Tag Archives: empty nesters

Passing 100…


Every letter ends with 'Love, Dad' and a variation of a smiley face. The eyes, however, are the window to my soul.

I’ll pass 100 posts on Weight of a Single Page within the next week.  Lucky for you it’s not 200.  Or 300.  Wonder what this would be in dog years?  That’s a rhetorical question.  (Just a heads up: I will ask you to pass this blog along to the parents of college students and other empty nesters because beyond my friends, those souls are really my target audience.  I haven’t reached very many, if any, of them.)

Someone pointed out a few weeks back that this was like reading a mini-soap opera.  Only without a large national daytime audience or a character named Erica.

Perhaps that’s what my week-to-week, year-by-year campaign of letters has been; a compilation of what grips a real family in real life.  As you’ve heard me drone on before, the campaign has morphed from filling Ellen and Reid’s college time with lots of homey nothingness to somewhat less nothingness and more tangents of a serious vein.  They’ve seen it all: divorce, upheaval of a move from friends and family, uncertainty in a new city, uncertainty in a new job, family loss, and more.

Cliche as it sounds, at the end of the day I feel a deep seated need to stay in touch with fast paced, young adult lives that are solidly on their own course.  I’m not comfortable on the phone and emails don’t cut it for me, so letters seem the right fit for my style of contact.  I will go to my grave (hopefully not anytime soon) in the fervid belief that letters ought to have a place – a rock solid place – in how we communicate and stay in touch with our kids and others who are important to us.

A word of warning: get ready for post 101 and beyond.

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Here is last week’s note to the young ‘uns.  A couple of paragraphs have been pulled for privacy’ sake.

August 16, 2010

Ellen/Reid: From all appearances you guys had a great time in northern Minnesota.  Reid, it’s cool that your boys would come up to spend a few days with you.  I remember them when you were all just peanuts.  The pagoda is the sort of spot that’s made for people to congregate, especially with a new kitchen.  Ellen, your photo of Henry napping in the car was just a hoot.  What a dog.  Makes me want to get one.  Hey, maybe now is the time.

Really glad about your teaching gig, Ellen.  Finally you have landed, and they’ll be awfully glad to have you once they see you in action.  I am so proud and pleased.  Take a few pictures of you classroom now and then so I can get a feel for the surroundings.

Got my first rejection letter last week.  The salient line in the short note was the job was filled “with another applicant.”  It was a church PR job and would have been a nice fit for me but the chance for an interview never panned out.  That’s okay, although it’s never nice to get such a letter.  Things went fine in Raleigh with the PR agency although in hindsight I likely could’ve done a better job in that interview and in the subsequent HR interview a few days later.  Haven’t heard anything since and that’s not the best of signs.  I know a lot about the real estate topics we talked about but when the HR guy asked if I had any questions about the agency, I didn’t come up with much beyond seeking assurance the agency would communicate differently than the one here are the bank.  Should’ve researched the agency more in terms of their clients and how they operate.  Hope to hear more from them later in the week but the silence so far is kind of deafening.  Since the job situation here at the bank is more or less DOA, my best bet may be to go down the freelance path although from experience I know it takes a long time to build a book of business let alone reach the point where money is coming in the door.  But I will keep plugging away at it.  My plan this week is to send out a very short cover letter (I’ll send one t you so you can see the direction I’m headed and you can make suggestions) plus AP writing samples and my resume to all the PR and ad agency shops in Charlotte.

Went fishing in the “mountains” near Charlotte over the weekend with Felicia, and the sum total length-wise of the four trout caught would not be as long as the width of this line.  Roughly the size of the shiners you catch perch with up at Cass Lake.  Very small but it felt good to get a line in the water.  We’ll try it again this weekend in far western North Carolina.  We got soaked by a medium hard rain on the hike back to the car but it was still fun.  The air was warm so it wasn’t like hypothermia was about to set in.  Ellen, a friend recommended I try caddis flies next time.  Ask Tim if that would be his recommendation as the temperatures cool into the fall months.

Well, I’m gonna take to the keyboard right now and begin to bang out those letters to agencies.  You guys be good, work hard (nice going on the job, EP) and I’ll be in touch this weekend.

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Filed under Adult Children, College, Correspondence, Creativity, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized, Writing to adult children