Buresh Blog: The tropics.... night skies.... dropping your kid off at college!

Some weather, some skies, some personal thoughts

Buresh Blog: The tropics.... night skies.... dropping your kid off at college!

The tropics remain active overall - daily updates: "Talking the Tropics With Mike".

"Velocity Potential Anomalies" show an impressive burst of "rising air" (green lines) which often signals an active period in the tropics.  So while there will be multiple named storms across the Atlantic Basin into early Oct., ultimately the period will be perceived as active based on whether or not any storms threaten or hit land.

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More often then not, where tropical systems move & go will be dependent on the positioning & strength of the Bermuda high.  Far enough east or weak enough & many of the deep tropical systems will turn more north over the Atlantic - that's a best case scenario most of the time regarding any landfall threats.

Meanwhile... our "wet season" is winding down.  For the 2nd year in a row, Sept. has been drier than avg.  We could use some rain - especially inland where the past few weeks have particularly dry.

September/early Oct. night skies (courtesy "Sky & Telescope"):

Sep. 20 (dawn): Look high in the south to see the waning gibbous Moon in the Hyades, not far right of Aldebaran.
Sep. 23 (morning): The Moon is in Gemini and forms a triangle with Castor and Pollux ("the Twins").
Sep. 23: Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere at the equinox, 3:50 a.m. EDT.
Sep. 24 (morning): The waning crescent Moon is to the right of the Beehive Cluster (M44) in Cancer.
Sep. 26 (dawn): The thin sliver of the Moon is just 3° left of Regulus in Leo.
Sep. 27 (dusk): Look for Venus very low in the west about 30 minutes after sunset.
Oct. 3 (dusk): The waxing crescent Moon and Jupiter are 1½° apart after sunset, with Antares 10° to their lower right.
Oct. 4 (dusk): Saturn, the Moon, Jupiter, and Antares extend along a 34°-line stretching from south to southwest.
Oct. 5 (dusk): The first-quarter Moon and Saturn hover 2° apart just left of the Teapot in Sagittarius.
Moon Phases

Full Moon: September 14, 12:33 a.m. EDT (Full Harvest Moon)
Last Quarter: September 21, 10:41 p.m. EDT
New Moon: September 28, 2:26 p.m. EDT

Once in a while I'll post something in this blog that's not necessarily weather related.  And so it is in this case.  My wife & I "dropped" my oldest daughter at college 15 hours away from home back in August. Of all the "dad moments" so far in my life, this was one of the most emotional. Upon returning to work, things got busy in a hurry due to the tropics & developing "Dorian".  So I must admit my work - as is frequently the case - provided a distraction... & also delayed the writing of this post.

A little about my oldest daughter: She's our first which is always particularly memorable.  She is an avid, bordering on rabid book reader.... very observant & astute... trusting... trustworthy.... practical... a really big heart... not the most social... a deep yet somewhat private faith... & very tight with Dad :).

Thanks to her scholastic abilities, my daughter had plenty of college opportunities both in & out of the state of Florida. She has a keen interest in the sciences & in getting away from home (?) which closely guided her college choice.  Here are a few of my experiences/observations over the last few months during this "life change" in the Buresh household:

* as parents, it's mind boggling trying to make sense of all the financial aid & details, deadlines, & digital (used to be paper in the old days) work

* her HS graduation ceremony was pretty fun & nostalgic with lots of family & friends. When the graduation party was over & the last of the family folk exited, I was thinking there's still 3 months before my daughter leaves.  It's a summer of fun & memories ahead.  The latter was true but the three months flew by!

* some of that fun included a visit to the campus for orientation in June.  We met a lot of friendly people, & I came away feeling more comfortable with my daughter's decision.  And I thought: "to be going to college again!".

* 'Florida Prepaid' is one of the college tuition bargains going.... IF your kid stays in Fl.! (you do not lose that money, however)

* We were pleasantly surprised that our daughter diligently picked up & cleaned her room prior to departure in Aug. :)

* it was interesting to watch my daughter plan her schedule including work while also saying her good-byes to friends & family in the weeks leading up to her leaving home.

* my daughter & I had a nice steak dinner planned at one of her favorite restaurants the Sunday before she was to leave - just the  two of us.  In my head there was so much I had planned... so much I wanted to say.  So much so that I even wrote down some notes & hid the piece of paper in my pocket.  Why is it something like that never goes quite as planned??

* she flew to her University a week early because of more orientation

* so my wife & I drove out my daughter's stuff (girls = lots of clothes!) leaving in the evening on an overnight road trip that would get us to our daughter by late morning the next day

* we paid a bit extra to be able to move her in a day early - well worth the fee which was recommended by a Facebook parents page my wife is a part of.  We highly recommend parents sign up for such a group if their kids are going off to college - lots of handy hints.  Of course, a lot of "dribble" too but you just have to filter through what's worthwhile & practical vs. what is not.

* there were a LOT of sweaty parents on the moving days.  In fact, it reminded me of Disney World.  Yelling & tired but caring parents, impatient & sometimes crying kids. :)

* quite the people watching opportunity!  & a stark difference between the amount of stuff the ladies are moving in vs. the gents.  I'm not sure how some of the students got multiple pickup loads or one of those mini U-Hauls squeezed into a dorm room!  But while watching all this, I decided I'm glad I'm not the one that's a freshman in college.

* we moved, scrubbed & cleaned for hours!  How is it that there are cleaning crews for the dorms these days??  Once every two weeks the bathrooms are cleaned for them.  Seriously??

* "campus town" reminded me of the fun of old days :)  On our way out of town, my wife & I stopped at a few restaurants to buy gift cards which we sent to our daughter in a card a few weeks later.

* one of our friends told us they give their college daughter(s) cash every month.  I was like "really?".  We have to provide cash too??!! So we do drop a few dollars into her account each month but not a lot.  That totally screws up my nearly constant mantra to them: "Money doesn't grown on trees!".  I feel like this is the start of a teenager officially being independent & responsible.  She's also "scoring" some cash from time to time courtesy her grandparents.

* saying goodbye on that Sunday was nothing short of traumatic.  We took my daughter out for breakfast then walked her up to her dorm room.  We took some pics & traded some idle chit-chat & bad dad jokes. I feel like we lingered as long as we could with the inevitable hanging heavily over us.  When it was "time"..... I hugged my daughter as hard as one possibly can, as long as I could.  I turned away saying something to the effect "see ya' later" not wanting her to see my tears.  But she was crying as well, so I decided it was o.k., & I returned to hug & hold her again.  I told her "this is your chance.  Your time to shine. Go get 'em. Have fun but work hard too.  Be smart. I love you." -- or at least something along the lines of all that.

* so my wife & I headed out of town in a silent car with still some tears & a pretty deep lump in our throats. During this long drive, we'd be fine talking about something insignificant - often the weather (there were storm clouds!) only to look at one another & begin to tear up again. :)

* one of the smarter things we had decided to during this trip was stop at a beach on the way back to Jacksonville for some R & R.  This was a good & necessary recovery period.

* something like your first kid going off to college has caused me to really examine - often - the last 18 years of being a dad.  What I did right, what I did wrong - all the events, ballgames, classroom activities, etc. that I made it to..... but also that I missed - usually because of work.

What would I do differently as well as the times I so dearly cherish.

Was I as patient as I could have/should have been?

Was I as good a parent as my mom & dad?

Did I show her & explain "things" enough to her so as to be an independent & productive adult?

Did I prepare her enough for life's inevitable pitfalls?

And - oh dear - what about boys??!!

Photos on my phone that show my daughter as a tiny little baby to now all grown up & such an independent thinker.  Special conversations that grew from the trivial & mundane to something much deeper.

So.... in the weeks since we moved our daughter to college, she seems to be very, very happy & truly living the college life.  She was genuinely concerned about hurricane Dorian near our coast as well as how I was doing since she knew I would be working constantly. My wife & I are adjusting & are proud of her.... so far (long ways to go). I think she might miss our dog more than the rest of the family(!).  I still do hate to walk by my daughter's empty & quiet bedroom.

And we have a younger daughter who believes she's now in charge :).

Meanwhile.... I'm counting the days to Christmas break.

My daughter is in the pic below somewhere(!):

Our therapy: