A couple of weekends ago, I attended a school reunion. I grew up in Lithgow, a coal mining town on the slopes of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and attended the local High School. 30 years ago my classmates and I were sitting our final exams in the school hall – now we live all over the world, we have many different jobs, some of us are married, some have kids, some have grandkids, some, sadly, have passed away.
Our reunion has been in the planning for months. Mostly we spread the news via Facebook – something we could not have imagined when we were at school! Lots of friends were tracked down and invited, but many couldn’t make it to the reunion. Some live long distances away, others couldn’t get time off to travel, or had other commitments. One friend had the brilliant idea of asking those who couldn’t come to record a short video, so we could catch up on where they are now. A couple of brave souls did just that, and posted their videos in the Facebook group. How fabulous it was to see and hear from old schoolmates like that!
The reunion day finally arrived and my hubby and I drove up to Lithgow. It was a cold and wet morning – typical Lithgow weather! – but the rain cleared in the afternoon. The venue for the reunion was an old barn at the back of the first inn built west of the Blue Mountains. With dark timber slab walls and a high roof with no ceiling, I knew it would be dark, making it tricky to get good photos. So when we arrived at my Dad’s place I borrowed a flash to give me better lighting options. (That turned out to be slightly problematic, as the flash was very bright and I didn’t think to put a napkin or hanky over it, so my poor subjects were a bit dazzled! Next time I’ll remember to pack some tissues and an elastic band to diffuse the light.)
In the past I have found reunions somewhat fraught. Having moved away immediately after finishing school, and only keeping up with a handful of people, it was always a bit awkward going back and trying to pick up the threads of relationships again. Somehow, this time it was much easier. I think partly because many of us in the last 10 years have re-connected on Facebook. It was easier to pick up the conversations we were already having on social media, and to recognize people whose up-to-date photos I’ve seen recently. In fact, I had a really great time catching up! There was lots of conversation, many great memories were shared, and many stories told. We shared a great meal together, laughed and reminisced, and it was like the years just melted away.
And I was able to capture the memories in photos. The flash was hit-and-miss, but I ended up with some decent shots. Others had their phones and cameras out too, and after the reunion was over the photos started appearing in the Facebook group. When I got home, the first thing I did was to upload my photos to my Forever account. Once there, I posted the link in our group so everyone could see them. The fabulous thing about sharing this way is that it gives everyone access to the full resolution photos, unlike the compressed images on Facebook. So everyone who was there, and all those friends who couldn’t make it, can see the photos and even download and print them if they wish.
Lots of things have changed since we were all at school, and some not for the better! But two at least of the changes I think are awesome – the way we can keep up with old friends on social media, and the way we can save and share our memories using Forever Storage.
#p2PMarysManyBP. Available in the Classic Blueprint Bundle #1 by pixels2Pages. Fonts: Alex Brush, Amity Jack.