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Old 08-31-07, 06:49 AM   #1
cranky old dude
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Who is this woman in my house?

Just dropped the third and final daughter off at college in Milwaukee.
Had a very good drive out and back, the floodwaters in Indiana and
Illinois have receeded enough to allow smooth traffic all the way, but
as usuall I digress. All three daughters have left the house, the oldest
in June for the West Coast (she'll be back in December for only six months
to finish her Bachelor's and then back to California as they have offered
her the job of her dreams) and the twins have each been delivered to
to their first year of college....one 250 miles away and the other 700
miles away. So now I find my wife and I are most confused. There are
no deadlines, no house full of the daughter's freinds, no noise, only
my work schedule to deal with. An annual Ballon Festival is taking place
only 60 miles away and we can go on any of the three days of the Festival.
We are more accustomed to wondering if we can squeeze a couple of houre
out of the entire weekend for such an adventure. Having all three leave
the nest within 12 weeks of each other is proving to be quite a culture shock.
I can only imagine the emotions parents of quintuplets etc. go through
when their entire brood is ready to jump ship at the same time. The quiet
is deafining.

Meanwhile...who is this woman...must be my wife....but she's changed I think.

Hello woman, I'm Cranky...where've you been for the last 18 years?
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Old 08-31-07, 07:06 AM   #2
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I remember when our youngest went off to college. The first weekend my wife and I got up Saturday morning and had the entire house clean in about two hours. We stood in the kitchen looked at each other and said "What do we do now?"
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Old 08-31-07, 07:57 AM   #3
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Welcome to the true Golden Years, while you are still young and healthy enough to enjoy being empty nesters. I once heard a great sermon discussing when life begins. The minister, since retired at age 67, said, "Life obviously begins at age 60, when the pets are dead and the kids have left the house. Of course, I have to be careful not to mix things up when I say that."

I am about on schedule. Son #1, now a grad student in plasma physics at UCSD, moved out two years ago, and son #2 will probably live at home for two more years, until he transfers from community college to a 4-year university.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:15 AM   #4
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Empty nesting is great, provided you get to visit the kids now and then, or they visit you. It took us a little time to get used to it. I wouldn't trade the time we had with our kids, but now it's our turn! Once you make the adjustment, it's great!!
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Old 08-31-07, 08:44 AM   #5
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I always wanted a house full of kids, lots of them. Unfortunately that was not to be. Being childless, I think that you are truly blessed to have them at all, to have raised them to become the good citizens they are today, and that you'll apparently continue to enjoy a good relationship with all of them in the years to come. Family rarely visits...... so we go to where they are, wherever that is. Sometimes it feels very lonely, but, fortunately, we've found an activity that we enjoy doing together and feel passionate about -- cycling.

Maybe you and your wife and buy a tandem and go riding together, stopping for meals to get re-acquainted once again.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:48 AM   #6
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Empty nest here, also.
We still worry too much about 'em, almost as if they're still living here. They both live in the area, so "pop ins" happen occasionally.
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Old 08-31-07, 10:05 AM   #7
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They do comeback sometimes. My son finished college a couple of years ago, has a job but seems perfectly content to being back at home. I'm working at finding him a new job out of state.
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Old 08-31-07, 10:23 AM   #8
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I always wanted a house full of kids, lots of them. Unfortunately that was not to be. Being childless, I think that you are truly blessed to have them at all, to have raised them to become the good citizens they are today, and that you'll apparently continue to enjoy a good relationship with all of them in the years to come.
I'm with you on this, Yen. I love children but we've never had the joy (or is that pain?) of raising any. While we've had freedom that others have not, I wish it were the other way around.

But I digress. Congrats on raising what sounds to be fine children, I'm sure they'll thrive. Is she going to Marquette?
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Old 08-31-07, 10:51 AM   #9
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Just think of the fun time you'll have getting "reacquainted". 18 year is A LOT of catching up to do.
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Old 08-31-07, 11:11 AM   #10
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My two left home and now there are only two people to Moan about leaving the mess around the house.
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Old 08-31-07, 11:12 AM   #11
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What would you two have done if you found yourselves alone in a house with nothing to do 18 years ago?
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Old 08-31-07, 11:24 AM   #12
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Welcome to the true Golden Years, while you are still young and healthy enough to enjoy being empty nesters. "Life obviously begins at age 60, when the pets are dead and the kids have left the house. Of course, I have to be careful not to mix things up when I say that.
Hey and I just heard an anthropologist suggest that some of us may be able to stretch middle age all the way to 85!

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Old 08-31-07, 11:26 AM   #13
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So now you have a room to devote to bicycles!

If you still need a kid-fix till the grandchildren come along, do what I did when I discovered that fatherhood was not in the cards, help out with the Soap Box Derby or Boys and Girls Club.

Better yet, work on getting kids to bicycle.
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Old 08-31-07, 11:53 AM   #14
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My dream is that I could go away in the mountains for 6 months, no one would need me, nothing of consequence would happen to anyone, life would go on for all and no one would even miss me. All of my bills could be on autopay. Just let me mellow out for a while. Then I could come back and take up where I left off.

Is this too much to ask?
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Old 08-31-07, 12:22 PM   #15
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I love my children more than my life, literally--I'd die for either one of them. But they're 26 and 22 now, and I can say honestly that I'd sleep under the bushes behind the 7-Eleven before I'd let either one move back in with us. My son and I have the same uber-boss (two levels up from me, farther from him), and she and I have been good friends for 20 years. The other day she asked me some questions about him and how he liked his job, and I finally asked her what was going on, whether he'd screwed up (I didn't want him sniffing around the front door). Turned out she'd had complaints about his immediate supervisor and wanted to know if I'd heard anything. Phew....
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Old 08-31-07, 02:09 PM   #16
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Meanwhile...who is this woman...must be my wife....but she's changed I think.
Better watch out. If she finds a strange man in her house, she may call the cops.
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Old 08-31-07, 03:43 PM   #17
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Cranky, I bet it will be great fun discovering your best friend right there next to you after all these years.

My heart goes out to Yen and others who have not expereinced the shared joys (and pain) that children bring.

My oldest left for her second year of college. I still have three (great!) kids left at home. It's hard for me to imagine but in less than 10 years we (Lord willing) will be back to "the two of us" again. I am really not looking forward to all that deafening quietness.
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Old 08-31-07, 07:00 PM   #18
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Is she going to Marquette?
Around the corner, Milwaulee School of Engineering.

Yen, we've also experienced your anguish...Married in '75 first born
finally in '81, only lived for 30 minutes...second born in '83, died during
heart surgery at 4 months old. Our luck seems to have changed though
in '85 with our oldest daughter, though we almost lost one of the twins
in '05 to Krohn's. Life doesn't seem to co-operate for some of us.
Oh, we've got a tandem but the wife can't ride.
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Old 08-31-07, 07:06 PM   #19
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Well, with all this time alone and a "new" woman to boot......just don't start any more kids and a new 18 year cycle!
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Old 08-31-07, 07:47 PM   #20
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My dream is that I could go away in the mountains for 6 months, no one would need me, nothing of consequence would happen to anyone, life would go on for all and no one would even miss me. All of my bills could be on autopay. Just let me mellow out for a while. Then I could come back and take up where I left off.

Is this too much to ask?
Tom, I've felt that way WITHOUT kids. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't have any!
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Old 08-31-07, 07:47 PM   #21
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After all us kids left for college, my parents felt the need to have college-age kids around the house. So they provided room and board for international students at the university. Potential "adopted" kids were referred from the Christian Campus House. It was very interesting to visit home and find my "brothers" from various countries around the world to whom English was a second language. I enjoyed homemade baklava from Greek students, though I passed on the Korean's homemade Kim Chee, because it had been buried in the back yard for close to a week.

My parents hosted a weekly Sunday lunch at home and it was open to students and friends of students from the CCH and was usually a rather large gathering. So they, in effect, served as surrogate parents to offspring from distant lands.

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Old 08-31-07, 08:44 PM   #22
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My daugther moved out about 6 years ago. Felt the empty nest syndrome big time. But both of us were much more geared to work, until about a month ago. We finally have decided that we need to get to know each other again. What a blast is this!
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Old 08-31-07, 11:22 PM   #23
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My oldest daughter (18) is spending Labor Day Weekend in Mexico with a couple of her friends (and one set of parents).

I'm happy she's going, and I'm beside myself with worry. Ugh!
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Old 09-01-07, 05:49 AM   #24
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When I took Tim to Stanford Law School from Colorado, it was in a great huge 1983 blue Chevy wheelchair van pulling a humungous trailer, both loaded with all the supplies, computers and other stuff needed by someone totally paralyzed from the shoulders down. Oh, and there was a full-time aide who would be assisting Tim at Stanford. My wife and her sister were sobbing in the driveway.

We did fine, until Altamont Pass, east of San Francisco, where the whole mess just broke down with a broken radiator hose. There were no cell phones then, and no one in CA would respond to our CB radio distress call. The temperature was over 100F, and folks who are paralyzed can not take the heat as they do not sweat normally. No one would stop, despite our huge sign saying "call police." It seemed as if all of the highway patrol cars must be having a convention at a local coffee shop, because none of them came by either.

Altamont Pass is the site of huge wind generators, and the whole thing was surrealistic. I finally hiked to the top of the pass, where there was a single phone, and got the highway patrol, and ordered a tow truck.

But, how do you tow a van with a large electric wheelchair in it, when it is against the law to have a person occupying a towed vehicle? Anyway, it was one of those "slide-on-to-the-bed" tow trucks, and off we went over the pass with all of us sitting illegally way up high in the van, and the police car behind with their blinking red lights.

The repair was made, the trailer retrieved, and we then made our way into Stanford, about 4 hours late. That, I never want to do again!
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