Reunion = family connections

Wow! Its been a fast two weeks filled with many good things and building memories.

This time last week I was at the Schoettler reunion in Madera, CA, wrapped in the 2016 Schoettler tee-shirt and celebrating my pre-birthday surrounded by the warmth of a large and wonderful family.

I came to Madera in 1959 for the first time - where the family reached out to the new member - me - with wide open arms. Jim and I had married on the East Coast and by the time we had the money to come to CA we had two young kids and another on the way.

I was 23 years old. Jim and I had carefully planned the trip from San Antonio, where he was stationed in the Air Force, to have him introduce me to his family. The Air Force stepped in and over-rode our plans with an assignment for him to go to the old Cape Canaveral in Florida for two weeks. Rather than delaying the trip - Jim sent me to CA with the children on my own until he could get there. An adventure - the first leg - an early morning flight from SA to Houston, then I transferred to a Pan Am Constellation for the flight to Los Angeles, and finally a third connection on a smaller plane to Fresno where a crowd of all the family met me at the airport. By my 10 pm arrival I was exhausted, the kids were tired and irritable, and we all looked a rumpled mess but we were welcomed by warm loving hugs - as Jim had known we would be.

Since then the little children of that time have grown into grand-parents and there are several layers of new generations added.  Dear ones are remembered and missed when the crowd gathers - but the feelings of strong family connections have not changed. I am so grateful to be a part of it.

In July I have a significant birthday waiting for me. Sweetly thinking ahead, my daughter Robin 
arranged for this splendiferous, delicious 
cake at the reunion and they all sang the Happy Birthday greeting. Lovely. It felt truly right as Jim's birthday was also that week in June. 
Jimmy and Robin and Brad were there and we missed Karen and the various grandchildren - but gathering young adults is like herding kittens.  - especially across 3,000 miles  - 
maybe you know how that is

Now that I am  home - my heart is filled with happy memories  - memories that want to pop loose - because they bring up other times. Over 80 years  I have quite a few - so I a going to write about them for the next stretch of time. I want to capture them for me and for my family.

Back to reality!

First - - before I can please myself by doing that I have to focus totally on Ready to Serve, my new story for the Capital Fringe. 

The Fringe Preview was last night. 20 shows , each with 4 minutes to do a sample of their show. Actually reducing to 4 memorable minutes is a tough assignment. I was glad to be included and I felt that it went fine. I hope folks will come.

There was lots of energy and excitement last night. New faces and it is nice to see the familiars and to reconnect. I have already picked out a few shows I hope to see. 

I was grateful to have a high-school friend who was passing through town come to the Preview with me and help out by giving out cards and chatting it up with folks. But even more, being in this memoir mood, I particularly enjoyed the laughter bubbling up as we roused up memories of the past when we were crazy teen-agers. 

Reminded me of a few new stories to tell - - - 

as soon as the WWI Nurses of Ready to Serve are launched and on their feet. 

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