When we moved our older son to College Station for his freshman year at Texas A&M, I think the whole move from start to finish lasted about two hours. This encompassed parking and unloading the car, hauling his belongings up to the third floor, putting things away and making the bed. It was even easier when our younger son moved. Freshmen in the Corps of Cadets at A&M are not allowed those homey little touches that make dorm life bearable. No posters or other wall decor, no television, no mini-fridge, no curtains, no carpeting, no microwave; just clothes (and not much of that), toiletries and a computer. We didn't even have to move him in. While the freshmen and their parents were having a nice lunch and meeting with the brass, the sophomores hauled all the junk to the dorms.
Friday, August 19, found us heading west on I-20 toward Lubbock and Texas Tech hauling another college freshman and a trailer that was 75% clothes, 20% make-up and hair products, and 5% "other". We were barely out of Weatherford when we ran into traffic. We inched along glacier-like for 30 minutes before it became clear there was an accident ahead that was the cause of all the fuss. Turned out a cattle trailer had gone over a steep embankment killing a number of cattle, the carcasses heaped together in a big pile. We still had hours of driving ahead of us, so it wasn't the most auspicious start.
Saturday morning, while my husband went in search of a parking space that wasn't in the next county, my daughter and I presented ourselves in the Chitwood Hall lobby for check-in. Key in hand, we peeked into the room first. As expected, it was small and drab, but the A/C worked and as we only had to climb one flight of stairs, no one was complaining. Unlike her brothers' moves, Paige's freshman move-in took all day. First, we had to cover the bulletin board with fabric and ribbon trim. Then we had to cover the ugly bolsters on the bed in coordinating fabric. Then the bed was made, the heaps and heaps of clothes sorted and put away, sorted again and put away, then sorted a third time and put away. I was about to haul everything out for the fourth time --- my OCD tendencies were in overdrive that day ---- when Richard lost his patience with me and insisted I let it go. Besides, we were way overdue for lunch.
We met friends and their daughters at some eatery near the campus. We had a tough time finding a parking space to accommodate the trailer, finally winding up in a nearby church lot. This church, I don't remember the denomination, had posted a bunch of very un-Christian-like signs that basically said we would go to hell if we parked on their private lot. Since it was Saturday and the lot was completely empty, we decided to risk it, even though Richard spent most of lunch running out every five minutes to make sure things were okay. I don't know what worried him most: a possible fine or his eternal soul.
That Saturday night, for the third and last time, I left my heart behind with a scared college freshman. I don't know how we managed to cram the contents of a walk-in closet into one 46" wide, or where the last 19 years disappeared to, or how a tiny baby girl can grow into a beautiful young woman, but we did and they did and she did.
Hey kiddo, if you are reading this, I know you'll do just fine.
PRUNELLA (aka MOM)
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