Her son, the pride and joy of her life, who throughout his childhood could do no wrong, had gone to college full of hope and promise. Before the first quarter was over, he dropped out of school to marry the freshman girl who carried his child.
Suzanne was not pleased. She and I worked together in her garage that winter, wrapping and labeling the meat from the hogs our husbands butchered. She chose a small roast and wrapped it for her son and his new bride, saying, “Here’s a little toy roast for the kids playing house.”
For some reason, I find myself thinking in those same terms about my own upcoming move. Not the sarcastic way she meant it, but happily. After weeks of house-hunting in multiple states, we’ve made our decision and put in an offer on a place in Cumberland, Maryland. Ever since, I’ve felt like a kid preparing to play house.
It occurs to me that being empty-nesters is just like being newlyweds — except without the energy.
But I also remember a comment my mother-in-law made about that same time. We’d moved out of the Cleveland area into the country, and my father-in-law suggested he and his wife do the same. She turned up her nose at the suggestion, saying that dragging her out into the country would make her feel like an old horse put out to pasture.
Last week, after making our decision as to which house to buy, Craig and I drove back to Ohio, our minds full of questions and anticipation about the future awaiting us. As we left the highway and headed for home through some of the most scenic countryside the US can boast, I was overwhelmed with the thought that one day, I’ll have to leave the beautiful countryside in order to go home to a place in town.
It’s a nice town; and the country around it is lovely. But since leaving the city in 1978, I have never hankered to move back to town. There’s seldom been a day that I don’t revel in the scenery around me and am thankful to live in such a place as this.
Our offer hasn’t been accepted yet, and none of this is a sure thing. But whether we buy the place in Cumberland or choose a different location, I’m looking forward to getting settled into our new playhouse–wherever it might be–and participating in whatever sort of old-folks-appropriate activities are available.
Notice that the rockers are empty; that’s because we’re too busy having fun to sit in them.