August 16, 2015: Just an Ordinary Weekend?



Sunday night. 7:54 Mountain Time. Ordinary day? Ordinary weekend? Sure. But, seriously, what is ordinary any more?

Yesterday was a road trip to Fort Collins to check out Zach's new place. His new journey has begun. With sleeping kids in the back (and me nodding off on occasion in the front), we enjoyed our time with Zach and checking out Downtown Ft. Collins and and the Colorado State campus.

I did have a bit of an excuse for my own sleepiness on Saturday. Garrett and I hit a record late night for the two of us the night prior; up until 2:00 a.m. when we finally went to bed for the night. Enjoying friendships with two other Denver families, we made it through 2 of 3 drive-in movies on Friday night. With the first, Man from U.N.C.L.E., starting at 8:20, I was fortunate in my napping ways through part of Movie # 2, Ant-Man, as I already had seen it.

The outdoor movie viewing was a blast. Kids in jammies with a blow-up bed in the back of a pick-up truck. Adults bundled in blankets and hoodies on a warm summer night. The laughter and drive-in movie flashbacks were exceptional. My last drive-in movie was Footloose, the night of my senior prom. I enjoyed the outdoor movie experience, not so much the movie, with my dear high school friend, Bev Van Dam.

The joy of social media allowed the two of us to exchange messages on this Footloose memory. I remembered big permed hair with hair mouse applied around the ears. Bev remembered us making a batch of  'wobble water'. We both remember the cute LeMars boys from our neighboring town that attracted us to their movie theater.

A Friday night of sentimental bliss.

Saturday was a bit of the same with my grown son moved into his new digs, basking in his post-school independence. With his roommate not yet moved in and Zach still settling in alone, this brought back memories for me as well.

Once in my lifetime I lived alone. It was in 1986, the start of my sophomore year and the weekend in the Westmar dorms before all the other students moved in. I was a Student Ambassador, so was allowed back early to prepare for the new student welcome events. Excited to get out of my parents home, yearning for my independence, I moved in as early as I could.

Although campus was eerily quiet, I enjoyed long solo strolls through campus and grocery shopping for my mini-frig. It was all independent glory for me until the quiet of the night with no life to be heard outside my dorm window. I felt a ting of homesickness as I fell asleep in the lull of an empty campus. I never acknowledged this feeling until now. I won't ask my oldest, but I wonder if his new house gets quiet for him these early nights too.

I will never know, I am sure. But I can sure wonder.

On to our Sunday. A lot of ordinary. Church, errands, lunch. All with kids. A good day. My step son is switching schools. Ultimately a good thing, but a change. I reached out to an old friend for advice on the new school. Catching up was an unexpected guilty pleasure.

Diane raised her kids for their first half of school years in Omaha with mine and then she and her husband moved their family to Denver. Her advice to me on church and schools was invaluable. Her own daughter is going back to the same same school as my stepson this year, after a few years at a different school.

Hitting a little happy hour and some great conversation with my friend in Denver was a stark reminder to me of how much I value my long-time friendships. My many friends who have been faithful comrades on runs and outings, on the sidelines of sporting events, and 8th grade dances. And now our kids are all grown up (or just about) and so are we.

Talk now centers around how we handle our empty nests or close-to empty nests. Retirement and 'what next' is where our conversations end up. And I'm good with that. The journey has been long and hard fought in many ways. All good chapters need to come to an end. On to the next one. Here goes our journey into fall...

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