Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I hope you are all having a good Memorial Day weekend.

Ol’ Robbo spent the morning helping Eldest Gel reform her bedroom.  In addition to being an almighty packrat (and a notorious thief of plates, glasses, and silverware from the kitchen), she’s also got far too much furniture in what is Port Swiller Manor’s smallest sleeping chamber.  (Indeed, my main task was the disassembly and removal of a massive wooden bedframe which took up way too much space, although I also helped her move some other things around and remove both bags of trash and my accumulated kitchen valuables.)  For whatever reason, she seems to have grown tired of living in such cramped squalor and is bent on cleaning and simplifying.

As we talked about organizing books and clothing, rearranging furniture, and maybe even repainting the walls, it occurred to me that it has not yet sunk in on the Gel that her time of living at home is now within very measurable distance of coming to an end.  That thought came into my mind because I still have a very vivid memory of my own realization that my old life was ending and a new one beginning:  I was home Christmas Break of my junior year in college.  My then-girlfriend had come to visit from Bahston, so one day I took her out to see the sights of San Antonio.  When we got back later in the afternoon, it suddenly hit me like a 16-ton weight.  This wasn’t really my home anymore, it was my parents’ and I was just visiting.  Of course I’d always be welcomed and all that, but the “Shadow of Parting”, as Galadriel put it, had suddenly and definitely fallen.

I went to the Mothe and bawled like a baby.

The memory often makes me wonder what it will be like when my brood strike out on their own.  (And yes, they’re leaving.  None of this thirty-something living in the basement stuff for us.)  Do other people get hit by such a shock? Can it be more gradual? I suppose it’s a matter of personality and circumstances.