The End of History…

Well that’s the wettest graduation I’ve ever sat through…but before we get to that, here’s the cottage the girlchild and I are sleeping in…I’m downstairs and she’s upstairs. The dead possum is off to the right…

It was dead when we got here, just to be clear.

When I made the 3 AM hike to pee (there’s no bathroom in our cottage), the box of cookies we bought had been dragged out of the house and strewn all over the path…

Our current bet is a raccoon, although the house cat is very fat and we’ve seen a skunk…they don’t usually climb furniture though, I think.

Here’s the more rustic bathroom, where we’ve been showering. It’s not bad…a little cobbled together.

The shed near our cottage is apparently where history goes to die…not just possums.

Back to wet grad. This is before the rain started really coming down…the school gave out rain ponchos…helluva expense.

Later it was pouring…kind of miserably so. Basically, as soon as your kid’s college was called, you left for shelter. Luckily, they didn’t call all 3500 or so student names in the stadium…

This guy had a garbage bag for raingear and a cardboard box for a hat…

The students…boychild walking to his seat, no umbrella.

What, you can’t see him in that photo? I thought we did well to pick him out…

Truly a miserable day for graduation…

From there, we headed to the tent for his degree in Government…a much smaller event, and mostly the rain had stopped by now.

Walking back from graduation to the car, yet another waterfall…

That fat cat again…

No, that’s not another cat…that’s the porch skunk…not listed on the AirBnb site…

Graduation photos…well, the boychild doesn’t want me to put them on here…so I’ll respect that.

I’m currently sitting outside, getting eaten alive again by mosquitoes, typing this while the two men discuss whether this could actually be train cottages (where we’re staying, she claims they were built in the 1830s), while the two women are reviewing homes for the girlchild’s graduation next year. The old man went up to bed, I think. Tomorrow we leave for home…driving back to Syracuse, flying home in two jumps. The boychild will hopefully pick up his car on Tuesday and head back home when he’s got the apartment clean…it probably won’t be a straightforward trip. I’m not sure how long he’ll take, but hopefully he’ll give me a heads up, because his bed is covered in quilts. I need some warning.

Hopefully I’ll get a bunch more videos graded on the way back too. This has not been an efficient trip…not enough sleep, too many things that had to be done…but it was worth seeing him graduate. An achievement to be sure. I’ve got no brain for any more words…

Hello Cornell…

Last week, the boychild and I visited Cornell University so he could make a decision about college for next year. He had said all along that he didn’t need to visit a college to decide, but hey, when reality is staring you in the face and it’s a few thousand miles away, then apparently you change your mind.

So I scheduled a last-minute trip during his (and my) Spring Break and their Cornell Days. I watched the weather and was a little freaked out about snow being forecast, especially since we were flying into Syracuse and driving to Ithaca (cheaper). We got into Syracuse (and Ithaca) pretty late. Luckily, I’ve realized that all college towns in the East have the same pizza place that delivers (yes, even to hotel rooms) late at night.

The next day, we ventured out into the rain to the registration area and a class and an info session and lunch and the bookstore, but it was nasty wet rain (I actually bought an umbrella, it was so bad…I know. I’m from Southern California and my old umbrella had BROKEN way back in January or February and I hadn’t replaced it because I DIDN’T NEED TO. I realize my entitlement). I took zero pictures during the rain, mostly because it was so wet and then it got cold, dropping about 40 degrees from the morning to the late afternoon. So ALL of these are from the next day. Well, except this lovely photo, taken from the (crappy) hotel room window when I realized it was SNOWING. Yes, I don’t get out much.

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It’s not even sticking at that point. We actually went out in that to find a local brewpub for dinner.

The boychild doesn’t like to write his name…in fact, I have no problems posting this online, because you can’t even read it (OK, not really).

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He did wear this, but under his jacket. OK, wait, I lied. I did take pictures at Buttermilk Falls State Park, where we went before dinner, just to get a walk in. It was bloody freezing and snowing and absolutely different from what he’s used to here at home, and gorgeous.

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I’m not sure you can argue with any of that. Certainly, visits to see him at college will be fun. Although I might avoid some of the snowier months.

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To many of my readers, this style of house and yard is probably very familiar, but San Diego doesn’t do it this way.

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The next morning, we headed back out to campus to wander around in NON-rainy weather. This I believe is one of the cooperative houses on campus…there were a few of them. At this point, there were some brief snow flurries, but mostly it was just a pretty (and bloody freezing) day. I managed to keep my nose from freezing off my face, but only barely.

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Boychild acknowledged that he might need gloves and better shoes for next year. He wore short sleeves the entire time we were there, but the jacket I bought him for Christmas was entirely the right move.

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There’s a lake on campus (it’s not very big, but it’s cute) and a bridge going over the river that exits the lake…

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The falls were very impressive in the morning…

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He was kind of amazed by the color of the water and the walls of the ravine on each side.

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I was kind of amazed by the ice…

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And the tree icicles.

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Towards the bridge we walked over in the rain yesterday.

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I know. Not much snow.

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This time, we just wandered around to get a feel for the place when water wasn’t sluicing into your eyes.

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He likes it. He says it’s pretty.

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And it has its own art museum.

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Lots of old buildings that remind me of going to school in Wales.

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With Spring just around the corner.

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We ate in there the day before…the bathrooms looked like something out of Hogwart’s, and there was a library with lots of soft chairs and tables, a really old library, that I was too lame to take pictures of…

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Part of the student housing is down this big hill…so I made him walk down it…

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Looking back up at the main campus…

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So he could then experience walking back UP that hill. Definitely a good exercise option if you have to do that a few times a day.

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The weather stayed nice (but still freezing!) the whole time we walked around.

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When we were done exploring (he had decided…he needed no more exploring), we headed off for Syracuse…driving the Bob Nida (my dad) way: If there is a two-line road running parallel to the main highway, then you should be on it, because it is more interesting than the main highway.

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Plus, it has more cemeteries (I warned the boy that I like these…he has experienced my cemetery habit before)…

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And the trees and blue skies with the snow made it quite lovely…

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Meanwhile, back in San Diego, it was SO HOT (per the girlchild)…

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It was in the 80s.

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Certainly a temperature difference.

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We had some time when we got to Syracuse, so we went to a local lake…

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Where fish were dropping from the sky…

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And geese were squawking…

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and trees were falling in the lake…

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More icicles (things I NEVER see).

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Anyway, the goal was to help him decide and it worked, and now I know where he’ll be for probably the next 4 years, so that helps me be less freaked out by it. Besides, I figure he’ll WANT to come back to Southern California after 4 years of freezing his butt off…and it gives me a good excuse to go out there and hike some new trails.