Sunday summer a.m….

May 29, 2011 § 12 Comments

This is the first day waking up as empty nesters.
At first blush, it seems a highly overrated state of affairs. The house is quiet. Not “old people” quiet,  just sleepy quiet.
However, thoughts and fears when horizontal in bed seem to disappear upon becoming vertical, leaping up, looking out between the nighttime curtains, seeing the sun and realizing –  oh, some morning sun at last!

Dress like a fireman and swear that everything will be new, way out of the box, going forward. Somehow.
Life is not a series of passages, to check off, like some prediction from some PhD sociologist’s calendar.
Life quivers and moves and stretches.

Waiting for the coffee to seep and emulse in the French press, the lemon on the counter looks lonely.
It might like something pretty to sit on other than the beige stretch of countertop.
Maybe Dali’s candleholder (that madcap artist too well known only for his melting timepieces) would be nice?
Dear Salvatore would never object to a lemon atop his candleholder rather than a bougie.


Huck (ye olde beagle) waits for his breakfast, which is already dished, while I wait for the coffee.
He wants something from the fridge, though, something that has a scent, not the dried dog food that’s good for his teeth and ancient bones. I think of calling him “Skeltor” but dismiss it.
I find some chicken in the fridge that we grilled yesterday and tear up a bit of it, adding it to his dry food with some hot water. He never says thank you. He doesn’t have to. We thank him for being here, for padding around the house, being with us.
His grace is in his loyalty, following us everywhere, to the point of being underfoot. But we don’t mind. He’s nearly deaf and his eyes are cloudy. Still, his world is mainly visual, with a bit of scenting-ability hanging in there. He’s a non-hunting hunter, after all.

He misses Jack, Nor’s dog, though. But Jack went with Nor and her fiancee when they finished packing up yesterday and headed down the road, not totally unlike two pioneers in an old two-horse (two oxen) covered wagon, heading into their (incredibly exciting) future.

The coffee is ready and I step outside through the mudroom door into the morning warm that wraps like a cloud. There is the sound of buzzing and trilling and insect-sawing – it is the cicadas,  who crawled out of the ground everywhere last week and climbed into the trees (though many are on the sidewalks, etc.)
This morning, they sing in a primordial haze. It’s muggy and the sun is working hard to burn the moisture out of the air.

Neighborhood humans are already turning on their air conditioners whose hum hits more of a bass F, an odd counterbalance to the nymph cicadas song which is at least the F above Middle C. It is a stream of sound. Those cicadas who are closer or older or bigger perhaps only by days, have learned to make the sawing, cheeping sound we recognize usually in the height of summer evenings. It is a male chorus. It is part of the “look at me” mating cycle of life.

Mother Nature has lifted her skirts so far this year, showing us some very odd ankle, some very rude knees, and a flash of crazy thigh. She is  dramatic, dangerous and petulant. She is not purposeful. She just is. 
And she is kind to offer this magnificent morning.
This crazy orchestra, this warm light, this buzz and concert of her creatures to this empty nester. That’s the sociologist’s term, though.
There is very little of “emptiness” in this nest.


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§ 12 Responses to Sunday summer a.m….

  • Happy Monday! Beautifully written post, as usual! Mother Nature HAS been brutal this year… Esp in your state. 😦

    I was thinking of you & Mike Corleone this weekend – I am sure it’s especially quiet around your house with Nor gone. Excitin adventure for her for sure! Looking forward to a time when we all rendezvous back at your house! 🙂

  • oh says:

    Lisa! yes, yes, yes, please do visit again – it’s awesome when this house is full! And we loved having you here, part of the family. And it’s great that Nor is now even closer to you, right? Congrats on your new urban digs! and so glad you so Jeanie’s book recommend on PARIS WANDERINGS. I thought of you immediately and then saw you’d visited – now there’s another one for which I’m on the hunt – about fashion in Paris – I can’t believe I picked it up and put it back down in the store and did NOT write down the title!
    Stay tuned…

    PS Mike Corleone says he’s doing fine. Ha. He misses Nor big time. and it will really hit home tomorrow when she’s not in the office per se. We have been on two “dates” since Nor and D left.

  • shoreacres says:

    What a lovely post – it brought me right out of my doldrums. I’ve had the pleasure of a wham-bam flu that struck two days ago and put an end to every holiday plan – but how nice to crawl back out and find your lemon atop the candleholder and reminders of cicadas. Just lovely.

    I thank you for stopping by my place, too – I finally got my responses done this morning. I was so sick yesterday I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the computer! Can you imagine such a thing?

    And did I laugh at Huck. Miss Dixie the kitty has been ordered to change to a canned food diet. She wants only dry – we’re working on that. But here’s something interesting – my vet says kitties never, ever will lose weight on a dry food diet. Too many carbs. And yes, she has orders to lose weight. TWO pounds! A good bit for a kitty.

    Hope your day is being wonderful fun. Me, I may go take another nap, once I finish my eighth glass of orange juice!

    • oh says:

      oh dear, I was wondering how you were doing (the imagination runs rampant) and glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better. There’s a strange viral flu-kind-of-thing going around town here, too. Terrible time of year for such things and to be knocked out.
      Hopefully, you have some fine fresh (and not too dry) air.

      And tell Miss Dixie that we raise our eyebrows at vets who complain about a pet’s weight. We know well and good what’s good for our pets. (And what cat doesn’t know what’s good for her, eh?) Trouble enough for us humans to get our weight right. Taking the hint about the dry food, but I gotta tell ya, ole Huck could use a bit of fattening up. Anyhow, good luck to Dixie – as long as she is happy! Tell her Huck enjoys a bit of cream now and then in his cereal as well. It’s the anglo in him!

      Cheers to your merry household!

  • Mandy says:

    Beautiful post. I was thinking you you this weekend, and Nor too.

    • oh says:

      Thanks, Mandy. Geez, you’d think I’d be good at this, you know, family coming and going. sigh. Hugs to you and yours!

  • jeanie says:

    When you wrote this:
    “He never says thank you. He doesn’t have to. We thank him for being here, for padding around the house, being with us.”

    I nearly cried.

    What a splendid post! What a clear picture I have of your day — the heat, the hum, the emptiness, the stillness. Your words often dazzle. This time they hit home so personally, as we send Rick’s youngest off tomorrow only for six months, but feels forever; sneak previews). Even though his nest isn’t in ours (heck, even our nests are two blocks apart), Georgia is a long way!

    Beautiful writing. You sound relaxed. Good. Hope it stays!

    • oh says:

      Thanks, Jeanie – yup, 3 days off in a row works wonders! lovely, slow, no schedule. Some writing time. Delightful.

      And ole Huck loved your note, your mention of him.

      And oh boy, you guys are prepping for the youngest to head out? Yup, we want them to grow and go out there, but egads, it’s tough to get used to. It’s like a rupture, and then it begins to heal. And, you have a new place to visit and see them! (so we’ll be going to Wisconsin later this summer to visit Nor and Derrick!

  • anno says:

    such loveliness… both in the languor of the day and the grace of your writing. There’s nothing like coffee brewing on a humid summer weekend morning to illuminate the joy and promise of every detail of life. So glad to know that we aren’t the only ones who spoil our dog, who have an elastic interpretation of “a healthy weight…”! Hope you carry this feeling into the week!

  • oh says:

    Whew!!! Tuesday a.m. in a meeting with the CEO was like doing a 360, but made it through AND it is a short week after all. I do believe a president who ran on a 4-day work week would win; his/her platform could be nearly as simple as that.
    Happy summer!

  • Bella Rum says:

    Oh, those crazy cicadas are back.

    This was such a pleasure to read. I think I’ll read it again.

    Empty-nest syndrome sounds like a psychological condition or disorder, doesn’t it? I guess that’s what it’s supposed to be but…

    The days leading up to my son’s departure for college were bittersweet. After he left, the house did feel empty for a few days, but we adjusted so quickly it was embarrassing. You’re supposed to miss your child a little. 🙂 And we did, but life fell into another kind of rhythm.

    It didn’t take long before we learned to cook for two or order takeout or go out with friends. The laundry got easier and the house stayed a little neater, or maybe we just didn’t concern ourselves with it as much. There was a certain amount of new freedom and less responsibility.

    The best is when you watch your child use the tools you gave him to make his own life a success. No, the best is when they give you grandchildren and your house fills up again, but only for a week at a time or weekends. Then you have the best of both worlds.

    Wishing you a very happy empty nest.

    • oh says:

      Thanks, Bella. This is lovely wisdom, and appreciated. And you’re right. We’ve started to get the hang of the freedom on the dinner thing. How can it be so much easier? I dunno. Will keep you posted.

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