Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School - Version 18.0

Hard to believe I'm sending my children off to school for the 18th, and final, time.  August used to mean a family trip to Walmart - one parent, one child, one supply list.  And the annual argument over who got to shop with Dad and who got stuck with Mom.  Dad was a pushover who would spring for the $1.29 NASCAR or Hello Kitty notebook.  Mom thought the 4-for-$1 solid color notebooks were just fine - "You can decorate it yourself."  Although no one ever died from not having a Polly Pocket pencil box, I would love to go back and pinch a few pennies somewhere else, then relax and enjoy those family times.

By the time they reached jr. high, the argument was about Nike vs. Payless, or Cover Girl vs. the natural look.  I'm not sure I would revisit those days, even if I could.  

Then came college, and back to school changed to leaving home.  After four years, I guess I've adapted to the empty nest, though it's wonderful to have them return.  Back to school is now something I experience from a distance, for the most part.  But senior year brought one final back to school experience - Amanda moved into her first solo apartment.  No roommates, no disputes over who's turn it is to clean the bathroom, no disagreements on decorating colors.  

When Mitch moved into his own place last year, he rounded up his own furniture, and persuaded his fraternity brothers to be his moving crew.  All I did was shop for a few kitchen essentials.  Amanda enlisted the family for a little more back-to-school bonding.

Since Manhattan was basically one giant game of Upset the Apple Cart on July 31, U-Haul trailers were sold out, so by the time we rented one at home and towed it down, Mitch and buddy, Kyle, had all the furniture and boxes waiting on the curb.  Loading took less than 30 minutes, but since we couldn't take possession of the new place (dubbed the "Barbie Dream House") until noon the next day, we were left with 24 hours to kill.  

For those of you who are close to Manhattan, KS - we highly recommend Wabash Bar and Grill, a new restaurant in Aggieville with a beautiful rooftop patio.  We also highly recommend our over-night accommodations with friends, but I doubt they want their guestroom advertised.  

After breakfast from Varsity Donuts, including Bacon Maple Long Johns (seriously!), we were off to unload and the brilliance in Amanda's choice of moving crews became evident.  Daddys, brothers and guy friends not only carry your stuff, they repair your broken stuff

hang your heavy stuff

and build shelves to hold your stuff.

My job was to organize the kitchen.  Easier said than done!  Adorable kitchen with marble counter tops, new appliances, extra deep sink . . . and NO drawers!  Who designs a kitchen with no drawers?  

The challenges of organizing a small apartment necessitated a back-to-school shopping trip to Hobby Lobby.  A hefty wad of cash later, the apartment is beautifully decorated - including one custom slip-covered chair.

Oh, the things a mom with a sewing machine and staple gun can accomplish!  (Don't look close, I had no clue what I as doing.)

So, another "last" - our last back-to-school experience.  Did someone say grad school?


  1. Love your back to school story. With two kids in college and one still in high school, the high schooler said to me yesterday, "Have you just given up on me? No new notebooks? No new clothes? Am I just supposed to fend for myself?" Well, those college bills do rack up, so kind of. I guess I'll spring for new notebooks anyway.

  2. Looks like whoever designed the kitchen decided you either get drawers or a dishwasher and drawers lost! So much work but it's so much fun to watch them go off and become adults!

  3. Love what you did with the slip cover. Very pretty. But a no drawer kitchen? The designer needs to be found out and removed from his job!
    I never did live on my own. I probably would have turned into a hermit :)