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When My Parents Left Home

Typically, during the college years, young women and men leave their parents home to pursue their education. My folks and I chose the opposite course. While I was in college, my parents left home. This is not news to me, since I was part of that equation. It has just come to mind in the course of talking with my mom and dad about my son’s impending move into a university dormitory a few hours from home.

Some people (like the Omawari-son) only get to go to NC State.

During my sophomore year at the University Of Maryland, my parents followed a moving truck out of town, leaving their nineteen year old son in their now sparsely furnished five bedroom home. I had strict instructions on how to maintain the house because they were eager to sell it to stop paying mortgages both on their new house in North Carolina and the house they were leaving me in. In the end, it took a year and a half to sell the house.

I’m writing to admit that there is the possibility that some of my actions might have delayed the sale of the house.

The Luau

Yes, a Luau. In Maryland, in the winter. Why not?

A buddy from one of my part-time jobs was in on it, we had a pretty good turn out. There were some logistical matters to work out before the party. Food was one of those things to be handled.

Good on strawberry shortcake. Also a poi substitute.

We were 19 and working part time jobs while we commuted to school. Catering was out of the question. We couldn’t really afford a pig with an apple in its mouth. There wasn’t a ready source of poi, and neither of us had any idea what it would taste like. Still there could be no luau without those things, or at least a reasonable substitute. Ambition and ingenuity ruled the day. We made ham sandwiches in place of the pig and substituted cool whip for poi…because it was white.

It was a pretty good party with lots of grass skirts and aloha shirts in attendance. You should have been there.

The house didn’t sell that month. Mom and Dad, I’m sorry.

The New Years Party

Clean up on aisle 6...ewww.

After the Luau, I cooled out a bit. Soon though, the temptation was back.

There was a New Years Party at the house. A lock in, where everyone brought what they needed for the night and I took all the guests’ car keys as they arrived.

Apparently someone had Spaghetti-O’s before coming over though. That made for an enjoyable clean up.

The house didn’t sell that month. Sorry Mom and Dad.

The Golf Tournament.

I have never played golf on a course that did not have a windmill or a dinosaur on it.

I have, however, played the Binyon Court Course in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The course was a challenging split level that included not only changes in elevation but surfaces including grass, the back deck, carpet and the difficult concrete floor of the basement.

The kitchen hole was particularly tough, requiring the player to place a shot precisely through the door and successfully transition from carpet to linoleum.

The house didn’t sell that month. Sorry Mom and Dad.

The House Did Eventually Sell

The house was sold in the summer before my senior year.

Perhaps coincidentally (perhaps not) during that summer I was taking summer classes and had added a fourth part time job. I think it is a coincidence. Amazingly, the fourth job was grounds keeping at a church. I’m not much of a groundskeeper and the carpet kept catching fire when I walked in the church.

Anyhow, I’m writing this to remind myself and other parents who are about to send kids off to college for the first time that there are more difficult situations. We’ll probably all make it.

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20 Comments on “When My Parents Left Home”

  1. HippieCahier says:

    Fear the Turtle!

    Sounds like Risky Business might have been a bio-pic.

  2. jammer5 says:

    You know what can really ruin an otherwise good day? Coming home from school and finding the house empty and everybody gone. Even the dog. And then you find out years later they tried to leave the dog there, but it wouldn’t stay. So you end up living under a bridge, with a shopping cart, one pair of extra socks and a cockroach named, “Cockroach,” as your best friend.

    Think that’d make a good reality show?

  3. I think impromptu home golf courses cause more parent/child conflict than anything else.

  4. betty says:

    The picture of spaghetti-o’s made me gag. I didn’t know what it was at first. Can’t believe people eat that crap.

    Your post brought back fond memories of my junior year of high school when my parents went on vacation for a week and said I could stay home as long as I had a friend stay over with me. Well, okay, Mom & Dad! There was no shortage of volunteers. Things were a lot different in 1978. I think if parents left a 16 year old home alone for a week these days, they’d probably be arrested.

  5. spencercourt says:

    > The house was sold in the summer before my senior year.

    Very good timing. Well planned….

  6. linlah says:

    sowing some oats, getting the house sold and still turning out well, your parents should be proud.

  7. omawari-son says:

    I’m gonna have to call you on the only NC State thing. My mascot wears clothes.

    • omawarisan says:

      Seriously, that wolf has that weird 23 skidoo hat on. I can’t believe you’re taking my money and going there.

      You’ll make something of that place, I know it.

  8. Brooke says:

    Those are some good parties! I always think back to the toga parties and the maze parties and how much I had. Then I realize that today’s parties are a thousand times better because we all cook now. Food is much much better.

  9. Pammy Girl says:

    Poi is gray, has the consistency of caulk and tastes like paste. I wish it looked and tasted like Cool Whip… that would have saved many embarrassing moments while dining with my Polynesian friends. Poi is some nasty shit.

  10. […] I stayed in the house until they sold it. It was a very quiet place, with a few exceptions. (You can read about when my parents left home here) […]

  11. […] a comment » A little background on this one. While I was in college, my family moved away. I wrote about the sordid details here. You should go look, I’ll wait.   Welcome back. My mother and I had a conversation last week […]


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