Friday, June 19, 2009


Tomorrow in New Baltimore, Michigan, the Anchor Bay High School Class of '84 will celebrate their 25th anniversary class reunion. And I wish I could be there.

I've written about my experience in the Anchor Bay School System in the posts The Freshman and The Homecoming Queen and The Anchor Bay Experience (Postscript). The short story is that I went to junior high and high school there, became a teenager there and going through the changes that all teens go through. And just at the point where I could feel my attitudes toward life turning the corner, we left the area. We moved to Elyria thanks to the United States Coast Guard, and a different chapter of my life opened up. But I never got closure.

As their 25th reunion approached I contacted Greta Furlong, who I knew as Greta Lenhausen, and asked if I would be welcome to attend. I said that I had been seeking out people from my years there, and finally felt as if I was getting the closure I sought. She wrote back invited me to attend the festivities. She also reminded me that although reminiscing can be a good thing, we can't live in the past.

But I still can't help playing the what-if game. I left after freshman year. Life moved on for them, and I am sure none of the people I knew gave me much thought after I left. I never could get them out of my mind, however. In my thoughts I wondered if I ever would have started dating there. Would I have been given a chance? Would the ladies of Anchor Bay High School have been able to look past the greaseball of 7th grade and see a maturing human being with the capacity to care for them? We will never know.

I've been spending time on the Anchor Bay 84 website, looking at old senior pictures, seeing what people have been up to, watching how people have aged. Greta was right, as she often was 30 years ago when I knew her and she was upbraiding me for my negative attention-seeking behavior. We can't live in the past. I can't wonder who I might have married because they are all married already. I can't wonder if I would have played football or have finally gotten some measure of respect from the ones who taunted and tormented me, because it's over. As Daniel Farraday said on LOST, "Whatever happened, happened."

Greta, Robin… Michael, Bill, Robert, Keith… Kim, Beth, Sheri…. Have a good Saturday. And a great life.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Talk To Me

It is hard to write essays when you know your mom is reading them. If I advance an idea that she doesn't like, or use one of those words that, in prior years, automatically got my mouth a date with some soap, my mom will call me on the carpet over it. Not that I automatically cower in her presence. Both of my parents have come to realize that, while their children have a healthy respect and love for them, we also have ideas and beliefs that differ from theirs. When they come across some aspect of our behavior that troubles them, they talk to us about it. For the most part. Certain political discussions are avoided like the plague.

On the other hand, my in-laws talk to me about absolutely nothing. Example? This blog. Up until now I assumed that their refusal to have anything to do with the Internet meant that my at times profane meanderings were out of their sphere. I guessed wrong. My wife talked to them on the phone a few days ago, and in the course of the conversation they mentioned that someone in their church read my blog, and am I really not interested in Christ any more? And do I really have to use that kind of language? I'm sorry if they got that impression, but if they really wanted to know the real story, I'm only a phone call away.

So someone from Chippewa Lake Baptist Church is reading this, huh? Well, Chippewa, this Bud is for you.

I have spent the past three or four years detailing the highlights and lowlights of my spiritual journey, but I am 42 years old, with two children who are disabled, and I just can't care about the minutiae of church life anymore....Yeah, I am just a tad bitter these days. I am bearing the weight of three worlds on these shoulders. No wonder that I just don't have the time for the bullshit anymore, whether it be in church or in life.

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.