2011-09-14 / Loose Ends

Is the nest really empty?

Susan Nienow

We took the teething rings out of the freezer and threw away the grungy sippy cup we found under the couch. The sheets and towels have been washed, but the extra bedroom is still full of the leftovers. There is only a path to the attic door. That’s the way it was before my son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters moved in for two months. We emptied it before they moved in, now it is full again. Apparently the 5-month-old had outgrown some of her baby paraphernalia, so my son and daughter-in-law left those things here, in case we needed them, I guess.

Now they have moved to Texas, and we can play with the empty baby swing. I think there is more baby furniture in our extra room than they took with them, and they are the ones with custody of the baby. I asked my other half if he thought we might be using those things any time soon. He didn’t even answer me.

I need to find a permanent home for all things not ours. Under the house is OK because I don’t have to look at it or go under there. I wanted a small attic so we – OK, I – wouldn’t collect too much stuff. It is full of holiday decorations, luggage and memorabilia.

Anything I want to save that doesn’t have an obvious purpose is called memorabilia. My other half can’t argue with sentimentality. It falls outside any argument involving logic.

Today our daughter took off from our house to drive to her new apartment in Texas. She dropped off a few things here on her way. She even owns her own house in Pennsylvania, but she’s renting it out. If the real estate market doesn’t turn around, she may always own a house in Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, her extras are also under the house – that is, our house.

When a household goes from two to six occupants overnight, all things get rearranged, including the occupants. I am still moving things back where they belong. I haven’t even gotten back to a regular laundry schedule. That may not sound like a big deal, but other than work, it is the only thing I have scheduled, whether I follow it or not.

My daughter has been through here, and this visit was the same as others. It’s like entertaining a tornado. She arrives exhausted, goes to bed before we have finished dinner, and in the remaining day-and-a-half goes for a run, does laundry, goes to Target and Walmart and sees friends. She even talks fast. We usually get a dinner with her and then communicate by text message. She left for Texas at 4:30 a.m. and left a note on the counter. Last we heard she was headed toward Texarkana.

Many have asked us if we are also moving to Texas. I laugh and point out that our daughter may only be there for 20 minutes. Besides, who would store our extra stuff?

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