Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Digs and an Army of Sorts

We're officially empty-nesters.

I was certain we were going to need both vehicles to get all of Rachel's stuff moved but we managed to get everything in Tammy's Forester; barely. We said goodbye to the pups and got on the road just after 10:00 AM Thursday with coffees in hand and The Beatles Anthology to accompany us.

We arrived in Rochester with a half hour to spare before Rachel's noon appointment with her freshman class and a scavenger hunt mixer they had planned. After checking in at the front desk we were shown to her apartment and went inside to have a look at her new digs. What a dump but I'm sure she'll manage. Study area; living room left; living room right; kitchen; bedroom and a view of the city.

While Rachel was off getting acquainted with her class, Tammy and I got busy moving her things up to her room on the 6th floor.

The University of Minnesota at Rochester (UMR) is unlike any other campus I'm familiar with (that's not saying much) in that it's situated on the top two floors of a mall a block from Mayo Clinic. The students and staff will tell you that once you've taken the escalator up to the campus you forget that there's people shopping beneath you and it becomes just like any other learning facility.

After we finished unloading her things we headed down to the mall and out into the city for lunch. I'm not sure if it's an every afternoon occurrence but there were vendors lining the streets outside with an eclectic mix of food. We paid for our lunch then tucked in close to a building to hide from some passing showers.

Back inside the mall we came across Rachel and a group of kids in search of scavenger hunt items designed to help them become familiar with the city. Rachel passed right by laughing and carrying on with her new friends oblivious to our presence.

We kept ourselves busy checking out some of the many shops in the downtown area before one last rendezvous with Rachel for dinner and a trip to Target for some items for her apartment and groceries. We helped carry her things up to her apartment and with that it was time to say goodbye. I was a little worried about how Tammy would handle this part but she did well. We'll miss having her around but it's more an acknowledgement of a passing of this phase of life that is the source of sadness more-so than the goodbye especially considering she'll be only 75 miles away.

Rachel had a few tears that she wiped away while asking us if we could pray together before we left. It seemed a very fitting way to send her off and so we did.

Photos from the day.

Tammy and I made it back to the State Fair for a second time Saturday to try and fill in some of the gaps from our first visit opening day. I learned yesterday while on the drive into work and listening to the radio that we were part of a record setting one day attendance crowd of 234,000 strong on Saturday. I actually don't mind the crowds and if we were part of a record then all the better. My wait for a pork-chop-on-a-stick was no more than 3 minutes and that for me is the real measure.

KISS was headlining the main stage and there were members of the KISS Army throughout the masses waiting for the night's show.  Some in full KISS dress and others not so much. I can honestly say that I never served in the KISS Army nor do I have any of their music but I will confess to occasionally watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels.

While in the University of Minnesota shop we spied a sweatshirt for Tammy to wear to overcome the chill she was feeling after the sun went down. We'd no sooner finished paying when Garrison Keillor accompanied by two other people walked up and asked to see some hats. I backed up just a little to try and discreetly get his photo. He wasn't what I expected; he was very tall and lanky.

We got a couple of beers and walked aimlessly taking in the night and lights and a less crowded fair while sharing thoughts about being empty-nesters. We'd received some encouraging texts from Rachel since leaving her behind and we read on her Facebook page how she's absolutely loving her new home and the very early experiences of college life (16 people crammed into an elevator). It's difficult for us to feel much sadness when she's so happy and so we don't. In fact, we couldn't be happier for her.

And another phase of our lives begins.

Photos from our day in addition to some from opening day.


Jackie said...

Boy where to start. First off, I am heading to college. I had no idea I could live like that! Love that kitchen. She is going to be so happy. It looks as though Tammy had been into the Vodka while you and Rachel were leading the way up front. Crazy picture. She is going to be so happy. Her visits home will be so fun to look forward too as will the visits to go see her. Once again you have made this new venture for her one to remember. Jackie

Larry M. said...

You saw Garrison Keillor in person? Cool! You should have said to him...."Hei, mitt navn er Kevin, og jeg tror Minnesota og spesielt Lake Wobegon er kult!"

Deborah Jane said...

I agree with Jackie. I think I need to head to college, too, if for no other reason than to have that kitchen (and maybe the bathroom, too)! My dorm room were nothing like that. They were crowded and barren -- bland, concrete walls and chintzy furniture. Mark says his dorm room was like a prison cell. Mine weren't much better, really. Rachel's a blessed young woman to have such nice digs for college. She deserves it, though. She's a great kid!

Kevin said...

I should probably talk about this specifically in another post rather than bury it in the comments section. The way too nice living arrangements weren't what she was after. She really wanted to experience college in a small dorm and would've been content with that but the price for where she's at was only $135 more a month. It didn't seem to make a lot of sense to not opt for the nicer digs. She shares the space with 3 other young ladies. The security in the building is probably as good as you're going to find with everybody needing some sort of key-card to access the building. We like that.

Yes, Jackie...I thought the photo of Tammy with the Vodka box was pretty funny. I don't know that she's seen it yet. I think I'll post it on my Facebook page.

Larry...I'll work on that for the next time my path crosses Garrison's. ;)