Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quick trip

Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We were at our daughter Erin and Mike's and had a great time. While the grandkids napped, we played Uno, Unger's Rummy and then the guys bowled on the Wii with Emily after dinner. Great fun and very relaxing. Check out Erin's beautiful spread and her molten temperature probe on her blog (

We left early (5:45 am) on Friday morning to zip over to Michigan (about seven hours of driving and quick stops) for my second 40th class reunion.

I went to two different high schools because my parents decided we were moving in the early part of my junior year (just think how happy I was about THAT). We didn't move far - about 10 miles. Truthfully, I don't really know why to this day that we made that move but it probably had something to do with my dad's excessive drinking and losing his job. Perhaps the house was in foreclosure or something - I really never have had a clue and never thought to ask while either of them could have told me when they were still alive.

So we went to one reunion in August in Michigan and the other was yesterday (Friday) in the Detroit area. This reunion was a very relaxed event at an Italian restaurant for the bargain price of $15 apiece which included salad, pizza and dessert. Cash bar. Can't beat it. About 40 of our class and their spouses were there. Since I had only been with this class for roughly a year and a half, I didn't know many people -- at least not that I remember after 40 years for goodness sakes. I've never made it to any previous reunions because they couldn't find me. I've move enough times and changed my name enough that they didn't find me until I happened onto them via In any event, it was fun and we had a good time. I was able to make contact with the couple people I hung out with in high school and it was worth the trip.

It's not a bad drive from here to there and the weather mostly cooperated in both directions. We go along the NYS Thruway, cross at Niagara Falls and then cross into Michigan at Sarnia/Port Huron. Fairly painless. Lots of long stretches of highway with very little traffic. We (Johnnie and I) literally giggled and talked our way through the long rides. We read books to each other on repetitive trips where there's nothing really all that new to see. The latest is Diane Mott Davidson's Sweet Revenge, although it's not a new book.) The worst is getting across the borders with increased security and Thanksgiving weekend traffic. That's why we left so early in the morning on Friday and then left Michigan this morning at about 5:30 am.

The worst part about going to Michigan: they still allow smoking in restaurants! New York state has been smoke free in all restaurants, public buildings and bars for several years. So we're unprepared for smoking and it just stinks to high heaven. At the restaurant we were all seated in a banquet area and luckily there was no smoking at the tables. The room we stayed in at the nearby Motel 6 was billed as a non smoking room but the most tangible sign of that was an ashtray turned upside down on the bedside table with a no smoking symbol on the bottom. Oh yeah, and a disabled smoke detector showing that someone had obviously smoked in there recently (obvious in addition to the stench in the room).

Even Ireland, England and Scotland are now smoke free in its pubs and restaurants. But Italy was filled to the brim with smokers everywhere you turned.

So what's up with Michigan? How unenlightened can they be? Despite all the automotive industry problems and unstable economy in the downstate Michigan region, they should be eliminating smoking in public buildings.

Both Johnnie and I were smokers in our early years. I stopped in the early 1980s and he only smoked for a few years at about that time too (before we were together). We become more vigilant and outspoken as time goes on about other people's smoking and to our knowledge, no one in our family smokes (well, probably one niece does but we've never seen her). And my opinion of adults who I eventually discover smokes takes an automatic plummet. It's one habit that makes absolutely no sense in the midst of current health information about the hazards of smoking. It's just hard to reconcile the actions of otherwise intelligent people with their intent to kill themselves with cigarettes.

No comments: