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Posts Tagged ‘Graduation’

Mack Grad 2 w Cork

Corky and Mack

My son is here visiting after the great graduation celebration.  It is always wonderful to see him because he lives so far away in California.

This visit is extra special  though –  1) because of the graduation, and 2) because we saw all three grandgirls, 3) because Corky extended his stay and we can catch up on his life, and 4) because he is so darned helpful.

All in the space of a few days:

  • He moved umbrellas  and heavy pots to get us ready for summer.
  • He added a music app to our computers and phones.
  • He helped his Dad with technical things in the car.
  • He found us a highly recommended Handy Man.
  • He solved the problem of stink bugs in the tractor gas tank. (How did they get in there anyway?)
  • He installed dark blinds in the guest bedroom so guests can sleep longer now.
  • And more.

He is our pride and joy anyway, but this visit has to be marked down as special and this is our way of saying “Thank you son.  We love you.”

 

 

 

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3 Grandgirls II

D Jess n BIt was an auspicious ending to four years of dedicated study/parties/friendships/and fun.  Bill and I, our son, and our three grandgirls celebrated the night before with dinner at the Sheridan Livery Inn in downtown Lexington, Virginia.

Then yesterday Jess graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VA Tech)!

The Graduate

We all staggered awake at 6:00AM to get Jess to the stadium field on time (by 9:00 AM).  As it turned out, 6:00 wasn’t early enough.  It was stop and go traffic backed up for miles, all inching toward the same parking lot.  At 9:05 Jess jumped ship and walked ran the rest of the way.

Would we miss the ceremony?  Talk about stress!

Safely parked, we then attacked the bleachers of Mt. Everest (I mean Lane Stadium).   In a high altitude breathing vacuum, we managed to find seats high above “the madding crowd” where, surprisingly, natural breathing eventually returned.

We actually spotted Jess and her cap in the thousands of graduates below.

Can you see her in this crowd too?  She’s the one in the white cap – front row right across from the boy/or maybe a girl in jeans.1st white cap across from man in jenes

Anyway – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, gave the commencement address.  I thought he was truly inspiring as he urged graduates to positively change the world with open minded interpretation of technology and  innovative thinking.

Miraculously, after all was said and done, we were able to find each other again in an atmosphere of general chaos.

It was then I knew what Mr. Schmidt meant about changing the world.  Our family would never have connected without cell phone communication.   And Bill and I would never have found our way out of the parking lot without a GPS system in the car.

But Congratulations again Jess on all your accomplishments.  We wish you well as you head for the graduate school program in Human Resource Management at Michigan State University!  I have a feeling you will change the world.

We were a tired crew arriving back in Lexington yesterday afternoon.  Hungry too.  But it was a beautiful day filled with beautiful smiles and a whole lot of pride.Kitchen Rampage

Animated Visiting

 

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Father & Daughter

It seems like yesterday a child arrived 

and my son was smitten with great pride

Look, a moment captured,

when all our dreams were in their eyes.

She is our oldest grandgirl, Jess

now graduating from Virginia Tech.

Graduate school is the next step

and our dreams are in her eyes.

 

 

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Crochet Class 1

There were no senior parties or prom nights.

There was no need to find a pretty dress.

But having completed three classes/days at the Stitching Post in downtown Lexington, Virginia, I am now a crochet graduate!

Crochet class 2

Not all of us completed our “market bags.”  In fact, I don’t think anyone finished except our erstwhile teacher, but we were awfully close.

That called for a celebration!

Goodies were brought in for a gala  last day of school, along with individual mini wine bottles designed for demure sipping.

Crochet Class 3

I agreed to a new crochet project – an open weave rustic shawl called Overcast!

Teacher Ellie brought her finished version in for viewing.  It is beautiful!  “Oh yes, I want to do that one for sure!”Crochet class 4 Dymph 2

Teacher “Dymph” helped in finding appropriate yarn, and Ellie demonstrated how to get the pattern from an online site called Ravelry.

Yep – set to go!  But now nervous fear was setting in.  There is safety in having experts and other struggling companions nearby, and after only three days in the company of this diverse group, I was feeling the loss of good friends.

“I will miss you,” I said in solemn sadness.

“Noooo.  We knit here and there too, and you can always join us

to crochet and get help when you need it,” they said.

So this graduation is different.

This graduation is only the first chain,

to the next row in the pattern,

ending off with

the fun and laughter

you can only find with

a set of good friends

who are all

hooked!

 

 

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I am not lost in the desert or in the woods, but quietly sitting at a desk trying to compose the story of my middle grandgirl’s high school graduation.

But, I am lost nevertheless because there are no pictures to accompany this post – no photographs to charm you with the great beauty of three grandgirls (who have inherited their looks, grace and charm from me of course).

Why no photos?

I have misplaced the USB cord or whatever you call the cable cord thing that transfers photos from a little point-and-shoot camera to my laptop (computer that is).  The effects of this loss are simply devastating!

A Writer in the Making

For lo these many years I thought I was an as-yet-unrecognized writer of burgeoning off and on skill.   And now, at last, here it is the supreme test:  How to Describe Just Another High School Graduation, and do it with verve, excitement and joy, all without photographs!

The problem is I am now accustomed to having pictures (or at least A picture) to guide me through the morass of available words.  Bubbling up  are all those words just waiting to be incorporated.  But, it is the photo (even just one) that always triggers The Story.

The Story Sans Photo

The graduation was slated to begin at 8AM!

8AM?  What is WRONG with those people?

That meant arising at 5AM to dress, swill some coffee, and stumble onto the soggy athletic field.  And that meant staying in a motel the night before.  To get to the motel we grimly drove through raging storms from our home in the Shenandoah Valley to the school in chaotic Leesburg, Virginia some three hours away.

Like true explorers, we bravely made our way through violent wind and rain, crawling (in the car) through raging downpours so blinding and so loud as to scream, “STOP – DISASTER AHEAD!”

Couldn’t We Have Ordered the Graduation DVD from Netflix?

Not surprising but we learned the graduation ceremony was moved indoors (still at 8AM however).   Immediate family would see the “real thing” in the gym, and less immediate family (like grandparents),  would watch a giant screen, televised graduation in the school’s auditorium.  It was like going to the movies!

I must say being Less Immediate was preferable to sitting in the bleachers of an athletic field in 90 degree temps, or in the stands of the gym with knees pressing the backs of other grandparents.  The auditorium acoustics were better for us “less immediates” too and the seating was truly plush.

I don’t remember such luxury in my own high school auditorium do you?  The next best thing to this experience would have been watching the DVD from the comfort of my living room!

Free at Last

  • Can you visualize the scene after all diplomas were handed out and all those caps thrown into the air?  Hurrah!  Freedom!
  • And then can you picture 4,000 visitors meeting 400 grads for photographs?
  • And can’t you just see 4,400 humans crunched together in a covered space (out of the rain) designed to hold about 400 max?  This is where much of the hugging and congratulations went on.
  • By the way, did I mention I am claustrophobic?

A Sea of Hope

Graduations are special because all those young faces eager to embark on adult life, represent hope.  They are our future of course, and us oldsters watching from the sidelines, know the pain, pitfalls and stumbling blocks they will face along the way.

We don’t want to scare any of you, but it’s why people cry at weddings.

So even though this was just another high school graduation, the speeches urging students to reach bravely for their dreams had special meaning for those of us who have or have not already reached them.

Those bright and shining faces make us recall the days of our own untried youth, our hopes for the future, and the innocence of ignorants about to face the unknown.

It’s why we cry at weddings.

OK, so I get a bit soppy sometimes, but that’s the privilege of the elderly is it not?

And this particular graduation, culminating in overcrowding under the portico, still presented the first major life challenge:  HOW TO GET OUT OF THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT IN LESS THAN FOUR HOURS!

A Traffic Clog of Epic Proportions!

Note: There is only one way in for drivers going to that school,

and one way out. 

There were 4,000 attendees and 400 grads. 

That’s approximately how many cars?

Are you good at math?

We spent the next hour(s) navigating in sometimes unorthodox ways (like traversing a no-drive median) to get off school premises, and eventually moved on to finally arrive at an overcrowded restaurant (with other graduates and their families) – the place of our family celebration.

 There was still joy aplenty, lots of pictures to be taken, and we all maintained the right air of patience and celebration.   The brunch/lunch was actually delightful and another chance to revel in the pride and prejudice of parents and grandparents in the accomplishments of  progeny.

Storm Chasers Return

Traveling home was once again through a wall of severe rainstorms and tension.  We didn’t know it but we were driving through tornado weather.  There were tornado warnings which we never heard since we were too busy driving, and to say the rain was torrential was to underestimate nature’s wrath.

We made it home in tact to a somewhat traumatized dog who hates to be left, even with a dog loving dog-sitter.

And though we had only been gone overnight, I was sure it was a month or more.

Sleeping it Off

I could be found sleeping most of the next day (occasionally on the floor with Rozie, the dog), and then  through the night, since I evidently managed to stagger from the floor to the bed.

Now,  mostly awake and semi-productive, I recall with pride watching our lovely granddaughter march rapidly across the movie screen to receive her high school diploma.

I knew it was Kendall because they called her name, but I didn’t really see her because her face was covered by very long hair (the same long hair on most of the other female grads).  It must have been a grandparent’s instinct to recognize family offspring.

I am ready now,

prepared to show you pictures.

It was just another graduation,

only there are no photos.

It’s why we cry at weddings.

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