This past Saturday, my husband and daughter loaded up the horse trailer with excess flotsam and headed down to the flea market at Chula Junction. Michael sold the old washer and dryer and a dysfunctional chain saw. Karina sold most of her childhood for $76.
She packed the rest of her belongings into boxes, bins and bags and, after morning rounds today, we drove her and all of those boxes, bins and bags to Tech. Move-in day. Controlled chaos and more of that unique VT math. Karina’s dorm has two wings. The ground floor on one side is the first floor. The ground floor on the other side is the third floor. There are separate elevators for each side. To go from any floor on one side of the building to the same floor on the other side you have to go up half a flight of steps. Yeah. A split level dorm. Made no sense to us either. You’d think a school originally devoted to engineering could have found a way to make a floor level, but there was just no getting around that half flight of stairs.
We were allotted 30 minutes to unload and get all of her stuff from the van to her room. There is no parking lot at the dorm. No port cochere. Just a partially blocked off street, with off- loading cars parked on each side with a stream of slow moving traffic in between, creeping along looking for a space, while dodging emotionally charged freshmen and their parents. And um, well, it took us an hour.
After slipping into a parking place, we checked out a four wheeled laundry/mail cart trolley thing. We dumped all her belongings into that trolley and then spent 30 minutes just finding the correct entrance and the correct set of elevators. We very quickly discovered that when fully laden, trolleys have no sense of adventure when it comes to stairs, but they have an absurd sense of humor when it comes to hills. When we finally found the building entrance that enabled us to avoid that half flight of stairs, we still had to heave the trolley up the stoop to get inside to the elevators. The dorm is so not ADA compliant. No ramps anywhere; steps small and large at every entrance.
After lunch and a trip to the store to pick up things that got left behind, we left her in her room to do the unpacking by herself. The 3 year old girl, who just yesterday fell asleep on the stairs cuddling a stuffed rabbit named Baby Bunny, is tucked away tonight in her new bed under the quilt her grandma made. She’s all grown up now, but Baby Bunny – a little piece of home and a vault of memories – keeps her company still.
All things considered, the three of us did very well. To be sure, there were a few tears, but very few actually. She is ready. She is a force of nature and she is now loose at a major university. I know she’ll be very busy over the next four years, but one can hope that maybe, just maybe, she’ll do something about those math issues they seem to have up in Blacksburg.
None of which has anything to do with farming. But I will tell you, since I wasn’t here today to crack the whip, most of the chickens took the day off. There seem to be more feathers on the ground every day. We’ve had several days of delicious coolness, but the drop in temperatures is pushing the chickens closer and closer into full blown molt. Chickens don’t lay much if at all when they are molting and the price of feed went up again last week by a whopping $1.10 per 50 pounds. Less eggs dropping and feed costs rising. Not a good combination.
The clerk at the feed store tells me feed is going higher still. They are having weekly meetings now on feed prices. Buy your meat now while the farmers are culling their animals. Once we get stocks down to a bare minimum, meat is going to get very expensive.
Also, to quote Tolkein, “Rumor grew of a shadow in the east, whispers of a nameless fear.”
There are squiggles out in the Atlantic and there’s a rumor growing one of them may be paying a visit to the mid-Atlantic in about a week. Lovely. We so desperately need the rain, but the winds . . . it’s just so much work to lock everything down at a time when I should be starting the fall garden and culling more chickens.