Words can’t describe the feelings I’ve had this weekend.
A photo of about 50 together for a class reunion would be a pretty good turnout for most schools, but for a kid that graduated in a class of 10, I find it absolutely amazing.
OK, so maybe it wasn’t just a ‘class’ reunion, per se. It was open to the entire school, including staff, parents, students, class pets, etc. But for a school that ran about 100 kids in any given year, I think the turnout was just incredible.
How many actually showed up? Now, that’s a good question (and one that we will be much more ready to answer next time) My personal estimation is at least 200. But estimating has never been one of my strong points.
I could throw you the same old lines here, that it was so good to see everyone after 20 years, but that just doesn’t do it justice. Maybe my perspective is a little skewed. You see, I spent nearly 14 years with these people for 8 hours a day. Then there were field trips, sporting events, social functions, birthday parties, youth outings, and the hours spent singing in the car back and forth (everything from the Cathedral Quartet to Billy Joel) If you knock out my parents, sister, and wife (who I met there), I have spent more time with this group of people than with any other. Period.
I could babble on and on about the memories that come to mind as I look across the faces in this picture. And it’s not the typical… I sat next to this kid in science class stuff either. We did ‘life’ together… for years and years. I imagine that kind of closeness with schoolmates is difficult for most people to imagine. But for me, it was… it is… just family.
Alright, I’ll save the rest of the mushy stuff for another time. For now, just let me say thank you. Thank you to my parents, who sacrificed so much to be sure that I could be a part of this group. Thank you to everyone that made that effort to come out, leaving any past issues behind, and reunite with this family. And a special thanks to all of you who came together to make this event happen. For some reason, I wound up with a lot of the credit, when I really did so very little. It took a LOT of excited people to make this the success that it was, and I am so thankful for them.
I’ll make one last plea… if you are not on facebook, then please, plug-in. It’s an incredible tool for reconnection. There are lots of pictures from the event, and a group page for all of us to get together. Without it (as my sister said) this would have been 3 chairs and a bag of Doritos. Of course, that would have been fine, too.
Jeremy C. Plummer
Temple Christian School
Class of 1993
Yes, I’m still talking about a TCS Reunion.
I’ve had better days. We all have.
But Tuesday wasn’t as bad as this picture makes it seem.
First, we got up and went to see Steph’s dietician. Steph’s normal dietician was MIA, so we got to see a new one who was MUCH better than our her old one. We requested to see her again next time. She encourage Steph, answered questions, and told her she could move on to her next phase… soft cooked veggies. Steph was really excited, I was a little disgusted, and we started to plan where we would go to lunch.
Next, was a follow-up appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Jones. We both love Dr. Jones, and reccommend her highly to anyone considering bariatric surgery in the Indianapolis area. She was as nice as ever, and very pleased with Steph’s progress. She gave her a goal weight for their next visit, and struck a little deal with her. “If you will skip the ‘starches’ phase (which would come in a few weeks), I will allow you to start eating salads, now.” I honestly thought Steph was going to cry.
Now personally, I’ve never really been excited about a salad… ever. But Steph has been eating cream soups, yogurt, and protein shakes for the last 4 weeks, and she LOVES salad. I’m pretty sure that’s all she ate through high school, or at least after her microbiology class. She was SO very excited. And I am so excited for her.
This changes everything. She has done SO well to stick to her diet. I am so proud of her for that. But, she has been avoiding going out socially, because that usually revolves around eating out… which is difficult to sit by and watch, when you can’t eat. NOW she can join in, again, and I am SO thankful that she can.
So, we went to the nearest salad joint (subway, oddly enough). Then on to her next doctor appointment.
As we were leaving subway, I noticed my fuel gauge sitting on E. It was on F when I left the house that morning, and everywhere in between on the ride over. It’s been a little erratic for the last few days, so I didn’t see it as an emergency, but decided we should go straight to the gas station. Well, we got about half way there. My good friend Greg brought us some gas, and took Steph home so she could get comfortable (since the car didn’t start right back up.) Larry, a good guy from Paddock, came and towed the car to the nearby Tutwiler Cadillac dealer. They are burning up my cash, as I type, installing a new fuel pump, and replacing my crankshaft position sensors.
After Greg picked me up from the dealer, I picked up Steph, and took her to the gym, so she could do her physical therapy in the pool. It’s amazing to watch her move around in there. Power walking with resistance and pushing herself every step of the way. Then, to O’Charleys for a REAL meal in celebration of her accomplishments. A Grilled Southwest Chicken salad for her and something off the BigFatFatty menu, for me.
I’m so proud of that girl. She’s lost about 40 pounds now, and she’s pushing herself every day to do the right things, even when she doesn’t feel like it. In case you don’t remember her, this is the girl I fell in love with 20 years ago. The girl with drive, and ambition. The girl who needed more than a small town had to offer. My Princess, Stephenie. It’s just so good to have her back.
I love you, Doll.
Last week was a busy week for us. Since Steph had a surgery coming up, we had a long list of things we wanted to do before she went under. Most of them involved some pretty tasty foods that she would be missing for a while. But spending a little time with Stacey’s kids was on the list, too. At the last minute, I decided to join them all for a trip to the zoo. I quickly packed up some camera gear and thoroughly enjoyed every minute that I got to share with them.
Click the collage above for a gallery of images that I shot while we were there. The initial load time is a little slow, but once it’s all there it should move pretty fast. Also, you’ll have to forgive me for the animal pictures. I’m still waiting to get their model releases back from their agents so that I can publish photos of their faces.
And yes, Steph is doing just fine, post-op… I’ll tell you a bit about that, later.
Every time I mentioned it, “Soup and Games,” I got the same response.
“What’s soup and games?” They’d ask.
Now, since I’ve been told on occasion that my wit has a tendency to be sharp, and hurtful sometimes, I did my best to respond kindly.
“It’s soup…” I’d say, pausing as long as I could to keep from hurting anyone’s feelings. “… and games.”
Maybe this blog is a better venue for an explaination:
The time we get to share with our extended family seems to be spread thinner and thinner as the years pass. When I was a kid, there wasn’t a week that went by when I didn’t spend two, three, even four days a week with one cousin or another. As we grew into our pre-teen years, it quickly became once every few weeks. By the time we could drive, it was nothing more than major holidays. Now, everyone has developed their own families, each with it’s own unique commitments, obligations, and schedules. Missing one or two of the majors, or just stopping in for an hour or so, isn’t really a big deal.
But it is.
This past Thanksgiving, my mother’s mother’s side of the family played some silly game together over our turkey dinner. Oddly enough, the game bridged generation gaps, and brought only conversation that ended in joy and laughter. Realizing how little we get to do this, we decided on another day, well after Christmas, to just sit back, enjoy ourselves, play games, and eat soup. Why soup? I don’t know. What I do know is that it brought a family a little closer together.
As usual, click on the collage above for a quick look into our day. Not everyone got to show up, but those of us who did will remember the first annual Soup and Games for years to come. And those who did not make it this year, will try a little harder next year, I’ll bet.
As a child, it usually started around Thanksgiving. My head began to fill with dreams of what would be under the Christmas tree that season. I think it was all prompted by the delivery of the new Sears Catalog. “The Wishbook,” they called it. I can remember sitting around my Grandmother’s house with whichever older cousin would put up with me, and a plate full of turkey. We’d take turns with the wishbook, a marker, and a calculator. It wasn’t serious yet, we were just dreaming. We’d set imaginary limits of five or ten thousand dollars, and start circling everything we could possibly want. Each of us ooooing and ahhhing over the other’s keen stuff hunting skills. It was a great game.
But a few days later, it was no laughing matter. My parents, without losing any of the magic of a child’s Christmas, were very practical in their approach. They set a realistic dollar limit, then gave me the wishbook, a marker, and deadline.
Of course, that dollar limit was always a problem for me. No matter how I worked the numbers, I could never seem to get that Omnibot 2000, or the MRC Trainer Hawk. (Aww, poor me… I know.) Even today as I go through the digitized pages of that 1985 Wishbook, my heart begins to race. The hopes and dreams of those four weeks were worth so much more than actually having them, come mid January.
My sister, the genius that she is, has found a way to take this tradition to the next level. She actually took the kids to Toys ‘R Us, gave them a bar code scanner, and let them go to town creating their own electronic Christmas registry. For hours, they dreamed of what would be under that tree. They got to see it up close. Touch it, smell it. It’s right there within their grasp.
Now, it’s our own fault that we don’t spend enough time with the kids we are buying for this Christmas to really know what they are into, what they want, and what is going to make look completely out of touch. And when you put them on the spot in the few moments you have with them, they can’t really tell you what they want. That what makes an electronic wish list so cool.
So let’s take it up a notch, shall we? Ask ME what I want for Christmas. Go ahead, ask. I’d be happy to tell you, but you’re not going to like it. My hobbies are photography, motorcycles, marketing, home theater & automation, etc. See a problem here? It’s not that you don’t know me… or that you don’t care what I like. It’s just that, that stuff doesn’t really fit into the $10 & $20 gift range very well. My wife wouldn’t even know how to help you there, other than the old standby… “Get him a Gift Card.”
If only you could put all the stuff in the world into a catalog, and give me a marker, you would know what I want. I would know what you want. We could give each other gifts that we actually wanted, without being generic or spoiling the surprise.
Oh wait. We have that. It’s called the Internet… or more specifically, Amazon. (They have a LOT more than just books!)
So please, I beg you. Go to amazon, start your own wish list, make it public, and let people know how to find it. Put it on your MySpace and Facebook pages. Send your kids to make one. Make your husband do it, too. If you need some help, just ask. But please, PLEASE, make it easier on everyone. Give them your wishlist.
Oh, and just to get everyone started, here’s mine