Flying The Coop

Lot's of things are going on in our lives right now. The biggest change is that our youngest son has left Milwaukee and moved to Rancho Cucamonga in California to start school in December. He's going to UTI where he will learn to work on performance cars. He's 20 and has decided that being a dental assistant, even one of the best dental assistants at our office, just isn't his life calling.

I understand. Because at 20, I was wandering, searching, wondering what to do with my life, living in the moment, which just happened to be living on the road on a magazine crew. That was after my great adventure to California the summer I graduated from high school.

That summer in 1974, I sold all my worldly possessions, including my Beatles vinyl collection, my little black and white TV and other things that I just couldn't carry on a Greyhound bus on my trek to California. And with a thousand dollars in my pocket, I headed west to find my dreams. Whatever they were.

My goal was to become rich and famous, but underlying that was my desire to get the hell away from my family life which was suckass to say the least. My mom had left my dad 4 months before I graduated and took my brother with her.

That was the first year I went to school without a winter coat, and a hard lesson in reality: Be prepared to take care of yourself. I was on work release from school my senior year, working at Watt & Shand department store in downtown Lancaster. I worked in the accounting department called Input Control. I met a lovely woman named Vicky who quickly became my mentor and my ally and even more: a surrogate "mom".

After I showed up at work in December, in the snow, in my spring coat (which was the only coat I had that fit) Vicky told me to go pick one out in the Outerwear department and put it on layaway. I get paid, I get a 20% employee discount. She said "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go buy one". And I did. It was a lovely gray maxi-coat that was very chic in 1973 and I loved it. And I learned I could take care of myself. My gray coat was my most prized possession that winter.

My life and dreams weren't in Orange County when I was 17. I lived there for 3 months and came back to Lancaster, back to my sad dad. I came back home with my tail between my legs. Then I found the magazine crew job and kept on searching (another story for later).
we're a couple of turkeys
So Billy left Sunday night before Thanksgiving. His mom and uncle made the drive with him, he drove his car and they took turns driving the U-Haul. They arrived at his new apartment that Michael and he found a few weeks ago. They got unpacked and settled on Friday. Hubby asked if the first thing he did was lay down on the carpet in his new apartment and he said "YES". He's so excited. I'm excited for him.

It's hard to let a child fly, it's hard let them find their wings and go do something else away from you. But that is our goal as parents, to raise self sufficient children who can survive in the world without depending on anyone.

Good Luck Billy, I hope you find your dreams. And if they aren't in Rancho Cucamonga, we'll be here waiting for you.

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