Empty Nest? Not So Much….

How did it get to be Saturday again? I swear it sneaks up on me every week! As I am writing this I am trying to pay attention to where my grand babies and puppies are–apparently I am not doing well at that since the littlest tried to pet my not-very-friendly love bird and I think one of the puppies just tinkled in the hallway. My daughter, however, is wrangling all of them for me so I can write this.

I love my kids. I love my grand kids. I love my puppies and all the dogs. But there are days that I dream about getting up on a Saturday morning to no one. No kids. No dogs–well, maybe only one or two–and even maybe an absent husband. I can almost picture it–my house would still be neat and clean the way I left it the night before. I could sit down and read the paper undisturbed while sipping a cup of still-hot coffee. Later I could make myself a light lunch and maybe go get my nails done and later I could sit down at my computer and write my Great American Novel without worrying about what I was feeding everyone for dinner or changing diapers or cleaning up after anyone… Ahh. Such a sweet, sweet dream.

The reality is that I share my home with my husband, three grown children, 2 semi-grown children, 7 dogs and 2 puppies, a few cats, several birds, a couple of rabbits, and more often than not at least one if not two grand daughters. That doesn’t count the assorted friends who drift through our doors periodically, often dragging along their own critters to add to the mayhem… My email address has been menageriemom for years now for good reason!! Is it any wonder that I dream of time alone?!

I bring this up because a friend of mine, writer Keri Ford, is enjoying a week of solitude herself and thought she should rub my nose in her wonderful aloneness while on Twitter! Actually, her men are on a camping/hunting trip and her son just bagged a huge buck of which he is quite proud (and rightly so!). She and I have shared past experiences with hunting while chatting–my dad and older brother loved to bow hunt but never succeeded in bringing home a deer. Every year we would go camping for 2-3 weeks and they went up the mountain every morning only to return empty-handed each evening. Keri chooses to stay home and let her men have the camping/hunting experience as a great father/son bonding time while she enjoys a little girl time at home.

It would take a small miracle for me to have everyone gone from MY house at once! I use to look at my girls when they were young and think about how much I would miss them when they grew up and moved out of the house. Well, they are in their twenties now and I am still waiting to miss them! Then my adopted son moved in with us–going through a separation–and my daughter’s friend moved in with us with her infant daughter for a year. She has since moved out and is doing well, but now I have my 15-year-old niece and her 11-year-old brother living with us. The girls both have dogs–hence why we have so many–and the idea was it was okay because hey–they would move with them right? Sigh… My oldest daughter’s friend is here for the weekend with her cats–another victim of the government shutdown. She is in the service and received no pay while our leaders tried to get their heads out of their collective asses and now she is homeless–her apartment manager kicked her out when she couldn’t come up with the rent this month. (Don’t–just don’t get me going on that)! She and her cats are visiting for the weekend and then she is heading back up to Sacramento to go back to work and find a place to live…

So I guess my contribution to the Great American Novel will have to wait. I was hoping to participate in NaNoWriMo this month–a great writing exercise that writers from all over the country (and possibly world) sign up and participate in a contest to just WRITE ALL MONTH. The goal? At the end of a month to have 50,000 words written. They don’t have to be good–heck, they don’t even have to be great! They just have to be there, written down instead of floating in your head. So many of us want to write but can’t get the discipline down of butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard. NaNo gives writers an entire community to help support and encourage them in their writing efforts–it’s a lot of fun and I have participated a couple of times, but sadly not this year.

So how many of you have an empty nest? How many are chomping at the bit to have one, or are your dreading that day when your last chicklet flutters from the nest? I know I will miss mine–well, I am pretty sure I will! I just want the opportunity to find out!