My fifth daughter, Lydia, left for college yesterday. She'll be a junior at the University of Florida, majoring in ceramics. With the exception of the semester that her next older sister spent in Australia as an exchange student, this is the first time any of ours has moved away from home to go away to college.
Another older sister suggested that we put together a surprise gift basket in UF colors, orange and blue. I found a tall orange rubber laundry basket and a matching smaller one at Old Time Pottery. I filled the smaller basket with a blue towel and hand towel, blue desk lamp with a box of bulbs, blue water bottle, blue and orange bath puff, and Florida Gator magnetic clips. Oh, and some dark chocolate and a package of highlighters. Her four older sisters gave her a bunch of other great stuff like first aid supplies, toiletries, hangers, gift card, snacks, and other goodies, so we easily filled up the hamper with all of our stuff.
We also decided to have a quick going away dinner as a family, though not everyone was there at the same time during the evening. I found the funky cake on sale at Walmart. Lydia doesn't drive a VW bug, but she does have an awesome motorcycle!
I lost track of how many hours we spent packing up her bedroom in the week before she left. She's a prolific artist, so there were all her supplies, as well as clay sculptures, wire sculptures, oil paintings, ink drawings, bas relief panels, and two large and heavy frescoes. I wondered if she'd be able to fit it all in her bedroom. She did, with the exception of one that came home and a few that we forgot to put in the U-Haul truck.
Yes, they even got the motorcycle strapped in!
Then off we went!
She is very fortunate to be renting a room from a sweet Christian family that her sister has known for years. It is only five or ten minutes from campus and from the restaurant where she starts work tomorrow.
My two main jobs after we got the truck unloaded were to hang up all of her clothes and to arrange her books, videos, file box, pictures, and art (hers and others) on the book case. She told me to put them in categories: classics, modern fiction, Christian, French, cooking, art history... I donated the book case to the cause and now I have two big bins of books sitting in my living room that I took out of it. Guess I'm going to have to shuffle my own book collection around!
In the process I found some old photos of my girl. She looks so much like I did at those ages!
Time to say goodbye. I didn't cry. She's just away for the weekend, isn't she?
Still in denial,