On the way to Amherst. We are talking about those things summer, the steam on the windows, the rain and how it alters that which we see. It is raining cats and dogs, with the windows steaming up. We left Trumansburg around ten after loading the car, gathering up stuff, Rob directing our carpentry team (they are replacing a floor in my mother-in-law's kitchen while we all are away). We got Ms. Grove settled...and oops,the cats! (thanks for the reminder).
We are talking about arrival times in Amherst, departure times for New York City, departure times for San Francisco, and arrival times for the Luckystone Lodge. The first half of the family left earlier this morning to get on their way and to Kitty in advance of the small army and commissary being moved in the Wonderbus.
The Wonderbus is carrying a huge strawberry rhubarb crumble (I have discovered the world of crisp, crumbles, cobblers and grunts) from these gigantic, healthy rhubarb canes I bought at the farmers' market, a pan on marinated fresh asparagus, a dish of marinated green beans, and huge jars of marinated mushrooms, artichokes etc. We have nuts, and cheese, crackers and olives. And I plan on composing all of these things on my big melamine, provencal trays to up the game a bit. We have a keg of Red Byrd Cider and a small keg of beer (both in a cooler immersed in ice). I have a mini present chest of tattoos, food jewels, funny cameos, and a few little sets to give as parting quelques choses for those that are near and dear. Given this graduation is devoid of caps and gowns, of tassels and treasures--I figured tattoos might be a nice offer to give a gift of shared graphics. We are entertaining a crew at Kitty's mod tonight so there will be all of us (and our birthday boy, Rob) which makes 6, Kitty's housemates--6, and then assorted friends, families, and associates. There might be a crew..but along with a stack of pizzas, we will be good. This is a small offering...probably not as big or as fancy as I would like-- but I hope it will amuse and entertain.
Tomorrow is the day of graduation combined with the reality of moving out before 10 on Sunday. It is going to be very stressful and emotional for Kitty--and we will need to be there to have her lean on us to get going. Granted, she has had some weeks to prepare, but there have been no solid deadline until tomorrow, and there have been other more wonderful things to do, experience for one last time, people to visit with, chapters to conclude. Kitty has been dancing through the end of the semester and the last dance is tomorrow. Sure, we can all be reasonable and rational about this, but truly for me (and I am not even living this, she is), I get a bit choked up knowing that the last dance is coming, the last spin, the last twirl, the last dip--and then silence....for a few weeks until the new caller comes on stage, arranges the sets and the music starts again-- in a new place with new people. We have been there, and as it happened, maybe not been as conscious of the ending and the beginning as it was the first time of something so monumental, But given where we are now, we have had a few endings and beginnings, and this change for my first child gives this particular time an extra poignant twist--watching her get on the path that she determines. She will be making the right choices with this strong grounding of friends, learning, and experiences she has gotten from Hampshire. None the less, bittersweet moments to watch, share and embrace.