Domestic Doings: The Good and the Bad as Summer Comes to a Close

Domestic Doings: The Good and the Bad as Summer Comes to a Close

Domestic Doings: The Good and the Bad as Summer Comes to a Close


It’s hard to believe that summer is already nearing the end.

School supply lists are now available in the local stores, the dog days are here, and we find ourselves trying to really appreciate each remaining day before Logan heads off to college for the first time.

Here are the “goods” and “bads” of the tail end of the summer for us.


Prepping for Freshman Year at College – Heavy sigh

The Bad

We took out a second mortgage on the house, and then Logan and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase every size of towel, allowable dorm room appliance, and bedding cover known to mankind, all in a sweet and happy battleship gray, don’t you know.

Then Spence and I went to Target together: he to buy a Lego set, and I to purchase an entire laundry basket full of toiletries, desk supplies, and sundries for Logan to use at college.

Where in the world is the boy going to fit all of this stuff in that tiny room? I have visions of him and his roommate having to build a shelving unit outside of their 4th floor window where they’ll stow the 64 oz. bottles of shampoo and conditioner, the 5 lb. carton of Tide washer tabs, and the $67 in quarters I’ll be sending with him for dirty laundry that he will never ever clean.

As with most outings these days, Loge wasn’t interested in going along, so I asked him for brands or scents or other specifics he desired before I left.

“Anything is fine,” was his oh-so-helpful answer as he continued to stare at the entrancing screen of his iPhone.

So I bought him lots of Dove soap with coconut moisturizing cream in pretty pink boxes, Skintimate strawberry tangerine shaving cream, Batman underwear, and the cute little rubber-handled scissors with the rounded safety tips for his desk.

The Good

I’m sure my selections will be just “fine”.


As summer draws to a close: Fine toiletries


Camp Granada Update

The Bad

Spence had the nerve to leave me for an entire week of worry as he happily scampered off to sleep-away camp.

The Good

My baby is back, and so is my smile!

He survived his week in the wild and only somewhat resembles Mowgli, the man-cub. His design for a bedside shelf in woodworking was so appreciated by the staffers that it made its way into the instruction manual, which made him feel fantastic. I’m so happy for my boy! That type of recognition means the world to him. What’s more, he was admitted into a top-secret camper’s knighthood society (along with half the other campers) on the last night beside a roaring bonfire: a tale he relayed to us with an almost mystical look in his eyes. How cool would that be if you were a kid?

When we picked him up he was smiling, talkative, and happy, and was actually looking us in the eye instead of down at a screen.

A week without technology looks really good on him!


As summer comes to a close: Super no-tech boy!


Say Hello to More Technology

The Bad

We were instructed by Spencer’s middle school to schedule an appointment to pick up and learn about the iPad Spence will be using constantly throughout his 7th grade year.

Well, there goes the eye contact.

The Good

Hopefully, with the advent of said new technology, he’ll have less to tote in his backpack, allowing it to go from 30 lbs. of miscellaneous junk he’s carrying around on his back to a mere 25.


Squeezing Out Every Last Minute of Our Time Together

The Bad

Logan’s friends will soon be dropping like flies: each off to their new collegiate experience of choice.

Also, tensions are running high around here. I think it’s true what they say about kids and/or parents purposefully creating arguments to help justify the eventual separation.

The Good

Logan’s school, Northwestern, has a really late start. Despite the fact that he’s going to school a week and a half early for band camp, he still doesn’t leave until August 29th. As such, we’re trying to cram in as many memorable family outings as possible. You’d think the boy was never coming back. (Come to think of it, that actually could be a possibility. I don’t want to think about it.)

The other day, we decided to drive up to Lake Geneva, with my mom in tow, to rent a boat and sail the seas. She had a ball bouncing around on the choppy water. Can you see where I get my “safety first” gene from?


As summer comes to a close: Safety first YLM


This action below totally flew in the face of my safety gene. Good thing I was there to point out every boat that came within a nautical mile of us. I learned, too, that my faux passenger side break foot actually is very helpful on boats as well as in cars.


As summer comes to a close: Spence at the wheel


There are some magnificent mansions perched on the shore. This one below is aptly named Stone Manor, and apparently has been converted into a number of condominium units, like this one.


As summer comes to a close: Lake Geneva's Stone Manor


And, in case you were feeling sorry for the residents who only have the lake to swim in . . .


As summer comes to a close: Lake Geneva's Stone Manor


. . . you can sleep better tonight knowing that they have an additional swimming option on the roof.


A Blasted Summer Cold

The Bad

During the course of the last three days, I’ve come down with the stuffiest of summer colds. My head feels like there’s a fully-stocked aquarium sloshing around inside. It’s glorious outside, 80º and no humidity, and all I can seem to do is nap and drag my behind and my box of Puffs Plus from point A to point B around the house. I answered the phone the other morning and said hello with my cold-riddled, froggy voice, and my friend thought I was my husband. Overall, I’m feeling rather sorry for myself.

The Good

If you can’t smell, you can’t taste, and if you can’t taste, why eat?

This is indeed the silver lining inside my cloudy head!




Written by Becky


  • Patty from MMV says:

    I know what you mean. I shed lots of tears for my daughter when she left – not as many for my son. And Brad commutes, so no tears. It was the realization that, in truth, my “job” seemed to be over – they were now,on their own, and things would be different. Enjoy these last few days as much as possible!

  • Debbie says:

    Your post brings back those sweet yet hard days of launching into the college years…wishing Logan the best. You’ll have so many fun memories ahead of you with Northwestern football games, parents’ weekend, holiday breaks (especially the month at Christmas.) And Spence will keep you laughing and busy! Don’t forget, summer break 2016 will be here before you know it!

    • Becky says:

      You’re right, Debbie, we’re so looking forward to the football games already! And I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit that I’ve had a daydream or two about Christmas break even before he’s gone!

  • warren goercke says:

    Karen and I still discuss all the times we visited our girls at college; the moving them in, parents weekends, ski vacations near their colleges and just spontaneous trips to visit. Enjoy it all! As for the good Commodore, let him know that only ‘boatniks’ wear penny loafers aboard a boat. He needs to get a good pair of boat shoes. Keep up the great work Becky. I enjoy reading your articles. Regards, Warren

    • Becky says:

      Hey there, Warren! We don’t go boating enough to support buying boat shoes, however, if you two ever get off the ground with that weeklong boat trip you talk about, the shoes are a done deal.

  • Kristie says:

    Where does the time go? Enjoy each and every day with your boys… the good and the bad, as you know, the time will be here where you and Jim will sit back and say how could they be old enough to be on their own. You both are raising amazing boys. They will do wonders in their lives thanks to their parents!!!!

  • Catherine says:

    What a beautiful outing and a great distraction for everyone, too. Lake Geneva is so elegant and peaceful. The pictures really made me miss the low humidity summer air. Thank goodness Logan isn’t going too far! A hungry college boy would surely welcome an occasional lunch visit from mom and chance to try some of Evanston’s restaurant fare. Well, maybe not the first week, but soon. Hang in there.

    • Becky says:

      His proximity makes all of the difference in the world! I”m so glad he’s not going all the way to the east coast! I’m also glad he opted out of the University of Chicago where we just heard another report last night of a shooting!

  • Heather says:

    You’ll remember that I sobbed all the way to work the next day after Wes left for college. I got to the parking lot and turned around and went home for the day. The next day wasn’t as bad and the day after and the year after and OMG, it’s been almost ten years now since he first left home! But they’re always your babies and they’ll always come home if only for a week or two a year. It’ll be tough, but just remember that he’s just down the street and you’ll be able to see him pretty much any day, if you want to. Love the pic of Mom with the life preserver on at all times, as the fashion dictates. Glad you had such a perfect day! Now, I have to ask, what the heck is that thing next to your Kleenex and cup of hot water?

    • Becky says:

      I do remember that. I believe I sobbed that whole day as well!

      That thing next to my Kleenex box is whatever you want it to be.

      Seriously, though, it’s a thermometer. Haven’t you ever used one like that? You scan it from one temple across your forehead to the other temple. Get with the program, sistah!

  • Mary Lou Sandvik says:

    Becky…Oh yes, he’ll be back…with dirty laundry and a money request! I too shed plenty of tears when our first college student departed (Heather).. It’s not that the second and third departures don’t pull at your heartstrings, but it’s that you realize that this new life arrangement is manageable and in fact, necessary. So buck up dear one, and enjoy. It’s part of the little bird stretching his wings before he leaps out of the nest! You raised him for this! YLM

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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