Well, young Frederick is off at school. He and my parents drove out to Eugene last week, and then my parents drove back. The last one to leave the nest. It's exciting - Fred's been looking forward to school for at least a year now - but I have this vague sense of concern surrounding the whole affair. He's off on his own now, a young man in the big world. Of course, he spent the entire summer driving himself around the country fighting forest fires... but going to college is different somehow. There's now turning back, no returning to being a kid. And I'm vaguely concerned about my parents - they must be sad, they must miss him. (Funny that I didn't have these thoughts when I went off to college. I was about 10 times less independent than Fred at that age.) I guess I didn't expect the empty nest to affect me too.
In other home-related news, I just booked another flight home to Duluth. My grandma just turned 80, so the whole family is celebrating over MEA weekend. I haven't been up to Baudette (where my mom grew up) for a long time, and I haven't seen my cousins up there in ages. I'm looking forward to: sitting around the kitchen table, squished on the bench between extended family members, drinking coffee, eating Grandma's cinnamon twists and listening to gossip and stories about growing up on the Farm; going for long walks down perfectly straight east-west and north-south roads, smelling the pastures and listening to gossip and stories about growing up on the Farm; helping out with big family meals, making hotdish and Jell-O salad for the masses, so no matter who shows up when, they won't go hungry, washing dishes and listening to gossip and stories about growing up on the Farm.