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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Those of you keeping track of such things will be pleased to learn that Youngest Gel successfully drove herself back to Ohio yesterday, even dealing calmly with a snowstorm that caught her between Morgantown, WV and Columbus. She checked in with us at various breaks and, I suppose fortunately, in that it spared me additional worry, didn’t mention the snow until after she’d cleared it. I may say that I’m rayther proud of her.

The Gel stalled around quite a bit about heading back to school. First it was going to be Thursday. Then Friday. Then 5 ack emma Sunday. Then 8 am, when she finally left. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to be at school and wouldn’t enjoy it once she was back, just that she felt it took so much more energy to motivate herself to start the journey than it did when she came home before Christmas. I guess she just hasn’t broken away quite yet.

Ol’ Robbo still distinctly remembers his own “break point”, if you will. It was Christmas vacation my junior year. One afternoon a couple of days before I flew back to school, I suddenly had the oddest sensation. Looking about the house, I realized, “This is all ending. In a very short time, I’m not going to live here anymore. Life as I’ve known it up till now is going to change. Forever.” The shock of it all made me sit down hard, and I’m not sure there weren’t a few tears, too. From that point forward, even when I came home for the summah, I always felt more like a visitor than an inmate.

As I say, Youngest isn’t there yet. (Middle Gel is, I believe. Eldest is working from home at the moment, but there may be some news about that in the near future.)

By the bye, Youngest was teasing me about the drive. She’s already picked up the sensible habit of stopping at familiar waypoints for gas and food, but she stops three different times on the eight-hour trip. And not only that, but she actually goes in and sits down for ten or fifteen minutes to rest, fiddle with her phone, and whatnot. “That would drive you nuts, wouldn’t it,” she laughed. You’re durn right it would.

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