Yesterday our daughter came home from college. It’s not a huge thing as it’s only about 45 minutes (2 hours during rush hour) driving time to get home. But still, it’s nice seeing her.
I did the stereotypical guy thing yesterday; cook meat on a grill. Perhaps not so stereotypical, I also made up a fruit salad, a pasta salad and twice baked potatoes.
Our daughter is not a huge meat eater. She likes a good steak, but like me, she wouldn’t want to eat that every day. She loves the fruit and pasta salads, but the twice baked potatoes are special. This morning, I got a text message from her, “Dad. I really wouldn’t mind if you made more twice baked potatoes. I’d come home to get them.”
I have a red 3 ring binder that is full of my favorite recipes that I’ve found, created , heard about, or adapted to my own use. I’d guess there are 50 pages in the book and they date back to my college days. The twice baked potatoes recipe is among them.
I will need to make copies for her.
Our daughter seems to be adjusting to dorm life very nicely. The arrangement is 2 girls in one room and two girls in the adjacent room with common bathroom for both rooms. So far the only issue has been one girl in the adjoining room that is running a bit wild and annoying the other three girls. When everyone was moving in, I met “wild child” and her parents. My guess is that it’s a case of her never being allowed any freedom at home and now she’s not sure how to live without a parent keeping things under control. Everyone is hoping she settles down. I think she will settle down once she realizes the hangovers and people making fun of her drunkenness are not as fun as it seemed a few weeks ago.
This summer was the final year of a lady’s 27 years of driving the school bus. Since then, the school has been looking, without success, for a new driver. Until they find a regular driver, I’m driving the bus every morning.
This means the alarm clock rings at 4:45am instead of 5:30am and the day ends, as usual, with me getting home around 7pm.
They have someone that has stepped up to the challenge and is studying for their class B commercial driver license with the P and S endorsements. While driving the bus is a lot of fun, I will be glad to get the extra 45 minutes “sack time” each morning.
The old Volvo I drive to work had a slight oil leak that I fixed. The oil from the leak contaminated the insulators on the spark plugs and that was causing a misfire–the engine was running rough and getting worse than normal gas mileage. After cleaning things, the engine is now running perfectly. This isn’t bad for a car with close to 400,000 miles on it.
In about 2 hours, we will be leaving with our daughter to move her into the college dorm.
It’s hard to believe the time has gone by so quickly.
I can remember lots of things. The evening before our daughter was born, we stopped by a grilled chicken place and had a light dinner. It was the last time we ate out as a couple. At midnight, labor started. Just before 5:30am we left for the hospital. Seven hours later, we were a family.
I remember the feeling of awe looking at her in the little plastic basket on the scale. I remember looking at her tiny fingers, toes, nose, eyes and ears. I remember her cry sounding like a tiny kitten. I remember the excitement of all four brand new grandparents.
We have a picture of our daughter getting on the bus for the first day of kindergarten. The last day of 8th grade, we have a picture of her getting off of the same bus. This time, my wife was driving the bus.
Driving lessons. Driving test. First car crash..thankfully a very minor one. Prom. boyfriend. High school graduation.
And now, a bit more than 18-1/2 years after it started, college. We raised her to be a hard worker, unafraid of showing her intelligence, capabilities and confidence and I hope it carries her far . While we will still be offering “life lessons”, we will no longer be center stage.
This is how it always has been and how it should be.
Yesterday our daughter, my wife and I attended the “desert university” campus tour. This university is my alma mater.
The whole time I was there, I was remembering how it was when I was there from late 1979 to the mid 1980s. The character of the school felt the same and the students reminded me of my young self. The only difference is that most of the open areas I remembered have been replaced with new buildings. It was, for a little while, a bit difficult for me to fit my old mental map to the new reality of the place.
During the guided part of the tour, we walked right by where I first met met my girlfriend/fiancee and I stopped and looked around for just a brief moment. In this area of campus, about the only thing that has changed since that February in 1980 was the style of bike racks. The “1980 style” bike racks put the bikes side by side and mere inches apart. This made it easy to accidentally put a lock through two bikes at one time. This is not possible with the new bike racks.
My bike being immobilized by her bike lock was how I met her. Had the new bike racks been in use in 1980, this would not have happened and I likely would have never met her. And, had I not met her, I would be a different person. It’s amazing how the little things can have such an impact on a life.
Oh, I think our daughter has decided to go to my alma mater. Not because it’s my alma mater or because the other school is “lacking”, but because this school has the business program that exactly fits her dreams. Like me at that age, she has dreams. Her dream is to work in the business office of a professional sports team.