--I found out where our tax dollars are being
--I still love dogs. Carder and Megs have a golden retriever, Chief Atticus Berry, who loves me. That dog has great taste in people.
--Graduation parties are lively affairs. The house was filled with testosterone and estrogen. My boys and I brought the testosterone from the Georgia hills. Emily's emo boy friends from school brought the estrogen. It was a one-sided contest. The boys and I won.
--You can't mix college students, alcohol, and a guitar without there being some serious one-upmanship. Most of the singing sounded like somebody killing a cat. Except when I sang Elvis. That was righteous.
--Never--NEVER--allow your wife to wear silk pajamas when your son has put silk sheets on the bed you're sleeping in. She slid halfway to the front door before I could rope her and drag her back.
--When your daughter tells you to be at the graduation venue at 9:00am for a 10:00am ceremony she knows that of which she speaks. We got there at 9:20 and almost didn't get a seat. Miraculously we ended up on the third row from the front, the best seats in the house. As expensive as college was, we should have had a row with our name on it. From which I would have given the commencement speech. Which would have been profound. And short. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
--Commencement speakers haven't changed over the years. 1) They're normally around 150 years old and B) they usually say one humorous thing at the beginning of their speech about how little time they'll take speaking so we can move on to the most important event, graduation. Ours was, and did. Forty-five minutes later, after eight lists of seven character traits that will prepare two hundred and forty-eight graduates to face the next five years of their lives, he mercifully finished. (My favorite commencement speaker was Dean Rusk, former Secretary of State under JFK and then-Dean of the UGA Law School, who spoke at my college graduation. He said he was going to speak seven minutes and sit down, and we could time him. I did. He did. I love that man.)
--Mamas cry at graduations. Jennie did, before, during, and after. I managed to miss most of the crying because...
--I am not the one to assign picture-taking to. I got a blurry picture of Emily getting her diploma, another blurry one of her coming down the stairs at the edge of the stage, and one of something that looked like Batman's cape flying as she walked back to her seat. While I missed her graduating. Entirely. Of course the boys thought this was funny, at which point I whipped around and got a picture of them laughing at me. It came out perfect.
--I still clean up well when I have to. Pictures don't lie. But my sweetheart, well...let's just say I out-married myself initially and it's proven to me every time we get our picture made together.
--Visiting with in-laws works out much better when you can keep your Georgia Bulldog-loving, Alabama Crimson Tide-spouting mouth shut in a room full of Gators. Except for a few well-timed barbs about who won the SEC Championship. And the Heisman Trophy, which, in God's providential wisdom, happened to fall on the same night I was with my Gator-shirt wearing in-laws. I just love it when a plan comes together. Saturday night was one of those times.
--The longest part of the trip is coming home. There was rain in Florida (go figure), along with every Drivers' License reject from the entire country. There was fog in south Georgia, which worsened around Macon, and was unbearable the closer I got to Dahlonega. Add to the weather that one driver who speeds up, passes you, slows down, gets behind you with his brights on, then repeats the process. I finally pushed him off the exit to Adel, which is close to Hell, because you can see Sparks from there. (Look it up.) I figured he was close to home.
So, we're home now. Emily's graduated and looking for a job. It was a long haul, but worth it.
Let the student loans begin.