Casey and I both graduated from high school in 1998, which means that this summer is the time for our 20th high school reunions! For better or for worse, the 20th reunion can be one of those milestones in life that can trigger all kinds of “checking in” on oneself. The classic stereotype is trying to fit into old prom dresses or whatever other unlikely torturous scenario one might choose to self-inflict in order to appear forever young (or accomplished, etc.).
What Casey and I are discovering, however, is that the reality for our classes and classmates looks pretty different. People are very absorbed with their lives: with raising children, working hard on their careers, and maintaining a lot of relationships in general. In our experience, the hardest thing about the 20th reunion is making sure it happens amidst everyone’s full plates of existing commitments and responsibilities!
Nonetheless, they are coming together, albeit in pretty low key forms fitting with what folks our age have going on. Casey attended his in Lincoln City this last weekend, which (again fittingly) began at the beach itself. What fun to meet classmates again as adults! At 18, I think it’s easy for us to forget how very young we are, because of course seniors feel much older than the rest of their schoolmates at that point. But graduation is such a starting point to life, and of course vast amounts of maturation happen in the subsequent decade or two.
At the recent reunion, and other recent occasions when we’ve reconnected with old friends from our younger days, we’ve been struck by how very awesome that growth is. Our old friends seem so grounded in these beautiful ways, having grown in basic patience through parenthood or challenging careers. Certainly, most of us look visibly older (laugh lines, folks!), but what has struck us is the growth in spirit, the depth that can only come from lived experience. On these occasions, it’s hard to see life and aging as anything other than a gift. When talk moves away from small chit chat to the nitty gritty of our lives, we learn how many challenges we’ve all encountered along the way, often ones we never expected when we were 18 (that is definitely true for Casey and me!). But often these are the same moments when we’ve grown the most or worked to earn that sense of “groundedness” that we didn’t have years ago.
My own reunion is coming up at the end of next month, and I’m looking forward to extending that experience further into the summer, remembering how far we’ve all come and how hard we’re all working these days to contribute to our communities and families. I feel inspired by our generation and the earnest dedication we seem to be bringing to our lives, ones that have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. It’s clear that even though we were inspired by our parents, our lives are taking shapes of their own, with priorities relevant for the era in which we live now. Meeting again these old friends is inspirational and hopeful: real people doing real things in real places, with a lot of purpose and love and patience. What more could we ask for really?
Enjoy this week’s vegetables!
Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla
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Make a tomato salad!
We ate the most delicious cold salad dish this week. Casey started by chopping some tomatoes and then mixing them with mozzarella pearls and a few other chopped summer treats (zucchini, diced onions, basil, and cucumbers, which are just coming on!). He added some chopped avocado too (sorry, not local) to give it more body and then tossed the whole thing with a little mayo, olive oil, and vinegar. At the end of a hot day, this salad became a perfect part of our dinner meal. It’s also a simple preparation that can be easily altered throughout the summer depending on what vegetables are on hand. It’s also highly portable if one is going on a picnic or to the beach! Just put it in a well sealed container and pack a fork!
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Meet this week’s vegetables:
- Chehalis apples — The first of the apples! These are a crisp, tart green apple, yummy for eating fresh or baking with.
- Shiro plums
- Tomatoes — Red slicers and cherry both
- Salad mix
- New potatoes