At the end of March, I was able to take a walk down memory lane. I went back with Rinar to my hometown...Durham, North Carolina. It was for my 20 year high school reunion. Has it really been 20 years? Holy cow. Time has just evaporated. Look at me now. I am almost 40 years old and I am the mother of 6 children.
When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of there. I really hated it. It was almost like prison. My heart was in Utah. I think the whole time I lived there, my heart was in Utah. I knew it was where I belonged. I am so glad I am now in Utah, but it was still a nice thing to be able to say goodbye to my childhood. I don't think I will ever come back to Durham. But I did try to savor it for the few days we were there.
We first went to check out the new headquarters for Rinar's company. Amazingly enough, they have relocated from Boston to the Research Triangle Park. We toured the building and met some of his co-workers. That was an enjoyable experience. It was also fortuitous because we were able to secure a babysitter for Noelle for when I had my reunion party.
I made sure to drive through the old neighborhood. I knocked on our neighbors door and was able to have a lovely visit with Anthony B. When they moved in, I was in high school and he was just a little kid. Now look at him!
And here is my house. When we lived here, the shutters were green and there was a railing on the porch. But the essence of it is exactly the same. Albeit, the porch is a lot cleaner now.
We also took a look at Oak Grove Athletic Park. I spent all of my free time here. It was my second home. I played soccer on that field behind me. It was my very first organized sports activity. I was 10. I then found my love in the little blue building back there where I learned to play basketball.
At the high school, Rinar and I perused the trophy cases. I was taken aback when I saw this mosaic. I helped make that in Mr. Yehling's Latin class in 1993.
And in the sports trophy case, I saw several trophies from teams I was on. Aren't I impressive?
We also played tourist and visited the Bennett Place, where the Civil War ended. I had seen the sign for this every week of my life as we would go to church. I had never been! Not until this past weekend.
I also was able to find the church where I was baptized. This building is near Duke and the Northgate Mall. By the time my family went to it, the ward had gotten way too big for the building. Soon after I was baptized, we relocated to a brand new building. Now this is a Jewish Synagogue. But it really was where I got baptized. I remember so clearly. I know that I will never forget.
Rinar and I also tried to hit some good eats while in town. We ate at Bojangles twice, the best fast food chicken place on the planet. And yes, it was still as good as I remembered it was! We also ate at a fancy BBQ place in Raleigh called The Pit. Then we went next door and tried some over-priced, locally sourced, organic chocolate.
We were also able to tour this plantation house that is in downtown Raleigh called the Mordecai House.
I made Rinar drive everywhere! I just loved revisiting all the roads I knew so well. I must say that the Durham area looks like it got a major face lift. It looks so much better and is now a pretty trendy, hip place to be.
The high school reunion was a lot of fun. I have to admit that I really only remembered about 40% of the people that came. I even think that a big contingent of the alumni were people that I never really interacted with at all. I was just in the nerd group and there weren't that many of us. Plus, only a couple of my nerd friends came. Of course, everyone remembered me. Or they at least acted like they did.
It didn't matter. There was a really good spirit at our reunion. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there.
And it was especially neat to see that my 11th and 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Garrison came to visit. That was pretty darn cool.
I know my nerd group people have done some amazing things in their lives. I always knew they would. But as for the rest of us, we are just pretty average people living happy, average lives. And that is okay.