Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Brace yourself.
The university students have returned from Christmas break.
  Bless their hearts.

Even those who’ve experienced driving in winter conditions seem to have forgotten all after spending a couple of weeks on dry roads.  They hurtle their autos down streets and slide through stop signs.  They miss the curves and end up on the lawn.  There’s nothing worse than seeing a sports car with California plates spinning toward you like a hockey puck.

 The Canadians are the exception. 
 They have the ice driving down.
They spin donuts in the parking lots and think they are
the stars of The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.

The population of the town doubles overnight.

Often the student arrives with a parent.

 Sometimes the whole family comes along.

 For at least a week our grocery store isles will be clogged with carts
 surrounded by moms, dads and youngsters
 making earth shaking decisions about which box of cereal to buy
---at a speed that makes glaciers look swift. 

If the students are smart they’ll drain dad’s account
 while mom is there with teary eyes.  
Because they know it will be ramen noodles for the rest of the semester.

 Once again our streets will be filled with stunning young ladies
 in fine, if impractical, fashion.  After a few weeks in the 
slush ice, drifts and blowing snow, the fur trimmed high heel boots
 and tight jeans just don’t seem like such a great idea.

 We welcome the students here to try their wings 
 spend money, and add humor and smiles to a dreary time. 

There’s nothing like dragging yourself to Walmart
 in a blizzard for cough syrup and there find roommates
 in Santa hats and big smiles giving each other rides in the shopping carts.
Bless their hearts.


Jill said...

Love your sense of fun Leenie

Regina said...

This was down right enjoyable!!
Loved the elegant geese with your keen perspective. (Ha ha) I won't be able to shake the sports car spinning like a hockey puck though! Unreal..I can imagine the impractical ware as well as those clowns in the cart- you've given me something fun to chew on:)

Flea said...

I miss those days. I really do. But not enough to want to go back. Thanks for the smile. :)

Carla said...

What sort of swan are they? I love your commentary, it's so perfect. :)

susan m hinckley said...

LOVE this post, Leenie -- I so enjoy the way you use your illustrations. Smart, smart, smart! Would you like to go out to lunch?

Leenie said...

CeeCee: The swans are Trumpeters. Big, big, birds with a six foot wing span. They hang out along the Snake River north of here in the winter.

Susan: I'd LOVE to go to lunch! And with that kind of flattery, I'll pick up the tab.

TALON said...

The Trumpeter Swans are gorgeous, Leenie! Beautiful photos! I love their cries...

I loved the tie-in of the students returning with the swan photos...we live in an area with 3 universities so I can relate (though we don't have any California plates around here). Yes, doing donuts in the parking lot is a rite of Canadian driving. :)

Linda Sue said...

I love that those swans can drive and go to school- just another thing special about IDAHO.

Anzu said...

While the chill winter vacation, we tend to be busy getting ready for the welcome family who come back.We need the enough energy to be pleased with their remarkable growth.We are going to be young at heart like the beautiful swans.

Anairam said...

Oh, you have the right attitude, Leenie! If I had to live in a college/university town, I would go bonkers. I would probably spend my days out in the field or on the lake watching the swans.

The Weaver of Grass said...

How I laughed when I read this - what a lovely take on University students - the same the world over.

DayPhoto said...

I had to Laugh and chuckle even out loud! Ah, the joys of a college town!


Pearl said...

I just love your take on this: the smile is palpable from here.



rebecca said...

Definitely been in a shopping cart at Walmart. This makes me miss my college town.

Sarah said...

Brilliant link of students and swans-beautiful photos too! I don't like the sound of the california driving, sounds terrifying!