Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An empty house

You know that empty feeling a house gets when there have been guests and they leave? That's what Sophie and I are dealing with tonight. My guests, friends for fifty years this fall, are not noisy--in fact, they're both so soft spoken my defective ears strained to hear them and they're not non-stop talkers, either one. So it's not that the house is quieter--it's that indefinable sense of emptiness. I'm not waiting for them to come in for the apartment in the morning, not checking to see if they're sitting on the front porch so I can join them, not cooking for them--not that they let me do much of that.
I learned a lesson about guests--find out their habits and adjust (I did do the latter). Because I love to cook I planned an elaborate breakfast for each day of their visit and dinners for most days. Breakfasts included a spinach souffle, potato nests with cheese and eggs--didn't get to make either of those. I did make pimiento biscuits (they took leftovers on the road with them), Welsh rarebit (with stout) for brunch on Sunday, and cheeseburger soup one night,  King Ranch chicken for Sunday dinner  with Jordan, Christian and Jacob. But my plans for coq au vin went out the window last night when they voted we get take-out barbecue. I'd never object to that! And we had one wonderful lobster dinner out on Saturday night and a Saturday lunch at the deli.
These friends came not to see the sights, do the museums or go shopping. They came to sit on the front porch, sip wine, visit and catch up on children and lives. I worried they were bored, but I don't think so. I on the other hand was delighted. They, both retired, seemed to take a real interest in my new careeer as a mystery writer--who wouldn't relish that attention?  What a wonderful feeling that friends you treasure would drive twelve hours in one day (from Omaha) just to see me--and, I had a sense, check up on my well-being. I hope they were reassured on that scale, in spite of my pratfall into the dishwasher (I am still finding new bruises, new sore places!).
Dick is an electronics guru, so I have two new HDF TVs--one in the apartment and one in the kitchen. And Dick programmed the remote that I wouldn't have had a clue about doing. And he reprogrammed my printer, so I can now scan to email and receive faxes. Gosh, do you suppose he'll come back for every electronic crisis I have?
I'm back to routine, as though a vacation is over. Granted, there's something comforting about routine. I did my yoga for the first time since last Wednesday or Thursday. But routine doesn't fill the emptiness. Sophie and I are both partially encouraged that Elizabeth is back in the apartment, but she's not often inclined to share a late-night glass of wine on the porch.
Oh well, a cold spell is coming. Won't be porch weather for a while.


Babs Hogan said...

Dan and I are available next weekend. Reserve a room!

Judy Alter said...

Do you eat breakfast?

Babs Hogan said...

You and Dan would have a blast cooking those fancy meals. I'll be on the porch with wine.

Judy Alter said...

We'll do it sometime, but not this weekend, unfortunately.

LD Masterson said...

I'm happy for you that you got to enjoy a good visit with old friends. Those are the best of times.