Back in the winter Michelle excitedly came into my home office with the news that her sorority was planning a reunion in October and that I needed to book a place to stay immediately. Even 7 or 8 months in advance the pickings were kind of slim, but we did land a nice 1 bedroom AirBnB apartment about 3 miles from campus. On home football weekends even the Super 8 motel gets $300 a night, it's crazy. We paid about $85 a night.
We did our usual routine when heading back to Purdue from Virginia. We drive 4 hours after work, spend the night somewhere, then get into Purdue the following day. We made a 1 hour rest stop out of visiting friends near Indy on this trip. The trip home was a 12-hour grind.
The Purdue campus has basically grown beyond my ability to recognize much at this point. We did all the usual things, wander aimlessly around campus, and stop in at Harry's for lunch with a local fraternity brother. It's the only campus bar from my day still there. We visited the bookstore to stock up on Purdue Merch. We also met another fraternity brother and his wife for dinner our first night there. On Friday night Michelle was at the fancy sorority reunion dinner. Only a handful of husbands were there that weekend, and the women decided to not make the guys go, so we hung out at the Scott Street Pub, a neighborhood place a 5 minute walk from our AirBnB. I'd really like to live someplace with a friendly pub a 5 minute walk away. Those neighborhoods are cost prohibitive in Richmond. There was a time when I really wanted to move back to Indiana, but I need mountain air regularly to be happy, and Indiana is a long way from the mountains.
On football Saturday we tailgated with the sorority prior to the 730 PM game. That was my first night game ever at Purdue, and maybe my first complete sellout ever. The game was lit. The defenses never came out of the locker room and Purdue finally won 43-37 after the teams racked up over 1000 yards of total offense combined. We got back to our room around midnight, which was not optimum for our planned early morning departure for the 12 hour trip home. We may need to start breaking up the return trip too.
On the way home Michelle read me the news of an 80 year old Purdue alumnus that fell exiting the stadium, hit her head, and died. It turned out the woman was a sorority sister and Michelle had met her at the reunion a couple of nights earlier. Eyewitness reports indicate the fall did not appear to be a big deal. She was 80, but still, a painful reminder that you just never know, not even 5 minutes into the future, about what is coming next. It's best to play it safe and live every day like it might be your last.