Notes From Home

First, I want to apologize for my 11-day lag between posts. For once, it wasn’t due to my tendency to procrastinate. Having gained the permission of the affected party, I can tell the tale of  my son’s first week of college, affectionately titled James and the Giant Bus.


It all seemed so easy. Get on the RIPTA bus – the stop is practically at his doorstep – go to Warwick. Attend class. Get on the bus, come home.

All of the preliminaries were in place:



Books purchased?


Monthly bus pass in-hand?


Timetables consulted, route planned and successful dry-run with bus-savvy older sister completed?

Check, check and check.

What could possibly go wrong?

Day One

I dropped him off at his house early in the morning, smiling and full of nervous energy. Ready to jump on a 7:30 bus to get to a 9:30 English class. ” Go get ’em, tiger!” I joked. “and text me when you get there so I can stop worrying.”

The message came at 9:18  “There.”

Followed almost immediately by “I’m gonna be late for English.”


Unaware that the classroom code AB stood for Automotive Building – 2 miles from where he was – he had not known to sign up for the shuttle to take him there. He had to hoof it. And back again, for an 11:35 computer class… to which he was also late.

After class, he changed his English block to a Wednesday night class, got back on the bus, and headed home, exhausted.

About 4:30, my phone rang. “I got on the West Main bus by mistake. Can you come pick me up at Dunkin’ Donuts?”

What a poor, dejected kid. But, hopeful about Tuesday.

Day Two

From this end, everything seemed to get off all right. Then the phone rang at 10:50.

The East Main bus had been so late getting them to Providence that he’d missed the connection to Warwick, and the next bus wasn’t due until 11:30 – 5 minutes before the start of class and a 40 minute ride in good traffic. Could I come get him?

Knowing that I might not get there before the next bus, I jumped in the car and flew towards the city, weaving in and out of downtown traffic and arriving – you guessed it – just as the bus pulled in. He rode the bus. I couldn’t have gotten him there any faster.

Later that afternoon, I sent a message asking him to let me know when he got home – so I could stop worrying (that’s what moms DO, ok?). No problem. He was going to stop at Gamestop and have his dad pick him up.

Postscript: ” I have a good feeling about tomorrow, Mom.”

Wish I did….

Day Three

Late again. From now on, he’s going to go through Newport instead. Lesson learned.

Night class. Standing at a dark bus stop at 9 pm. Spending an hour waiting at the bus station in Providence and not getting home until after 11. That kind of thing gives a mom nightmares.

That part came off without a hitch. He called from the bus stop and talked to Sarah and me for 15 minutes while he waited. Enjoyed his English class – that’s a first! Got home safe and sound.

Day Four

11:30 am. Text. “I finally got to class on time!”

Praise the Lord and pass the whiskey!

Day Five

Friday at last! Everything went smoothly, right down to him walking to my house after school and enjoying a big lasagna dinner. Dragons vanquished, Ready to start again the next week. What a trooper!


His first English assignment is a personal essay. Three guesses what it’s about, and the first two don’t count!

SO, add to this a brief but entertaining visit from my father and Sarah”s car breaking down, and you can see it’s been a bit busy around here. I’m back, now.

I hope.


6 thoughts on “Notes From Home

  1. Hiya! I have really enjoyed your blog! You are a talented writer. I have enjoyed “seeing” another part of the country through your eyes. Fall is my favorite season, and you described so many things about it beautifully.
    I’m glad James is sailing smoothly along now. I’m also glad he is enjoying college. How are the girls?

  2. Thanks, Kat! The girls are well. Still waiting for a verdict on Sarah’s car, which is making her nuts. Will post more fall pics this week – our leaves are very near peak.

  3. I love the pictures of the mantis. You are a good photographer, too. I did not expect anything new this late in the evening, so this was a nice surprise.

    • I think I’ve got this picture thing figured out now. And trustme, my good shots are more luck than skill! Did you notice the new header? I took that while I was in Tiverton with Dad. Gonna change it every month or so.

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