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Kelsea left for college early on Saturday morning. In my characteristic parenting style, when she and ex-Pat came to pick me up, I gave her what I thought was Immodium to calm her nervous stomach. It turned out to be a sleeping pill. Oops. But her stomach did calm down, and she was relaxed for the flight, and she now has another story about what her Mother did to her. Let’s see, there’s the finger guillotine incident, the asparagus incident, the Icy Hot incident, the smoke detector incident, the birds at the zoo incident, the numerous incidents at Camp Lejeune…I could go on and on. At least she will have some classic tales to tell her children, and she knows what NOT to do.

It is hard to watch your only child leave for college, a strange feeling, buying a one-way plane ticket and sending her off on her own. I know she’ll make her own mistakes, experiments, and have her own heartbreaks. I know she’s smart and level-headed, wiser than her years, and ready. That’s the thing. We spend our years with our children nurturing them, helping them discover themselves and their limits, and teaching them how to be independent. As my friend Beth put it, giving them their wings. That doesn’t make it any less heart-tugging to watch them fly away. I miss her. She misses me, which is nice to hear. We’ve got Skype set up so we can see each other’s faces, and I can see her in her now-natural habitat. Classes start on Thursday, and she gets to go throw with some Ultimate players that day as well. She’s talked to the fire department about starting training. She’s got it more together than I did at her age, and I’m so immensely proud of her. I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow and evolve. We are all beautiful works in progress.

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Bellingham, Washington.

Quote of the day: “Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.” —  Melissa Marr

Daily gratitudes:
Sunflowers
My chiropractor
The last day of summer (a bittersweet gratitude)
My little workhorse of an air conditioner
Soft pillows

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It was a rainy day in Washington. I had gotten a speeding ticket, was lost, and my phone was dead. I went into a gas station, found a map, and brought it to the counter. The young man looked at it and our dialogue was as follows:

Young Man:: You wanna buy that?
My thought: Why else would I have brought it to the counter?
My response: Yes. How much is it?
Young man: 55 dollars.
My thought: You’re flipping kidding me. (I might have thought a stronger “F” word.)
My response: Excuse me?
Older Man Standing Behind Young Man: I think that’s five dollars.
Young Man: Why do you want that?
My thought and response: Because I’m lost and I need a map.
Young Man: Why don’t you just use your phone?
Thought/response: Because my phone is dead.
Older Man Standing Behind Young Man:  I can sell you a phone charger.
My escalated thought/response: I don’t want a phone changer. I want a map. Do you want to sell me this map? I just got here, and I don’t know where I am and I just got a speeding ticket and I’d like to buy this map.
Young Man: Where’d you get a speeding ticket?
Increasingly steaming brain/response: I don’t know where I got a speeding ticket because I DON”T KNOW WHERE I AM.
(They stare at me, waiting for clarification.)
Me (sighing): It was some long straight road with no signs telling me how fast I was supposed to be going.
They both nod and make sage-like, grunting sounds, and comment how troopers are always stopping speeders there.
Me: Can I just buy the map please?
Young Man: You really want this?
Me (in my most sinister, sarcastic, hissing, piratical tone): Yes, I really think I do.

I finally got my map. But I’m not quite sure what to think about Washingtonians.

Quote of the day: “A map says to you, read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not…I am the earth in the palm of your hand.” — Beryl Markham

Daily gratitudes:
My new cube backdrop of Cow Wreck (thanks to Christine, Elisa, and Walker Magnum)
That I found two apps that just play the sound of the ocean on my phone
That my darling daughter’s last day of high school is tomorrow
That MKL tells me that he loves how my eyes shine when I look at him
That Mr. Man seems to be feeling a little better (and that I have another idea about solving his ‘thinking outside the box’ issue

 

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