Prineville

While there is a lot of life in my future, last weekend was a vivid reminder about the passage of time.  A few weeks ago, a local college fraternity brother extended an invitation to a mini-reunion in Prineville, OR.  Last Friday around noon, we filled his truck with golf clubs, skeet guns, fly fishing rods, sleeping bags, and poker cash.  With all the manly items in the payload section, we ventured through Vale, Juntura, Burns, and arrived at White Deer Ranch around 6:00 PM.

The final destination crew consisted of nine people.  Five were fraternity brothers from the Sigma Nu Chapter at The University of Puget Sound.  I had not seen most of these people for over 32 years.  The old nicknames “Lundini, Sassafrass, Oontzie, and Teo” seemed so natural.  Almost as if we never had actual names.

During my college days, I was well known for some ridiculous behavior linked to consuming massive quantities of alcohol on a regular basis.  One of my most and least memorable nights in college began with lots of Jose Cuerevo.  If almost ended with me totally passed out in bed.  Instead, 25 of my fraternity brothers crammed into my 80 square-foot room to record “Wasted Away  Again up in Oontzie’s Room”.  During the hours long recording session, they also buried me in a pile of coins.  Nine hours later, I woke up with sheets and body awash in nickels, dimes, pennies, and quarters.  During breakfast, I heard the tape recording for the first time.   At college graduation, I am quite sure that no votes were cast for me in the “most likely to study yoga” category.  My sober life began in 2001, so last weekend was my first memorable Sigma Nu party.  My existence is so much better through clear eyes!

In my youth, I never assigned value to long drives.  Why drive when flying gets me there so much quicker?  Arrival was always my goal.   On this trip, the drive was one of the many highlights.  For starters, it was one of the first times I was a passenger with the ability to just chill and enjoy the scenery.  My local friend is a lifelong friend, but this was clearly our most concentrated time since college.  In fact, I would bet that the 12 hours in the car exceeded our cumulative time together since graduating in 1986.  The drive, in both directions, seemed to be over before it began.

Throughout the weekend, many conversations began with:  “Remember when…..?”

Most of those memories were crystal clear and seem to be moments ago.  While drifting into sleep on the first night, I let my monkey brain take the wheel and played a math game.  If graduation was 32 years ago, yet seems like yesterday, where will I be in the next flash of time?   The answer is hopefully 86.

Moments like this sure take the significance out of my perceived problems.