This week we have returned from a once in a life time trip to Italy, with the whole family; and packed our oldest daughter off to college.  I find myself somewhat in shock from both.  It has been something of a culture shock coming back to our small town after seeing the aged beauty in the art and architecture of Rome, Florence and Venice.  I hope to someday return, to soak up more of this beauty, eleven days was not nearly enough. 
  It was a wonderful trip to share with our kids before Jessi flew the coop to start her new “grown up” life.  I feel a trepidation in not being there to protect her; balanced with pride and excitement for her new beginnings.  It helps that she is so ready to be out there on her own that I can just feel her humming with the thrill of it.  Mostly though I just miss her.