Go West, Young Man

This weekend began the realization of a dream.  When OS was in college, his dream was to go out west (originally to Jackson Hole, Wy.) to work.  OS is our "Nature boy"...that child loves the outdoors!  From kayaking, to white water rafting, to hiking, to zip-lining, to camping, to snowboarding, he pretty much does it all.  And apparently does it well.  He definitely has a bit of daredevil in him!
As it does for all of us, life happens and dreams change.  After living in Asheville for 1 1/2 years, the opportunity came up for him to go west.  And he's taking the bull by the horns and doing it.  As I wrote this (on Sunday morning), he's completed the first leg (out of 3) of his trip.  It should have taken him around 12 hours, but it took him around 17 with the weather.  At least he has the good sense to slow down and take his time, but this mama was restless until he arrived at my sister's house.  The middle leg saw him forge through Nebraska and into Colorado.  I don't know if Google Maps is optomistic about the drive time from place to place or if OS is just taking his time and taking a lot of breaks, but this took him around 11.5 hours...not the 9 hours Google Maps indicated.  He'll arrive at his destination today (Monday).  Hopefully he'll be able to do all of this in the daylight...this part should take at least 6 hours; which means it will really be around 8.
When I went into the liquor store on Friday to pick up a bottle of wine for OS to give to my sister as a thank you gift, I saw a van with license plates from the state OS will be living.  That was the first time I've ever seen a license plate from that state.  Saturday morning, as we were leaving the place OS had been staying (we had to pick up his bed), there was a road that had that state as part of the name.    Suddenly, this state is all around me.
Friday night, CH & I headed to NC.  Here's a picture I snapped as we crossed the partially frozen French Broad River as the sun was setting:
And, a view on the way home:

We took our camper and camped near OS' house.  Ever since we've had the camper, we've tried to camp at least once every month.  I think we missed February last year, because it's just too cold in February!  We're able to get January in because of our trip to the The Keys.  Since Friday was 31 January and Saturday was 1 Feb., I think we're able to count that!  CH said he wanted to camp in the snow.  Weeeelll, as luck would have it, our campsite was in a patch of snow!  It wasn't deep, and if they had put us in a different site we wouldn't have snow, but I think we can count that, too!  
 Our night consisted of staying in the warm camper, watching the PBS series "Sherlock Holmes" through Netflix.  It was pretty cozy!
Saturday morning we met OS at his place and packed up the bed.  His initial plan was to leave around 6 a.m., but he ended up leaving around 8:30.  After CH took a look at his tires, he suggested that OS meet us in the Small Town to get a new set of tires.  And, it's a good thing he did since he ran into some snow.  
I got teary-eyed when I hugged him and we said our goodbyes, but I didn't cry.  It's so hard to let go, especially for this control freak!  I don't know what his future is going to be like; I just want him to be happy with wherever life takes him.  My favorite band mom when I was in high school left this reply on a FB post of mine: We know we raise them to have 

wings to fly and see the world --we just didn't think they really would. Letting go is one of 

the hardest things we do as parents ."  She should know:  she's had a couple of sons that have lived in other countries, and none of her 4 children live in/near the Small Town.  

By the time this post is being read, OS will be looking at the last leg of his trip, and, thankfully it will be his shortest.  I'm excited for him to be living out his dream, and excited to see where it will take him.


  1. That Facebook post is so, so true! Knowing that OS is living out his dream has to make it a little (??) easier for you. {{hug}}

  2. Thanks for the update, Mary! I'm excited for him even though it must be hard on Mama. I'm also envious that you do all that camping. If I had relatives to drop my kids off with for a weekend, David and I would be so gone! Ha ha! Someday, right? Have a great week, Mary!

  3. Quite exciting. You're a good mama to let him go without tears--having faith that he will be OK and loving his life.

  4. What a huge venture, I'm so happy that he will be living his dream. I'm sure you are happy too but I thought that maybe you could use a (((HUG)). I have always felt that my kids can live anywhere they want until I have grandchildren, then they better by near me!!!!
    Love the photos you shared. It's almost 100% sure that our son and his best girl will be living in Pittsburgh next year at this time. Not sure how I will handle it......

  5. So exciting! I've been in your shoes, and will be there again. It's bittersweet...so amazing to see them grow up into adulthood. Wishing your OS the best of luck and a happy adventure out west!

  6. I love that!! Having a son as a freshman in college is making me completely understand this post!! I wish him all of the best in this exciting journey.

  7. It will be an adventure for him and I'm sure one he will welcome! Good thing about these days is we have so many wonderful ways to stay in communication with them, imagine the pioneer days when they might never hear from loved ones again.

    Great idea to try to go camping every month, that in itself can be an adventure depending on the weather!


  8. I found your blog through Joyce's hodgepodge... My youngest is taking a year off before college then heading out west too. I may or may not be able to leave her there next summer!

  9. I am SO happy for him and feeling a bit bittersweet for you. But really, if our kids can live out their dreams, then we have done a good job of raising them. Right??? Love the FB post/quote. SO true.
    So, did you buy a plane ticket to go visit yet???


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