CRISIS LEVEL: RED
Midlife crisis that is.
It’s come to my attention that in exactly 31 sleeps from today the oldest Sankary child will be graduating from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Geological Engineering or something like that. Feels like four years have just evaporated, gone. I had me some big plans when the kid started up there. I was going to go visit once a year or so, hang out on the Upper Peninsula, enjoy the great flyfishing I’ve heard about.. the best laid plans as the say.
Turns out life.. Life is like that, unforgiving especially when it intersects with time. Time being deceptive because while it feels vast and endless, it is in fact quite finite, which most people only realize when there’s less of it in front of you than there is behind you.
I sound old don’t I. Did I mention I have a kid graduating from college?
I did make it up to Houghton a couple times in the kids academic career, early on. I spent a particularly lovely Yom Kippur up there, attending the local shul, seeing the community. I tried to spend 4 days, but after a couple I was kinda ready to go home. There wasn’t a ton of stuff to do, it’s isolated and hotels all are boring. Especially when you’re alone like I was. Used to be a night in a hotel with Mrs S was a treat to be eagerly anticipated. That was before our room census went from 2 to 5. Three kids and two adults in a hotel sucks no matter how you slice it, even the very coldest of climates, Tower Minnesota in January, where as I recall it was -34 BEFORE windchill, is not enough to cool down hotel room where 10 lungs are rebreathing the same air for hours on end. The only difference, the condensation freezes on the glass instead of rolling down the glass in disgusting drips of human DNA laced fog.
I digress. Back to Houghton.
There’s only one street in town, it’s four blocks long and once you’ve walked up one side and down the other, you’re kinda done. Don’t get me wrong, I like small towns, or I thought I did.
Tech’s calendar is kinda screwy for visiting, the kids get out of school the last week in April. So, the plan to go up there and flyfish after picking him up from school, didn’t work out so well as we learned, season doesn’t open until the weekend after the kids get out. Inconvenient. We tried this fishing thing twice and found that navigating the rules to find stretches of river that were open before the general season opened was in fact a significant effort in navigation. Lots of dirt roads and back country driving. Did you know the Upper Peninsula leads the nation in Milita membership. It was on my mind the deeper into the woods we got.
The fishing up there BTW, consistently sucked. 2 fish for three guys in 2 years. This wasn’t Hemmingway’s Nick Adams Stories, which was my inspiration for going fishing up there to be honest.
The first year the streams were dry, second year they were at flood stage, and all that shit gets old after a time. I found myself going back to the guidebooks I purchased to figure out where exactly we were supposed to be, because the dudes I was with.. Still adventures to remember, the UP does make memories.
Once the kid had his own car however, visiting was over.
Sigh. I mentioned to Mrs S that Houghton would be a good place for us to retire. We are not in alignment on that thought. I filled out a questionnaire on some website and was quite to pleased to see Houghton come up as a good retirement spot for me. “What’d’ya type in there, enjoy blizzards and winter isolation?”
Isolation sounds good. I’ve said it before, we don’t have to retire in the same place.
Next step for him I’m happy to say is Grad School. This is a good thing because it keeps him out of the workforce for a while. I’m not ready to have a working kid yet, I already feel like a verse from Cats in the Cradle, hate to have it come true.
However, should his Grad School dreams come true, it’s not like we’ll be seeing much of him. He has applied too, and his first choice is הטכניון or Tecnion, the Israel Institute of Technology. If goes there we won’t be seeing him at Thanksgiving that’s for sure. On the other hand visiting Haifa is bound to be pretty interesting and it is quite lovely, I’ve been a few times. On the other hand it’s a very difficult school to get into so it’s a stretch goal. His safety school if you will, UC Davis. Also a good school, and has the very program he wants.
When I think about it still have daughter, freshmen in high school, we still have some work to do in the parenting department.