Elisabeth Grace, an almost-retired Clinical Social Worker, a writer, birder and gardener, has lived in the United States since 1972 but has deep roots in England and Scotland. She now shares her Columbia County home with Cole, a retired therapy dog, and Molly, a polite blue-eyed cat.
That Thursday morning in June, I awoke up before my 6:30am alarm. I was sixty-three years old and beside myself with anxiety and anticipation––full-blown first-day-of-school jitters. According to the directions on the Bennington College website, the drive should take me only two hours. Dinner for new students and their mentors was at five-thirty, and I wanted time to get settled in my dorm room beforehand. By noon, I began loading up my car with clothing for any occasion, toiletries, and bedding including the egg crate topper for the mattress that my student mentor, a Southerner who charmed me with her drawling description of my coming adventure, said I’d need.
Kathy Curto is an Adjunct Professor of Writing at Montclair State University and her work has been published in The Inquisitive Eater, The Asbury Park Press, Italian Americana, VIA-Voices in Italian Americana, Lumina, The Mom Egg, Splash of Red and several newspapers covering the Hudson Valley. She holds a BA and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work. In 2012 she was selected as one of the cast members of the first NYC Listen to Your Mother show, a national series of original live readings. Kathy lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and their four children. This essay is also featured on Junk.