Archive for June, 2018

40th High School Reunion!

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Senior Steps, Hot Springs High School

How can 40 years have passed so quickly?! The weekend was so much fun – there were so many people from our class, and the alumni in Hot Springs really went all out to make it special!

We started Friday night with a welcome “meet and greet” in the hotel lobby, then moved up to our hospitality suite.  Early Saturday morning, a handful of us walked the promenade and along Bathhouse Row downtown.  After that, we went to our old high school for a tour – it was so strange to be back in the halls after so long and walk into our old classrooms – so much has changed, but lots of things are still the same.  Our old Southwest Junior High gang peeled off afterwards and went to Rod’s Pizza – Miller, Sarge, Story, Helen, Karen, Jeannie, Tim, Brett, Kay G., Cindy W., Mark, et al. Miller had prepared a funny trivia contest about our former teachers and classmates that was hysterical. After lunch, Karen, Jeannie, Helen and I piled in Karen’s car and we drove around our old neighborhood. Karen’s house has been completely torn down to make way for the new junior high school and athletic center next to the existing high school.

With Helen at the stadium

With Karen at the stadium

The Southwest Gang

We had just enough time to get cleaned up and go to the big dinner in the hotel ballroom. They had decorated it so nicely, with tables of memorabilia, a photo booth/backdrop, a memorial tree to honor our deceased classmates (many of whom I didn’t know had passed away), and beautifully decorated tables. We had lots of fun yakking and listening to music from the 70s that one of our DJ classmates played.

Some of the girls

All of the girls

All of the guys!

Afterward, we moved the party to the Ohio Club until it closed, then the die-hards among us went back to the hospitality suite where we yakked more. I left at 3AM and there were still people there! We just didn’t want the night to end!

I had breakfast with Kay and Cindy the next morning (a quick bite to eat turned into a two-hour breakfast and talk-fest!), then it was time to check out and go our separate ways. The weekend was really more fun than I had anticipated – everyone was so kind and funny and genuinely glad to see each other and proud of each other’s successes.

Click here to see all of my photos.

The first part of the week was also fun-filled! Monday I went to Little Rock to attend the inspection of an investment property John and I are buying. Afterward I drove up to Mount Tabor to visit Mother’s grave – again I was struck by how lovely and peaceful it is there (and the creek was bone dry! A big change from when she was buried three years ago this week and we could barely ford it!)

Mount Tabor Cemetery

One afternoon I had my hair cut, and it’s always a treat to visit with Mike and Peggy at their salon – they’re always doing something interesting.

Thursday, my long-time friend Chuck picked me up in the afternoon for what turned into a pub crawl that didn’t end until the wee hours of the morning! We had a blast, talking and listening to music and generally having a good time. I saw him for brunch again Sunday to celebrate his birthday at Maxine’s.

Happy birthday, Chuck!

Friday morning I had breakfast with my friend Jon who was in town from New Orleans. My head was a little fuzzy from the night before (!) but we had a great conversation and visit.

Throughout the week, I thoroughly enjoyed being with David and Alison on the lake. We went for a great sunset cruise one night, ate well all week thanks to Alison’s cooking, and did a whole lot of talking and petting their gorgeous cat Buddy!

So now it’s back to the real world! This week really was special, and it was just great to see so many good friends – old friends are the best!



Sunday, June 17th, 2018

David and Alison

Ahhhh, I’ve been looking forward to this week for a long time.  I flew to Hot Springs on Saturday to stay with David and Alison for the week on the lake. They are such gracious hosts, and the lake is so peaceful. I’m so happy to be here – just wish John could have made the trip with me. He would have enjoyed the Weldon’s steaks David grilled for us tonight!

We took the boat out after breakfast and noodled in the water for a couple of hours (I’m a convert now!), followed by grilled burgers on the dock. After that, I had to nap for two hours before getting up to eat steaks. What a great day!

The work week leading up to this weekend was fine. We stopped by a happy hour Monday afternoon to see our friends from Pakistan, Rick and Sarah. Wednesday night we had a recent Hendrix grad and his wife over to talk about careers in the Foreign Service, and Thursday night our old friend TFran from Juarez days came for dinner!

In the office, I moved from a pretty isolated cubicle to one in the midst of a good group of people who I work with a lot – it’s nice to be more integrated into the office. One of the perks is being included in impromptu outings, like walking down the street to see the Washington Capitols’ Stanley Cup parade!

Stanley Cup!



Brutal travel week

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

You would think it wouldn’t take almost 24 hours to get from Washington D.C. to Paraguay but you’d be wrong!  I flew down last Sunday (DC – Miami – Panama City – Asuncion) and flew home on Friday via Peru and Miami.  It really wore me out.  The week was good, though – it’s a nice little office with good folks – and as a bonus, I saw Kathy G. from Guadalajara and Elise T. from Juarez.  We, along with the fun consular chief there, went to Kathy’s house and yakked for a couple of hours Wednesday night.  The rest of the trip was just to/from work – it’s winter there, so it was dark by the time I left the Embassy at 5:30 to catch motorpool home.

Saturday, we gathered up Kristin, Brandon, and Jimmi and drove out to Herndon for a baby shower/party for Jim Jay and Kevin’s new baby at Kevin’s parents’ house.  There were several other A-100 folks there and we had a great time.  Afterward, Jim and Kellee met John and me at Ray’s the Steaks for dinner, then we had dessert on their rooftop afterward.  Such fun!

This morning we walked up to Dupont Circle and met Jimmi and Dave E., our friend from Israel and A-100, at KramerBooks.  It was fun getting caught up with him – we haven’t seen him in years.

With Sarah and Jimmi

Greetings from Panama

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

I’m on a short layover in Panama on my way to Paraguay for the week. It’s a loooooong trip – there’s just no easy way to get there from DC.

I enjoyed my week at home, albeit short! John and I saw “Solo” on Memorial Day, after a celebrity siting of Gayle King at the gym (her daughter lives downstairs). I had lunch with my former boss Kristin on Wednesday, and we had a fun A-100 happy hour on Wednesday after work. I stopped by the visa happy hour on Friday, then John took me for my favorite seafood stew.

A short but fun week – now onward!