and he’s ok

yesterday was the party to celebrate the people who were there for my family while charlie was in a coma as well as to celebrate charlie being alive. we had scoped out a park in lake city early this spring and locked it in with two shelters, and good thing we did because when i drove in at 10 a.m., it started to rain and continued to do so for the next three hours. 

but it was a good party, a great time, and there were people there who were the right ones to be there. the rain cleared up, the sun came out, and the weather was, for once, not humid and gross. the evening was great, and after we cleaned out the shelters, i took off for home at 10 p.m. (i had too much stuff to do to break camp and drive to st charles before heading up to st. cloud in one day.)

it was pretty dark when i turned south out of the park and through lake city. the lake was on my left, and the waning gibbous moon was low on the horizon, climbing into the sky. the night was clear and calm, and the almost-full moon reflected off the lake, creating a shimmery column of water light across the lake toward me as i drove out of town, past the marina, past the overlook.

when i was small, maybe six years old, my aunts kathleen and colettie took me to a bed and breakfast in lake city. i don’t remember much about the b&b besides being uncomfortable with the strangers at breakfast, but i do remember taking a walk after dark to the overlook, where i climbed the steps and leaned over the rock wall to look at the moon reflecting a shimmery column of light across lake pepin.

charlie was always my aunt colettie’s favorite. i kept my eyes on the moon-colored lake last night for as long as i could, smiling and thinking of how well the party turned out, my aunt C, and letting this chapter of the story wane away into a shimmery sheath of light.

in which college perceptions are challenged

i could make the case that i was one of those high school students. one of those elitists. not going to college was never a question. going to a two-year community college? not on the table. i didn’t know where i wanted to go; i did college visits at a couple state universities, considered out of state colleges, and finally settled on a  small, private, liberal arts college. 

yes, i was one of those.

tuition and room and board my first year was $18k/year. when i left, it was $22k. now? $46k. unfathomable. 

but still, the idea of going to a four-year college and getting that well-rounded, liberal arts college for post-secondary education was always the goal that everyone should reach for. then i entered the workforce, and job after job that i had required a minimum of a two-year degree. when was this liberal arts education going to come in handy? i began to slowly come to the realization that i could have saved myself a lot of money and just gotten a two-year degree. 

then i started working at a two-year college. and i got a little older and little less pretentious (i hope, anyway). two-year schools are great in ways that are twofold.

  1. transferring after getting general education credits out of the way is a great way to save money. two years are just as rigorous as four-year colleges, and the credits are easy to transfer when done correctly. classes are generally smaller than state schools, and since fewer people go to two years, there is more attention given. 
  2. different styles of learning is pretty well embraced at tech colleges. not exactly a bookish person? get a welding degree, or any other trade degree that depends on hands-on learning. know you want to get into healthcare but not sure what? get your lpn for now and maybe go back after some time in the field. two years of the kind of learning that you like, and then step into a really well-paying job (seriously, more than i make. and i have stupid master’s degree.)

the point could be argued that if a person does her or his general education AAS in two years then gets a two-year trade AS, wouldn’t that be equivalent of a four-year degree? 

if i were going back to school now, there’s no way i would be able to afford the college i went to. the two-year college is looking pretty good.

house list

houseblog is overwhelming!

anyway, here are things i know i want to do right away:

faucets – bathroom and kitchen
replace the cabinet hardware
replace the light fixtures in the kitchen?
put in a ceiling fan in master bedroom
replace light fixture in guest room (i have one at home i’m bringing)
replace ceiling fan in dining area?
take out the 90s-era family desk!
NEW STOVE.

now, not sure how much of that i’ll be able to do, but goodness i need to get rid of that electric coil stove ASAP.

olympics!

i love watching the olympics. even with the controversy in sochi, i watched. now with the controversy in rio, i watch. not because i don’t think that what those countries are doing are ok; i watch because i want to support the athletes and the coming together of all the countries. 

i love the opening ceremonies, when we get to see each country’s best athletes come together. despite the animosity among leaders and bombs pointed at each other, we agree to meet for a little friendly athletic competition.

[but let’s diverge here a moment and talk about how much NBC SUUUU-UUUCKS. i don’t have cable. i live in a hole. my closest nbc outlet is 25 miles away and has horrible broadcasting for some reason. i can’t get the over-the-air station in my house except when my antenna is sitting on top of a frog’s head facing northwest on the full moon of the third month after a solar eclipse. so why hasn’t NBC gotten on the OLYMPICS ARE COMMUNITY bandwagon and let everyone in the US watch the olympics livestreamed over the interwebs without needing to sign in with a cable subscription??  SO RIDICULOUS.]

current life list update

oh, hello. long time no see. life in listย form:

  1. current house is good to go and has a closing date of sept. 8. the only thing the buyer wanted fixed was the window latch in the bedroom, which i totally forgot about but knew needed to be fixed. i went to the andersen window website and bought a replacement latch for $20, and it’s now good as new. not so good that i’m going to not move, but good enough for the new guy. i’ve been trying to pack, but my ambition has been pretty nil lately. sept. 8 will close in quickly, so i’d better get some ambition pretty quick.
  2. future house (!!!) has just had the inspection contingency taken off; the only thing we wanted fixed was the screen door out to the patio (it’s all scratched up due to their dog). other than that, it’ll be good to go. i’m excited to live on that property and in that log home plan feel living room with the fireplace. (yes! fireplace!) so, that means i have to find more ambition to pack because i need to move all my stuff over there. ugh. ambition, why you gotta be so elusive.ย 
  3. my garden is so sad looking. i have tomatoes up the wazoo, and the cucumbers are sort of trying to grow something, i think. my gourds are going nuts, and that’s only because i just let them go. otherwise, it’s pretty weedy and gross and i’m sad it got to this point. i’m guessing i’ll be able to make one batch of pickles and some tomato sauce. maybe there will be one pumpkin for halloween, and i hope there will be some pie pumpkins. we’ll see what happens i guess. booo. BUT. there’s always next year, when i will till up a chunk of my yard and make a giant veggie garden. it’ll be staring me in my face so there’ll be no way to ignore it.
  4. charlie’s party is in two weeks!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ time flies! next week he and i will have to go to the meat market and pick up the pork for the party, and i’m hoping liz and jane can still make it the friday before to help cook food. better start thinking about a menu, i guess!
  5. OLYMPICS. i love the olympics. bob costas. gymnastics. community. all those good-feels.ย 

offer accepted!

after a dual-offer scenario (*eyeroll*), nate and i got the house we wanted in avon in the country. next up is the inspection and appraisal, which may or may not go well. we’ll see what happens. 

anyway, we have a closing date set for sept. 9, which is the day after our house in st. charles closes**. that means that hopefully we can just rent a uhaul once! woohoo! 

of course, after we heard about the two offers thing, i jumped to the immediate conclusion that we weren’t going to get this house, and so nate and i started looking at other houses in the area. we found a farmhouse and couple outbuildings on almost 9 acres just south of where i’m staying now that would have been fine had this one not gone through. 

the house was 100 years old though, and even though it’s recently been remodeled, you do have to wonder how efficient it would be. i asked my dad* after purchasing my last house about age in homes, and he said given his druthers, he’d almost always choose the newer home as being more efficient, even after remodels. 

so i have that going for me.

* he knows construction!

**the contingency is off that house, which is a relief. i thought that guy was going to back out. although he does get my wall-mounted speakers, which is super annoying. grrr.