45th High School Reunion

This past Saturday my 45th high school reunion. It was a small, low-key affair held at Joey’s Italian Bistro in Madison. I’d estimate that maybe 40 out of about 325 graduates (yearbook count). We had a larger turnout at the Class 60th birthday party three years ago with about 85 in attendance. We’ve been having annual gatherings since then.

The Class of 1972 Riverside High School Birthday Reunion was held August 15 and 16, 2014. There was a meet and great at the Park Road Bar and Grill in Painesville and then the main event at Duane’s house on the 15th. It was good to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen in over 40 years. So many had changed a lot over the years, some not so much. I noted that some had taken career and life paths that I never would have expected.

RHS_1972_2014

The next year we got together at Joey’s and last year at the Metropark in Perry.

Group-1

Until the 60th birthday bash, I hadn’t attended any reunions. I was in Germany when they had the 10th and in Hawaii at the time of the 20th reunion. I tried to make it to the 25th but something came up and I missed it. I’m not sure there were plans for the 30th and 40th reunions.

The truth is, I lost track of my classmates almost immediately after graduation. Other than having gone to school with them for 6 to 12 years, I didn’t feel that I had that much in common with them. After 45 years, that really hasn’t changed much. I’m not particularly nostalgic and I look at the different periods of my life as chapters in my life story and sometimes characters make brief appearances in later chapters.

My life since high school hasn’t been anything I could have imagined while in high school. I can’t imagine how my life would have been if I had not left my hometown. All I can be sure of is that it would have been quite different. I’m grateful for the life I’ve had and the blessings I now enjoy are a result of paths I chose long ago. Would I have done some things differently or made different choices?In hindsight, maybe. But every choice I’ve made, good or bad, has led me to where I am now. Who can say how any deviation from that path might have altered my present? I really don’t see any purpose in pondering that.

I’m not the same person I was 45 years ago. In that time I’ve evolved and grown so the years haven’t been wasted.

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Dad’s 80th Birthday Party

This weekend our family gathered together to celebrate Andrew Romig’s 80th birthday. It was attended by all of his children and nearly all of his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Also representing his generation was his older brother Ray, his younger brother Alan, and his cousin Janet.

Ray, Andy, and Al

Ray, Andy, and Al

Ray, Andy, Janet & Al

Ray, Andy, Janet & Al

Bill, Laura, Nancy, Joan, Andy, Rick, Ruth

Bill, Laura, Nancy, Joan, Andy, Rick, Ruth

Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, & great-great-grandchildren.

Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, & great-great-grandchildren.

You Really Can’t Go Back

End of Oakwood, looking East

Last week I joined the Township Park group on Facebook and got involved in some of the discussion there. I pulled up the old neighborhood on Google maps and in the satellite view, I recognized almost nothing. I had to enter the address to find the location of the old house. What struck me from the aerial view was the amount of erosion that had taken place. I could see both ends of Lake Road, one at the park and the other at Sunset Point and I could picture where the road had once been, connecting those ends. The Google view of the neighborhood did not prepare me for the view from the ground.

This past weekend I made the trip up to Footville and, on the way, made a detour into Painesville to see the old neighborhood. After I got off the freeway, I went down Lindmar Drive to see my grandparents’ old house. I don’t think it’s there any more. The street looked nothing like it did in my youth. Back then it was more open and spacious. Now it seems overgrown with shade trees and the houses are all packed together. I almost wasn’t sure if I was on the right street but the church at the corner of Lindmar and Chestnut told me I was.

Painesville is like an alien world to me now. So much has changed since my youth there. I’ve noticed many changes over the years as I’ve passed through or visited the library. It is not the same city.

I made my way to the neighborhood where I grew up. I wasn’t ready for what I found. The streets had the same names and were laid out the same but that’s all they had in common with my memories. Oakwood Boulevard seemed much shorter, I was at Shady Lane/Kenilworth before I knew it. I found my old address but the house where I grew up and even the garage were gone, replaced by newer, uglier structures. I felt as if all the love and labor my father had put into them was for naught. It was much the same for the whole neighborhood. All that still existed from my youth there were my memories.

Then I ventured to the park. Of course, it had changed too but in a nicer way, at least above the lake. I found that Lake Metroparks had taken it over and expanded the ball fields and built a community center. I walked down the walkway to “the beach,” or rather where there was once a beach. One of the old stone piers is still there but now there are just large blocks of stone placed along the shore in a attempt to hold back the erosion.

After the park, I traced my way back through the neighborhood,then across to Sunset Point which, like Township Park, was eerily dark and unfamiliar. The only familiar structure I saw was Lester’s gas station, still standing but long abandoned. The new developments along Lake Road and Bacon Road seemed bright and cheery in stark contrast to the old neighborhoods they border.

Penultimate Day 2010

Once again, it is the penultimate day of 2010, time to reflect upon the past year and look forward to the coming year.

Without a doubt, 2010 was much better than 2009 which absolutely sucked. The Chapter 13 was discharged early and I found long-term steady work. Those made the year better without anything else.

My yoga practice developed over the year through various workshops, special events and a variety of classes. Despite all this, my home practice did not grow and actually dwindled. I’ve set an intention to make my home yoga practice somewhat a a daily ritual.

Around mid-year, I finally reached my target weight of 12 stone (168 pounds) after about two years of carb counting. I’ve been pretty good at maintaining around 170 though it went up a bit during the holidays. I’m considering setting a new, lower target weight which I believe will be beneficial as my current weight is still a tad overweight for my height and frame.

In late September I discovered the hernia and had the surgery to repair it in late October. About a month later I was off the lifting and exercise restrictions and pretty much able to return to my normal routine. Now, two months after the surgery, I’m back into my former yoga practice and feeling great. The swelling and hardness in the area is almost completely gone now. Soon the only reminder of it will be the scar and that probably won’t be that noticeable under the hair.

This is a short post since I’ve already discussed these events at length. I’m optimistic about 2011. If things in my life keep on their present course, the year looks like it will be pretty good.

Post Surgery Update

I’m recovering pretty well from the hernia surgery. In my follow-up appointment with the surgeon on 5 November, he said I was healing well. He mentioned that there was more swelling in the area than he had expected but that was good because it meant that my body figured out it couldn’t reject the mesh so it was forming scar tissue around it. He increased my lifting restriction to 25 pounds and that ended yesterday. He also said I could continue with my yoga practice following the precautions I’d been following.

Even with the medical restrictions lifted I don’t feel that I’m even 90 percent yet. The swelling has gone down but I can still feel some hardness beneath the incision site. I was feeling some pain just above the site last week. I don’t know if it was related to the hernia but it affected my mobility a bit.

I got the hole drilled into my jawbone for the implant on the 12th and had the stitches removed earlier this week. The young lady who removed them said there was still a little tenderness but it was healing well. I’ve been putting my body through too much lately.

I really haven’t gotten back into my yoga practice to the degree that I’d hoped. I attempted to do more in the beginner’s class I attend with Abigail and quickly realized that I wasn’t up to it. There was some discomfort in the area of the surgery but more alarming was the diminished core strength. Right now the intermediate classes would thoroughly kick my ass. I haven’t done anything at home really due to other things I’ve got going on. I need to get my ass back on the mat.

The new position at the hospital is working out well so far. I’m keeping busy most days but I’m keeping up with the work orders and the administrative crap. I’m doing well but it could easily become overwhelming. I don’t know if they’re planning to hire another person to work with me but it would be nice.

Things are looking up

As October begins to wane, the future is beginning to look just a bit brighter. Things are starting to sort themselves out and fall into place. Overall, life is good.

The uncertainty over my employment situation has dissipated. Effectively, my last day of work under my current contract will be Friday and after a week off I’ll come back as a fulltime employee of the incoming company. I’ll be making a little less money but I think it will work out better for me. Just knowing that I’ll have a job next month is a great relief.

I had second thoughts about having the two procedures back to back so I rescheduled the dental implant until after Veteran’s Day. That may still be a little too soon. The hernia surgery is set for this coming Monday and I’ll have about a week to recover. I’m confident it will go well and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to resume my yoga practice before too long.

I’ve been doing a gentler practice the past couple of weeks and will continue it until the surgery. I expect I won’t be doing any asana for a day or two afterward and after that I’ll probably limit myself to breathing exercises and meditation, perhaps some gentle restorative practice, for a couple of days. I’m sure I’ll have to gradually build up to usual physical practice. I’ll discuss this with the doctors and my yoga teacher who has been very understanding, supportive and helpful. I’m sure the others in my classes have been wondering why I’m doing some things differently from the teacher’s instructions.

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October Happenings

I have a lot of things going on this month and even if I don’t outwardly show it, I’m detecting subtle signs of stress building up. I’m doing my best to handle it and deal with everything but the mind and body react.

There’s an air of uncertainty about my employment. The hospital is bringing in an outside company to take care of some of the computer support to include some of the duties I was brought in to do. Technically, my contract is up at the end of the month and I’m in the dark as to whether it will be extended. Nobody at the parent company nor the hospital have told me anything. I’ve spoken with a representative of the incoming company and they seem interested in having me. I’ve updated my resumé and I’m getting it posted to the various boards. If I’ve learned anything in the last 20 months, nothing is certain. And then there are the everyday frustrations of the job.

I’ve got two procedures, one dental and one surgical, scheduled around the last weekend of the month. I don’t know if it was wise to schedule them so close together but I’m committed to them. It will be interesting to say the least.

On that Friday, I’m having a dental implant done. Essentially a periodontist is drilling a hole into my jawbone and screwing in a titanium post which will eventually support a crown. Both my dentist and the periodontist have told me that it’s essential for the health of the bone and is the best of the available options.

Then on Monday, I’m due to have outpatient surgery to fix my inguinal hernia. I’m hoping that it won’t keep me off work more than a couple of days. Prior to the surgery I have to get blood work, x-rays and an EKG done. Then I have to go to a pre-admission appointment and consult with the anesthesiologist. Then there’s the surgery, the recovery period and a post-op appointment.

My yoga practice has been one of the most consistent things in my life lately. It’s something I enjoy and it helps to keep me balanced and helps to alleviate the feelings of FUD. Since discovering the hernia, I’ve had to modify and cut back on my practice. I’ll have to cut back even more during the post-op period. I hope it won’t be too long before I can resume my normal practice. I intend to keep doing yoga in some form throughout it all, even if it’s only pranayama and meditation.

There are some serious things coming up and uncertainty about the future but we’ll get through it all one way or another. These things are transient and they shall pass.

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