Christopher has been in Bellingham the last three years working on finishing his bachelors degree. He did two years of study at Clark College here in Vancouver prior to transferring to Western Washington University. The last few years have been challenging but he has managed to graduate. He didn't really want to walk for graduation but did it for me. I was disappointed when he decided not to walk at his Clark College graduation but knew that his schooling wasn't really done and that I would have this graduation to look forward to. He decided to go the casual route. He just wore his WWU Viking t-shirt, shorts and his Vibram toe shoes under his cap and gown for graduation. And didn't shave. But I was taking what I could get. At least he was walking across the stage for me to celebrate his accomplishments.
He has been friends with Luke Price for most of his time up in Bellingham and they have been roommates this past year. They sat next to each other during the graduation ceremony. The weather was actually a little chilly. Reminded me a bit of Tom's graduation four years earlier. Windy and threatening to rain. But fortunately it wasn't as cold as it was for Tom's graduation and the rain never materialized.
Tom flew up to see Chris graduate. It was with mixed feelings. We hadn't seen him in almost a year. But the Air Force wouldn't give him any time off to come up except for the weekend. And the airline tickets were so expensive. Especially given that he was only in Washington State for a little more than 24 hours and with us as a family for less than that. He made it into Seattle Saturday morning at 0840 but by the time he rented a car and drove up to Bellingham, he arrived barely in time to go to the graduation ceremony. In fact traffic was so bad and we had no idea if we were going to be able to find parking easily or not, we left Chris off in the middle of the street near the stadium so he could get lined up while we found a parking spot.
Chris accepted his diploma from the president of the university.
After graduation, we had a little bit of time to kill before the restaurant we were having dinner at would open. So we got Tom checked into his room and then headed to Chris' favorite brewery, Wander, to have a a few beers (and a black currant cider for me). So good to be able to be together as a family even it if was such a short time. We went out to Everson to have dinner at the Herb Neimann Steak House to celebrate. We had a great German meal. Bill and Tom had steaks and Chris and I had schnitzel. And all the sides were German--potatoes, red cabbage and green beans. At dinner we found out that Tom had recently been promoted to captain so that was another reason to celebrate. And for Bill, we had an early Father's Day celebration for him to be with both his boys at the same time.
Tom had never been to Bellingham before so he wanted to see a bit of the town. After dinner, we drove through the downtown and went to Fairhaven so he could see those and took a walk through Boulevard Park to see Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands in the evening light. It was a beautiful evening to walk along the water. With all the clouds, not everything was in view but at least it wasn't raining.
Tom had had a really long day having gone to the airport at 0100 our time so he was tired. We said our good nights early and met back up in the morning with him and Chris to go to Skylark Cafe in Fairhaven for breakfast as soon as they opened. After breakfast, we all went on our way--Chris to get some work done, Tom to get to the SeaTac Airport to go back to Wichita and Bill and I to come home and prepare for the week ahead.
Congratulations to Chris for a job well done. And good luck in finding a job and having a start to a successful future.