I don't know about you, but for me spring should be like a breath of fresh air, a time to do some things I haven't been able to do all winter. This year, with all the rain and cooler temperatures, it doesn't seem like we had spring. As several friends have said, "We went from winter to summer and missed spring."
But the month of May did bring some special activities. For instance, and many of you can relate to this, I was able to attend my high school alumni banquet, something I hadn't done for several years. I graduated from Bloomfield High School in a big class of just 11 graduates. It was, and still is, a small high school, but one that does well from an academic standpoint.
Our banquet was held at the St. William's Hall in Champion with more than 175 attending. From my graduating class, there were just two of us there, and there are only three of us still living. Charlie Coxon from Champion and I represented our class. The third one lives in California and has not been back for some time.
It was enjoyable to visit with several who had graduated during the period of time when I was in high school. Charlie and I enjoyed looking back and remembering various experiences, teachers and friends. My brother, Dale, who graduated a year before I did, was also there with two of his classmates.
The Bloomfield Alumni Association did a good job with banquet and program arrangements. Graduates from 25 and 50 years ago were well-represented and given special recognition.
Spring seems to be the time when many alumni associations hold their banquets and provide the opportunity for graduates to renew friendships and exchange experiences.
Betty and I also had enjoyed hosting some Japanese friends for a few days. Many years ago now, we met and hosted Eiko Kurano, who was working with the Japanese 4-H Labo Program. This program arranges an exchange between 4-H members in Ohio and children from Japan. Eiko was one of the Japanese chaperones and lived with us. We have stayed in touch all these many years and were thrilled to have Eiko and her husband, Takeo, spend some time with us.
They live in Tokyo and were not in the direct path of the huge earthquake that devastated part of their county. They were affected in many ways and shared lots of difficult experiences with us.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience this spring was flying to Boston to see granddaughter Molly graduate from Boston University School of Law with her law degree. Her degrees and experiences are far different than those of this grandfather, and I did enjoy seeing her get this degree. Now she has to pass the bar exam and has a job waiting for her.
Some sadness has also been a part of this spring. We have lost several very good friends, and we went to more funerals, viewings and family calling hours than usual. While we believe in a life hereafter, we will miss these friends and the times we shared together on this earth. Thankfully, we have pleasant memories to enjoy.
We have also had several friends and family members with serious illnesses. Hospital visits were a part of our schedule and included hospitals in Trumbull, Geauga and Ashtabula counties. We are thankful for the good hospitals we have in our area.
Weather has been a topic of much conversation this year. With the cooler temperatures and rain all spring long, it was easy to grumble and complain. Those living in town have nothing to complain about compared to their farmer neighbors. Our farmer friends are suffering because they have not been able to get crops planted. In many ways, it is a disastrous situation for them and ultimately could affect our food supply and costs.
So we know every year is different, and this one was certainly that way. But for us, we are thankful for the enjoyable experiences we have had, in spite of the weather.
Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune.