Meanderings

I don’t mind Daylight Savings Time too much once I get used to it, but I do hate losing that hour of sleep over the weekend, and it takes me days to get my body clock adjusted. It’s nice that we have spring break this week!

I mentioned that last week Jesse was on his senior trip. I didn’t want to say where until after he got home, but they went to Disneyworld.

In previous years the seniors had gone to places like Israel, England, Scotland, Wales, and Jesse was really looking forward to going out of the country for the first time. But only he and one other girl wanted to go. Three other girls were fine with wherever they went, but the rest were just planning not to go if they went out of the country. Part of me wishes they had gone ahead with just those five, but in an effort to try to find a place most of the seniors did want to go, they ended up with Disneyworld.

Though Jesse was disappointed at first, he got more excited as the trip got closer and was bouncing-off-the-walls excited the night before leaving. He had a great time, said the attractions and especially the food were wonderful, and said not a single negative thing happened on the trip: everyone got along, the flights were ok, etc. None of the rest of us has ever been there, so it was exciting to hear about.

I’ve pondered since then whether a senior trip should be primarily educational or fun (though of course they can be both!) I can understand students not wanting to put the time and money into something they think will be boring, and if they think a trip to another country is just going to be visiting a bunch of museums, I can understand that doesn’t sound thrilling.Β  But I think it is quite short-sighted not to take the opportunity to go out of the country when you have it. But be that as it may, there wasn’t much we could do about it.

Jesse completely missed seeing Washington D.C. At this school the tenth grade takes a field trip there, and he wasn’t here then; in his previous school that’s where the seniors went on their senior trip. Jim has always wanted to go there, so we’re giving some thought to trying to make it out there this summer as kind of a last hurrah before Jesse goes to college and maybe meeting Jeremy there. We’re not sure about leaving Grandma for that long, though. She’s cared for in her assisted living place, but we do visit her almost every day and kind of keep on top of things they may overlook, especially since she is not as communicative these days.

His week away gave us a little foretaste of what the “empty nest” will be like. I do hate it when I hear a mom lamenting about the empty nest and someone tritely responds that that’s the way it is supposed to be, that we’re to “train ourselves out of a job,” that we wouldn’t want them to stay home forever and not go out and be full-fledged adults. In my less sanctified moments my inward response to that is, “Well, duh.” Of course we want all of that for our children, but it is also very natural to acutely miss having them around when they have been a part of our everyday lives for 18-20 years.

Nevertheless, there are a few perks. πŸ™‚ My husband’s schedule was the same, but mine was unaffected by alarm clocks, school schedules, etc., so there was a great sense of freedom. I had thought, having whole days to myself, I would get so much done, particularly some writing. I’m not quite sure what happened to the week, but it flew by and I hardly got anything done! Of course, there is still grocery shopping, housework, visiting Grandma and such to do during the week, so it’s not like it was a whole week of free time. But I can foresee that I am going to need to set up some structure to my days when that time comes.

Another thing I am going to miss when Jesse leaves home is having a helper around. I rely on him a lot to help me move things, get or take something to the attic, change light bulbs I can’t reach (I have balance problems, so though I can stand on a chair — I can’t let go of it to do anything else while I am up there), etc. Jim works such long hours I hate to overload his Saturdays with things I need done.

In other news….we finally got an offer on our house in SC. But it was way low, and Jim was in the process of sending a counter offer when they changed their minds and said they decided not to buy a house now after all. We’re thinking they may have run into some credit problems to just drop it like that. Jim’s company had been helping us with the payments on that house as part of his relocation package, but that assistance is coming to an end soon. Property values have dropped due to the economy plus the fact that that area tore down the local high school and built a W-Mart in its place. πŸ™„ So we’re not going to be able to count on making any money on the sale of the house, but we’d really like not to lose any. Jim is giving some thought to renting it out, and that’s an option, but I would really like to just be done with it and not be responsible for it any more.

We’re having company in about a week and a half. Does anyone else do this: I have some housecleaning things that need to be done but if I do them now I’ll have to do them again before we have people over, so I am tempted to just wait on them, but I am not sure I can stand it. Not everyday housework, but the “extra” stuff. Like the burner pans under the stove: they are white on this stove, so they show up every little drip and spatter. They look pretty bad right now, but it seems just as soon as I clean them, the next day or so something boils over or sloshes, necessitating taking things apart and cleaning them again.Β  But I think I’ll have to just go ahead and take care of them and try not to make too big of a mess with them between now and then. Plus when company is coming all of a sudden I want to get a dozen household projects done, like finally making curtains for the family room.Β  I know hospitality isn’t all about how your house looks, but still. We’ll see how it goes!

I do have a number of posts in mind, some with much deeper thoughts than I have shared lately. πŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll be able to work on some of those soon. I have my next newspaper column due this week plus we’re trying to get a ladies’ newsletter going at church. But hopefully I’ll be able to make some time soon to get some of those posts written.

Thanks for listening to my meanderings. πŸ™‚

12 thoughts on “Meanderings

  1. I can definitely identify with the empty nest feelings, although I lean more toward the “we raised them to be adults and make their own lives” thinking! πŸ™‚ I have missed my children, some days almost unbearably, but most days I’m fine and enjoying my new-found freedom. I have found that I have to structure my days, or I just float through them and a week goes by with nothing to show for it. Add in my husband also being at home and the normal interruptions of the ministry – and I’m learning flexibility like never before!

    I can also identify with the household projects when guests are coming. The burner pans are a perfect example. Ours are a taupe color, which also shows every drip. I’m about ready to go buy some black ones! LOL It’s a pain to keep them clean.

    Our senior trip was to Washington, DC, and I’m glad I got to go, but to go out of the country? That would be so great! I’m sorry Jesse didn’t get to go international, but it’s good that the class had a great trip anyway.

    • I do agree that we want them to be responsible adults and begin making their own way, but I just hate when I see some poor mom missing her kids and someone just pats her on the back and says, “Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be.” That is how it’s supposed to be — but it can be painful during the process.

      It does help that we have Facebook and e-mail and texts. When I went to college there was one pay phone in the dorm hall, none in the rooms, and I got to talk to my mom about once a month. As a mom now I would find that very hard. But I’ve heard of kids who talk to their parents almost constantly on their cell phones while at college, and I don’t think that’s a good thing either.

  2. Well. . .true confessions. . .I LOVE the empty nest!!!

    Our seniors go to Washington DC, then Williamsburg, then spend the last day at Busch Gardens theme park riding roller coasters. That way it’s educational and also a fun time for them. I think it’s a great combination.

    Daylight Savings Time (and the reverse) was worst for me when the kids were small. In the fall when we changed back. . .a little girl didn’t know she was supposed to sleep an extra hour and was ready for me to get her up on Sunday morning at 6 a.m. instead of 7! And the whole first week of both changes was so hard on their little bodies as far as when to go to sleep and when to get up. Sometimes it’s hard on me, even now, but it’s not too bad so far this time.

    • I keep finding myself wide awake about an hour later than I should be — and since it’s spring break I am sleeping in a little. It might not be til next week after spring break when we’re getting up at the usual time that I get readjusted to what time the clock says it is rather than what my body is used to.

  3. I’ll have to say that I am thankful for the ‘buffer’ I had in my youngest, Grace, when my oldest moved out a couple years ago. And though I missed Chels a ton, the busy-ness of still caring for a then 8 year old helped take the edge off. She’ll be around for quite awhile so I won’t even let myself drift off to when she leaves!
    One thing I’m confident in is knowing the Lord is with us through every single season and stage of our lives. Thank God for that comfort!

  4. Maybe God has a reason why your son ended up staying in the country?

    I went to D.C. last summer, and I think you should go! It was a lot of fun, although it was very hot when we went outside. Luckily, the AC is on in the museums. I also think that it would be worth it to brush up on some history before you visit too because you can just read all the displays, but that gets dull after several hours… My mom seemed to be fine though… How odd.

    If your son likes to run, he should run along the path along the museums! Lots of people do it, and I kind of wished I did too (I love running long distance!). It’s also nice to watch people play soccer and baseball in the fields πŸ™‚ Very relaxing!

  5. Oh, I think you’d all love it in D.C. I visited some years ago and felt like I could spend another two or three weeks — never enough time to see all the museums and historical locations and cute neighborhoods.

  6. Barbara,

    I for one don’t mind your meandering! It’s like catching up with an old friend, and you do share so candidly.

    What a memory building trip it would be for you and your family to do a summer trip, wherever it might be. πŸ™‚

  7. I’m glad that his trip went well and that he enjoyed it. Disneyworld is not the most exciting travel destination but we’ve been there twice and have really enjoyed it.
    Kids at our school went to DC in 8th grade (which I wasn’t too thrilled about as I felt that was a tad young) but the diocese for our Catholic school decided that no children should take out of state trips. I know some parents were really upset but I was secretly happy. Especially because I’m not sure I could handle my food allergic child being that far from home and trying to eat safely in unknown places.
    When I was in high school, we were supposed to go to Paris my senior year. But that was the year terrorists blew up the Lockerbie Scottland plane and all of our trips were cancelled. I’ve not made it to Paris yet, but I still hope to go someday (of course I forgot how to speak French so I’ll have some studying to do).
    Keeping my fingers crossed that your house sells soon! When we moved, it took a year to sell our old house. It was hard making the two house payments. I’m glad that Jim’s company has been helping thus far and I’m hoping you can sell it before that ends.

  8. A “last hurrah” family trip sounds like a very good idea.

    I agree with you on the empty nest bit. Sometimes I’ve wondered what it will be like. But mostly I conclude there will be a sense of loneliness that I’ll have to get over. And then I’ll have to find NEW ways to be productive.

    Makes me glad I’m still sort of at the beginning. (Am I SAYING that?!)

  9. I enjoyed this post. It was newsy and I felt like we were sitting at a coffee shop sharing what’s on our minds.

    So glad to hear that Jesse enjoyed his trip even though it wasn’t some place overseas. Although to scores of people going to Disneyland is exotic b/c they don’t live locally.

    I am okay with my empty nest too. Although I do miss help with the things I can’t do. I do miss my two kiddos and LOVE it when we get together.

    I like to do those extra things before company comes too. That’s usually what makes me motivated enough to put that at the top of the list. It used to be that I’d become so frazzled I couldn’t really enjoy the company. Now I tell myself, “You can do one extra thing. What will it be?”

    So did you make your curtains? Your stove looks awesome.

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