Sunday, September 20, 2015

Class Reunion #35...Stories of Our Lives

This past weekend I attended my 35th class reunion.  The last one I made it to was the 10th reunion. I came back to Findlay from Northern Virginia for the 15th reunion. Unfortunately, I came on the wrong weekend and couldn't make the trip two weekends in a row.  So it had been 25 years since I had seen my former classmates. 25 years....A quarter of a century.... (Ew! That somehow makes it seem even longer.)

I know a lot of people have various reasons for not wanting to attend events like these, and that's OK. I was really looking forward to this one, though, and I was not disappointed. We started off with a tailgate party before the high school football game. As I pulled into the street beside the park where the tailgate party was being held, I immediately recognized one of my classmates. She had hardly changed at all. Most of the time, though, I had to take a peek at the nametag to make a connection.

When the game was about to start, we gathered at the football stadium where a section of bleachers had been roped off. Our team, the Findlay Trojans, had already scored a touchdown by the time I got there. Usually, I watch the game pretty closely. This time, though, I spent most of the game talking and listening to the classmates sitting around me. The Trojans scored another touchdown, but I missed it. We scored three more touchdowns, and I missed every one of them. In fact, the only one I actually saw happen was in the final seconds of the game, but there was a flag on the play and the score was rolled back. Even so, it was a pretty spectacular run. In the end, our team won 35-0. Perhaps appropriate considering which reunion it was for us.

This giant metal sculpture has been in the courtyard
of the high school for longer than I can remember.
Over the years, some have tried to have it torn down,
but others have insisted that it stay.
I have no idea what it is supposed to be,
but I'm kind of glad it has survived.

 Saturday morning, some of us gathered at the high school, which has expanded a great deal over since we graduated. Since I work at the high school now, I almost didn't go to that event, but I'm glad I did. I learned a number of interesting things that I didn't know before.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the dinner on Saturday night. I had a chance to catch up with what has been happening in the lives of my former classmates, even as they caught up with me. Those of you who know me now might be surprised to know that in school, I was one of the quieter students. In social situations, I would be more likely to sit back and watch everyone else rather than taking the initiative to talk to others. Add to that the fact that most high schoolers tend to have their own little group of close friends, and rarely think to include others. Well, Saturday night was not at all like that. I found that we all were able to cross those artificial high school boundaries, and anyone could talk to anyone.
 The long and the short of it is that we have all grown up. Our lives have gone different directions. Some have accomplished much and are enjoying that success. Some have had heart-breaking struggles. Some have come through those struggles victorious. Others are still in the middle of them.

Everyone has a story to tell. Stories of joy and sadness. Stories of love and heartbreak. Stories of family, work, and ministry.  Everyone's story is important because everyone's story represents a life that is of great value. These stories fascinate me. These stories touch my heart. These stories are now a part of me.
This collage was designed by classmate Renny Arredondo.
If you look closely, you will see it is made up
of the senior pictures of our class.

I am so glad to have reconnected with the class of 1980 for our 35th reunion. I am looking forward to #40 to hear the continuing stories of our lives.

Friday, September 4, 2015

New House Going Up!

I can't believe it has been three full months since I last wrote in this blog. Well, it has been, but I'm not going to write much today, either.  Instead, I'll share a few photos of our house in progress.
Excavation began on July 29th.

The foundation was done by August 5th.

On August 8th and August 12th, friends from my church came together to help put the floor in.

On August 15th, University of Findlay students, just back from summer vacation, came and unloaded the wall sections from the semi-trailer where they had been stored since April.
On August 15th, we did a test wall-raising to be sure everything fit right.

A great crew of builders.
One of the pieces of artwork that will be hidden in the walls of the house.

The actual day...August 22nd. The walls go up for real.

Rachel loves the pink hard hats.

So many pull together to raise the walls.

Walls went up inside, too.

On August 24th, the roof went on.

More enthusiastic University of Findlay builders.

August 26th.

August 28th, peeking through the front window.

August 28th

Caulking all the places cold air could get in.

Lots of teams from the university took shifts. The women's lacrosse team left their mark on one of the walls.

This is written on the doorpost leading into Rachel's bedroom.

When I left today, the drywall was being delivered...

...and unloaded.
Tomorrow at this time, the drywall should all be up, and I am pretty sure the siding will be finished. Professional drywallers will do the inside work, and University of Findlay alumni will work outside. Something extra special about that is the fact that these alumni were the ones who had the dream seven years ago to start a Habitat for Humanity chapter at the University of Findlay. They worked for seven long years to make that dream a reality, and tomorrow, they will get to work on the house that is the fulfillment of their dream.

Things have moved so fast, and so much has been accomplished in just over a month. In just a month again, the house should be finished. God is amazing, and we are so grateful.
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