We had a lovely weekend in Moscow to celebrate Seth’s graduation from the University of Idaho. The northern panhandle of our state is breathtakingly beautiful. The rolling farm ground of peas, lentils, grain and alfalfa is bathed in shades of green this time of year. And interspersed here and there are standing pines and meticulously kept farmsteads. The “breaks” of the Clearwater River provide the backdrop.
We stayed in a luscious bed and breakfast I found on Airbnb just outside of neighboring Genesee. Airbnb is a great travel tool if you're into a bit of adventuring. Our host, Gayle, is a farm blogger/advocate like me so we had lots to visit about.
Seth had a hard time leaving his university life behind. He squeezed every drop out of his college experience. From fishing the St. Joe and recruiting a bunch of great guys to his fraternity, to working for the College of Agriculture and supervising a team of interns his senior year, he did it all. He even got to wear the homecoming king crown and emcee a few university events. He made the most of adult mentors and did some mentoring himself to underclassmen, and he got a great education along the way. He’s the type of kid that the opportunities a university provides are used to their best advantage and worth every penny.
After we loaded his four year accumulation of stuff into Anita’s truck and Seth’s 23-yr-old Toyota pickup, I rode with him out of town. He was in a pensive mood, not unlike other transition days in his life. I well remember the day he left home 4 years ago in that same Toyota to head to Moscow. After stalling most of the morning and still facing a 9-hr drive, I finally had to guide him behind the wheel and out the driveway, assuring him we’d still be here to come home to. He has never liked change. But even so, he immerses himself in the moment, saying his farewells and taking a long last look back.
We came home to rain and more rain and the annual switching of gears that our kids go through. They’re busy riding horses and working dogs and trying to keep dry as we follow another herd to the hills. They’re both steeling themselves for their next move, Anna to D.C. to work for the summer for the National FFA Organization and Seth to South Carolina to start a new job with an ag consulting firm. They use the word “dread” to describe the feeling of leaving home and the West again.
And as for me, the mom, I’m trying to concentrate on words like gratitude, equanimity and faith. Gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy every day - health, wealth, a warm bed, a solid companion. Equanimity, which is my catch-all word and works in all situations. And faith, that the kids will have safe and rewarding adventures and that they’ll find their way back home again.
|looking over the university feedlot pen of cattle|