Reunions Are Therapeutic

by Brenda Wilson, Alpha Eta


blog2There are Alpha Delta Pi Sorority reunions and then there are ADPi reunions. If you are blessed to attend the latter, ADPi reunions are always therapeutic, with positive medical effects from raucous laughter, inside jokes, enhanced stories, and husband eye rolling.  This was the case on the shores of Lake Tahoe in August 2017, as 10 sisters of the Alpha Eta Chapter of ADPi from Kansas State met in what has become another “we-gotta-get-together-every-two-years” reunion. Over the past 58 years, sisters from the Alpha Eta chapter have kept in close touch through visits, letters and phone calls, technologically advancing over the years to texts, emails and Skype.  From the original every-five-year reunions, the group now meets every two. Although aging may be the reason for the more compressed meeting schedule, you could not tell by the noise and activity levels among this very close group of sisters.

Over the years, the sisters have hosted reunions on the Chesapeake Bay, in Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Tulsa, and Manhattan, Kansas. While the sisters gather to renew friendships and to just enjoy each other, husbands have been forced to forage into outlying areas, seeking new golf courses and sources of adult beverages. This has created a hunter-gather bonding among these resilient band of brothers, resulting in their enjoying the reunions as much as their wives.

blog1Back among the sisters, old secrets are disclosed, stories told and retold, photographs shared, and “artifacts” from that wonderful ADPi life in the Manhattan sorority house passed around the group. One of the highlights of the August reunion was the reading of a newly-discovered diary kept by one of the sisters, giving her daily account of a 1963 road trip from Manhattan, Kansas to Norman, Oklahoma, with six sisters and all of their luggage stuffed into an old station wagon. Diary entries meticulously described each girl’s quirky behaviors during the trip, as well as relating every food item eaten and the exact amounts spent on gas for the car, down to the penny. Indeed, explorers Lewis and Clark did not keep better records.

 

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What happened in Lake Tahoe is not necessarily kept in Lake Tahoe. In August, the group took the gondola lift up the Heavenly ski area, with a small cadre braving the open chair lift to the very top, at 10,040 feet. Photographs of the lake and the surrounding forested areas will undoubtedly find their way onto this year’s Christmas cards and Facebook pages. No one was brave enough to take the zip line from the top, launching over the chasms and sliding back down to the gondola terminal, which reflected the exceptional level of mature judgment among the group.

An evening dinner cruise on a paddle boat was a big hit, as well as a tour to the estate of George Whittell, a man who was so wealthy that he literally never worked a day in his life – an excellent role model for the ADPi group. The four-day get-together ended with a catered picnic under a gazebo on a pier that projected out into the lake. Bright sunshine, waves lapping against the rocks, and excellent food capped our latest ADPi reunion. There were no goodbyes said, only “See you at the next one.” We all plan on attending two years from now, not just because we all need the therapy, but because “We Live For Each Other.”

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