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My brother is leaving at the end of next week.

He is going to graduate school at the University of Michigan, and he'll be gone for three years. Right now, he's re-doing his apartment, and in the next few hours/days, he'll borrow the Suburban from me so he can take a load of crap up to the ranch. A few weeks ago, he was highlighted in a New York Times article about taking standardized tests when you're older. He's been taking classes at community colleges in stats and algebra and accounting and biology and environmental sciences. In part to get ready for his graduate studies, but also to get a good score on his exams. He did well enough on his GRE and GMAT to get almost an entire full ride in the Environmental Science program as well as the MBA program.

My family has sort of been in a status quo since I moved back to Texas nine and a half years ago. Jose and Claudia have been living together in Jose's apartment since 2003. Olivia has been in California since 1997. My parents have been in their apartment since 2000. It's sort of strange to have a change of any sort.

But I think this is the first of many. My parents get more and more serious about retirement at the ranch every month. My mom would move tomorrow if she could; my dad is a little more reluctant, but seems to be getting on board. Claudia thinks about leaving to get experience elsewhere. Even Liv talks about maybe going back to school, maybe even outside the Bay Area.

And soon, Graham and I will be married, so the family composition will officially change. And hopefully soon after that, there will be children added in. Presumably, one day some of my siblings will find partners and add more people to the family.

I know that our family is very unusual in its closeness. And I know that just because Jose is moving, he's not really leaving. He even claims he'll be directly back once school is over. But this feels like the start of a new chapter, a more fragmented chapter.

It's not something I dread. I'm really happy for Jose, especially because he's worked very hard over the last two years for this particular goal. I'm also happy for my parents, because I think that they'll enjoy time to themselves. And I think that they've found something to keep their golden years quite busy. I'm terribly excited about marrying Graham, and I'm hopeful for the future.



( 5 comments — Say something )
Aug. 11th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
i love to hear your family stories, and how close you are. its GOOD. when my granny died, the family fell apart from one another. we were never close in, because we moved, my dad was military. other family members stayed living on the same road, but at the same time, things have happened to pull everyone apart.

i'm happy to hear about your wedding plans, and smile at your happiness. i want everyone to feel that way as they step into new parts of your lives, i really do.

(oh, and i told a Holden story the other night to my son...the one about the asparagus. he cracked up laughing!)
Aug. 12th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
It has been NINE AND A HALF years since you've moved back to Texas? WOW. It doesn't feel like it's been that long!
Aug. 12th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
I know! March 2002 is when I moved back.

It's been nearly four since Graham and I got together. It's sort of shocking how fast time moves.
Aug. 13th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
Congratulations to your brother! Michigan is an interesting place to live and go to school; I think I might have enjoyed it more, but for a) it was law school and b) the weather. So, you know, the two big things. HOWEVER, it is an excellent school and it was quite an adventure. I hope he enjoys the next three years a lot.
Aug. 15th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
I hated law school with the heat of a nova, so I totally understand.

I don't think I'd be able to handle the weather, but he spent five years in Ithaca, NY when he was getting his architecture degree, so he's much more prepared than I would ever be.
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