Friday, November 15, 2013

The Visit

The highway stretches endlessly in front of me. The trees, stripped of their leaves, appear ominous and sculpture-like against the gray overcast sky. Thanksgiving is in two weeks and winter is approaching. Winter is my least favorite of the four seasons. I prefer the heat.  I'm much happier with the sun shining on my face from a bright blue sky with water droplets glistening on my skin after a swim.  Less clothing, more hours of daylight and more time to be outside indulging in my habitual biking and running.

The miles pass slowly, seemingly in time with the gloomy horizon. 

This trip is a pivotal one for our family. We are on our way north from Indianapolis to Livonia, Michigan for a college visit.  Both kids are along for the ride and laughter fills the car.

My daughter is a senior in high school and will graduate in May. I have admittedly been in denial about the fact that she is growing up. (Thus aging me!) As the hours tick by in the five hour drive,  my thoughts drift back to my own college visits when I was 18.  (I will keep the number of years that have evaporated since then a relative mystery.)  Needless to say it was just slightly longer than 18 years. As often is the case with my creative mind, I linger over thoughts and dreams from that part of my life.  I reminisce various life choices I have made and indulge in daydreams of  how my life might look had I done some things differently. I am thankful I possess an active imagination, as it serves a purpose in my writing endeavors.  A small dabble in fantasy.  After some time I snap back to reality and take some time to appreciate the way things turned out.  I look in the rear view mirror at the two faces that are perfect illustrations of my choices. Nick and Kendall.  Gratitude envelopes me in its embrace.

The obligatory selfie. More laughter erupts.

The kids are living testament to the fact that I wouldn't want to go back and alter my past, even if I could. And to lament my past  is something I can't afford to do.  Even in day dreams. No regrets! The decisions made are rooted in who I am today and I wouldn't change that. My feet are firmly planted in the now and it's my moves from here on out that will alter my future.  

The visit went extremely well, and put all of us at ease.

The college was picturesque and rather small.  It would not have been a school I would have chosen, but my dear daughter does not thrive in crowds or big cities like her Momma. Where I am at peace amongst the hustle and bustle she is content with a slower paced environment. She loved the school. It was a long drive, so she would be far enough away to gain independence yet close enough for me to visit. Not too often.  (Easy for me to say now, but Michigan boasts beautiful scenery for bike rides. Just saying...)

The next several months will be a whirlwind time spent with Kendall.  She will turn 18, graduate from high school, languish in the last summer before venturing off to college and into adulthood.  Bittersweet.  Yet I will walk with her through this journey with love and friendship.



  1. Wow, that last photo looks like a film set. I truly wish your daughter all the success she deserves in life. You must be feeling so proud, and time does fly by quickly, so enjoy every moment you have until she departs to make a new life for herself.

  2. Lamenting the past? Yep...we need to keep moving.
    Great piece Michelle.
    Cheers, ic

  3. Gorgeous shot of the tall wintry trees! I'm with you, Michelle, in having no regrets about the past. We see ourselves in our children, just as they see themselves in us. We are where we are now by going where we have gone. Best of luck to Kendall in making her college selection! Having lived in the South most of my life, I used to lament our warm, mild winters and sultry summers, but now, I am happy to live in this climate. Like you, I prefer as little clothing as possible!! ;-)

  4. Michelle, winter is my least favorite season too, I much prefer warm weather. I also tend to be an indulger in daydreams of times gone by. You have two great kids, and speaking as someone who was never able to have children, that is a true blessing! Love your selfie! Good luck to Kendall on her college choice and that beautiful scenery will be perfect for bike rides. :)

  5. Michelle, add me to the list of summer season lovers and for all the reasons you mentioned. But I do enjoy a long car ride in autumn, with the red and yellow leaves falling slowly all around. I think it's marvelous Kendall chose to attend a small university. It's more intimate and the students get much more individual attention. My daughter goes to one now and she absolutely loves it. As for the past, it's called the past for a reason-it's best just to leave it behind.

  6. Thanks my friends for your comments! :-) xoxoxo