Summer is often the time that many people receive the dreaded email invite to attend their class reunion. Trying to decide whether or not to attend can be a stressful time, but allow me to give you my words of advice. GO and HAVE FUN!

I survived another one. Another all-school/class reunion can be checked off the list. It's hard to believe that I have been out of high school for as long as I have been and I know I sound like my mom when I say, "The years go by so fast."

When someone asks me where I am from, I proudly tell them that I'm from the small northeastern South Dakota town of Houghton, South Dakota. More often than not, I get a raised eyebrow and a blank stare, so I then add, "But I went to school in Hecla, South Dakota." So in a sense, I have TWO hometowns. Because even though I lived in Houghton, Hecla was where I spent a lot of time, going to school and becoming who I am today--along with the help of my 10 other classmates.

Even though there were only 11 (including me) in my graduating class, I still have to rely on the all-school/class reunion to see the people that I spent a good portion of my life with. Julie moved to Oregon and Brian is in the state of Washington. Stacey lives just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which could be a weekend trip, but with kids' schedules, that weekend trip just never seems to happen.

There are a handful of my classmates that live close to 'home'. Gwen is in Langford, South Dakota, Sherri and her family live in Britton, South Dakota, Paul is still living in our old stomping grounds and Todd and his family made their home in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Even though Kelly is probably the closest to me in location, Alcester, South Dakota still might as well be another time-zone away when we all go back to our own everyday lives.

We did miss a few of our classmates at this reunion. It would have been nice to see Mary. The last time our paths crossed was the day we graduated; and even though our paths didn't cross at the reunion, I owe a huge bit of gratitude to my classmate Jay for helping get through all those math classes!

But as it is, the way things are with EVERYONE, schedules just do not allow everyone to be a part of the newly made memories.

Yes, I survived another all-school/class reunion. But along with many laughs, a few icy-cold adult beverages, a parade and a street dance (where I was reminded just how much fun it is to jitterbug with one of my best-friends from Houghton -- Leroy!) I realized that as much as I hate knowing I'm growing older, another five years will be here before I know it and we will be able to pick up right where we left off with plenty of laughter,  reminiscing about the old times and making new memories.