Eddie is home for reading week. There is no March break this year, so this is it for vacation. They missed three days of classes last week, which is unheard of for a university. We really had an entire winter’s worth of snow in one week and the road crews couldn’t keep up. All their mid-terms were cancelled last week, so they have those exams hanging over their heads but I'm sure they won't worry until Sunday:). Eddie is enjoying university much more this semester. He’s made some new friends and is more confident. Hopefully he’s outgrowing his exam anxiety, and mid-terms won’t be too stressful next week.
The latest curveball for this parent is that after first year, they are not required to live on campus in a dorm. So – you guessed it – they are apartment hunting for next year. Unfortunately, most of the landlords want a year lease from May to May. So he’ll probably stay in the city this summer and work and we won’t have our baby at home. *sigh* Still, it’s the logical next step.
George’s mom and I went up on Sunday to pick up Eddie and while we were there, went along on an apartment viewing. They found a really nice place – five bedrooms on two levels in an elegant old house. There are two bathrooms and two kitchens and all utilities, including internet, are included. They have four roommates on board and two possibilities for the 5th. I hope they can work it out to have that place. The landlord was lovely (and so impressed that these nice boys brought their mothers along). I keep thinking that it’s just as well they have summer in the city to learn to cook and shop and get used to that aspect of independent living before they have to concentrate on their studies – but still – it’s a big step.
And speaking of big steps. I gave Bill a book about retirement planning for his birthday in January. He actually ran the numbers and then talked to our finance guy and they both agreed he could retire anytime with three more years of work being the optimal number. (After that you’re working to pay taxes) We’ve always saved and lived below our means, but it is daunting to think (a) that money really added up and (b) we really are getting old and (c) thank God we live in low cost of living area with healthcare. If we moved back to the States, Bill would have to work at least ten more years. Bill will keep working, of course, but it’s good to know that if something happened with this job, that we wouldn’t have to move again. I’m so tired of moving. We’ve lived in 6 different houses in our 30 year marriage. I’m ready to stay put.
So we’ve been looking at house projects we need to do. Our front entryway and door need replacing. I’ve been leafing through brochures and getting ideas from the internet. This is a mid-century house, so I want to stay true to the style. We were slowed down by the storms last week and with Eddie home this week, I haven’t moved forward on it, but I will next week. It takes time to get things ordered and a contractor lined up – and it will be spring here (eventually).
It’s also tax season and filing in two countries takes a lot of prep work on our end. Every year they want something different, so I’m going through the checklist now.
I’ve been experimenting with bread making and my friends have been enjoying the results. It’s a good winter activity – and necessary after shoveling.
I can’t even talk about our new president. I’ve never written so many letters to my congressman and two senators as I have in the last month. It’s about all I can do from here.
A close friend of mine died of cancer right before Christmas. She was in our quilting group (there were five of us) when the kids were in pre-school and elementary school. Once the kids were in high school, life got hectic for everyone. But I was able to spend a lot of time with her before she died. Bless her, she fought it every step of the way from when she found out in June. She had adrenal cancer (which is rare), but what slowed her down was the secondary tumor in her spine that finally kept her from walking. Her daughter is Eddie’s age and in college. Eddie said he saw her last night at a friend's houses and that she’s holding it together. I was so glad she decided to go back to school, even though her dad is alone in the house. They have a lot friends who will look after him.
Needless to say, it’s been a hard winter.
On a happier note, I finally saw La,La Land. I really enjoyed it. Everyone in the theater laughed when the camera panned to palm trees and the blue California skies and the graphics said “winter.” I also saw Hidden Figures, which I loved, loved, loved. The acting in that was phenomenal. What a cast.
Hope all of you are well!