Another Farewell…

In a post not so long ago I told you that our son Karl took a teaching job 4th grade math in Houston, TX.  Wednesday of last week was his last day at work…Thursday he left.  I was pretty sad.  I had gotten so used to him being here.  Karl is so easy going and helpful it was absolutely no extra work at all to have him here the last 7 months or so.

Karl is so helpful taking things to the post office for me…picking up things I needed it town…hanging with the childcare kids…anything I asked Karl did.  Best of all though, he’s a great companion who is an excellent listener.

All week long the siblings told him goodbye so it was just me, Kalissa and Carver to see him off.  I had two pictures to choose from here…the one with my eyes closed or the one with Carver picking his nose.  I thought I’d save you from having to look at that!

I tried REALLY hard not to cry….

I didn’t do very well.

It was the worst that night.  Every night for the last 7 months I’ve left the hallway light on as he always went to bed after we did.  This night, I turned the light off.   I took a picture of it and then sent it to Karl withe the caption, “I shut the light off tonight”.  He sent me back this message.  😭😭😭.

We really got close again while he was home.  We needed that time.

As he was leaving I saw that he had his African Violet that Kayla gave him in his car.  I told him, if you stay at a hotel tonight.  I told him the heat would kill it.

Well that night we got a message from him.  His car broke down.  He was south of Kansas City, MO.  He called a tow truck.  Got his car to the shop and found hotel a mile or so from the shop.  He had his bicycle on a bike rack on his car so it worked out okay for him.  He put together a bag of things and head to the hotel.  He sent me a picture of his African Violet.  He put it in his water bottle holder.  He didn’t want to leave it in his car!!

The car thing was not a big deal so he was on the road again the next morning and finally made it to Houston Saturday morning. He sent a video of his apartment.  It’s SMALL-just a studio apartment.  It’s what he can afford though and he’s a trooper and will make the best of it.  I feel terrible for him right now as he has no bed, no table, no chair no, no nothing.  He apartment looked SAD!  I’m hoping he can find somewhere to get something cheap and find a pair of hands to help him get it up to his apartment.

He’s been busy exploring.  We got this message, “This is my street, West Alabama. Nothing special, it’s a road. A block that way is my future hair place and coffee shop. There’s a bakery on the other side of my building that way, too!  Oddly enough, there’s a giant thrift shop between my apt and coffee shop”.  Well Hallelujah.  Hopefully there is some type of furniture at the thrift store…or he can hit up Craig’s List.  He needs something!!

That’s the Karl report for now.  I made it through writing this without crying all over again.  I just so hate the kids being so far away that I can’t help much…Fingers crossed that this will only be for a year or two.

I have to admit to feeling super frustrated the day Karl left.  He had applied to a Marshalltown Iowa school for a job and had an interview with them back at Memorial Day-ish time.  They got back to him two days before he left and said they had a position they were interested in offering him.  WHAT!!??  He could have stayed in Iowa…but he had already committed to Houston.  UGH.

Oh well.  This job in Houston will be good for him and likely good for the kids.  In the meantime…I’ll have to learn to deal with a kid living far from home.

20 thoughts on “Another Farewell…”

  1. He has an adventure ahead and maybe a trip for you to Texas. Or the Houston INternational Quilt Festival. That is a good excuse! Tell him to find a church. Could probably get some loaner furniture from some kind women.

  2. I couldn’t make it through the beginning of the post without crying. It is so hard when our kids are far away. I hope that someone in the Houston area reads this and can help Karl out with some furniture and help to get it to his apartment.

  3. Carolyn in Texas

    He will have a blast making that apt his. It will all come together a little bit at a time. I know he will enjoy teaching those 4th graders as much as they will love him.

  4. It is hard saying good-bye to our children but also exciting that their lives will be bigger than ours. We live in a big, beautiful country that is full of amazing adventures, possibilities and opportunities. How fantastic that Karl has this chance to experience something new before he settles down and has too many “life responsibilities”. He’ll eat new food, experience different weather, live in a big city with so many things to do and have a grand adventure. And in the end he’ll choose the path for his life with a few more life experiences under his belt. All kids should be so lucky!

  5. It is so hard to have our children far away but he is using the wings you gave him. I am sure he also has his roots stretching right back to you.

  6. Little Carver is going to miss his Uncle Karl.
    Start planning your vacation trip to Houston. Karl can show you around.

  7. In the one picture, it looked like Carver was giving Karl instructions. The next picture looked like Carver was giving Karl the ‘take care’ hand shake and wishing him well. So cute. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I’ll bet Houston has a Habitat for Humanity Restore !! It is really a great place to find household stuff including furniture etc at low prices !!

  9. Sandra Kahler

    I think this is the first time I did not have tears when my son and granddaughter went back home to North Carolina. We live in Illinois so we are lucky if we see them once a year. My sos is 51 so you know I have shed a lot of tears when he has went back to his home.

  10. I feel your pain. I just had my younger daughter move away and it hurts. It also hurts that I wound up driving her stuff there and hauling the empty trailer back. Ah motherhood, it never ends.

  11. Peggy in Florida

    I know how you feel. My only child, a son, lives in Montreal, Canada, and I live in Florida. To top it off, they just had another child 3 weeks ago. Waaah… We just got back from visiting them (we were there for the birth), but I only get to see them twice a year. Thank God for FaceTime and other electronic communications. I hope Karl does well at his new job, and like someone else said, there’s always the Houston Quilt Show…LOL

  12. All the good attributes Karl has that you so enjoyed (being helpful and pitching in wherever needed, hanging with the children, being a good listener, etc…) all started from your being a good mother and his having a loving family. He will be a wonderful husband to a very lucky girl one day! As many others have said, he will enjoy putting his little apartment together piece by piece. I know it must be especially hard for you will all the odd pieces of furniture you are buying and reselling! But he knows how to look for the bargains and that will help keep him busy until school starts. Love the picture of all of you! You all look alike!!….especially you and Carver! I have a hard time telling you and your girls apart!

  13. Sorry your nest is empty but those seven months he was home I’m sure we’re very happy times that you both will cherish for the rest of your life. Those things that are hard, only make us stronger.

    I read a book recently that I think you may enjoy. I was totally surprised at the ending. I definitely didn’t have this one figured out. It’s about WWII in a German town. The Air Raid Killer by Frank Goldammer.

  14. Susan the Farm Quilter

    It is hard to have our babies fly without us close by to protect them! With 2 daughters in the military, I have learned to let them go and love being able to visit them in Texas, Florida, Washington, Hawaii and South Korea! You are so lucky to have a place to crash for the Houston International Quilt Market and Show!!!

  15. is another good outlet for free household items.

    My family loves FaceTime and Skype! One time my eldest daughter and I FT’d while sitting at our kitchen tables having coffee then doing some handwork and just visiting like we really were just across the table from each other. Imagine our surprise when the FaceTime call ended and we’d been visiting for over 6 hours!

    Years ago, when my sister and our families were not able to visit each other over the holidays, it worked out that we each ended up with a couple hours of wrapping gifts to do late Christmas Eve. We opened our laptops (Skype) on the bed where we wrapped and spent hours sharing what we were giving everyone and it felt like we weren’t states apart.

    If I weren’t so blessed as to have our only grandbaby here 4 days a week, you can bet I’d be reading her bedtime books via our iPads! Even way back when, I knew I would do that via video tape, if that’s what I had to do to have a daily relationship with the next generation of our family!

  16. So glad that Karl made it to Houston and can start to do what he has wanted, teach. Its always hard when the children move so far away. We keep him in our prayers.

  17. I cried throughout your farewell writing, Jo, and long afterward!! I was that young, adult, child who moved miles & miles away from my family and left my mom & dad broken hearted. I do hope Karl returns to Iowa before too awfully long and gets a great teaching job in Muscatine, Marshaltown, or wherever he likes the way things are set up, backed, etc. I’ve missed out on so much by being gone! In spite of visits back and forth. I’m thinking of Carved and Karl’s bond plus the other grandchildren, let alone YOU!! I wish Karl a successful, happy, positive experience in his little town. The 4th graders will love him!! Peace and joy to you, Jo! Gloria

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