Sunday, September 04, 2011


I'm getting OLD(er)

Last month I attended a reunion celebrating the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. I was amazed at how many old people there were there! I guess there were about 520 of us who graduated that day in the old Spokane Coliseum back in June, 1961 and that was just those of us from Lewis & Clark High School. At least two other Spokane high schools graduated the same day in that same building. I think there were about 140 of my classmates there and over 200 with spouses. It really doesn't seem possible that it has been that long.

Pat and I have never stayed in a 5 Star hotel so we ponied up the bucks to stay in the event hotel, Spokane's recently remodeled Davenport Hotel although our room was on the 14th floor of the newer Davenport Tower. It is a very nice place although I am not sure I'd pay the full overnight rate. We got a group discounted rate of some sort so it was only $140 a night, plus $20 to park the car and of course all the taxes that are added on. Everything there was high quality. But we didn't have coffee in our room. You had to go to the Starbucks coffee bar in the lobby area for coffee. We only stayed two nights but it was fun.

On our way home we stopped in the Lake Chelan area to spend a couple of nights visiting friends and tasting wine. The town of Chelan used to be famous for apples and other tree fruit and I guess it still is, but it is now also gaining popularity as a producer of grapes and some of the best wine in the state. Our friends live just across a vineyard from one of those wineries with another dozen or so within just a few miles. And many of them also have some fine eating included. It was a good time, but we found another desert wine that we fell in love with, so bought a case of small 375ml bottles that are $26 a bottle. The good news is that we got a discount for buying a full case!

We both enjoy the Western themed town of Winthrop that is on the East side of the North Cascades Highway, so on our way home from Chelan we came through there and ate lunch at our favorite place in Winthrop, the Duck Brand Hotel and Cantina. It was good as usual and the trip across the N. Cascades Hwy was beautiful and almost uneventful. I had forgotten that in addition to this being the summer season (it finally came!) it is also Road Construction season and that delayed us a couple of times. I guess they can't do much road work in the winter when they have over 70 feet of snow at a mile high elevation. In fact, the pass closes all winter and this year didn't reopen until June. But with this road when we come back into civilization on the West side we are almost in our backyard in the town of Burlington. We did stop at a car wash to treat the car to a bug removal session. Speaking of the car, our Prius averaged right at 50 miles per gallon for the trip, using about 15 gallons of gas to go about 750 miles.

We are also experiencing a much more negative side of growing older and that is losing friends and relatives to death. A cousin of mine died in June, an uncle just last week and a very good friend of ours who lived in the same park we do died on Aug 28th. He was 13 months younger than me! I think the message that we have to remember is to live every day as best you can and enjoy them and your friends as you never know when either they or you will no longer be around to do that.

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I'm sorry for your recent losses Dick, I know the older I get the more losses I experience too. It's very sad, and you hit the nail on the head about living life every day.

Sounds like your reunion was a fun time and it's so cool that you have all stayed in touch over the years!
My husband's parents said that was what they didn't like as they got into their late 80s and 90s. they had outlived so many. Right after my husband's 50th reunion, he got word one of the ones there died of a heart attack. Then after my recent reunion, some friends there told me that the following week they attended the funeral of one who I had expected to be at the reunion but was not for obvious reasons. Out of my class of 112, 19 had already died, now 20 with her. That seems really high for people 68 to have nearly 20% having died
Sometimes it could really be fun when having a reunion. But then again you really realize that some of your friend is no longer lives. No matter what age and generation we don't know when the life will be end.
Such a great article it was which The town of Chelan used to be famous for apples and other tree fruit and it still, but it is now also gaining popularity as a producer of grapes and some of the best wine in the state. In which And many of them also have some fine eating included.Thanks for sharing this article.
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