Home Alone

Back in the days BFT (before FaceTime) and email, when my sister Bec or my brother Dave would visit us in Denver, I would start dreading their leaving even before they arrived. My thought is why not use your down time before the visit to begin anticipating heartbreak? Waste not, want not. After they would leave, I would listen to the sound of silence (hats off to Paul Simon). Especially when it was my brother visiting. He — then and now — arrives with a pack. First it was just his kids. Then his kids started having kids. Try as he might, he can’t outrun them. (I’m just kidding Gloor kids. He could outrun you if he tried real hard, but he likes his pack.) So there was plenty of noise to get used to, and then to miss when it’s gone. Bec is considerably quieter and doesn’t travel with a pack.

Anyhoo, Jen left yesterday, and today Big Bad Bill (finding his nickname is still a work in progress) are clunking around the house listening to our footsteps practically echo off the walls. Jen also doesn’t travel with a pack (perhaps because most of her pack live here in AZ). Nevertheless, Winston and Jen provided daily entertainment and a bit of noise. Jen, working hard for her money, and Winston, barking at dogs being walked past the house and whining anytime Jen appeared to be even thinking about leaving without him to run an errand.

I’ve mentioned before that I wondered if the three of us would get under each other’s feet or on each other’s nerves. It seemed to work just fine. We fell into patterns. Jen and I took turns cooking. We traded off cooking and cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. We bought the food for our night of cooking. We figure we came out even in the end.

Some television we watched together. Often she would go to her bedroom after dinner and watch a movie or television using Dish Anywhere on her iPad. Bill and I would watch TV in the living room. Breakfast and lunch were on our own, though we often shared. It all worked just fine.

Jen was in AZ since October, and understandably, was eager to get home. All of us are the same. We love our house here, and we couldn’t possibly enjoy the weather more. We miss our primary home, however, both for the people and for the familiarity. Like us, I’m sure Jen will be trying to remember where she stores her toilet paper or where she keeps her good cooking skillet for the next few weeks. I always do.

Despite our congeniality, there are things about me that I know she won’t miss. I hate cleaning house and can live around dust for longer than I should. That likely drove her nuts. Despite my lackadaisical attitude about dust, I am persnickity about how to load the dishwasher. She would load it, and then when she wasn’t looking, I would move things around to “where they belonged.” I have a way of putting the waste basket liners in that is different from the way she does the same task. I would change it every time she put in a liner.

Winston will miss me because as I have mentioned before, I am a sloppy cook. Winston spends every moment that Jen is at home touching her in some manner. Sitting on her lap. Sitting behind her back in a chair. Lying next to her in bed. Jumping, jumping, jumping if he thinks she might be leaving him behind. There is one exception to that fact: When Winston would hear me cooking or baking, he was in the kitchen right next to me, awaiting the inevitable next food droppage. Sometimes it was a disappointment, maybe a piece of broccoli or a frozen pea. But there were enough jackpots to warrant his company. Often enough, I would drop a little bit of ground beef or a piece of Italian sausage. Don’t tell Jen, but sometimes it was on purpose.

Yesterday afternoon when I came home from the grocery store, I opened the door carefully, making sure Winston — who I just KNEW would be waiting there — didn’t run out into the street. Sigh. The laundry room was empty.

It won’t take long before we’re back to normal. The silence won’t be so deafening in a day or so. My eyes won’t tear up when I see one of Winston’s dog toys under the sofa. In the meantime, Big Bad Bill and I will enjoy our solitude. In a few days.

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