Monday, September 01, 2008

Another College year under weigh

kw: musings

Yesterday afternoon, we piled two cars with our son's stuff and drove up to move him in for his Sophomore year. His campus is less than two hours away, so visits, either direction, are easy. But he has a life to learn to live, so we don't go up more than once or twice per semester.

Last year we were surprised how quickly we adjusted to seeing him so seldom, and having an effectively empty nest for nine months...and how hard it was to re-adjust to his presence for the summer! I guess, because we were married more than twelve years before he was born, that we already knew how to operate as a 'single couple'. We just celebrated our 33d anniversary, and our son is just a month shy of 20. Old habits came right back.

He has two of the same housemates this semester, and will be getting a new one, maybe two, but they are all guys he knows. He's been going up to the area at least a couple times a year with church groups since he was eleven. So he also adjusts quickly.

After getting him moved in and rousing his household to do some cleaning, we all went to a home nearby that was having "Frosh Welcome Nite" with a Mongolian hot pot feast. It is a favorite with the students...and we enjoyed crashing that party very thoroughly. It turns out my wife and the woman of the house had met each other more than twenty years ago, so they had a great time re-connecting.

Hot pot dinners are fun. Several boiling, soup-filled woks are laden with fish balls and a few other favorites to get things started, and the tables are full of little packages of raw seafoods, meats (thinly cut), vegetables and tofu. The main rule is, put as much into the pot as you take out. So people alternately stand to grab food and dump stuff in, and sit to scarf it down. Lots of talk, arguing over what to put in next, calls of "who wants some of the shrimp; they're ready", and horse trading of favorite foods. Everyone has a little bowl of a special spicy sauce to dip everything in. There were about 30 people there, so it was quite a hullabaloo.

We left just after 8 pm so we'd get home by 10. Today I need to dump some shekels into his account for books, and by Wednesday he'll be deep in studies again. I hope this year goes as well as last year.

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