were on our nametags. I never knew the handsome guy I talked to at our pre-party the night before until I saw his nametag tonight. “Oh, THAT’S who you are!” I screamed in recognition.
I think about the infamous “rock” that adorns our school’s entrance and how every year a proud class will declare themselves by painting it with their graduation year. Ours was 1977.
Couple that with the mustache and beard that I drew on my nametag and titled, “Menopause”, and I have just one word of explanation:
Regression. I guess I’m being the bad girl I never was in school. A real rebel, ‘eh? Ha ha. Funny thing is, no one seemed to notice. Sheesh.
A little crazier was the girl I didn’t know who freaked me out by trying to suck on my neck, and the fact that I posed for a picture on a handsome man’s lap, stuck my finger in his ear, and now cannot for the life of me, remember his name. There is something inherently wrong with that. Oh gosh.
I pull myself from the night’s memories and back into the present moment and drive slowly down East River Road. It is a beautiful, quiet night and ever so still.
I round the infamous East River Road bend where the houses cease to be on the right side and there is only the river. I am acutely aware of the silence.
As I resign myself to the conclusion of a memorable evening, I see a shadowy figure up ahead near the water. I stop my car.
A single large, lovely, deer slowly walks across the road immediately in front of me. He turns his head and looks at me as he crosses. My camera is not handy, so I sit perfectly still and watch in awe. But it looks something like this.
Now that, my friends, is the perfect ending to a great night; and one that I did not anticipate . . . another precious moment to remember.
Grosse Ile, Michigan, it will always be my home.
Gosh, I love this place.