Five place settings at the table tonight.
Yesterday Mrs. Blather and I ran down to Baylor to move Female Offspring Unit #1 out of the dormitory and back home for the Summer.
Throughout my college years (all seven of them), I could pretty much fit everything I owned in the back of my Toyota Corolla. Yesterday I hauled a volume of shoes out of a tiny dorm room that would have crushed that Toyota.
FOI #2 still has a week and a half of school remaining and, because she is a conscientious, high-achiever, has that grim-pressured look on her face most of the time. Papers, projects, and finals weigh heavily. #3 finished today and she has that giddy, relieved look of a defendant who has just been told charges are being dropped due to a technicality.
Of course, for us grownups, Summer doesn’t mean much, does it? Other than higher electric bills, that is. The hamster wheels of work and obligation and duty must continue to spin.
It’s just as well. Everyone in the household is now so. . . scheduled. Between summer jobs, camps, activities and engagements, I’m not sure we could find a commonly-available week for a vacation, even if Lord Hamsterwheel were inclined to permit it. Which he’s not.
Still, there are the memories of sweet summers past and less complicated times. Like when we were still living in Minnesota and flew to Florida. There the girls saw the ocean for the very first time. We parked at Cocoa Beach, got out of the car, and they ran down ahead–stopping as close to the water’s edge as they dared.
You rarely have a camera in your hands when one of life’s fleeting, golden milestone moments composes itself before your wondering, welling eyes.
But occasionally you do.
Five place settings at the table tonight. Here at Summer’s edge, things are as they should be.