But it is not my birthday that has me blue. I actually feel a bit more positive agewise. I was feeling a bit apprehensive about turning 50, but I made it, and I'm looking at it as now that I have reached that milestone, it's a whole new phase in life, perhaps a chance to expand the wings a little (remember my bucket list?).
No I'm blue because I left a piece of my heart on the other side of the province. Eldest is back at university in London, and our little family runs a whole lot quieter without one of its sparkplugs.
As a family, we have had a perfectly wonderful summer. It is the only time in my adult life I have ever had an extended period of time off (albeit without much financial income). We've just had a great time to bond as a family, with the two girls being adults and little girls at the same time. We did many things together and really loved each other's company. We've started biking as a family (why did we not do that earlier?), hiked, visited several historical sites, and generally had a pleasant time of it. But September has rolled around, and now school beckons us all back to reality.
Eldest has had a very successful summer, after a very grueling first year at university.We brought a girl home on Easter weekend in dire need of rejuvenation and revitalization. The first order of things, was a return to proper eating, sleeping and exercise patterns. She quickly shed her 'freshman fifteen', got her sleep habits turned around, and got back into serious running. That in itself was a major accomplishment. She also signed up for Driver's Ed, successfully completed that and is well on her way to becoming a licensed driver; she will be eligible to try her G2 at Christmas break. As well she learned to ride a bicycle. This was one of those things that had just always evaded her, not sure why. She also worked all summer long as a chambermaid and saved enough for the majority of her tuition and books.
Last Wednesday, preparations for university return began in earnest. The Missus spent the day cooking up a storm. Meats and vegetables were all packed in individual baggies and flash frozen. Eldest packed furiously. I picked veggies and helped out in whatever ways I could. Yes for those who always wondered, a complete bedframe, box spring and mattress can fit inside a Dodge caravan, as well as most of the rest of the worldly possessions of a nineteen year old. I am also almost certain that no other university student in the world returned with a bag of fresh-dug German fingerling potatoes to see her through fall.
|Yes the hatch door closes|
Thursday morning, looking a bit Clampett-ish, we bid home adieu and headed out across the province. We arrived late afternoon at her apartment, which is located just across the street from the university's east entrance. After unpacking the van, and getting all the frozen goods tucked away in the top of the refridgerator (heaven forbid any of her roommates have hoarding, gardening, winter-preparing tendencies like her parents) we went to my first cousin's place for the night. Now here was a real bonus. We had been invited to stay the night, which of course we accepted, but then they were going to their cottage for the weekend, and offered us their home for the weekend. Talk about a generous and thoughtful gesture. So here we were able to set up homebase for three days, cook our own meals and save a bundle on hotel and restaurant costs, to say nothing of enjoying the best bed and breakfast in the land.
|Goofus Doofus in her little home away from home.|
Friday we spent shopping, and setting up Eldest's room. I assembled a computer desk and a bookshelf that we purchased, and you don't want to hear my comments about cheap junk furniture - I only hope they will hold together long enough for her to graduate. In the afternoon we went on campus, sold back some of her old texts, got her courseload topped up, and purchased some of the new texts. I'm almost jealous, it all looks so inviting.
Saturday we did a bit more shopping and then went on a family adventure that will be the topic of tomorrow's blog.
Sunday we made breakfast at my cousins, cleaned up and went back to the apartment, to put up the last couple of racks etc. Then it was time to say goodbye. I HATE goodbye's, just thought I would tell you that! And the rest as they say was yesterday. Yes she will be home for Thanksgiving weekend, but we are just that much closer to empty nest, and I'm not sure I like it.
|Outside her apartment building, ready to spread her wings|
|And just across the street, the university entrance beckons. I think there may be some symbolic significance to the little bicyclist on her shoulder.|
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.