Arrived in Shanghai on time on Saturday afternoon. The 14-hour flight wasn’t too bad. Jake pulled up the window shade a few times and described the magnificent cloud as ‘the snowy wonderland’. I spent about 3 hours working on the 2014 plan for work, watched 3 movies and took a couple of naps. Before I knew it, we were one and a half hours away from Shanghai!

My 93-year-old mother-in-law is still going strong although her hearing has deteriorated noticeably in the past year. For many years she played Mahjong with 3 other old ladies every day in the afternoon. Two of them had passed away and one had a stroke. So she joined another ‘younger’ group but had to quit after a few times because they were too fast paced for her and the bet was 10 times greater. My mother-in-law doesn’t like to lose money, period.

My mother is eight-one. Other than her weakened eyesight, she is healthy and active. She loved the presents I brought her.

Shanghai is being impacted by the typhoon that landed in Fujiang, which has caused torrential rain since Sunday. Everything including the bedding is damp and the clothes hung on the bamboo poles on the balcony remains wet. But that hasn’t stopped us from going about. Yesterday Joe went to meet with his gang from high school. And I had a high school class reunion, the first one since I left the country! Twenty of us showed up. So many blurrily familiar faces and yet if rubbing shoulders on the street, we wouldn’t have recognized one another. One of our teachers also joined the luncheon. She brought with her a few albums of pictures capturing some of our important days in high school. There is a wide mix of professionals among us. We have a number of successful entrepreneurs, a couple of teachers and doctors, a handful of businessmen, and a few of unexpected comedians who made up jokes from our young and carefree days that brought the room roaring with laughter. Six high school sweethearts ended up marrying each other and are still together. I had no idea of the budding love some thirty years ago! Towards the end of the gathering, we made promises to do something special for our 30-year reunion next year. Looks like I’ll be back soon.

Our first high school reunion was kicked off a few months ago. Since then people have been in constant contact through WeChat groups and emails. One of my classmates came to Chicago with his family last month. Since my email and phone are on the contact list compiled, we got in touch and had dinner together near Northwestern University.

Sometimes I wondered why we had allowed almost 30 years to go by without making much effort to reconnect. We had been too busy trying to make a career and build a family. Now that all that has been accomplished as we are approaching middle-age, the desire emerges to connect with the people who share the memories of our youthful days. The re-bonding is instant and powerful, and hopefully will have the staying power.

As we are going back in time to seek and relive past memories, it’s important to remember that we are making new ones every day. So make each day count and memorable!