Saturday afternoon (after some snow shoveling, house cleaning and Internet trolling) Lance, Miles, Grace, and I drove to Logan where we found Chick in Building C, room 302. Whaaaa-whooo! He looked (and smelled) great. He also sounded great. “I did something I am more proud of than any academic accomplishment I’ve made so far,” he said. ??? “I talked to a girl at lunch. And kept talking. In fact, we kept talking until it was time for her to leave for class.” He is talking to girls (at least one…), he gets along with his roommates, he figured out how to feed himself, and he knows where all of his classes are. He managed a couple of class changes, registered for Institute, and was on the winning team in both Pinochle games we played. His face was smiling, his clothes clean, and his aura confident. He will always be my boy but he is a man now.
I arrived in Logan wearing a mother’s heart that was creased with concern. Fears that my oldest son was perhaps lonely, maybe frustrated, a little lost, and possibly overwhelmed kept gnawing at me. I left Logan carrying a heart calmed by his competence. He has the tools he needs and as he chooses to use them, he will succeed.
Sunday afternoon, as quickly as we could after church was over, we climbed in the car and drove south where we found Tanah in Building 1, room 6. Whaaaaa-whoooo! She looked great to me (she will always be beautiful to me) but sounded bad, being on the beginning end of a battle with a nasty head cold. She loves her new apartment, adores her new roommates, and enjoyed feeding us dinner.
About 10:00 p.m., all of us (Tanah included) retired to a cheap motel room to begin what proved to be a night of adventures…….
The adventure started when Miles discovered a doll under the bed. The kids almost insisted we change hotel rooms. “Do you know how many horror movies start with someone finding a doll under the bed?” they asked me demandingly. –No, actually, I don’t—“It’s a lot,” they assured me. They could not convince me to change hotel rooms and I could not convince them the doll was harmless. The compromise took the doll to a garbage can outside our room. According to them, it glared balefully at us all night.
As it turned out, the doll was the only thing that stayed all night in the place where it was put……
Cheap motel rooms are not roomy. The two double beds occupied most of the interior space which was fine with us as all we really needed was a place to lie down. Grace and Tanah took one bed, Lance and I took the other bed, and Miles slept on the floor in the narrow space between the two beds. Cozy but comfortable.
About 1:00 a.m. Tanah woke me as she fumbled to find the van keys. “Dad’s snoring is so loud I cannot sleep,” she explained. “I have to get some sleep or this cold is going to kill me so I am going to drive back to my apartment, sleep there, and return with your van in the morning.” Not wanting my daughter to die, I sent her away with the keys (and the van).
She knocked on the motel room door about 20 minutes later. “I locked myself out of my apartment,” she apologized, “so I am just going to sleep in the car.” Unwilling to let my under-attack-by-nasty-cold-causing-microbes daughter sleep outside in sub-zero temperatures without blankets, I awoke Miles, put him in bed with Grace, and gave his two blankets to Tanah who took them outside where she slept in the van.
The commotion did not stop the snoring but it did awaken Grace….and kept her awake. “Mom, it is too loud in here. I am going outside to sleep in the van with Tanah.” Okay, two girls in a van is safer than one anyway, right? (Who knows what that balefully glaring doll in the garbage can might do….)
I returned to my snoring husband’s side, hoping the night’s adventures were over. Wrong. Lance morphed from a steam engine (loud) to a thrashing machine (loud and active). The sixth time his flailing arm landed a solid blow on my rib cage I decided that a change of venue was necessary for me as well. I bridged the gap separating the two beds and joined Miles.
Peace at last.
When the day officially began it was glorious. Grace, Miles, Tanah, and I hiked the Taylor Creek trail in Kolob Canyon. The trail winds through red rock cliffs, past evergreen trees, and over an ice encrusted stream—74 times over the ice encrusted stream. Glorious.
Back at Tanah’s apartment (which her roommate opened for her, much to Lance’s disappointment; he was really looking forward to testing his lock picking skills…) we laughed hilariously (laughter that might have been at least partially attributable to the previous night’s lack of sleep) when Grace turned a circus into an atomic bomb and Lance converted a go kart into a judge during our Telestrations game. All too soon it was time to go home. We left Tanah sniffling at the door of her apartment—it was a nasty cold—and headed back to Roy.
Six hundred sixty-four miles, 74 stream crossings, 3 times listening to the “Hamilton” (Broadway show) sound track, and one balefully glaring doll later we’d traversed from Logan to Cedar, from USU to SUU, from Aggie to Thunderbird, our gift of time well invested and our harvest of memories just beginning.
May your time investment be wise and your harvest of memories continuous!