Lydster: Back to college

Power Dad

College AheadThis is a day or so in the life story of my daughter’s return back to college after Thanksgiving.

My wife and I bolted home after an unusually long church service, only to find that our daughter was not at home. It turned out that she had gone to Dunkin’ to see a friend. When she returned, my wife gave my daughter the treats she had purchased for her. We got started about 45 minutes after our 12:30 pm estimated time of departure.

The skies were overcast, but the roads were dry when we arrived at the second rest stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike at Blandford. They were right; it was a heavy-duty travel day, with more cars than parking spaces. I got a couple of sandwiches at McDonald’s; there was no other choice of restaurant. Despite the heavy flow of people, Mickey D’s staff was amazingly efficient with no terrible wait.

The wait came as we tried to get back on the highway. It was a parking lot. We went about three miles in the first 30 minutes. I don’t know if there was an accident; no road construction explained our lack of progress.

Then the rains came. Do you know how many people rag on the National Weather Service when their forecasts aren’t entirely accurate? This one was dead on. It was pouring when traffic recommenced and all the way back to the college.

I schlepped my daughter’s suitcase up a flight of stairs; no elevator. I don’t know why it was so heavy for a five-day weekend. Did she bring home her laundry? Fortunately, Power Dad… could… handle… it.

One more meal

She suggested that we pick her up for dinner. Well, we DO have to eat. So we went to a nearby hotel, checked in, unpacked, rested for about a half hour, and then went back to the college, picked up our daughter, and went to a local Panera.

When we dropped our daughter at college in September, we accidentally left my wife’s rewards card with our daughter. We told her she could use it, and she had. She has mastered the display terminal the restaurant wants customers to use rather than having a human take the order.

Finally, the final goodbyes at college. “I love you, ” I say. “I know,” she replies.

The next morning, my wife and I went down to breakfast. A guy was making a waffle and then pouring on various condiments. He said, “I’m making it for my teenager. It has to be just so.” And a few minutes later, as I saw his daughter’s sullen face buried in her phone, I laughed just a little. Not that my daughter is like that…

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