We are at an ending. Today it became very real, as my daughter and her girlfriend moved out, into their own apartment. It is their second attempt.
The first was made a bit hastily, and with no clear understanding of all that independence truly entails, nor with much forethought to the reality the environment is abstract until one is immersed within it, and finds it not at all to ones liking, with no easy solution. Then it becomes something of which one is very much aware.
So, it was back home to me for a final stay - a very welcome stay, as I have seen far less of my daughter than my son over these past years, and previous attempts at living under my roof inevitably met with my rules. Until this stay, my rules have always lost. This is progress. I am proud.
Johnathen moves out soon, to be ensconced in a gated loft community. He's on a tight budget and learning to make do; today he asked for mere advice to repair some minor deficiencies on his car, as opposed to asking that I perform the repairs.
He's developed some balance in his life - in his case, a little less play and a little more work, motivated at last by the realization that earning money s actually kind of rewarding. Perhaps, he's beginning to realize, even more rewarding than merely being given it.
Cooper, bless his soul, schedules time to see me, he works so hard. This from the boy who did not know how to make himself do things he did not want to do. His words! With witnesses! He now works overtime on a regular basis, manages his affairs in an exemplary fashion, shows concern for everyone and has adopted the role of generational mentor.
He's begun the process of mastering debate and rhetoric and dialogue. A bit hasty with his words - the ideas are there, but it takes time to learn to articulate them under pressure. The only recourse is to pause and ask for a moment.
I look forward to a pipe for my birthday, as he's promised to get me one.
Nina spent the day packing sundry items for the apartment. This is chaos without her. Children moving off, house to be placed for rent, unattended closing on the new home in Moravia, then a brief sojourn to unpack the household goods we'll ship in mid April, check our our home, make lists of tasks for the winter, and straightaway right back to work here.
If ever there was a match for my lassaize-faire attitude as regards details, it is her. A master of organization and planning. More importantly, she is the kind of woman who is willing to actually roll up her sleeves and get to the work of homesteading, undaunted by the prospect, eager for it even. And quite smashing in cutoffs, working in the garden, an sun hat hiding her face. Most importantly, I love her, and know that I am loved by her.
Looking at my turning wood, and figuring what, of all of it, I absolutely positively must not leave behind; and what I might safely give my neighbors for camp-fire wood.
I remarked to Nina, after making the sauce for tomorrow's family dinner, that we are someday going to look back at this period, and in our memories it will hold some pithy title: The Georgia Years, perhaps. We all do this - I have my life divided into sections, in my mind, when I think back upon it.
But this will be different, because for all of us this diaspora will be new. Moreover, it will also be shared. So, with this eclectic group that has, however mismatched and tattered, come to bond into a family, this chapter's title will at last be not of my naming.
I wonder what we'll call it.