Empty Nest

Temporary Return to the Nest

Guess who's home for a visit?


It's good to have him around for a few days.  To hear his stories and see how he's doing and . . . well. . . take care of him again!


College suits him.  He's having a great time and managing well in a new environment.  But it's still nice to be able to spoil him a little bit!  You know. . . doing his laundry. . .


"re-stocking" his stuff . . .


cooking his favorite meals!


He'll be around 'til Tuesday.  I didn't realize how much I missed him. . .


until he came back home! 


Actual shopping experience:  Brian and I went to the mall to get him some new jeans, etc.  At one store, we saw a mom and her absolutely miserable, eye-rolling son.  The kid looked like he was in typical middle school agony. . . you know, shopping IN PUBLIC with his mom.  He was skulking about, trying to look cool and not-in-any-way-WITH-his-mother.  Behind us in line to check out, Brian overheard the mom say, "See?  HE shops with his mom!"  (Meaning. . . Brian.)  Brian got such a kick out of it!  I wanted to turn to the beleagured mom and assure her that . . . it'll be okay again. . . once he turns 18. . . just hang in there!


The Empty Nest Heads North

Okay.  So Tom and I are, officially, Empty-Nesters.  And we are happy about this.  Like. . . really happy.  Now that both kids are settled on their respective campuses, we're heading Up North for a little vacation.

Cottage July 09 007 

We love spending time at our cottage.  It's relaxing and peaceful.  Tom can fish.  I can knit.  Or read. Or nap.  Or . . . well, just do nothing if I want.

Lake raft 

It's a great place to just. . . kick back and unwind. . . and just recharge.

Jump Jenny 

Jenny loves to be with us Up North -- with the water and the dock-jumping. . . and the boat and the swimming.  She loves the woods and the all new and interesting smells.  It's a wonderful adventure for her!

Cottage July 09 042 

As for the kids. . . well, they liked the cottage when they were younger. . . but only tolerated it as they went through the teen years.  No WiFi.  Weak signal.  No cable.  Non-existent social life.

Cottage July 09 005 

You know.  All those features that Tom and I cherish!  So.  Now they're gone -- to where the WiFi flows and the signal never drops and the cable is plentiful and the social life pulses to that campus beat.  And we're . . . off.  Up North.  Where it isn't.  Ahhhhhh. . . . .

See you next week!

The Inside Scoop . . . OR Advice for a Brother

As many of you read last week, Carole's Ten on Tuesday list had us all giving advice to college freshmen.  It was fun to see all the lists out there -- full of Really Good Stuff.  Most of it, though, was advice given through the eyes of . . . grown-ups looking back at college with the perspective, hindsight, introspection, and idealism that really only comes from being . . . a grown-up looking back at college.

When my son went away on Friday to begin his freshman year, my daughter - now a worldly college senior - sent him her own advice for surviving college.  When I read it, it made me laugh.  Because her list is so much more . . . practical-minded . . . than most of the lists I read (and put together myself) last week.  I thought it would be fun to share her list with you.

So.  Here it is.  The Inside Scoop on Surviving Your Freshman Year.  Hit it, Erin!


1. Don't oversleep! Set multiple alarms. Make sure one is somewhere that makes you get out of bed in order to shut it off. The worst feeling in the world is running to your Music Theory midterm exam an hour late.

2. Go to class! I know it seems obvious, but there are going to be days when you feel like staying in bed rather than going. Missing classes is a pain in the ass and you have a lot of work to do when you return.

3. If you and your roommate have issues (even little ones) discuss them. The worst thing to do is let all your irritation bottle up, because then, when you're overstressed, something will snap and life will become unpleasant.

4. If you want to drink, be careful!!! And watch out for people slipping things in your drink. This is more common for girls but it's happened to dudes too. Also, don't get caught by any authority figure. And don't drink so much that you wake up on level 2 of the parking garage with absolutely no recollection of how you got there.

5. Take notes and pay attention in class! Professors are boring sometimes, but notes are vital!

6. If you take a girl back to your room and you are unsure of her sexual history (ie: diseases, or whether she's on the pill) USE A CONDOM!!!

7. Learn to nap in odd places for short periods of time. I don't know how I'd get through school without my power naps in the 5th floor library stacks!

8. Wear shower shoes. Just do it.

9. Talk in class. Professors love contributions. Of course, make sure you have something to add to the discussion first.

10. (This is one I'm still working on) Start your papers (or labs or research or whatever you scientist types do) early. Do not wait until the night before it's due. This causes immense stress, doesn't allow you to do your best work, and is just a bad idea in general.

But most importantly, learn, try hard, and have fun!


And there you have it!  Real advice. . . from a seasoned college student. . . to her real college freshman brother!