Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Go West, Young Man

Horace Greeley advised ambitious young men to go west more than 100 years ago, and it is still good advice for young men and ladies.

Today, I took youngest son, Chris, to the airport for a plane to San Diego. He will be studying composition for his master's degree at the University of California - San Diego. I have never been to San Diego, but I understand that it is a beautiful place. I have been following the weather there since last spring when I found out Chris would be moving there, and the weather has been perfect. I hope that we can go often to visit.

When I graduated from college, the idea of going to California occurred to me, but I knew no one there and felt more comfortable staying in the Midwest. I should have gone. The Midwest gets so hot in the summer and so cold in the winter, and its inhabitants, like me, tend to be sort of gray and stodgy. Maybe Californians do not enjoy life more than us Midwesterners, but they make us think they do.

The members of Jack were teasing Chris about how he is going to change after two years in California. "You'll be saying, 'Hey, Dude, that's good enough'" was the comment one of them made when we were in Lucerne at Lowenpick, eating ice cream. Apparently, Chris has a reputation among non-family members for being a perfectionist. (That reputation does not extend to family members who see less than perfect housekeeping efforts.) Chris was known at Eastman for being minimally dressed for the winter cold, even being admonished once by a homeless man that he should dress warmer. He was wearing shorts when I took him to the airport for California, and I would not be surprised if he wore them every day from now for the next two years.

Ah, to be 21 again.

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