Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Varying Views of Late

By L.A. Kohl
April 27, 2006
(published in the May 3, 2006 edition of "The Bullseye")
The view around here has been pretty varied over the past couple of months. Of course, the obvious one that has dominated the landscape is the coming of spring. It not only engulfs our physical view – but at times it can overwhelm the senses.

One evening I realized I was hearing the distant rumble of an oncoming storm. I stepped out onto the porch to get a better view (I love to watch a storm roll in…in moderation, of course) and was overpowered with the most wonderful smell. How to define it? It was like the scent of earth, rain, fresh air and newly growing things all rolled up into one powerful sensation. At that moment in time, I simply could not breathe deep enough.

There have been other recent views that were not so enthralling; such as the sight of a jet preparing to take my husband halfway around the world to India. That’s always a rather tough view for the kids and I to handle. However, a couple of weeks later when we get to watch that plane come gliding down the landing strip – knowing that within a few moments he’ll be walking thru the gate and back into our lives…well, that view is hard to beat!

And this year, he brought us all a little something that he’s never before brought home from India. It all started when we sat down to grilled steak and baked potatoes the night of his homecoming. After being “beefless” for two weeks in India – he thought a nice steak would taste great. However, he could only manage a few bites. That night, stomach problems hit him with a vengeance. We all assumed it was “Delhi belly” hanging on a little longer than normal (stomach problems while in India are pretty much par for the course.)   But after a couple of days, when he was finally starting to feel better, our three year old boy got the same thing.

So it hadn’t been Delhi belly after all – but rather some type of Indian flu bug. By the end of the week all nine of us unwillingly partook of it. (Note to Nate: that was one souvenir we don’t ever care to have brought home to us again!)

I’ve saved the most consuming view for last…the view that has been on the horizon for years, but hazy and in the distant future. Somehow within the past few weeks, it has started bearing down upon us, coming sharply into focus.

That would be the view of our oldest “leaving the nest."

In March, there was the senior trip to Florida…in April, the Junior/Senior prom…in May, she’ll walk across a stage and get her diploma…in June and July, she’ll literally fly off to Guatemala to work at an orphanage…and in August – she’ll “figuratively” fly off to college and into adulthood. I know all parents throughout history have said it, but bear with me as I repeat it, “My, how time flies!”

Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was learning her “three R’s," learning to ride a bike, and then learning to drive a car? Now she’s learned those things so well that her college advisor is encouraging her to be a tutor her very first semester of college, and I hear her instructing her father in good driving techniques.
It brings a great sense of joy to us to see the fine young woman that she’s becoming. But it’s a view that is bitter/sweet. Amidst all the fun and excitement of watching a child become an adult, I find myself sighing at the drop of a hat, and finding the view getting rather blurry.

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