The first party held on my Sunnyshore Studio property was in July 2014. I hosted a gathering of classmates from Stanwood High School’s class of 1987, the greatest class who ever walked the halls of SHS.

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My elders at Redeemer Presbyterian in Indy, had given me a month sabbatical to work on my writing project on Christian identity. I spent the month at my parent’s home on Camano. I spent about 6-8 hours a day writing, usually in the early morning to noon, and then again in the evening. But I did have time for some fun. One of the highlights was hosting a gathering of my classmates.

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I began planning this gathering in the spring, contacting old friends via facebook. It would stretch over two days: a BBQ on my Sunnyshore property on Friday, July 19th. Then on Saturday, 20th, dinner at a Amigos restaurant in Stanwood.

I found a lot of joy preparing the Sunnyshore Studio property for the party.

I made a sign, ordered a porta-potty,

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piled wood for the fireside,

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set up tables and a canopy,

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and bought a grill, my first Sunnyshore Studio purchase.

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Mom picked flowers from her place and brought them over to make a bouquet for each table. Heather B. was the first friend to show up and right away she went to work helping mom.

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Other friends arrived.

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It was so fun to see them after all those years, and so rich to be known and to know each other over the decade, and from the bright days of our youth.

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As we sat around the fire and talked I was struck by how much about of the lives of my friends and classmates I hadn’t known. I had only scratched the surface of knowing them during those many years of growing up together, going to class, playing on sport teams, dancing and fighting and laughing and crying together. It was sweet to catch up after all those years, getting to know each other at a deeper level.

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A special treat for me was that one of my best friends from high school, Harry Baird, and his lovely wife Maria parked their travel trailer on the property and spent the night next to my tent. Harry, Maria and I sat around the fire until the early hours of the morning talking, laughing, remembering.

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Dinner at Amigos on Saturday was great too.

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The gathering of my SHS friends was the perfect way to break in my Sunnyshore Studio property. Many more parties and gatherings will follow, but nothing will beat having old friends from olden days there to christen it.