Sunday, September 28, 2008

Parent Weekend

We attended Parent Weekend at SDSU and had a great time. We had hoped to meet some of Molly's friends, but since it was Parent Weekend, all of her friends were busy with their parents. It is fun having both Molly and Kelly in the same city, and we are slowly developing fun traditions. We walked on the promenade at Pacific Beach (see photo), which is a yuppie beach town, where we consumed huge quantities of sugar, carbohydrates and caffeine. We usually go to Ikea, but this time we deviated and went to Costco. (Dorms don't supply toilet paper any more, and apparently Molly's room mates could win a prize for using the most paper in a week.) Last time Kelly gave us directions to Ikea, we thought she said "Turn right at the rock." OK. The rock. Hmmm. Turns out she said "The Ross." We didn't get lost quite as much on this trip as we have on previous trips. San Diego has a zillion ethnic restaurants, which works well with our adventurous tastes. The Persian restaurant there is my favorite restaurant in the whole world. (Sorry, Tipp's). I suggested eating at the Moroccan restaurant where Jim and the girls ate last time without me, Kelly suggested Ethiopian, but in the end we ate at a delicious Thai place. We shopped at the Japanese store where you can buy a wide variety of fun items for $1.50 each. Then the requisite trip to Yogurt World, where you can load seven pounds of toppings onto your yogurt as you read a huge sign detailing ten health benefits of eating frozen yogurt. People in San Diego feel strongly about their yogurt and are more loyal to their yogurt brand than their coffee store brand. We don't even HAVE frozen yogurt stores in my town. It's extra sad to say goodbye to the girls these days. We kissed Molly farewell last night, and had breakfast with Kelly at a coffee place with amazing muffins. (Today--pumpkin raspberry corn muffin). Jim and I are both a little depressed on every drive home. We don't know when we'll see them again, and we just miss them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

News of my Family Flung Across the Globe

So I’ve made it through a week and a half with an empty house. There are days when the three girls, Jim and Matt all check in. Hearing about their happy, sad, exciting, or frustrating days helps me cope with mine.

Molly is meeting lots of good friends. On the Saturday we were there, she introduced us to a friend, whom she seemed to know well. “So are you from Ventura?” I asked. “No, we met on Facebook.” Later Molly took her computer to tech support, and a girl there said uncertainly “Molly?” “Um. Yeah. Do I know you?” “It’s _____. From Facebook!” “Oh, HI!” She’s connecting in real life with people she’s been talking to for months, and has friends who will give her rides to church and invite her to their family’s home for games. It’s really cool. Her room mates all steal food from each other. But no one seems to want to steal Molly’s hummus, edamame, tomatoes, snow peas, and other food.

Brenna is living in a part of El Salvador that is perfectly safe. That is, it’s safe because it’s gated and has guards with huge guns patrolling her neighborhood. Not exactly comforting to me. But no different than the Guardia Civil that were on every corner in Spain where I lived for a year under fascist dictator Franco. Somehow activities that seem perfectly safe to do myself, seem worrisome when my kids do them. She is one I don’t have to worry too much about, though, because she makes good decisions, and has “street smarts”. She’s got a great team and I’m happy to support her in what she’s accomplishing there.

Kelly gets to go to Norway next week. She has this nanny job for a sweet toddler, and his mom is going to Norway, so Kelly gets to go, too. It’s very exciting. She really wants a teaching job, but to do that may require actually quitting the nanny job (that she loves) to substitute teach (which probably isn’t as much fun as teaching toddler Cole “A is for ‘Abolition’”). After Norway.

Jim has work in Chicago, Florida, San Diego and Los Angeles. That he has work is wonderful. That it’s not in our town. Not so much.

And I wish Matt a happy 21st birthday. Although he'd rather be celebrating with Brenna, I hear he isn't spending his days in a a corner crying into his root beer waiting for her return.