Thursday, November 10, 2011

Princeton 55ers

Blaine and his grandson.
Our families and closest friends live across the country, and while I do love our friends in New Mexico, it can feel a little lonely sometimes. For me, it’s so comforting to be with people who have known me for years and years through different parts of my life. That will come eventually with our friends in New Mexico, I hope, but in the meantime, I feel so honored that we’ve been welcomed into a group of lifelong friends who’ve known each other for decades.

Our friend Blaine graduated from Princeton in 1955, and every year his college roommates come out to New Mexico for a rafting trip. They’ve been doing the rafting trip for plus or minus 13 years and have rafted many of the great rivers of the Southwest. The Princeton trip also includes good friends of Blaine’s that he has met over the years rafting, and the 55ers always have family members – wives, kids, grandkids – along too. There are about 10 people who go every year, and last summer we were 30. We ranged in age from 13 to 87!

This was the year that Blaine's wife got us all matching t-shirts in the Princeton colors.

We were lucky enough to be invited on the Princeton trip for the first time a few years ago, and it is so much fun to spend a weekend on the river with this special group of people that has been doing it for years. It’s like a rafting family.

Hanging out in the river drinking beer after a day on the river.
We missed the Princeton trip this summer because of work, but there was a reunion this week. One of the 55ers passed away last year after a battle with cancer, and his wife had never met all of the rafting people. She came out to New Mexico this week to meet everyone and hear rafting stories and share a wonderful meal. (One of the best parts of rafting with Blaine is that he is an amazing cook, and we eat incredible gourmet food on the river.)

Until next summer!

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