Oct 8, 2018

On His Own

10/08/2018 — cori

When Gavin came home from UCI this summer, we spent many a day deep in conversation about school. We could tell he wasn't happy where he was. He was very stressed and didn't seem to be enjoying learning. He also mentioned in passing a few times that he was lonely. After a lot of heart to hearts, he decided to leave UCI for NDSU. Not only was cost a major factor, he missed his friends who were all going there. He missed the midwest - the weather, the landscape, the vibe. He knows himself well and knew this is where he needed to be. We supported his decision 100%.

"Move to Fargo" day finally arrived this past Thursday. He asked me to come with him to help him set up his first apartment. I was honored and more than happy to help. Even though he doesn't start classes until January, he is getting established, learning his way around and already working. His job at Target in Fort Collins transferred him to another Target in Minnesota (10 minutes away from Fargo). The time was right for him to set out on his own.

We divided the drive up into two days. This day was our long one...7.5 hours. It's apparent I didn't sleep very well the night before. We stayed in a horrible motel in Spearfish, South Dakota. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so cheap. This was one of those times.

I drove the first leg of the second day. Two hours in and it started snowing. I was not mentally or physically prepared for snow. I didn't even bring a jacket. My souvenir from ND was a stocking cap and gloves. Those beautiful items made my time there much more bearable and enjoyable.

Here is the "before" of Gavin's new studio apartment. It's in an old building in downtown Fargo. The building was built in 1894. It is beautiful and has an amazing vibe.

This picture was taken from the window looking toward the front of the apartment. We had just been given a tour by the building manager. Gavin chose this apartment online having never visited it before. He certainly lucked out. It's in a quiet part of downtown, across the street from a gorgeous park. The whole area is very peaceful and beautiful.

This is his front door. We both appreciated all the little details, like the ceiling, the nice woodwork, and the garbage chute

This is the inside of the building. The lower two levels are businesses. The upper 4 levels are apartments. It's very safe. Only the tenants are able to get up to the 3rd floor and above. This is not your typical college kid's apartment. But Gavin is not your typical college kid. He appreciates beauty and history and calmness - everything this apartment gives him.

All of his friends showed up to help him "move in" (unload the car). We didn't have any furniture yet. But they were there. And they helped. Some of them even cleared their schedules to be there when he arrived. They were just as excited to have him here as he is to be there. Gavin calls them "my boys", another friend refers to them as "d'crew". Whatever they are, they're friends and that is priceless.

We took time out of our furniture shopping to explore the downtown area. Right across from his apartment is the old Union Station. Now it is just a museum with old rail cars sitting out front. It sure is pretty though.

A block away is the Broadway where Fargo's very vibrant downtown area is. It reminds me alot of Old Town Fort Collins. I loved it there.

Next, we got a tour of NDSU from two of Gavin's friends. One of them is very into landscape architecture and was thrilled to have a captive audience to show every tree on campus to and tell us their scientific names. I don't think anyone else has ever had a tour like that of the campus. It was sweet to see his excitement. But after 2 hours in the cold weather, I was ready to go back to the apartment and build some furniture.

This will be his home for the next however many years. He has no expectations about what he wants to do with his degree, he just wants to enjoy learning and see what interests him and what comes his way. I like how he thinks.

Here is his friend Colin showing him the bus route he can take from his apartment to campus. The bus is free for students. That's a nice perk.

Ahhh....the furniture building. This wasn't Gavin's favorite part, but he sure is happy to have it.

The "after" picture of an almost finished apartment. He still doesn't have a bed, but it's on it's way. 

The tiny kitchen. This is the first and last time it will be this clean.

Good bye, Gavin. We'll miss you! But you are so ready to be on your own. You've got this!

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