Tomorrow I’m headed back to the coast for my monthly doll meeting and visit with my dad and brother. It will be the usual “go over Monday afternoon, come back Wednesday morning” routine that I have kept for the past couple of years, but with a bit of a twist. Daddy won’t be there, because he is off visiting friends and family in Arizona this month.
Until I went away to college my junior year, I had never stayed at home without my parents. I know it sounds strange by today’s standards, but at 19 years old I had never been left behind…if Mom and Daddy went somewhere, I went, too (as did my younger siblings). We all knew “someone” who had gotten to stay home alone, usually with less than wonderful consequences. (Just what is it about having parents out-of-town that challenges normally responsible young adults to throw ridiculously alcoholic parties, anyway?)
Now pushing 65, I have stayed home alone exactly twice, and it was unsettling, to say the least. The family home is supposed to have family in it, not just me! When I am there alone I just rattle around in too much empty space, knowing I should probably be cleaning and reorganizing like a maniac, but bowing to inertia and curling up on the couch with a book and HGTV. (When Daddy is there and I start to clean, he frets that I am “doing too much” and wants me to sit and relax.)
Since my brother will be coming home after work, I won’t have as much “rattling time”, and since he’s turned into a pretty decent cook who doesn’t like anyone messing in “his” kitchen I won’t have to worry about cooking dinner. But I will still have time on my own, and will use it to continue sorting through my mother’s things, trying to lighten the load by choosing things to donate to the thrift store and finding treasures to offer for sale.
It will be, as always, a trip down memory lane, and serve as my monthly time “at home” in what still feels like my real home. I will come back to Visalia and my granddaughters a bit melancholy, but refreshed and ready to jump back into Grammy mode.