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Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The best trip I’ve taken this month is down Memory Lane, a place familiar to everyone but not always accessible. At our biennial ΣΓΦ (Arethusa) sorority reunion at the Creek Locks Bed and Breakfast in Rosendale, New York, I was able to take that trip-- back more than 40 years to friendships that have endured all this time.

The Creek Locks Bed and Breakfast is a charming, gracious B&B owned by Kate and John McCormick. Kate is an Arethusa sister, and two years ago when they hosted our last marvelous reunion at their home in New Paltz, New York, they spoke about opening a B&B. How wonderful it is to see their dream come to fruition in this beautiful 1866 Gothic Revival farmhouse nestled among trees, spreading lawns, and meandering paths along the Delaware and Hudson Canal, a spot pulled out of picture books. It’s a perfect place.

Arethusa’s last sisters may have graduated in 1973, but here, under a big tent, years disappear. Sixty of us--sisters and many of their husbands-- gather to hug, laugh, catch up, sing, and smile at the scrapbooks and photo albums, some declaring, “You haven’t changed a bit!” even as others point and quietly ask, “Who is she?”

There’s wine, beer, music, and the loud chatter that Rob says always occurs when women get together. It’s glorious. Most of our children have flown, and many of us are grandmothers, but unlike reunions of days gone by, discussion of that aspect of our lives is dispensed with quickly. No one pulls out a personal photo album. We’ve reached an age where we are interested in each other because for most of us, we’ve graduated into a new stage of our lives.

It’s great to hear about Jane and Bob’s new house in Rhode Island near their children’s families. They’re expecting an additional grandchild. Others talk about downsizing or moving down to Myrtle Beach where one can easily get a New York area flight so family can come and go. Great to see my “little sister” Kathi is doing so well, and we promise, again, that we WILL get together. Good to see Nancy, too, and catch up about her and her son. Doris, class of ’44 is our most senior sister, and she brings a basket of homemade potholders as presents for us. That’s sisterhood at its best.

Some of the people I haven’t seen in far too many years—Liz and Doug, Ed, Mary and Bob, Mary Ellen and Greg, Alice—they’re there. The years just melt away, and we are able to pick up where we left off last time, whenever that was.

It’s also nice to see sisters I’ve come to know, not because we went to college together but because we’ve met at luncheons and reunions. That includes our hostess, Kate, and our Treasurer, Linda. Linda and I do a lot of emailing back and forth, so it’s nice to have a face-to-face every once in a while. Although we didn’t get much of chance to talk, Fran from PA is another sister I got to know a bit at our last reunion. No matter what the class year, we all seem to have things in common.

We try to get the news about sisters who aren’t at the reunion. Everyone is in touch with other sisters, and so there’s always news to share. Good to hear a bit about Cookie, T-Bone, Leslie and Toots. Nice to hear that a California sister, Hillary, will be in at the end of August and that maybe I’ll get a chance to see her. It’s been far too many years!

There’s always singing! Maybe our memories are a bit short, but there were so many songs and it’s always fun to sing “Hey Arethusa’s Here” and “The Call,” songs by which we were identified in college. Those memories do not fade away!

I know I haven’t begun to touch on everyone who attended—but I know my reactions are not unique. It was a good day for everyone. Some advice—if you have a reunion of some kind coming up and you’re torn about going—GO. You just might have your version of my trip down Memory Lane, and you won’t be disappointed!

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