Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Arlington goes to College

 We have moved Arlington to college.  I cannot believe I am writing those words.  Our eldest daughter has graduated from high school a year early with 16 college credits in her back pocket and is now settled into the University of Massachusetts.  Mat is still in San Francisco with his new job, so my parents graciously came to help us move her into college.

What is it like to move a kid to college during a pandemic?  Interesting.  Frustrating.  Her school has decided that only 1000 students will be on campus -anyone who had an in person class.  Arlington only had one - her farm class- so off to college she went.  She is in a 3 bedroom suite with just she and her roomate.  They have a livingroom and a full bathroom just for the two of them.  It is pretty nice for a freshmen.  Going to be hard to go back to a regular dorm room once the pandemic passes, that is for sure.

I wasn't sure how this was going to go.  Arlington is only 17.  She is a year younger than many of the other freshmen.  But I think she is ready.  She was so excited to start her pre-vet classes.  I am happy that she is only 1 1/2 hours away in case we need to grab her quickly or want to go and visit (in non-pandemic times).

My dad and I were the ones to move her in.  Arlington had to have a Covid test before she could go to the dorms (and will be tested twice a week this whole semester).  Only two people could help the student move in.  We were masked the whole time.  But it went smoothly.  We got her all squared away and everything unpacked before we had to leave.

I think she is going to love it.  Even in this weird time with so little people on campus, and very few dining halls open (or buildings in general), it is a start of a new chapter for her.  Maybe this slower start is just what she needs to get her feet wet before the 21,000 other UMass students return.

My parents bought Arlington her computer for college

My sister in law had a sign made with Arlington on it - love it

Arlington had to have coveralls and much boots for her one in person class

packed and ready to go!  

UMass set up a "tent city" for kids on campus that might have Covid.  This was put in place when all 22,000 were coming back

Arlington all set in her room!  The kids have single rooms but are in these suites with a "roommate".  So there is another girl in her suite, but that girl also has her own room

There are only two girls assigned to the 3 room suite - so the girls decided to make this room their "pantry"
They have their own bathroom - it is quite large

A big living room.  This suite is typically for 4 kids.  So with only two of them - it is quite the apartment.  The furniture was there.  We brought the tV

We weren't able to walk around CAmpus, but it is huge.  And beautiful.  I hope to be able to see it once the pandemic is over

I made her send me a picture of her first day of classes.  All but one of her classes is remote this entire semester, so this will be her classroom until Thanksgiving

Sunday, August 16, 2020

A PA Summer

 Four weeks have gone by in a blur.  The weeks were full of morning walks with my mom and Scooby, getting some of the college shopping done for Arlington, eating tons and tons of our favorite food, and more college prep for Arlington.

We are in deep shock with how the United States is fairing in this pandemic.  I cannot lie about that.  It is overwhelming and frustrating for us since Basel was pretty much back to "business as usual" before we left.  I can barely watch the news.  I am grateful to be surrounded by family and friends while we are here otherwise I would be floundering.  It is a lot.

We did have a small get together for Arlington for her graduation.  A small group of family on my side and then a small party for Mat's side.  We took all the necessary precautions and were still able to allow people to share their congratulations with her about her accomplishment getting into college.

Soon we will be packing up and heading back to Massachusetts.  I would like to say that we are going back into our house in Littleton, but sadly -not yet.  Our renters are still looking for a place to live.  So instead, we are going into a rental property of our own.  We consider ourselves extremely lucky because we are getting to stay in a nice size house while we wait for our house to be free.  Friends of ours actually moved to Basel, and while we are CRUSHED that they are leaving us to move to Switzerland, we are grateful for their generous offer to let us rent their house while we wait for ours.  IT was an incredible gift (that saved us from months in a tiny corporate apartment).

My parents are following us in a few days to Massachusetts.  Mat is still in San Francisco, so they are going to help us settle into our rental and also help me move Arlington to the University of Massachusetts.  I am grateful beyond words for their help.

Small gathering at my parents house.  We stayed outdoors and socially distanced and I even made everyone their own packet of plate, cup, silverware, napkin.  We did a good job.

My sister in law Tricia made these amazing cookies

We had a second party at Mat's family's house.  It was just Mat's brother and sisters and all of our nieces and nephews.  

Scooby spent an enormous amount of time on my parent's porch watching the world go by

A friend of mine made me this great mask
Scooby watched me eat tons of meals
And he used the stairs as a headrest

Cainan learned to mow the grass
Scooby and I and my mom walked 3 miles every day

I enjoyed seeing the painting projects around Connellsville

We ate Amish donuts the size of our head

My mom tried to go with Arlington to college
Sally made Arlington a beautiful quilt for her graduation

We visted the (almost) finished project on the Yough River Trail