Friday, August 28, 2015


Yesterday Chad, Anne Marie, and I met Chad's parents at a steakhouse, where we were soon joined by Megan. She had two hours before her next class, so this was our window to celebrate her birthday.


And a college student!

She opened birthday gifts, we ate, we visited, we heard some of her first week's living at college experiences, and, all too soon, she had to rush away to make it to her one o'clock class.

Later, after she was out of class, we all visited her dorm to see where she is living. It is a nice new facility and she seems happy there.

We miss her here, but I am so happy for her in her new adventure! (And that she is taking her classes seriously.)

The Birthday Girl
One of her gifts was an empty box from her Birdie grandparents--a symbol
of something yet to come. She had fun coming up with creative ideas for the box,
including wearing the lid for a hat.


And, this demonstrates how she gets out of bed. Her desk and
refrigerator are under the bed. There is a small space between her
bed and her roommate's. They certainly manage to cram a lot
into a small dorm room.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Growing Up and Leaving Home

Today is the day.

Megan is leaving home.

Today she moves into the dorm at Sheridan College. Classes begin Monday.

Megan took off her sunglasses for a photo, but couldn't keep her eyes open.

How can this be? Can she really be so grown up?

Next Thursday will be her 18th birthday, so I guess it is true, even if my heart says "No."

So, I am babysitting Trixie the dog while the Birdies are off to move Megan into the college dorm. Tears are not far away.

I am happy for Megan. She is setting off on a whole new adventure, and, after all, Sheridan is not so far away. I'll be seeing her again on her birthday; I plan to go with Chad and Anne Marie to take her to birthday lunch. Then she will have to go back to class, and I don't know if we will be staying in Sheridan until after classes to visit more.

I remember when my son left for college in Rapid City. At first, he stayed in Rapid over the weekends. It wasn't too long, however, before he was coming home every Friday night, even in the winter. I liked that! He wasn't so tied to home he couldn't go out into the wider world, but he still liked to spend time with his family. (Of course, he now lives as far from home as he could possibly be without falling into the Atlantic Ocean.)

I have always believed that the job of a parent is to work yourself out of a job. In other words, to raise your children to be capable, independently functioning adults. Doesn't mean there isn't a considerable amount of pain involved in the letting go. And that applies to grandchildren, too. I've lived close to Megan all her life, and she has spent Friday (and often Saturday) nights in our (then my) home since she was about four years old.

Life's big milestones are such a mixture of happy and sad that my emotions are in a tangle!

Monday, August 10, 2015

On Being Reclusive

It has been some time since I last blogged. I haven't even posted on Facebook very often. I have been being reclusive.

Now I'm not deliberately shutting myself away. I haven't decided, "From now on I will be a Recluse." Sometimes I just don't feel communicative. It is part of that whole Introvert thing.

Being retired and widowed really feed into this introverted withdrawal tendency. I don't dislike seeing people and doing things--but it is just so easy not to!

In pre-retirement, pre-widowhood days there was always some exterior necessity stimulating contact with the world outside: family (grew up with four sisters and one brother; in a family of eight people and one bathroom, no one can be too withdrawn), school--sixteen years of it, jobs, husband, children, more jobs, church involvement and activities--always something I needed to do, always someplace I needed to be.

And then it changed. The kids grew up, my husband died, I was retired from the workaday world, and even my church no longer seemed to have a place of service for me. This is not a self-pitying whine. It is just what happened. And I've always needed the restorative of some quiet, alone time and lots of books.

Today various things kept bringing Jerry to mind. I will always miss him. But it is also true that I have grown accustomed to living alone, to having no necessary structure imposed on my days. So, it becomes easy for me as an introvert to slip into a near-hermit type existence. And mostly enjoy it.

I think those religious hermits so regarded as especially holy in the Middle Ages, who dedicated their lives to God and were regarded as having made a great sacrifice of enormous devotion in their isolation, were probably mostly extreme introverts whose very nature craved that peace. The daily close companionship of a monastery or convent would have been nearly intolerable for them.

Well, I am neither a holy woman in a hermitage nor a total isolationist. I just sometimes find it very easy to slip into a world of books and doing my own thing and letting the rest of the world go by. I recognize that too much of this is probably not good for me. I am thinking on this.

In the meantime, here are a few photos taken recently.

Sister Kathleen and most of her family came to town on July 17th for her granddaughter's
swim meet, and we gathered at sister Grace's home for a short, but lovely, visit.
Pictured are Diahann, David, John, and Kathleen.
Grace with a work-in-progress painting of our Mother,
known to many as Grandma Rose.
Diahann and her children: (from left: Kate, Diahann, Eli, and Madie).
Tina and I were there, too, but I am behind the camera. Just imagine me. Make me young and beautiful, please!

7-22-15: The Birdies pulling out of the driveway, headed for their Yellowstone
vacation (they had a good time).