Turn back the clock…

This is something I'd of never seen in the Midwest. Stopped the Harley on little-used SC-341 near Darlington, SC for this shot of cotton.

My guess is the first heady days of college life have gone poof for most kids.  Their lives have settled into a routine; study (their parents hope), eat, sleep, hang out with friends, and sure, party.   Okay, maybe those aren’t ranked in the right order.

By now, because they can’t stand the suspense of not knowing what’s going on, parents have initiated some sort of ‘how are you?’ contact.  That’s the typical formula.  Probably a mixture of emails and texts.  Schools might as well yank mailboxes because those will never see much use.  No, scrub that.  Then the credit card offers would never have a place to land.  But on further review, maybe yanking the mailboxes isn’t such a bad thing.

I’ve heard from a dozen people or so about my op-ed piece in the Charlotte Observer.  What a great idea, some say.  We should all do that, say others.   I don’t know.  Maybe my time, the time of correspondence, has truly gone by.  You can’t open up the newspaper these days without Google trumpeting a new something or other to make our lives even faster or more socially networked than they are now.  More efficient, too.  But we damn well can’t turn back the clock, that’s for sure.  I’m whining on a Monday morning.  Time for coffee.


Here is last week’s letter to Ellen and Reid.

September 7, 2010

Ellen/Reid: Reid, it was good to talk to you at length yesterday.  I like the way you think although I don’t pretend to understand but a small portion of your digital world.  This morning I’ll open up your emails and try to get through the web site stuff.  I really appreciate your help.  By this weekend most of the heavy lifting copy-wise should be finished.  And be sure to send at least cell phone pix of your new bachelor digs.  There’s something about privacy that you just can’t beat.  You shouldn’t be concerned at all that you don’t live in what others perceive as the tony section of Chicago.  It’s all about what makes you tick, not them.

So today was your first day in the classroom, Ellen.  Will be anxious to get the lowdown on your first week with the kids.  No doubt you will be a smash hit just like you always have been.  Good to get back in the whirl of teaching.  That is your realm.  Your weekend had to be lively and exciting what with Tim’s brother in town.

I overlooked a good Bubba story last week.  When Felicia and I were out west – out in western North Carolina – we were fishing a little stream on Saturday morning.  I was several yards out front working my way up the pools when I turned around to see where she was and she was frantically motioning me to hurriedly get back to her.  Maybe I’d come a little too close with a fly or something.  But her anxiety was real: we had a visitor.  It seems a local Good ‘Ol Boy, shirtless and maybe toothless and his backwoods element, had been spying on us from the bank.  Felicia had spotted him peering through the underbrush.  My guess is he was eyeing her instead of me, but it was fairly unnerving.  I never saw him, but a local confirmed later that Bubba was a little out of kilter.  All we could think about was Deliverance all over again.  We got out of there real fast.

Nothing new to report on the job front.  In a few week’s time I’ll be done here.  Already I’ve packed up most of my personal belongings and my cube is nearly barren of all but bank paperwork.  I’ve been taking stock of the past few years here, trying to make sense of what has unfolded (as opposed to unraveled).  I think I was a square peg in a round-holed world.  In the strictest sense, banking was simply not my cup of tea.  Now it’s on to whatever it is that lies ahead of me.  Fleishman-Hillard is a possibility but only as a contractor.  Better than nothing and it is in my wheelhouse.  The Charlotte Observer has approached me to write a regular column on senior housing issues – hey, I’m a senior – but it will hardly pay the bills.  But that’s where your help on the web site will come in handy, Reid.  I really appreciate you pulling all that stuff together and I’ll get at it this morning.  You’ve in essence dragged me kicking and screaming into the new world.  It will be a slow build but will be interesting if not fun.

Kind of a slow weekend in these parts.  Rode through Asheboro, NC and up to Winston-Salem to the Harley dealer.  Only then did we realize we’d already been to that dealer.  A pair of idiots.  It was a true senior moment.  The other high point was staining the front deck with some sort of water-proofing compound.  Big whoop.  The tomato plant, however, has made a resurgence in the face of my best efforts to neglect it.  There are fruits on the vine although the orbs are size-challenged.

This time next week I’ll be in Idaho with Bob and Dave.  I’m somewhat anxious about the trip because it is going against my grain.  That is, hold fast to the home front to keep plugging away for a job.  But has Bob has hammered into me time and again, things can wait.  Ready to see the Real West again even in the face of angst.  FYI…I will likely head to Nebraska to help your uncle Ralph tie things up relative to the home and to see mom in Grand Island.  There may even be side trips to St. Paul and Chicago, so watch out.  Keep your cell phones charged and ready for a call.


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Filed under College, Contact, Correspondence, Mailing, Parenting, Writing to college students

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