Up all night -- 04/18/00

Well, not actually all night... I got up about 3:10 a.m. and it is a bit over three hours later... I got up that early so that I could make sure Jennifer was up by 3:30 because she was going to Canada for a few days with a friend and her friend's parents and they planned on leaving around 5:00 a.m.

I stumbled downstairs and discovered Jennifer here at the computer chatting with friends over ICQ (her computer, the one in her room, isn't connected to the web... setting up a home LAN is one of the tasks on my consider doing list) She had figured that there wasn't much point in going to sleep... she had been out socializing and got home around midnight, just about the time I was going to bed...

So I started a pot of coffee. What would you like for breakfast? Would you make strawberry pancakes? Sure. Oops, we're very low on milk and Nancy and Jennifer both use milk in their coffee and I'll need milk for the pancakes... so, while Jennifer went upstairs to shower, I headed off to a 24-hour store to pick up a gallon of milk. The strawberry pancakes were delicious, Jennifer and I both had some and there are just enough saved to heat up for Nancy later on. (Sean doesn't like strawberry pancakes... besides which, he is not at all an early riser on non-school days.)

So Jennifer got all packed, clothes, etc. in her backpack and everything else in her pants pockets. She is very fond of cargo pants and jeans with lots and lots of pockets. She is wearing her new pants, a pair she picked up a few days ago, Abercrombie and Fitch black cargo pants with twelve (12!) pockets. Her friend and her parents came about 5:30 and picked her up and off they went.

I'm feeling very strange about this... this trip is very symbolic of how grown-up and ready to leave the nest she has become... Three weeks or so until her birthday -- eighteen years old -- and then another month or so until high school graduation. The summer before last she also went to Canada with a different friend and her family (and I was in England at the same time... strange to have the family so spread out) but this trip, coming so close to graduation just made me feel very choked up as she was leaving.

She and a group of her friends have been planning a girls' adventure trip to Canada a week or so after graduation... well, those were the plans the last I heard... so I've already been facing the idea her being old enough to head off with a group of friends -- I was about to say "with no adults" but, of course, that exactly the point, she is becoming an adult. It just takes us old geezers time to come to terms with that. I was talking on the phone with my eldest just a few hours ago, letting him know when her graduation would be, and he commented on how quickly the time seems to have passed since her kindergarten graduation (I'll have to look for my videotape of that event)... I reminded him that he is now several years older than I was when he was born and yet I can sometimes feel that it was practically yesterday that I was taking him to start nursery school.

I got to see our town from the air on Friday! If I have a window seat I try to see if I can find any recognizable landmarks... Usually I don't see anything I recognize until we are coming in low over Warwick (which is where the "Providence" airport is actually located) -- oh, look, there's Interstate 95. Maybe the flight path to and from JFK doesn't pass over us? Could all of those planes crossing overhead be U.S.Airways flights from Pittsburgh? Because this time I could see a river below, flowing into the ocean -- the Thames River in Connecticut? -- and then could just make out the shape of Block Island and could see the coastline below -- hey, those are the beaches, should be able to see Point Judith soon -- and we're turning a bit -- could that be Wakefield? -- and down there, yes, that's South Kingstown Junior High -- and another slight turn and it's as if we are flying exactly above Route 1 and I can see Narraganset Bay and the Jamestown bridge over to Jamestown Island and beyond that the Newport Bridge leading to (where else?) Newport -- the bridges I drive across every day I go to work. We had descended from 30,000 feet over Connecticut and most of our flight over Rhode Island was probably at 10,000 feet or so (purely a guess on my part based on the size of things below compared with prior experience of what things look like when the pilot makes announcements like "We are now passing through 11,000 feet on our way to our cruising altitude of 32,000 feet.")... Anyway, it was very cool.

Bev Sykes has included my site in her list of links. (Thank you, Bev!) And one of her recent entries she mentioned that (science fiction author) David Gerrold is a friend of hers and that his new book (Jumping Off the Planet) is now out. I'd read a selection from that online last year and have been waiting for it to be published. Okay, so that has now been added to my birthday wishlist.

I'm beginning to fade now. Actually, I wonder just how alert I've been all along, because I just realizd that the newspaper had been in the driveway when Jennifer had left this morning and I forgot to pick it up and bring it in. I guess my thoughts were more about her and her journey. I am planning on working from home today but I think I need to grab a little nap or I'm not going to be very effective. *yawn* It's almost seven a.m. so I could catch an hour nap and still have a reasonablly early start on working.

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