Gathering Graces 8/12/2017

*Paul and I started out the morning at Kellogg Middle School with breakfast served by the Smelterville Lions.  It was one of the perks of registering for the reunion.
*After breakfast I went and saw Mom.  Because of the events of the day before, I was unable to see her.  I was blessed to find her awake when I arrived.  I gave her water quite a few different times, brushed her hair and put lotion on her dry skin. 
*I went home, and headed to Teeter’s Field to do a sound check, then we headed up to McKinley Avenue to watch the All Class Reunion parade.  What an awesome parade!!  Two people I saw and visited with briefly at the parade were my former church youth group leaders growing up, Jim and Diana Hawkins.  Diana was so cute.  She would not look at my name tag until she could remember who I was.  And she finally remembered.  It was so wonderful to see them.  They were a big influence on me growing up in the United Church.
*After the parade, people flowed into the benches at Teeter’s Field for the opening ceremony.  Paul and I had such a fun time singing a couple of songs for the crowd.  One was We’ve From Everywhere, a take off of the song I’ve Been Everywhere. We had originally sang this song at the 2010 All Class Reunion, and the next year at my Class of 1981 30 year reunion.  We also did a take off on Garth Brook’s song I’ve Got Friends in Low Places.  Our song was I’ve Got Friends in Slow Places.  We had so many people tell us how much they enjoyed the songs!!
*We heard they were giving tours of the YMCA, so Paul, his brother Kevin, our niece Karlie and I headed up to get a tour.  Our neighbors when I was growing up, Mike and Mark Rinaldi were a part of the tour, so I got to say hello to them.  Mike was actually one of the former pin setters in the bowling alley at the old Y.  Two of the places I remember the most when I was in the Y growing up was the gymnasium and the pool.  Here is a photo of what the pool area looks like.  Was it really that small?

YMCA pool area.  Much time spent here when I was growing up.
*After the tour of the YMCA, I went home to get something to eat, and take a little nap.  Then Paul and I headed up to the Elks to see what was going on.
*What a fun time of going from person to person visiting about a variety of different things.  So many people throughout the day asked about Mom, and let me know they were praying for us, and thinking about us, and I received many hugs.  People are so thoughtful.  I also got to talk about my trip to Italy a few times, and people told me how much they enjoyed following my adventure. 
*Christina Curry and Tammi J Flores showed up and we hung out and talked to people, and enjoyed seeing people.  I had to say one of the more interesting stories from the evening was fellow classmates Kaylene Trogden and Sam Lewis Brown sharing us their recent trip to a certain well known festival in Montana.  After hearing their stories, Tina and I decided it would not be put on our bucket list of things to do.  Oh, but their stories were hilarious!!  Kaylene and Sam...you two are awesome!!
*Later Karla Robb Wright and her husband Terry joined us at the Elks.  We did a brief visit across the street to the Inland Lounge to see my brother Bill holding court with his many Class of 72 cronies.  Sister Christy was there enjoying a visit with Renae Costa.  Other Class of 1981 classmates we saw included Steve Milholland, Michael Reasoner, and Bob Hickey.
*I wish I would have taken more photos.  The only one I got was of Christina and I!!
*As we headed for home, Paul, Tina and I stopped at Dirty Ernies.  They had a really good band playing.  I visited a bit with Chelsea Card.  She cracked me up as she talked about remembering coming to our house when her and Molly were younger and she thought is was so weird we didn’t have TV, and that we made the kids be imaginative and creative.  It was great seeing her!! 
*We finally made it home and I was a bit wired.  Paul was exhausted.  You know, the classic introvert/extrovert dilemma.  Introverts (Paul) get exhausted by gatherings like that.  Extroverts (Me), get energized.  So I had to watch an episode of NCIS to help me wind down before I could go to bed.
*What a wonderful community I live in, and had the privilege of growing up in.  It is so wonderful when people come together and celebrate what Kellogg was “back in the day” and what it is now.  We live in a beautiful place.  I think the lyrics Paul wrote, and we sang today sum it up best....
I’ve Got Friends In Slow Places
Blame it all on my roots
I showed up at Kahoots
The last place I let down my hair
It’s got a different name now
I thought that somehow
I’d see folks from the Kopper Keg there
It was no surprise
To these old tired eyes
That all that had changed was the name
Cause I always knew my home town would stay true
And you’ll never hear me complain
Cause I got friends in slow places
Where the Lead Creek flows
And deer huntin’ chases my blues away
And I’ll be okay
I’m not big on social graces
But when I’m here I see friendly faces
Cause I got friends in slow places
Now don’t get me wrong
As I’m singing this song
I’ve done some travelin’ before
I’ve seen the bright lights
Of some cities all right
And someday I’d like to see more
But that doesn’t mean that I love that big scene
Just give me a few days and then
I’ll long to return to this fabulous valley
That we’re livin’ in

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