Earlier this evening, John and I returned from a quick-but-memorable trip to Wisconsin for a summer reunion with some high school friends. Last summer I reunited with these same friends after 40 years of absence, met their significant others, and got acquainted with a couple of family dogs. You can read my post about that get-together in Reuniting 40 years later if you missed it previously. We vowed at that time to “do it again,” and one of the women, Bev, volunteered to host the 2015 gathering at her country home in Burlington, located in south central Wisconsin.
We packed our bags and headed east on Interstate 80 after work Friday evening, and arrived at the hotel in East Troy about 12:45 a.m. Not even 12 hours later, we were on our way to the home of Bev and Bryan. “This year we’ll be surrounded by corn,” pointed out Bev in her invitation. Because she knew the house would not be visible from the road, she tied balloons to a sign, pointing everyone in the right direction.
Bev and Bryan’s 21-acre property is surrounded by cornstalks, with corn bordering the curving driveway on both sides. The feed corn is grown by her nephew, reducing the size of the lawn that is still large enough to require the use of a riding lawn mower. A combination of trees and cornstalks also provide enormous privacy in the back yard. The grass is actually much greener than the photo shows. I had some difficulties photographing the yard in the bright sunlight and probably should have waited until later in the afternoon.
We were amazed to see sandpiper cranes feeding in the shaded part of Bev and Bryan’s back yard.
Bev prepared a feast for all 10 of us, while Bryan grilled up a storm of hamburgers and hot dogs.
After a delicious lunch and dessert, great conversation and much laughter, we gathered in the living room to take photos. We started off traditionally, splitting up into girl-and-boy groups, just as we did in grade school.
But then things got a little bit out of hand. Our only excuse is that we ate too many sugary foods. Even Deb and Jeff’s dog got into the act, donning a pair of sunglasses with a little help from Jeff.
It was sunset before our gathering broke up, with three couples heading back to their homes in the Milwaukee area, one couple driving back to Illinois, and John and I driving back to our hotel in East Troy. Before we left, Bev presented each high school friend with some monogrammed note cards and a handmade bracelet. I thought both were a gracious touch, but also that we should have presented Bev with a gift, not the other way around!
As we said our farewells to Bev and Bryan, she provided us with a recommendation for breakfast the next morning at a cafe called Simple, located in Lake Geneva. This turned out to be a wonderful suggestion. John and I ordered a delicious garden omelet made with egg whites, mushrooms, fresh spinach, gruyère cheese, roasted tomatoes and sweet red peppers.
All around, our quick trip to Wisconsin and back this weekend was worth repeating. I hope all 10 of us, as well as one other friend and her husband who were unable to join us this year, will get together again next year. Neither John nor I have ever attended an official high school or college reunion, but a small gathering with some close friends is the perfect way to celebrate old memories and make new ones.
© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.