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Rosie’s off to Boston University, Ciel’s back from Ecuador and will finish her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science this semester – and I’m back in an empty nest, looking around the house in a kind of stunned wonder. What happened to these last few months? Was it just a little over a week ago that Rosie’s belongings were strewn through the hallway in the frantic last packing frenzy?

Now I’ve returned from the whirlwind East Coast trip. First the long drive to Berkeley and visit with my sister and (far too short) visit with Ciel who flew in from Ecuador on the same day. (If her flight hadn’t been canceled we would have had the better part of a day together, but at least she made it in before we had to fly out the next morning.)

My daughter Ciel (second from left back row), spent 4 weeks interning in Ecuador. Here she had hiked 5 hours into the jungle to learn indigenous medicines from the villagers.

Then New York, visits with old friends, newer friends, relatives – including a reunion with high school chums that I’ve not seen in nearly 30 years. Then Connecticut for a brief visit with my dad before the main event – Boston, and moving Rosie into her new home. And back to New York for some another day of friends, shopping, and an NYC martini before the early morning flight back to the West Coast and the long drive back up to Arcata. Phew!

Rosie in front of her new dorm. A brownstone on tree-lined Buswell Street. She is on the 4th floor, a walk-up. Boy was it fun carrying all her boxes and suitcases up those stairs!

And of course work awaited – lots and lots of work. And the laundry, and the stacks of correspondence and bills to pay. And a garden choked with weeds, a husband who missed me, a thousand little to-do items to attend to. And this is an empty nest? How did I manage when the place was awash with toddlers and teenagers?

Yesterday I managed to wade through the pile on my desk till I could actually see the desktop itself. When the sun finally came out at 3 p.m. I cleared mounds of weeds and old dead leaves away from the kale, spinach and salad greens, rendering the area much less hospitable to the marauding slugs. I staked up the new crop of peas, and planted six-packs of fresh new arugula, spinach, cilantro and greens we’d purchased at Farmer’s Market that morning. The beauty of fall gardens is that the weeds grow so slowly!

But as I rocked out to the songs and stories of Patty Larkin last night (a fabulous show at a great local venue), I promised myself I would find a way to squeeze in time for this blog and my writing aspirations. So any readers may have to put up with some less focused posts, just so I can get back on this thing and overcome the inertia described in the last post.

For now, the Boston stories and the rest of the photos will have to wait for when my eyes are not closing after a 10 hour work day.