At long last, Erin called us to report on her first week of college which was really just the first week of dorm life since classes haven’t started yet. She reported that she had had a wonderful time but the real interesting part will start on Monday.  Evan also called to inform me that he car would not start so when the week begins we’ll be doing some long distance car repair advising.  His classes start on Monday as well so I imagine he’ll just leave the car alone until he can get the first day or two out of the way.

Well… our nest is empty.  It feels really strange.

We’ll get used to it though.  Melissa got a facebook message from one of her friends that said “Just between us, the empty nest rocks!”  That sounds promising.

Of course, Erin is just barely gone.  Her room is still a wreck – just as she left it and she’ll be back many times before she could be considered truly “moved out”.  But we’re looking at many days of nobody but us in the house so that counts as an empty nest I think. Erin is extremely independent and was chomping at the bit to move off to college; I don’t expect her to come back home unless the dorm is closed. 

Thus far, all we’ve done is watch some TV shows on the DVR and I’ve worked at a couple of projects; which is exactly what we would have done anyway.  But still it feels different.

For several years I’ve kept a blank book in my backpack.  In it I’ve written down everything I want to do and build and visit.  I guess now we can start working off those things more quickly.  Many things are already checked off since we’ve always had at least some free time.  But now perhaps we can check them off more quickly.

We took Erin to OSU Friday.  Everything went well.

We lucked out on the weather.  We’d been eyeballing the long range weather forecast for as long as the date had been on it and had been really nervous about the 105 degree temperatures but as the day approached, the forecast got modified until it was in the mid-90’s.  We got some rain the day before and so things were a bit cloudy with those residual effects.  In short, the weather was a good as we had a right to expect in August.   Better in fact.

We had everything loaded the night before and Evan drove in from Fayetteville after his last day at his internship.  So on Friday morning we just took off.

This may be the first time we’ve ever gone anywhere and not forgotten anything.  We did not have to make that run to Wal-Mart to pick up the things we didn’t know we needed.  I guess we’ve done it enough by now.  Of course, Mel and Erin had practiced the packing for a week in advance.  As we were unloading Erin spotted a girl from church and so had somebody to hang out with after we were done. 

Again, we lucked out and a parent was finishing up right as we went inside and gave us a rolling flat cart to put our stuff on.  With that and the two wheeled dolly that I brought along with me, we got everything in about two trips.  We then spent an hour or so in setting up her room.  That all went smoothly and it was quiet since she was moving in early and almost nobody was around.

After that we went over to Eskimo Joe’s for a snack – mostly because Evan had never been there.  We then just basically dropped her off, gave her a hug, and left.  That’s what she wanted to happen anyway.  Since that time we have not heard a peep from her which means she’s busy doing things with people.  She had some sort of training to get ready for helping others move in on Monday but other than that, I really don’t know what happened.  Her updates to Facebook and Twitter were minimal at best and so we’ll just have to wait.  We had mentioned seeing her on Labor Day but there’s actually a game that day that she has tickets for so she doesn’t need to be coming home then.  So who knows when we’ll hear any real news?

We just drove on home with Evan in the back seat telling us all about how his job went during the summer.

Well, Erin went to Stillwater the past two days and signed up for classes. Mel and I went too.

It was a two day long affair but I think it could have been done in one. We chose to stay in The Atherton which is a hotel on campus in the enormous student union building. It was average as hotels go but was Oh So convenient.

For her part, Erin went through all the required motions and had no more than the usual emotional highs and lows when it came time to actually sign up for classes. The process has not improved very much in the past 30 years and there were a few high intensity moments but now it’s done.

Everybody’s still tired but in a pretty good way.

Next week: vacation.

This was a busy weekend.  Erin had a big interview, Evan came home briefly, and I got lots of woodworking done.  It was a good weekend overall.

Erin applied for the CEAT scholarship at OSU.  This is a big chunk o’ money within the engineering school and they actually invite the students who make the final cut in for an in-person interview.  Although I didn’t realize it until I got there, the hotel and all meals were included.  Whee!

The interview part only took about an hour but since there were so many students being interviewed, it took several hours with lots of waiting.  It need not have taken an overnight stay with the associated banquet but I guess that’s their call.  At any rate, Erin thinks she did well.  She should have after all the preparation we went through.  We had her go through all her application materials to make sure she remembered what she said and then came up with some sample interview questions. 

Now we wait.

Evan came home to work at Macy’s mostly just so he could stay on the payroll.  If you don’t work during any calendar month, you fall out of the system and have to get rehired so he was just keeping his status active.  We were gone to OSU when he arrived and he was working when we got back so we never saw him until about 11:00 pm Saturday night.  We skipped church the next day and went out to breakfast just so we could all spend a little time together.  After that, he took off since he’s carrying 18 hours and had stuff to do.  According to facebook, some of that stuff involved skylarking with his buddies but that college for you.

On Sunday afternoon, I took off for my friend’s house to try and finish off my orrery.  I didn’t make it that far but almost.  But that’s something for another entry.