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After checking the weather in Ko Samui (we head for Thailand on Tuesday), I thought to myself – what am I going to do with the rest of my life? I happen to be at this very unique time in my life . . . for the first time in 50 years, I have no commitments or responsibilities for anything or anyone; other than the obvious wonderful husband and the minor detail of  two more college tuitions to pay, but I’m happily unemployed and Tony and I, are soon to be empty-nesters. I quit my teaching job last Friday, Ralphie graduated Friday afternoon, and Kip graduated today.

montone 054Like most people I have spent my entire life obligated to something or someone; school, children, work .. . in that order and back to back. I feel like this is the first day in fifty years where my future is truly a blank page to do whatever I want with it. In the past, I would have filled that page rather quickly; making plans, but now I love the idea of just letting it sit empty for awhile and seeing what happens without me cramming stuff into every nook and cranny.

The Next Day . . .

Well, the first day of filling up my blank page didn’t exactly go as expected. I spent the bulk of the day cleaning out Kip’s apartment kitchen so he could get his deposit back. Imagine an apartment shared by six male college seniors who had celebrated whole heartedly (the grad party included a mechanical bull which parents were required to ride) a day earlier. Now imagine the apartment on the famed DP (Del Playa) in IV (Isle Vista) at one of the top ranked schools (academically and socially – UC Santa Barbara) and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how my day went. I cleaned the kitchen (what is it that they drink that is red and sticky and can be kept in the refrigerator as well as the freezer . . . in the cupboards, microwave, and on the stove top?). I did learn about an amazing cleaning product called “Magic Erase” which I am convinced was invented by an IV landlord.image

After I cleaned the kitchen (Tony cleaned the bathroom), I carted kids all over Santa Barbara shopping for last minute supplies for the trip; a bathing suit for Kelly, shorts and MAC charger for Kip, and running shoes Ralphie. . . . In between dropping kids off and picking kids up, I managed to do two loads of laundry twice (of the 50 machines at The Laundry Basket I could have picked, I picked the two that didn’t work – I left an out of order note for the next mom trying to leave the country). I also popped into Albertsons for some Goldfish for Ralphie because he had slept through most of our meals (he went to his brother’s party) and was hungry. Just like old times.

At the end of the day we celebrated with a bottle of champagne (mostly because it didn’t require a bottle opener) poured in red plastic cups (an IV staple).