Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

How the heck did it get to be the latter half of 2021 already? (Not that I’m complaining, mind you. The sooner this garbage year is over, the better.)

At any rate, this weekend Youngest starts a two-week counselor-in-training gig at the gels’ long-time summah camp. (The CIT position is only for a single, two-week term. She plans to return as a counselor for the entire summah next year.)

Ol’ Robbo has written here many times over the years about the drive out to southwestern PA to drop off the gels at camp. The question came up this year: Do we just let her go by herself?

After not too long a period of consideration, I came to the conclusion no, not all by herself. I-270/I-70 up into the Appalachians can be a tricky, taxing drive, and the Gel doesn’t have any experience of that kind of terrain or traffic. Plus, even after all these years, I’m not at all sure she even knows exactly how to get to the place. (She seems to have inherited Mrs. R’s lack of geographic awareness.)

So the plan is that the Gel will, indeed, do the drive, but that Ol’ Robbo will ride shotgun and bring her car home himself. We’ll do the reverse two weeks later. I just want to see how she does before turning her completely loose.

When I was bringing Mrs. R and her friends home from the airport the other day I mentioned all this, only to find myself the subject of some vague disapproval and a slew of anecdotes about how “when MY son first got his license, he drove halfway to California all by himself”, etc., etc. Well, that may be, and I don’t deny that kids have to learn and parents have to let go sooner or later. But I know this kid and this drive in particular and don’t believe I’m being overly-protective in riding along on her first trip out there.