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Step up for the children

September 30, 2015
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Have the best years of your life now

I don't know everything. Let's get that out of the way now. Sometimes I'm smart, but I'm wrong a lot, because I take a lot of risks. And while I miss a lot of things about being younger, better looking, richer, more surrounded by friends, more free for adventures, and more sure of what was going to happen, I would never go back.

The Washington Post columnist Art Buchwald said, "If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today was yesterday and go out and have one hell of a time."

As I look at the schedule for homecoming at ELC and North Union, it hits me that it's been 25 years since my high school graduation. We didn't mark the occasion due to lack of planning and most people not being able to make it anyway. Some of us might meetup at the pizza place and go to the homecoming game next week where maybe they will announce over the loudspeaker, "And let's give a shout out to the North High Class of 1990!" If I get a break from being a reporter, I might even go, though Friday night is not usually a great time for me to be gone. If I miss it, I'll meet up with various classmates at some other time.

"pretend that today is yesterday and go out and have one hell of a time." Why not? I mean now that I have 2 of 3 kids past high school, I won't be throwing a party when my folks are out of state (Wait. I am the parent. In my continued defense, I thought I was having maybe a half dozen friends over, but even in the age way before social media, that party grew way out of control). I won't be running around on the country club golf course late at night, rolling down the hill, or sneaking into unsuspecting, vacationing homeowners' swimming pools to go skinny dipping (plus home security systems have become a lot more effective in the last quarter century).

I don't think Buchwald meant we actually go back to when we thought we were invincible, didn't understand all the consequences of our impulsive choices, didn't get how our irresponsibility affected other people, and were generally very immature.

I think what Buchwald meant was this: if you find yourself thinking, "I miss the times we used to run out and go fishing at midnight, had rehearsal until the wee hours, danced in the living room after everyone went to sleep, laughed and joked while we peeled potatoes together, met for a donut before work, played in the afternoon sunshine," don't wish on it, do it. You might not be able to go to the same places. You may not be able to do it with the same people (trust me; I get that one), but it seems to me that if we get out and care about someone as a friend, as our chosen family, as our actual family, and introduce them to some of the things that made us laugh and carry on and feel alive back then, we can have it all now.

I'm going to try it this homecoming week, which is my first one in a new house in a new town with a new job and knowing only a few people here.

You try it, too. It might be even better than it was years ago.



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