Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chaos to Calm

My daughters
This afternoon I found myself alone, with three sleeping dogs, in a house that was eerily quiet. I’ve been used to chaos the past week—two ten-year-old boys can make more noise than a herd of elephants. And their mothers, my daughters, aren’t always soft-spoken. Plus there have been people in and out all week—repairmen, plumbers and electricians working on the cottage who found it necessary to come into the main house, the wonderful lady who cleans for me every other week, and of course happy hour guests. I’ve loved every minute of the chaos.

But today Megan and Ford went back to Austin, Jacob went to visit his other grandparents, Jordan went to work on her house, and I was alone. I took a deep breath and enjoyed it. When the grandchildren were little they’d make a total mess of the house, toys strewn everywhere, and I’d mentally worry about reclaiming the house. But their parents were good and when they left, the house was back in order, if not spotless. I used to take one of those deep breaths and say to the dog, “It’s ours. We have our house back.” I was of course sorry to see them go, but a part of me was relieved. That happened again today—when everyone was gone, the major portions of my house were neat. Some rooms will never be neat again until the merge/move is accomplished. But I have my house back.

Seemed like yesterday, my birthday, was particularly hectic, though it was a lovely day. Still Jordan had a flat tire, Christian came to pick up the grandsons so the girls and I could have a lovely lunch at Neiman’s, and then we gathered for supper. It was low-key, as I requested, with only one dinner guest. We had hamburgers on paper plates in the living room. Funny, how some birthdays you want a huge, blow-out celebration and others you want low-key. For my 70th we invited almost a hundred people to Joe T.’s for supper, and as 80 approaches, I’m wondering what I’ll want. But for now, this year, low-key was  great.

People energize me, and one of the blessings during this housebound phase is that Jordan has made sure to invite people over, so that I’ve had lots of company. I am not solitary like writers are said to be, and I can’t write new material for more than two hours at a time, if that.  But I also enjoy aloneness. It gives me a chance to organize my thoughts—today I cleaned off my very messy desk and had, heaven help me, a new thought about one of the half-baked projects in my computer. I had a lovely nap and was primed for a simple supper alone when Jordan arrived and fixed me supper. After all the dinners we’ve had this week, focusing in part on filling up two young boys with wooden legs, I was ready for simple and light—cottage cheese and raspberries.

Tomorrow I’ll be home alone, with the dogs, for much of the day. I’m rather relishing the idea.

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