Monday, October 31, 2016

Know Thyself - Halloween 2016

I attended a Halloween party this last Saturday evening. I was invited, knew a few people who would be there and it was held at a nearby upscale golf club. The best part, it was listed as black tie optional. I love getting dressed elegantly and this looked like a very good opportunity.  

It was not going to be primarily a costume affair so no elaborate planning was required.  There were several with masks and many dressed elegantly, both man and women.    

First, let me describe how I feel about Halloween. Rhonda as not a costume.  I have used the "get dressed up" excuse for Halloweens in the past, so understand Halloween's relevance to the emerging or closeted cross dresser. Rhonda is part of me and not an outfit I take off or put on.  Being transgender is not external.  See last year's post - Real World or Halloween

Lets face fact; a "Freddy Kruger" mask does not mean you are an ax wielding serial killer for the evening. That is a costume.  However, for me to be Rhonda, I am in effect telling the world I have a definitive feminine personality and I am a transgender person. It has taken me years to understand this and I do not want to marginalize "her" into being a "one-day-a-year" lark.   

So, I went dressed classy, in my red cocktail dress, nude heels and even had my hair done the afternoon before. The party was fun. A very nice dinner and great conversations with friends I had not seen in a while. Plus, I won some points by being there among a group of individuals that I like. 

I am not attempting to rain on anyone Halloween outings today or tonight. Utilize the day to build your confidence for future ESCAPES.  However, look inside yourself and understand the Ancient Greek aphorism "gnothi seauton" or “know thyself".   

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Take Time

I could not have said it any better...

There are lots of reasons and likely places for getting out this weekend.  Why Not? 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Secret Deodorant - No Wrong Way....

Secret deodorant’s amazing new trans-themed ad:
 ‘No wrong way to be a woman’

By now I am sure this has gone viral.  But it is so worth it in case you have not seen it. (full screen is better) I receive this video link along with this description.  Thank you Melissa, and Caitlin.  Who ever wrote this ad knows us well.  I have been there and know you have been there as well.  

Wow! I don't know if Secret is sincere in promoting trans acceptance or just looking to expand its market share, but I do applaud their courage to post this.

Huffington post comment: A new deodorant commercial released this week perfectly captures the anxiety that some transgender people face while having to navigate public restrooms

My New Hero 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Rhonda's Travels - The Plantation Part 2

This is a continuation of yesterday's post on Berry Hill Resort, South Boston Virginia.  I had more of my photos that capture the beauty and wonder of this step back in time. 

The rates are very reasonable and amenities are what you would expect at any world class spa. Keep in mind this is a get-a-way place and it is located in a small country town. With that said do not expect a lot to do in town and many places closed at 9:00 pm.  With a little driving effort you can eat at several upscale restaurants in town. Also you can find genuine home, country, cooking at the in-town lunch cafes. There are interesting antique shops a winery, and regional museums that chronological's the area's county life and tobacco farm heritage.  

This is a place to relax, enjoy the scenery, hike, take bike rides, and actually look up and see the milky way. The night sounds are cicadas, katydids and crickets. Sounds I remember growing up in that area.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rhonda's Travels - The Plantation

Berry Hill Resort / South Boston Va

During my travels back to Virginia I stayed at a very unique resort.  Not exactly a hotel or anything resembling that, but a true Southern Plantation; Berry Hill Resort. This former antebellum plantation estate and National Historic Landmark welcomed its first guests to the beautiful Virginia countryside in 1728.  The main house built in 1839, shown above, is one of Virginia's finest examples of Greek Revival architecture.  It's eight massive columns that make up the main facade are in emulation of the ancient Greek Parthenon. 

With some 3,600 acres at its height, 650 now, the plantation was one of the largest in Virginia. The plantation has one of the largest slave cemeteries in Virginia, holding the graves of more than two hundred slaves and by most estimates many more in unmarked graves. On the grounds are well-preserved slave quarters, tobacco barns and other era out-building.

Lunch in the Main House 
There are rooms available in the main house and just to the side of the main plantation house are over 92 all new luxurious guest rooms. The new rooms are adorned with antiques, sleigh beds, four posted beds, towel warmers, in-room coffee and wireless internet. That is where I stayed.  Even the modern rooms have the charm of stepping back in time. While there, I enjoyed the cafĂ©, toured the main house/grounds and had lunch in the main house.  

In 1968, then governor Mills Godwin commissioned the book Architecture in Virginia that described Berry Hill this way:

"Berry Hill was almost the last of the great houses to be built in Virginia...Its isolated site lends an almost overpoweringly romantic aura to the distinction of its carefully executed portico flanked by two small Doric pavilions. The entire composition is on as grand a scale as any of Virginia's domestic architecture, with the possible exception of the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg. It is a notable achievement, particularly when one realizes that it was carried to completion in a remote area of the Commonwealth. This isolation gives the entire composition as almost theatrical air of romanticism, in spite of the classic forms of the three buildings that frame the forecourt."
In 1971 it was desiganted a " National Historic Landmark" by the National Park Service.  There is much history associated with the wonderful place.  If interested read this account of the family, plantation and home. 

Growing up in the area there were many stories associated with the entire location - Fact, fantasy, and fiction.  However, either way, very interesting and shall we say, hauntingly fascinating.  

This was my third stay at Berry Hill and its meticulous restoration is beauty to behold.  It has become an out-of-the way wedding destination and retreat for the well-traveled seeking a quiet weekend get-a-way spot. It was a walk back in time for this southern country girl and a rare glimpse into the long lost antebellum life style.  I wanted to put on a lace up corset, hoop skirt and relive a time gone by. 

“I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.

― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Marvelous floating horseshoe Staircase
Entrance Main House, Berry Hill

Stay Tuned - Tomorrow I will put more photos of this worth seeing incredible show place.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lipstick - Cherries in The Snow

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick - 440 Cherries In the Snow

Few product scream feminine better than lipstick.  There are  many physio-sexual  discussion on what lipstick represents but let’s face it, lips just look better with color.  Second only to the eyes, lips draw you in.  Bold lips represent confidence.  However, that has not always been the case. There have been periods in human history when red lips were outlawed.  It was believed not that long ago, that creating a plump, sexualized mouth would earn you a fast-track ticket to hell. 

"Red lips overtly expresses feminine power.  Think Jean Harlow’s pointed red pout in the 1930s, Veronica Lake’s in the 1940s and Marilyn Monroe’s in the 50’s.  Women who are remembered.   By dressing your lips in red, it draws people’s attention to you, especially to your mouth, and subsequently, the words that come out of it."  The Power of Red Lips - Psychologies.

I was out just a few weeks ago and noticed how beautiful a woman’s lips sitting next to me appeared.  Without hesitation I asked “Your lips are beautiful - What lipstick is that?”  “Cherries in the Snow” was the answer. 

OMG - I remember that shade from over 30 years ago - My photo on the right. It is a Revlon's color. Loved the color then and still do today. 

There are few descriptors that are more spot on than "Cherries in the Snow"

Escape with red lips.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NC Bathroom Issue - A Solution

Two weeks ago I spent one nigh in North Carolina. I am sure you all know that North Carolina is the epicenter of the conservative attack on transgender rights.  During my one night stay and travels through North Carolina I was constantly aware. Sad - NC is a state I have always considered a second home state. My county in Virginia bordered North Carolina.    

The place I stayed was an upscale hotel in Asheville near the airport.  Asheville is a liberal and forward thinking city in a sea of red.  The bathroom entrance sign to the right was taken in the hotel lobby during my stay. I have no way of knowing it has always been there of posted in response to  NC HB2; AKA "Bathroom Bill".  

Either way it is logical and a clear solution - ambiguous yet defining.  There were no words posted other than the graphic.  "Use the restroom that represents how you appear" - Works for me.    

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reunion Questions

50th High School Reunion Photos 

I have received questions over the past week as I have unraveled my reunion experience. Several came from my classmates wanting to know all about my transition? That is an interesting question that relates some familiarity with the subject going in. In all those cases I have just sent them the link to my NY Times op-ed.  My simple answer was that my being transgender does not involve me transitioning.  If you have not seen it, here is the link

 NY Times - Transgender Today

Another question has been, what did I say when given the opportunity to speak? My reason for speaking was, I wanted to mention the slides show / PowerPoint that several of us put together. Three reunions ago I did one using our yearbook photos. This year I did an extended slide show that ran an hour, 220 slides and used the yearbook photos of all attending plus other yearbook candid/group photos. It was showing when everyone was coming in and ran complete about four times during the evening. More than once I saw people were just standing and watching. The upper left photo shows the large screen we used.

Here is what I said when given the opportunity to speak before the class:
Welcome all - “Tonight is a milestone – 50 years and I am so proud to be here. There were some that could not be with us so let’s remember them also.

I had the immense privilege of preparing the DVD/slide show that you have been watching. I did not do it alone and had much help.  Thank you. I hope you have been enjoying it.  Not all of us still have our Yearbook, so I have attempted to scan and show yearbook photos of all in attendance and photos from the yearbook that will help us remember our wonderful days at our high school.

We send out a request for a brief biography. Thank you if you sent in one and this alone will make watching the available DVD fun.

But if you did not send in a bio,  I may have written one for you!  I hope you like my creative writing:

One of our classmates joined ISIS.  He is off somewhere fighting tonight.

Another has been married 15 times and has 40 children. Rumors that some of the marriage were concurrent.

One of our classmates is transgender - OH, that's me!

And finally; I may have even listed some of you, as Trump supporters.  
Just kidding…..   

So next time send in a BIO – Enjoy the DVD. Thank you. 


Someone Help Me
Several times during the reunion I had classmates come up and want details -"Tell me everything". The above photo is an example of those moments.  This is were I used my business card that had the blog link.   

Especially, I want to thank my blog friends. Several of you commented that you have reunions coming up so wanted to see how my experience worked out. You all encourage me to do it and I hope I have blazed the trail for you - “Escape”. An overall, positive experience.

 Just do it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What To Wear

I resemble that remark. 

Let get out this weekend and do some pre-planning for the the upcoming Halloween weekend.  Like you did not already think of that? 


I am traveling November 7-11 to Toronto CA and November 14-17 to Birmingham Alabama.  If there is anyone in those areas that would like to have coffee, dinner, or glass of wine some evening, let me know. Use the contact page.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

How Many New Lives Can We Have?

Everyone have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Sweater Weather - Finally

This upcoming weekend there is a predicted low of 68 degrees. Finally a cool front. Break out the sweaters!  Am I detecting an eye roll? OK, our definition of cool is different than yours however this is a needed break for South Florida. The snow birds will be arriving soon.  

I love the sweater on the top right. I have it in a tan, almost a gold tone, and wore it several times during my resent trip. It looks very dressy with pants and a brown leather skirt that I wore.  The one above is in bone/winter white and I have it coming form Macy's which was on a great mark down this past weekend. I am hoping it will match closely with a pair of Talbots white wool pants that I already have.  I have bone/nude heels that will work with it also.  

I also like the look of the green off the shoulder sweater.  I hope my local Bloomingdale's store has it in stock.  I will need to see it to check out the color. I do love the style. 

Shop, find something cute - Escape.  I hope you are enjoying your sweater weather! 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Warning - Politics

I could not agree more and do not think the third debate went much better.   I am not satisfied with our choices but believe that Hillary is the best option. If Trump follows the GOP transgender party line, it would damage what progress we have made. We know where Pence stands and it is not good.  Based on some of his comments, I see Trump as vindictive, dangerous and mean-spirited. 

Enough said.


We will return to our regularly schedule programming tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Speak Out

By speaking out we can make a difference: This news article quoted in part is from the Palm Beach Post September 7, 2016.  

 Luis Rijo De Los Santos pleads guilty

Luis Rijo DeLos Santos gets plea, 15 years in cross-dresser murder.

Daphne Duret

Just days before what would have been his second trial in the death of Tyrell Jackson, Luis Rijo De Los Santos accepted a 15-year prison sentence as part of a last minute plea deal.

The sentence, which Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley imposed Wednesday, ends the case where he once faced a possible death sentence for killing the cross-dresser he said he thought was a woman when he picked him and another man up in 2012.
[Judge] Kelley in June 2015 declared a mistrial on the first degree murder charge and two counts of attempted murder in the shootings that killed Jackson and injured Michael Hunter and Terence Chatman after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict on those charges.


I applaud the final outcome however this is unfortunate at many levels. I feel the sentence to be not enough.  My reason for bringing this is up is to mention the Palm Beach Post staff writer Daphne Duret's correct terminology.

How did this happen?

In all articles prior to May of 2015, the victims were referred to as “transvestite prostitutes.” As we all well know, this is a socially loaded expression. After reading, several articles referring to the three victims this way, I decided to write to the newspaper. My e-mail opened this way:

What were you thinking? Why did you use the term transvestite? Did you not realize that 'transvestite' or the short version 'tranny' is as offensive to the gender community as the N-word? Why not just call the accused Mr. Rijo De Los Santos, ‘a N... man’? That is how offensive I see the term 'transvestite' and it all but suggests that the transgender prostitutes deserved what they got. What difference did it make how they were dressed? A murder happened.

All articles that followed used the better expressions “cross-dressed.” All previous on-line articles were changed. Ms. Duret remarked back to me in an e-mail, “After I got your first email it sparked a 15 minute conversation in the newsroom. Thank you."

Speaking out - We can make a difference.

Note: Part of this was discussed on Stanna's Femulate Blog back in 2015.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Class Reunion - Post Script

PS:  This past week I have received several beautiful comments from classmates. Here are  several:

"The first time I saw you dressed as a lady, Initially if felt confused, CONFUSED when our chairman announced your male name and a pretty lady walked up to the podium!   Then I felt SURPRISED and  wanted to learn more.

Later, when we talked I felt ADMIRATION for your courage to be yourself.   "It is never too late to be what you might have been," is George Eliot's splendid quote that starts your blog. I agree with her!

No person has gone   unchanged during this half-century.  On the positive side, many now do not judge a person's value by race, age,  gender, sexual orientation, or  handicap (including mental illness).  On the negative side, a few still reject anyone who "marches to the beat of a different drummer."  God simply wants  us to accept each other."


"Everyone had a moment of surprise, but your confidence and laughter overtook the room. Looking at the photos that our classmates have posted from the weekend, you had a great time, girlfriend!"

"It was a fun weekend full of laughs and we made new memories while walking down memory lane. I must say, you were the belle of the ball, good thing we wear the same size shoe!"


I graduated from our same high school in 1971. You likely know my sister that graduate the year after you.  A good friend, also an local graduate, sent me a link to your blog.  I just wanted to say how much I admire your courage and self respect. Thank you.

My personal note: I want to thank you all for such beautiful comments. You made it easy and fun.   

Monday, October 17, 2016

NC Governor Pulled Money From Disaster Relief

NC Governor Pat McCrory and Lumberton after Hurricane Matthew 

If you have ever wondered how deep, the hate goes with in the republican legislative agenda wonder no more. Sorry to get so political, however this is to egregious to not report. Let us hope North Carolina does not re-elect this idiot. I did fact check this on several sites including Raleigh printed news outlets and Raleigh's TV Outlets. Although the governor has been forced to walk this back under re-election pressure, his intent was clear in requesting the funds.  


Parts of Lumberton still underwater and impassable yet North Carolina’s governor just pulled money from disaster relief to support the anti-trans HB2.

By Rafi Schwartz - Fusion.net

As North Carolina works to defend its anti-transgender HB2 “bathroom bill” in federal court, Republican governor Pat McCrory has quietly allowed half a million dollars to be transferred out of his state’s disaster relief fund and put toward HB2’s legal fight instead.

According to Raleigh’s The News and Observer, McCrory this week quietly waved through HB805, a bill containing provisions that clarify language and minor issues with legislation passed earlier in the year.

Nestled within the bill, however, is a provision that moves $500,000 out of the state’s Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund, and transferred “to the Governor’s Office” for the express purpose of funding “costs incurred from litigation related to S.L. 2016-3″—the legislative session during which HB2 was passed. In other words, North Carolina now has half a million dollars less to fight natural disasters, and half a million more to defend legislative ones. [The money is now under the governors control - not Emergency Preparedness]

The express purpose of [the] funding “costs incurred from litigation related to S.L. 2016-3″—the legislative session during which HB2 was passed.


The same session that provided the governor his discretionary $500,000 came up with this fix for HB2. See also this article.  

Republicans in the NC House have reportedly been working on a bill they think would allay concerns the NBA has over HB2. Those "fixes" essentially mandate transgender people undergo expensive medical procedures they may not want in order to obtain a new state-issued card allowing them to use public restrooms of their gender.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Funnies - 10/16


I think that it may be more than 1 in 500.


I am traveling November 7-11 to Toronto CA and November 14-17 to Birmingham Alabama.  If there is anyone in those areas that would like to have coffee, dinner, or glass of wine some evening, let me know. Use the contact page.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Let's Start A Revolution

Everyone have a wonderful weekend - Get out and do something; Escape!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Woman With Class - Friend's Friday

Susan and Rhonda - October '16

It was Stana's Femulate blog and Susan's that inspired me to start my blog.  It has been a wonderful ride and I promise to keep it going as long as I have something to say.  But I digress.  
Last week during my travels north to my high school reunion, I stopped in Susan's beautiful southern hometown. We had made arrangements ahead and Susan picked me up at my hotel.  

Having been out of the south for nearly 30 years there is one tradition that I miss; Southern Hospitality. What Susan did that afternoon was the embodiment of true Southern hospitality. She gave me the grand tour or her southern home town; the beautiful old homes, quaint downtown, lovely mountain vistas, and an art park. We got out and walked sharing stories of growing up in the rural south. As if I were with an old friend, nothing was off limit. We discussed my being transgender, relationships, travel, fashion and blogging.  

After my lovely tour of her town we headed to a close by internationally famous village and drove down it's main street.  Next we headed to a beautiful restaurant for dinner. There we talked, laughed and told stories for another two and a half hours - Just girlfriends. I did not want the evening to end.

Do follow Susan's blog.  There is wonderful advice on fashion and looking our best at any age. Also her site provides encouragement to get out and live. Susan's motto - "The second fifty years are the best." I could not agree more.   
You gave me your time, the most thoughtful gift of all. Thank you. 

I have a beautiful memory of that evening and a big smile.  Susan, thank you again. It warms my heart to be with a woman of true class and experience genuine southern hospitality.

Girlfriends - Love The Shoes

Thursday, October 13, 2016

High School Reunion - The After Glow

Several days has now elapsed since my 50th reunion. I want to share a few more aspects of the evening with you. I am still very much in the afterglow of a very positive experience.  Here are some general observations and post event analysis. 

Thursday, the ice was broken by attending a dinner with a small group of what I knew would be either supporters or not be negative. This involved a dinner out, and a next evening a small cocktail party of invited guests over at a friend’s home. My confidence was reinforced by these two events. To my surprise, friends remained friend irregardless my presentation. Football days, teachers and overall experiences were discussed just like nothing was different. I believe we were all humbled by passing of the 50 years.  The old saying “The older I get the better I was,” applied to many of our the recollections.  

I had several backup plans for the main event Saturday. My table was the “already in the know” group from the previous evenings - My safe zone. I made sure I had something to do – discussing the video and delivering DVDs. This ensured that I would meet many thus preventing me from being a wallflower. NO alcohol - I wanted to be fully aware and sharp.  This is a big recommendation - Alcohol does not enhance your courage. Self confidence is a much better plan.  

The women were the most open.  Many, many hugs and questions.  Long conversations followed by positive comments. Some of the guys that I knew only for classes or home room were less open. Several wanted to hug the woman standing before them (typical greeting) however, found it awkward in my case.  One person could not back away fast enough and another shook my hand so hard it hurt.  

Old friends were still old friends. To be pro-active I would just go to their table and sit down and ask “questions?”. Wives were the first to chime in. One especially good friend, I asked, “What no kiss?”  After we laughed and talked for a while I planted a big red lipstick kiss on the top of his shiny bald head. His wife almost fell out of her chair laughing. Great fun! 

I had several to come over to my table, sit down and tell me things about myself I did not recognize while in school. How they wanted to know me better and wish they would have taken the time. How I was above the cliques and was a friend to everyone.  How they thought I was smart – something I did not see in myself. One said that she knew I was not like most of the other guys. That I knew, but though I kept it hidden.  

To soon the evening ended.  A wonderful experience. 

One very big observation/comment - Would I do it again? – Absolutely! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

High School Reunion - The Courage

Speaking before my class at the reunion

Going to my high school reunion require more courage than I initially anticipated.  Yes, more nerve than I had to muster up for any recent Rhonda outing.  My biggest fear was that I was stealing the limelight and making it about me; my changes; my “In your face” transgender state. I honestly consider not going and once there I considered being a wallflower.  Here is my logic on the “why” I went and why I spoke.  I will begin with a story.  

On one of my jobs about 30 years ago, we had a very interesting roundtable of investors and consultants.  I hit it off with one of the investors/company spokespersons and we became friends.  Plus we had children about the same age. I liked his sense of adventure and I believe he liked my professionalism.  It was at a dinner one evening and he asked if we would like to see his trip slides. This was at a time that involved setting up a projector, screen and everyone gathering in a darkened room.  We have all been there.  The click/swish of slides moving in and out can seem endless.

I will get back to the slide show in second but first, know there is a difference between being aware of a concept and putting a face to it. Many are aware of the term transgender and have a vague understanding - Oh, that Caitlyn Jenner thing.  Just as what happen with gays - once you know someone, have a neighbor, workmate or family member it is no longer a concept.  It is now a person; a friend; or classmate.  I wanted my class to know someone transgender. Put a face and outgoing personality to the concept.  Attitudes change one person at a time.  

So, back to the slide show. The home I was in and slide show presenter was Dr. Edgar Mitchell. His trip was to the moon aboard Apollo 14.  He spent nine hours working on the lunar surface and had the photos/slides to prove it.  We all sat in complete silence, as photo after photo of the lunar surface and earth in the distance, came up. The space program and the moon landing was no longer a concept. I was having an evening with someone that had been there, lived it. It was real!

You making yourself available as a representative of the transgender community can change attitudes. You can make it real. Hiding who/what I am, was not an option. That was the source of my courage to be at the reunion.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

High School Reunion - Part 2

As the evening closed. 

Yesterday morning on Facebook, I posted a thank you to my class.  We have a dedicated Facebook page. The note was very similar to the open thank you I posited here yesterday with a few changes. 

"I presented you a challenge last Saturday evening. You all were amazing. Never in my life have I ever been so proud to be a member of a group - any group. You as my classmates were loving, kind, understanding, welcoming and open. There were open arms for me and acceptance beyond my wildest dream. I love you guys. Thank you!"

Unexpected were these wonderful comments:

We love you too! You made our reunion fun as well as unbelievable! No offense!

I think it's important to accept people for who they are and not to be judgmental. I think you showed a lot of courage Saturday, and I hope you will always be accepted for the person you are.

It did take a lot of courage, and we love you! The reunion was a blast. We would love you no matter.

We would love you no matter who you are. Am glad you had the courage to be yourself this weekend.

It was great seeing you and I wish you well. If you are ever in Roanoke VA, we would love you to come see us.

Love you. Thanks for everything you did to make our reunion a huge success - as always! (video)

Thanks for the note. Good to see you and know you are happy. Take care. Our classmates will always be your family.

I think this speaks to your bravery and the kind of class we are.... I hope your "new" life will be full of joy and peace...wishing you the best.
Proud of your courage, God bless you!

From my video co-worker: Everyone had a moment of surprise, but your confidence and laughter overtook the room.  Looking at the photos that our classmates have posted from the weekend, you had a great time, girlfriend!

We are so blessed to have you as our dear friend. True friends accept and respect each other. So proud that the Class of '66 made you feel loved. After all, we are a big FAMILY.

I would LOVE YOU no matter what your circumstance! Your help made our reunion a success !! Take care and I can't wait to see YOU at our next reunion !! Hope your trip home was safe. Love you !!

 It was great to see you. Friend me on Facebook. If you ever get to Nashville or Clarksville, TN, I hope you will visit. We should all live life with love. I think our class proves that principle very well.

Tomorrow I will write more on the weekend, my trepidation and preparation. Stay tuned. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

High School Reunion - Welcome Back

I am home from a fabulous weekend at my 50th High School Reunion. The photo above was at the concluding, good-bye breakfast.  I left in near tears; Overwhelmed with joy and amazement.   

I have much to write, many stories and plenty of photos.  So stay tuned this week. I am back home, tired after an almost all-night drive and promise to write more.

One comment for this morning: 

Never in my life have I ever been so proud to be a member of a group - any group.  My classmates were loving, understanding, welcoming and open.  There were open arms for me and acceptance beyond my wildest dream.  I love you guys!

Thank you my class of ’66 – An amazing group.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

High School Reunion - The Before

I sit here writing my opening post on my 50th reunion.  I arrived in town a few days early to get over initial jitters. Not sure that helped.  My support network started by discussing my intention with a high school girlfriend knowing that she would understand and encourage.  She did! My plan - push me through the door if my resolve fails.     

My first outing was a dinner with my one-person support group and two other classmates, with spouses.  We picked the only upscale restaurant in town – It was full.  About 15 seconds of discomfort turned into many laughs when I told my friends they had not change a bit and neither had I.  That broke the ice. After that- remembering old times.  We all laughed and had a fun evening. It was not a non-event but all accepted and we had a two-hour dinner - Good laughs.  One facetious comment – “OMG you are going to put us to shame, came from one still attractive table mate.  My comment - not likely.  

I skipped a large gathering last evening to attend a smaller party and break my news to one of my best school friends.  We were not sure if a hug or a handshake was in orders so we did both.  Very quickly we were discussing all the past good times and family.  More classmates arrived with several going through much effort to just figure out who I was.  It took a few minutes for them wrap their heads around what was happening.  I had a wonderful evening. 

So here I am with more trepidation than I anticipated.  This morning I helped set up a slideshow (video) I prepared and worked with the organizing committee to make sure the reunion facility was prepared.   I went very androgynous.  I explained to my video co-worker that I will look differently this evening.  She said, “do it – be yourself”.  From her reaction, I believe rumors had been circulating.   I was not dis-invited.  

In a text received about an hour later she said: 

I told X, Y and Z committee members so they would know.  Some may not react well, but you are what you want to be. 

I am digesting this - so stay tuned.  I am hoping my sense of humor and good nature disarms. We shall see.  I did not expect to be this anxious.