Wednesday, June 30

okay here it is, the mom brags about college grad post. allow me the moment please.

we spent a great weekend at the coast with thea before coming home. spent a fabulous day doing nothing but flying kites on the beach. it was the best.

jeekers, isn't it something how easy it is to let things slide once they start the actual "sliding"? i never really meant to never come back to all started mid-may when he-who-never-takes-a-day-off-work-period and i left the island for the first time in, well a few years, to attend our daughter's college graduation.
i have to say, being off-island was, well a lot of different things. so many people! so many cars! man what a lot of cars, and roads. and it smells...funny in the states. everyone rushes everywhere. there isn't a lot of eye contact while walking around. we felt like goof balls after a while, smiling and saying hi to everyone we passed. i told gerry they all probably thought we were politicians.
we probably could have filmed an episode of the beverly hillbillies with us as guest stars. the first grocery store we went in was as good as disney land to me. so many choices of eveything!!! and all so cheap!!! i wanted to buy it all and bring it home and fill my pantry & fridge. gerry was in heaven - they sell beer in grocery stores down there! the rest of the trip he was happy to volunteer to run to the store for us... and what about those check yourselves out lanes??? how fun is that?? i've never seen that before. i scanned my gum over & over just to watch the picture pop up on the screen...until the lady in the little booth can over and asked if i really wanted to pay for it 7 times. she was very kind. when i told her what a fun great idea it was and how do you scan an onion? she gave me a little special smile and asked where i was from. i sortof wanted to tell her new jersey or something.
and there is great coffeee everywhere! sometimes right next door to each other. it was heavenly. i drank so much coffee.

my poor daughter, who has had 4 years to become acclimated to the real world away from our alaskan island home, was very patient, a true testament to her maturity.

here's another amazing thing - you don't have to pump your own gas in oregon! in fact, when gerry got out of the truck to do it, the man in the uniform apprehended him and asked him to please get back in his vehicle! we were shocked! why can't we have uniform gas station guys on kodiak, so i wouldn't have to get soaked pumping my own gas in the sideways rain???

i also don't think folks in that states know about xtra tuffs. i didn't see a single pair in salem. i did see a lot of well-dressed fellows who smelled, well, nice. as in not like boat bilge or fish sludge. another big treat. and riding in elevators - i love elevators! and escalators! it's a pity how in a hurry everyone always seemed to be - i just loved enjoying the ride up, but almost everyone else combined running with escalator riding...

and so many places to shop and eat! how does anyone down there ever decide on a restaurant - they are everywhere, all kinds, sometimes right next to each other - crazy. much easier here, there are about 8 choices. thea tells me it's all about word of mouth. i just know when i finally found the dunkin donuts i beat on gerry til he pulled in, and ate 6 sugary wonders in under 10 minutes, and, felt no guilt. it'd been a lonnnng time since i had a dunkin donut.

then there was the graduation event itself. it was a glorious sunny day, and we had not seen the actual orb of the sun for a couple of months or so...but we had to sit under a tent.

this tent was bigger than our local high school. it gave me a stomach ache thinking about how many people could, and did, fit under it. more than in our town i believe. and these folks were wonderful to behold, all dressed to the nines, i felt like i was at the grammy awards or something. then there gerry & i were, freshly scrubbed day-glo skin (a result of not seeing the sun for a very long time) in our flip-flops and aloha shirts, trying not to move so we wouldn't break a sweat - man it gets HOT down there. at any rate, we minded our manners and gerry stayed awake for the whole thing. i cried so much the nice fellow next to me gave me all his kleenex.

one of the things i remembered while all the important and really smart folks were speaking during the ceremony was an afternoon when thea was around one and a half. i had taken her to the beach for a picnic on a wonderful sunny day. we had a great time, she splashed, we made castles, she found a nice dead fish, put it in her mouth...but it was time to go home. thea didn't want to. she screamed, rolled on the ground, threw her toys, all the things a tired sun kissed toddler does. my arms were full of blankets, baskets of toys, stuff. i was just trying to guide her to the car. along the way through the woods we crossed paths with an elderly couple. i thought what a horrible impression we must be making. the lady stopped me and said "don't you ever wish these moments would hurry up and be over, because you know what? they will be, and you will be wishing them back."

- oh my gosh, she was so right. here i am thinking - when did this

turn into this?????????

or this (her little tights were so baggy we could pull them up over her head)

into this???

and how did she get so much stuff??? (what a good girl though, see her box of wild alaskan cod fillets!)

so, she is all graduated. she is the first one in our immediate family to do so (her mom still needs a math and oral communications credit. not going to happen at this point) and she managed to get not one but two degrees, in anthropology and english. she has a good job and a decent apartment. and a lot of stuff. we are really proud of her. and while i really really miss my snowboarding partner....

...since she isn't coming home looks like i'll get to drive her sweet ride! oh yeah!

so this is the end of my bragging post. for all of you young moms with little girls out there let me take on the role of the elderly lady (since i am). here's my two cents. pick your fights. ignore their stink eye looks (you will know what i mean when your girls reach the age of roughly, 14. never stop brushing their hair. never let them fall asleep with tears in their eyes, especially if they were put there by a boy. let them have a boyfriend - boyfriends are a mom's best teaching tool. remember they are never too old to bundle into the car in their pj's past bedtime to make a late night run to mcdonald's for ice cream. tell them they are beautiful every day. tell them you love them more than once every day. and when they are in college and they ask for your opinion, hedge, because they really don't want it, they want to be able to show you they have their own opinions now.


  1. Oh Deb that was just the best post I have read ..well..since I have been on Blogger. I laughed, I cried and although I only have one child, a son (31 now) I loved reading your advice to young moms!
    I am so glad now that I decided to be a follower of your blog. Originally I joined because I thought anyone who lived on Kodiak Island had to be special and very, very interesting.
    I made a trip to Alaska in 1973 from Montreal and got as far as Homer but didn't have the money to make the trip to your island. I think if I had been able to make that trip I would have stayed!
    Thanks for the great post and congrats to the beautiful daughter and please do let us all know how she progresses with her career.
    Tina xo

  2. You just sound giddy with all that the lower 48 had to offer! Glad you enjoyed your trip to Oregon and had an amazing time (and I love not pumping gas). You sound so mystified with what we take for granted! Great words of wisdom for those of us with daughters...will go tell my 16 year old Kate that I love her and give her an extra hug! Congrats to your daughter and so happy she has a job and apartment and life is good!

  3. You are just the cutest, funniest thing ever. :-)
    Yep, we really need to get you down South more often!

    I personally prefer to pump my own gas, those yahoo's in Oregon refuse to top it off for you! Whatever!

    Your "baby" will always be your baby, no matter what. But still, she's a beautiful young woman.

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  4. thanks mom, now I'm sitting at the info desk at Willamette tearing up and scaring the prospective students. greaaaaat. (love you too)

  5. Oh, Deb! What a beautiful post. Our daughter just completed her first year of college, and while she cannot WAIT to get back in 3 weeks, I am dying. I love how she is maturing and have a blast visiting her, but it is SO not the same without her at home.
    Congratulations on your daughter's graduation! What a monumental accomplishment.
    Brenna would have ridden the escalators with you over and over, it's one of her favorite things to do!!!
    p.s. let me know if you need more coffee.

  6. absolutely delightful post featuring your beautiful girl ... sniff sniff
    only having had sons ... well a lot of the same things still apply too, don't they

    thank you dear Deb for touching my heart so very sweetly this morning ... not finding words to really express what a nice visit I've had here with you and you are off until October = oh my!

  7. Ahh, Deb, I loved this post.
    And, turning everything a few degrees to the east, all that you said at the end applies to a mom's sons, too.

    I loved this post greatly.
    Beautifully written AND you poor thing, having to leave your island.
    Oh, how I lived on an island.

    love you, xxoo, jan


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