We’ve been getting together at Waycross Camp in southern Indiana for four years now. We are only a few (7 this year), but then the Tudor Hall class of ’69 was only 32 and that counts Inez, the foreign exchange student. We weren’t particularly friends in high school. Some of us rarely spoke. We were threatened by the academic achievements or coolness factor of others, but the passage of forty-plus years has mellowed all that. We are who we are, and that's OK.
Some are widows, some divorced, some married, some grandparents. All are applying for or already on Medicare. Several of us are in education or involved with kids in some way. Often, very needy kids. We talk about things we never would have considered when we were seventeen. We aren’t the people we were then. I like what we have become.
Our conversations this year avoided politics. That was one of the things head mistress Alma Whitford taught us should not be discussed at the dinner table. Politics, religion and … What was the third? All we could come up with was sex, but we couldn’t imagine even considering talking about sex at Miss Whitford’s lunch table. For that matter, I can’t imagine Miss Whitford TELLING us we shouldn’t talk about sex at the table. So if there are any Tudor girls out there who remember number three, we would love to hear from you. (Thank you Beth Ferrel Jeglum for your great imitation of Miss Whitford at the head of the table.)
Beth also planned games. Now, Beth is a former pre-school director, but these games were well beyond toddlers. We laughed until one of our number (who shall remain un-named due to the propensity of Internet stories to follow you—one of many topics discussed over the weekend) had to run to the bathroom to avoid peeing herself. Twice.
We did break Miss Whitford’s rule and talk about faith from time to time, but always in gentle ways of “This is who I am” rather than hitting each other over the head with diverse doctrines.
Saturday afternoon was a highlight for many of us. Beth (again, thanks to our great organizer!) had discovered a farm not far away with a sculpture garden spread over many acres. The sign out front clearly said, “Closed. Keep Out. Don’t Even Think About It,” but there was a phone number, and when Beth finally got a hold of C. R. Schiefer, he was pretty hang loose. He might not be there; might be up in Indy visiting his girlfriend. (Susan Nunnamaker Carr, super-cyber-sleuth, found out later on the Internet that he is 91.) “If I’m not there, you can just wander around.”
When we arrived, we were met by a HUGE dog, who was NOT wagging his tail. Beth took her life in her hands to go up to the door and knock. The dog did not attack. He limped. When he came closer, we saw he had no tail to wag. No answer at the door. We finally decided to take the artist at his word and wander around despite the “No Trespassing” signs.
Fascinating clusters of sculptures, life size chess set, pregnant women, Asian-looking totem poles—all overgrown with weeds. Last week two Twin Cities mystery writers spoke at our local library’s annual fundraiser. I love mysteries, but have never felt inspired to write one. If I ever do, this sculpture garden is definitely the place to find the body.
As I drove the ten-hours from home to Indy to meet up for the weekend, I found myself wondering, “Will I still do this when my dad is no longer in Indy?” As I drove home Monday, my heart answered, “Yes. You will.”
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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