Thanksgiving in New Hampshire started with a flicker – the dimming of the lights as we were making cranberry sauce Wednesday night. Over the next few days, we made do just like our pilgrim ancestors (or someone’s pilgrim ancestors, considering all my relatives came to the US in the last 100 or so years). I got back to my roots, shoveling the driveway, using the snow as our natural refrigerator, and playing board games by candlelight.
Having the power lines down for the biggest meal of the year wasn’t without its challenges, but things turned out great. We cooked the turkey at Grandma BooBoo’s house in the next town over. We made stuffing in the crockpot in the living room, since the generator didn’t power the kitchen. We cooked the rest of the food on the gas stove, and ate by candlelight. We invited another family over to share with us so they wouldn’t be alone in the dark, and huddled even closer around the table.
Even after the power came back, this dark start to the holiday season reminded me of the lesson that every Who should learn – it really doesn’t matter how warm your food is or if you can watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. At the end of the day, all that matters is being able to enjoy time with people you love.
Cross one more grand item off the list: I have succeeded, along with class president Jimmy and some enthusiastic classmates, in throwing a blast of a 10 year high school reunion.
My goals for this reunion were simple, and we accomplished them all:
DO NOT go into debt. We had leftover class money to spend if we needed to, but I’d heard that the organizers for the prior year had paid a pretty penny for their party, and I wanted to avoid having the people who spent the time planning the celebrations from paying the cost, as well. Conclusion: we ended up 90 cents short of breaking even, including decorations and promotions.
DO make sure people outside our usual network hear about reunion and have enough notice to attend. Conclusion: we got a sign up a local marquee, shared the event with hundreds of people on Facebook, and a good mix of people attended (about 36 total)!
DO set ourselves up to have a lot of fun, and not stress out. Once we realized that it was going to be a small party, Jim and I decided that if it was us and the DJ (a classmate), we would have the time of our lives, and the rest wouldn’t matter. We decided not to put a ton of extra work into things like decorations, and just enjoy ourselves before and during the party. Conclusion: setup was finished in 10 minutes and we all had a blast.
In short, it was a huge success. It had everything a high school reunion should – gossip about who wanted to go to the semi-formal dance with whom, shots of Fireball at extremely low NH prices, old yearbooks, a 2000’s-tastic playlist, amazingly friendly chats with people I haven’t talked to in years (and now want to be best friends with again!). The DJ, our classmate Tim, really killed the night with some key choices – “Time after time” at my request, “Stairway to Heaven” so we could slow dance as though it was our last chance of the night, “A little help from our friends” to remind us where we came from, and then “My heart will go on” to really set back the clock. Later, as the general public filtered in, we danced to “Summer Lovin” and “Footloose” in an homage to our high school productions. People stayed until the end, then took the afterparty to the one bar in our actual hometown and kept the party alive until well after midnight (for the uninitiated, midnight in NH is like 4 AM in NYC).
The whole experience left me incredibly grateful for my great childhood, my loving community, my smart and kind classmates. For every person not there, I imagined the wonderful adventures they were up to instead, and all the amazing places we’re going together and apart. But they know who they are and that they better be there next time (AHEM AHEM). Until then, I’ll pack my band uniform away, hold my friends close, and remember all the good times behind and ahead.
Before my cold got utterly out of control, I had an awesome weekend in NH visiting with family and enjoying all the cheesiness that the granite state has to offer. Here’s my weekend in photos – not pictured is my lovely family, the amazing food my aunts cooked, our fun trips to the store (including ordering an iPhone!), and the bajillion cups of tea I drank.
Awesome vintage books at the library book sale
At the lake house. Not pictured: the 26 family members laughing in the house.
Spiritsong drummers at the pumpkin festival featuring my mom and some enthusiastic fans
A lesson from the girl scout camp that might be the site of an upcoming family wedding – stay tuned!