I don’t know where to begin, but I figured a Facebook status update just wouldn’t do justice to recapture our evening together yesterday, so I’ll write a recap here!
It was approaching 4:50pm, as I glanced over at my clock (situated in the right-hand corner) on my laptop screen. The day before, I had just briefly met Melissa T, a laureate from Calgary, over our Facebook event. A 5 minute chat later, and here I was preparing to meet up with her to give her a tour of the University of Alberta campus. What a beautiful fall day it was, with the leaves changing color and the breeze accompanying a hint of sunlight. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, where I would have otherwise spent inside a library.
During our walk (and talk), I revisited all the buildings I had once prodded through while I was an undergrad student. What made this walk especially memorable, was me forgetting the specific names of so many buildings! It’s amazing how quickly you move on to your next stage and leave the past behind. The tour was filled with sharing, as most “first-encounters” are like. Within the next 30-60mins, I had learned all about Mel’s past and her current endeavours. It was so unique how we were both laureates from the same year (2007), but had completely different groups of friends and so many incredible stories to share.
While stopping by her home to pick up the homemade pumpkin pies she had made, I couldn’t help but quickly tap on my BlackBerry to start a group chat with 2 other laureates to share the encounter I had just had. Not only did I just learn about another incredible laureate’s past, but here I was in her home, a co-op residence on campus, staring at two 9″ pumpkin pies and was being handed some homemade whipped cream! A few steps towards the stove, there was homemade cider being prepared. WOW. #nowordstosay.
All the while, Terry C was rushing over from downtown YEG to pick us up from campus. Earlier in the day, he had message me at 10:30am to inform me he was at YVR hopping on a plane over. He came an extra day early to join us! That was really awesome of him. Landing in YEG in the afternoon, he was concerned about what to bring. Afraid to disturb my fellow library companions, I scrambled to click away a line of suggestions, but he decided on “Azn appies!”
We zoomed over to Brianne’s home and filed in – we were first to arrive! Stove on, more lights on, and bowls and plates of food completely covering the table. There wasn’t even room to sit at the table! To give you a better picture: an assortment of drinks were at the end of the table, followed by homemade salsa and chips (Maj), a homemade potato dish and a curry quinoa salad (Brianne), a giant bowl of homemade kettle corn popcorn (me), blue tortilla chips with a 7-layer dip (Jonn), veggies + crackers (Jess), homemade pumpkin pie with a side of whip cream (Mel), and party appetizers heating up in the oven. Terry was rockin’ the gingerbread men oven mitts and was the chef of the night! I think he spent more of his time in the kitchen than anyone else. (Apparently you have to turn those appetizers at half-time!)
Nevertheless, the evening was filled with catch ups, sharing, and epic conversations! I think I was full within 20 mins. There was SO.MUCH.FOOD! (There’s a reason the Millennium Network is known for its epic potluck events! Especially if the last 5 years have been any indication of the previous 5 years.)
At around 8pm, Stephan and Colten joined us, bringing vanilla ice cream for our pies, Ben & Jerry’s (just because!), and orange juice! Mmm…. What a sweet way to end our evening, literally!
As we talked, and I was juggling my time making sure everyone was eating too(!), there was one moment of the evening that felt “just right.” Colten and I had been discussing how everyone has insanely busy lives outside of the Network, but in the (maybe) 2 times a year we see each other, it’s like we can click right away. Regardless of title, achievements, or whatever personal situation, everyone in that room felt like a family and simply hearing the amazing stories or decisions others had made in the past year was like a learning experience in itself. It’s an invaluable connection we all share and has bonded us together over the past 5 years (and even longer for those before my time!)
To recap some of the conversations from the evening:
- Almost everyone from Edmonton was in Europe this summer!
- There’s a super cool museum in Frankfurt, called “Dialogues” where you can experience what it’s like to be visually impaired
- Our members were in: Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Italy, London, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, etc this summer!
- 1 engagement happened over the summer!
- The UofA is putting a lot of focus into health and wellness initiatives
- Hijab – cultural or religious? (a discussion)
- Alberta Oil Fields. “They’re making so much money they don’t know what to do with it.”
- Sustainability vs. Oil (a debate)
- Oil Professional Services.
There’s too many to list, but several of us stayed until 11pm and helped clean up! Some of us even walked home with more food than we came with. HAHA. EPIC. What did I say? I got home shortly after midnight. A huge shout out to everyone who made it out last night and for everyone who wasn’t there, you were surely missed! I Hope this post brought you right there with us.
In other news…. Waterloo’s Potluck is tonight 😉 (YAY Kieng!)