There is no sun to display from my last pre-dawn rising, two weeks ago, but it was the beginning of a lengthy odyssey which I will summarize today.
On May 14th I flew out to Colorado to watch A. run in her first half-marathon.
A week before, J and I had picked up T and all of her belongings (move number one!). Then we watched N's softball team win their conference championship, before schlepping back home.
After marathon day in Denver, the Kaiser-Permanente Colfax race which included almost 10,000 runners, A and I packed up all of HER belongings into her car and started back across the country (move number 2!). I am ashamed that I didn't take the opportunity to collect sunrises from Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio, but it was long journey. Sleep was too coveted to cut short for early risings.
What a beautiful time of year to see the country! We were both pleasantly surprised by how picturesque Nebraska and Iowa were. There is way more roll in the landscape and many more clusters of trees than we expected. It was all lovely rolling prairie in full spring bloom.
We crossed the swollen Mississippi, stopped in Chicago, traversed Ohio, spent a blissful spring night with family in the Adirondacks, and crossed the south end of Lake Champlain by ferry to arrive in Vermont.
There was college graduation number one. Family arrived from three different directions. Weather was threatening, but never thwarted any of our plans all weekend. Hooray for N!
Then - move number 3. We packed up N's belongings and loaded them into cars.
Sunday, we leapt back into cars to drive to Connecticut for college graduation number two. Hooray for S! Grandparents were game for everything, even sharing communal bathrooms in dormitory housing (thought that was certainly a stretch).
Move number 4! All of S's belongings were crammed into what space remained in our vehicles and car top carrier.
N and S left the next day for a 3 week trip around Europe. Back home at last, we took a few days to recover. And that is why I have been out of touch!
The empty nest is a bit of an illusion. These wonderful offspring still fill our hearts and minds to overflowing, but they also, from time to time, fill every waking moment.
Life is a constant stream of graduations - from day to day, chapter to chapter, home to home, phase to phase, step by step by step. There is so much promise out there, in all of those racing, running, driving, walking, marching, skipping, dancing people out there, scattered across this extraordinary collection of landscapes that comprise this country.
I am full of hope.