Monday, June 20, 2011

Empty Nests, and the like..

It happened yesterday.

Jeff made his big move to Columbia, SC…..moving out of our home, and into his own life. It was a bittersweet day, being Father’s Day and all, but in a way, it was a good day to do it too….there was no putting it off! So this week, he should know more about that job, what he’ll be doing. He is staying with some friends and sharing rent.

And one of the things I’m most proud of…..he packed up his GED study books and took them with him. He has voiced his intentions of finishing. And I am so proud and hopeful for him!

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And I know I haven’t been around a lot with the way my teaching schedule has been, but just being in the house, really alone --- for the first time this morning feels very strange.

His room is empty…well, of “MOST” of his stuff anyway. And I promised him I wouldn’t paint it pink right off the bat, we’ll wait a while ;c)

The thing that had delayed his moving THIS long, was the problems with his car…..and we’ve been working on getting it safe to drive, and it turns out that it really needs a new motor…which was going to take MORE time, ((and more money!)) and that job in Columbia wasn’t going to wait forever, and he was getting more and more antsy about NOT being down there…..so…this is where things stand now.

Jeff has MY car. His honda is going into the shop to get fixed. We are looking for a minivan for me. ((NEED ONE!!)) and when Jeff’s car is fixed, we’ll swap --- I’ll get the saturn back, he’ll have his honda back, and we will sell the saturn, and I’ll put that money back toward the cost of the minivan. At least this is how it is working in my game plan right now, but it means that I am CARLESS until we find something. We are going looking this afternoon. Much of yesterday was spent narrowing down possibilities by searching the internet. We’ve pretty much narrowed it down between a Toyota Sienna or a Honda Odyssey. They have the space and features I want. Just need to actually test drive some. Today. And maybe tomorrow..and a decision needs to be made quickly…..

Because I leave for Fredericksburg VA on Friday morning….and if we don’t find something, I’ll be RENTING a minivan for a week!

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This little girl is missing Jeff TONS already! Poor Sadie….she keeps checking in his room to see if he is there. She’s following me around like she has lost her best friend…So this morning she and I took off for the out-of-doors to see what’s going on in the neighborhood. ((Sadie is smart, she will do one loop with me, but when I keep going, trying to get 5 miles in….she doubles back to the house, and in through her doggie door she goes!))

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Chloe was out in the garden! She is still her ornery self, but she actually let me pet her and give her a few chin scratches with out complaining too loudly or running away. Maybe it’s the heat? It’s got to be hot in that fur coat she has! She’s still a crank-pot. Don’t let those gorgeous blue eyes fool you!

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I LOVE living out where I can enjoy nature’s abundance! These lovelies were there to greet us along the roadside as we walked. Doesn’t this just shout out SUMMER?!? Well, I wish summer would slow down a bit…I feel like I’ve missed half of it.

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Is there anything more refreshing than a walk through dense wooded areas? Well, I didn’t go THROUGH them….but this is along the road side. There could be snakes and bugs and other critters in there. I’m not THAT brave….but I sure enjoy being surrounded by trees and green green and more GREEN!

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The area I live is called Four Brooks…and here in the picture you can see one of them burbling away. It was a beautiful morning, and it may turn to rain later, so I’m glad I got out while I could..besides…what ELSE is a girl supposed to do with NO CAR?!

I’ve been playing around with the yellow backgrounded jacob’s ladder quilt I showed from the antique mall last week. I worked it up in a 9” block..and it looks kind of clunky. I don’t want to go to a 6” block…takes way too many of them to complete the quilt at that scale…but I think I can spice up the piecing a bit by throwing another design element in there…and if I can get through all the mail, the book orders, and some laundry today….I might get some time to SEW!!

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Did I mention how quiet it is here? Too Quiet. And I’m resisting the urge to make a motherly phone call when he’s not even been gone 24 hours yet. This is HARD!


  1. I feel your pain. My "baby" (6'3" 22-year-old) moved out the day after Mother's Day and I am still trying to adjust to the quietness. But I am trying to look for the bright side--DH and I made a huge design wall in his bedroom! By the way, we test drove the Honda and Toyota minivans and have been driving a Toyota Sienna for 6 years now--no regrets

  2. Hi, Bonnie, Enjoy the blog--Love the scrap quilt ideas--very appealing to a beginning quilter like me. When my last one moved out, my mom reminded me that if they want to move on with life--apart from being an irresponsible teenager--then you have done your job as a mother well. Was somehow a help when the house was quiet.
    Wanted to see if you'd be interested in a 2002 Sienna that a friend of mine has for sale & is currently in Colorado? It has high miles but has been reliable for them. Thought it may give you a 'taste' of mini-van life. LMK if you want more info.

  3. Poor Sadie, she looks so sad. And that Chloe! She has a look that could shoot daggers! Wow!
    (Get a Suburban, they're cooler than a minivan!) Actually, terrible on the gas mileage, so I know it wouldn't work for you. We upgraded from our Pontiac Transport, the fore runner of the Montana. I loved it. It was the nicest minivan I have ever driven. You feel like an airplane pilot with that large front windshield.
    I hope you find something that suits your needs soon.
    (And mom to mom, don't worry too much about Jeff, he'll be fine. My son (22) got his GED finally, he did great!)

  4. I've got a Toyota Sienna and love it. I don't think you can go wrong with either a Toyota or a Honda.


  5. Anonymous12:19 PM EDT

    Just thought I would say hello, and keep busy so you can't notice how quiet it is,( yeah, Right!!! like you need me to tell you to keep busy....You are always on the go....

    Anyway this was just a test to see if the comments are working right yet.:)

  6. Anonymous12:37 PM EDT

    We love our Hondas. We've had very little trouble with any of them that we have owned over the past 34 years. My friend bought a used Odyssey for 2K from someone who was moving overseas (she stole it!) and they have had no problems with it. Everything we own is Honda:lawnmower is 26 years old and still starts easily. Just sayin' :o)

  7. Bonnie,

    It really does get better after a while. Then when they visit you look forward to your quiet again. My husband and I have been empty nesters for three years now and have gotten used to being by ourselves. We are always thrilled when the kids come home but also okay when they leave. I didn't wait too long before I turned my sons' bedroom into a sewing room. However, I outgrew that pretty quickly and moved the sewing room into the master bedroom and we have the boys' old bedroom as ours. Works good for us. Hope your son does well in his endeavors. That's what all parents really want is for their kids to be happy and successful in their choices. Have a great day!

  8. Anonymous2:00 PM EDT

    Bonnie I have been there and done that so the way I dealt with it.....it is my new normal. Another new chapter to be written in the great book of life.
    Is your cat a "Ragdoll" cat? She looks very similar to my Liebchen and she too is a cranky pants. Of course she is 16yr old and she also prefers it outside.

    Denise NC

  9. Oh poor you. Alex boards during the week and comes home at weekends. Monday is horrible as the house is so empty. Not as bad as what you are going through, but at least I've got a foretaste of what is to come. It still doesn't make it any easier when the time comes for her to flee the nest. Sending you big hugs.

  10. Denise left her comment as anonymous and so I had no way to reply but to come back and leave my answer here. I hope she finds it! Yes, Chloe is a ragdoll, but unlike ragdolls who go limp when you pick them up, she fights and twists and turns and will do ANYTHING to get away. She is happiest outside..I've heard of cats that will get more lovey as the time goes on...we've had her nearly 3 years, and I don't think she'll ever be "friendly" but she does emit a purr when I am "allowed" to scratch her under her chin :c)

  11. We'll be facing an empty nest in August and although we're excited for the adventures ahead for the kids(20 yr old son presently at Marine boot camp in San Diego and 17 yr old daughter headed to college to study for Vet school), it's going to be hard. However, I've heard that keeping busy is key and from what I read, you've got that covered! Still, it's ok to miss them and I'll bet he wouldn't mind finding a care package or two in the mail! Best wishes to him and kudos to him for prepping to finish school!

  12. While sewing today I thought of your plans for a minivan and wanted to suggest you better buy a mattress in it... So you can camp with it. Or buy a camper where you can set out your sewing machine and sew whenever you want ;-).

  13. I have had both types of vans. I loved them both, but my Honda seemed to have a target on the back of it and the 3rd time it was hit while I was sitting stopped at a red light we were actually almost glad it was totaled (since no one was badly injured - just some bruising and a sore neck for a couple of weeks) That's when we bought the Toyota. We drove it for 3 year and then sold it for something with a little better gas mileage and because our son was off to college and we wouldn't be hauling him and his drums to band competitions anymore. If I were buying a mini-van now I would check out the Honda first. It was my favorite to drive, but I'm not sure why. Hubby actually preferred the Toyota. Both were good safe, reliable vehicles (well, except for that above mentioned target - don't get that option - LOL)

  14. Can't help you with the mini-van quest. I drove a suburban and loved it!
    It will be quiet for a long time...and will be longer before you get use to it!>...sorry..just sayin. ((Hugs))

  15. LOVE, Love, love my Sienna. This is my 2nd one! The *new* design (2004 and newer) has the fold down flush rear seats and thus you can haul an incredible amount of stuff, along with people. Drives wonderfully and gets good mileage (23-24 mpg avg)
    As for empty nests...I have 7 kids...when each has moved out it has been simply awful! I end up bursting into tears at the drop of a hat...though I do eventually settle down :-)
    My youngest is heading off to college this fall... I think he is going to be the hardest of all to say goodbye and good luck to (I know they, he, will all be back regularly and we'll be in touch etc...but, still...it is not the same as them being young and living at home)
    Saw a bumpersticker... parenthood is letting your heart walk around in the world without you.

  16. Oh Bonnie...so glad DS has found work and plans to get a GED. At some point he heard you. Best of luck to him and you.
    My Dad is on his second Toyota van. This one is handicap modified. It has been wonderful withy my Mom, Niece, and Dad in wheelchairs. They both were/are very reliable.

  17. Bonnie,

    Giving them wings is the hardest thing but it is also the right thing! My youngest leaves for school in August and I am dreading/looking forward to it. Hugs!

  18. Today my littlest boy (age 4) came home with a letter from school to say he was to have 2 'taster' days i.e. 2 days next month he will stay all day at school. He was so proud to be such a big boy and his Momma was so sad he's such a big boy ;-(

  19. Oooh that's a look full of daggers from Chloe, you can tell she's got a temper! Aren't cats funnny?
    You must be proud your son has got his act together and is out making his way in life under his own steam, after the earlier failure to launch phase.
    Enjoy your new mini van when you decide which one- and we wanna see it loaded up with quilts when you do!

  20. Yes, empty nesting is difficult - at first. Then.... once you get over the missing part - which is really tough! - well, let me tell you, you get used to it and begin to settle right into it! My daughter just came back home last year, and it has been a difficult transition after having the house to ourselves for the past 7 years! Not that we don't love her or even enjoy having her here, it's just not as comfortable I guess. It's nice not having to worry about anyone else but yourselves and what you want to do or eat, etc.

    And it doesn't look like Chloe is in any mood to help you out with your loneliness either! Those beautiful blue eyes are sending out some pretty serious danger signals LOL :^) I have a beauty just like her; she likes to be admired from afar and don't touch!!!

  21. Bonnie, it gets easier everyday; especially since he left on good terms.
    You and Sadie will adjust in no time, I promise.

    We're in the market for a new car but I won't be the one driving it :(.

  22. Anonymous8:23 PM EDT

    Wish Jeff all the joy in the world with his venture into self sufficiency. Hope this job is the start of a satisfying careeer for him.
    Bonnie, maybe renting a mini van for this next trip would be a really GOOD thing to do, because you could really find out the ins and outs and ups and downs of that van and may turn you to look at a different one. Its a pain if you have already bought it and its not 'just what you wanted'.
    Just a thought.
    in Rockingham Western Australia.

  23. Anonymous9:23 PM EDT

    I'm on my fourth Honda, second Odyssey. Gave up my Prelude in 2004 because I couldn't haul all that quilting stuff around for classes and sew days. I've never looked back. Now I can take up to 5 ladies with me for shop hops or other quilting functions. There's lots of room, and I keep the back seat down most of the time. It is very comfortable to ride in and drive, good on gas and very dependable. My next car will be another Honda Odyssey. But, you must drive each one you're thinking about and see how it feels to you. The Toyota is also a very good choice. One of my friends thinks there is nothing like a Grand Caravan.
    I absolutely love your blog and look forward to each new posting. Good luck with your car search. I know you'll find just the right one.

  24. Wow! Our lives are definitely on the same track right now. We just moved our daughter from our home on the south side of Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin this past weekend to start a nursing job. The house seems so empty today! And, funny thing, her car has been in the shop off and on for the past 2 weeks, so she took my car up there and we'll swap next time she makes a trip home! (Unless she decides she likes my car better, and doesn't want to switch back!!)

  25. My son is only 7 1/2 and I'm already anticipating the bittersweet day he'll fly the nest! Sad, but exciting, too.

    I know you're talking minivans, but I have a Honda CR-V and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It drives beautifully, gets great gas mileage, is super super safe, and the best part? You can put SO MUCH STUFF in it! We've hauled furniture, lumber, you name it. With the back seats down you can fit a stunning amount of stuff. And it's a split back seat, so when I only had once child, I could have him in his car seat and still have it half down to fit in furniture when we went garage sale-ing!

    At one point I was thinking of switching to something even more fuel efficient, but then a friend of mine was telling me that his boss at work could drive any car he wanted to, but he and his wife both drive CR-V's because they were in one that rolled 11 times and they both walked away without a scratch. So that did it for me.

    Anyway -- sorry! Long comment. No affiliation with Honda, just had to share that.


  26. Just don't get a Chevy Venture. I feel so guilty saying anything bad about an American car, but ours has been nothing but trouble.

    Sadie goes home after a short walk? Can we trade dogs? cause I walk mine, we come in the house and they are as nutsy as ever!

  27. PS unchecked my stay signed in box and I can comment! yay!

  28. Although I am sure that you miss him, I'm so glad your son has gathered his act together and is taking this step into adulthood! I know how much you have stressed over his slow maturing process, and I hope you are able to enjoy his move and all that it stands for in his life!

    Good luck with the vehicle selection!


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