Julie left for her apartment in Maryland today. The dogs and I are sort of mooning around the house, looking up hopefully at every sound from outside. Lucie and Rufus don't know it yet, but they won't see Sister (as we like to think they think of her) again for a long time. Maybe it's better for them that way - thinking that each passing car is hers returning home. I know better.
Spring classes don't start at the University of Delaware until the second week in February, so we had Jules at home for the better part of two months. With neither of us working, I think this was the most time Julie and I have spent together since that first summer after we moved here, when we would drive to West Branch every day to swim and lay in the sun. It has really been wonderful having her home, and I know I will miss her every day.
At the same time, however, I know she needs to get back to school and to her life in Maryland. She has such a clear goal and is focused on accomplishing it. When she and Tom were growing up, we always said to them "when you go to college" not "if you go to college" and they both took that to heart, it seems, with four degrees and counting between the two of them.
I try not to have too many regrets, but one of them is definitely that I never finished college and got a degree. At least Tom and Julie did not make that same mistake. For that, I will take partial credit.