One week ago today, our newly minted second lieutenant drove away to his new career, his new life in the United States Army. We marked the event by taking pictures. Pictures of him loading his truck, pictures of his last breakfast, pictures of the laughter and smiles, and hugs. And pictures of the receding truck. He planned on signing papers at the ROTC department and heading out, but the ROTC department had him run all over campus getting things signed. And that took until noon. By then, I had found a few items he might need, and had called him back, so he came by the house one more time to retrieve stuff. So, I have pictures of his truck exiting our street both directions. He headed north, and stayed overnight with relatives near Kansas City, and the weekend with his brother and family in Dayton. He reported to Fort Knox for "gold bar duty" on Tuesday, May 20th. And finally got his military ID changed from "cadet" to second lieutenant on May 22nd. We have enjoyed hearing from him each night as he goes through orientation, and learns what his duties will entail. He found out today that he has been assigned to "repelling" and the jobs that go with it, and their first class arrives June 2nd. He said they are waiting for more second lieutenants to arrive, too.
As parents of sons in this modern military, we are spoiled by cell phones and email and text messages. Years ago, a letter or phone call was a precious thing. I still have the letters my soon-to-be husband wrote to me from the laundry mat in Savannah, Georgia. His letters were witty and funny, and made me love him all the more.
How have we survived this first week with an empty nest? Well, one week ago, I kept busy by dusting, and boxing up old toys and talking on the phone to my women friends. I have been to the grocery store a few times. And have done the laundry and the two-of-everything dishes. Two spoons, two bowls, two mugs, two plates. And we saw the new Narnia movie, "Prince Caspian" twice. It made me want to go back and re-read the series. So, I re-read books 2-7.
Bob loves to play Scrabble. He beat me two nights in a row, but tonight, victory. If he bingo-s twice, I am left behind in the dust. Tonight, I was able to place the "J" on a triple letter score---eight times three is 24 points just for the J. And since the JEERS crossed a double word score square, too, I think it totalled 60 points.
Two weeks ago today, we hosted a huge crowd of relatives at a local steakhouse. Friends and relatives attended James' commissioning that Saturday, and some even stayed for the graduation ceremonies on Sunday, Mother's Day. Now, here we are at Memorial Day weekend, and a three day weekend of haircuts, Scrabble, shopping, and a trip to the DFW National Cemetery on Monday, as I see they are having a 3pm service.
Three years ago this month, our firstborn graduated, commissioned, and got married.
Thirty years ago, I was a newlywed of two months, and learning all about Savannah.
Next week, we will be back in Georgia for another wedding. A nephew's this time. Then Bob will be busy studying for his Sunday School lessons. He has committed to teach our gray-haired class almost all the Sundays in June.
A new stage in our lives. The house is too quiet. I set talk radio going for the extra noise. There was another good pass tonight. Wednesday night and tonight, the space station passed overhead from the WSW straight up to zenith, and in that steady path to the ENE--pointing to Kentucky and Ohio where our treasure now resides.