A Presumed End

It’s a strange feeling to be spending what you believe to be your last few days in a place you count as familiar – knowing you may never have a reason to return again. It’s even harder when you know you like the place.  This is what I am experiencing even though it’s not been me who has been living in this little ranchette in Gainesville, it’s been my daughter.  I’m remembering all the times I’ve visited, all the celebrations we’ve had here, all the work I’ve done at various times, the trail rides I’ve been on in the neighborhood, the exploratory drives I’ve taken through the little towns nearby, the stores and restaurants I’ve visited, the many nights on the couch, catching up on Julie’s tivo shows, chasing the horses away from the shrubs they love to eat, fighting ants, planting gardens, scrubbing horse troughs. I could go on even longer than this but you get the idea.

Gainesville has served it’s purpose. In the last four years it has turned out another class of veterinarians who are being unleashed on the world – Julie among them. We could have had a more temporal viewpoint if it had been more school-like and institutional, if she had lived in a dormitory and had no life outside of classes.  But she has had her first real home of her own making, and for four years has poured a great deal of effort into it. She has been carpenter, plumber, mechanic, tenant and landlord, and developed a fairly large network of friends and business contacts. I’m just saying it’s difficult to be in the leaving stage when you don’t have much knowledge about the next stage you’re entering. 

But that’s going to be pretty exciting and I am going to do all I can to help her think about what’s ahead.  Anticipation is a fun stage too.  And tomorrow we celebrate the success of the last four years with a graduation ceremony and a small gathering of friends. All our landmarks occassions are paired with great feasts of food (why is that? I don’t know.) and true to form we have been shopping and preparing food much of the time today.  Julie and the father are at an awards banquet tonight (what did I tell you – more food).  The grandparents are braving all the inconveniences of being away from home and having irregular schedules and are a great help to me as I try to help my daughter. We get to build some memories around these last few days here and I guess that’s what life is all about, doing things you want to remember. Just sayin’… 

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