Everything In Place

It’s so quiet I can't think. The silence is distracting. This Monday morning.

Friday was a storm of busy. Getting ready for Sweetie’s son and fiancée. Coming for the weekend. Planned arrival mid-Saturday afternoon. Visit, dinner, overnight stay, breakfast. Gone by noon on Sunday for other scheduled plans.

And so they came. A pleasure to have them here. But the recess in me that has to fight to be with people, relax in their presence, drop my guard and know I’m safe, keep from bracing because I’m a tad bit scared -- well, I was worn out from trying to un-kink and stretch into being easy even while delighted to have them. Tickled by their affection and regard for each other. Especially thrilled my sweetie had a son and almost daughter-in-law so near. 

After they'd left and we’d swept up, we lay on the bed and listened to the calm. Everything back in place we did our debrief and decided it had been lovely. They shook up our air and added some fun. Then it was nice to be quiet again. To feel life settling back into normal rhythm.

For three hours.

Until with the doorbell came my son. Attached to his duffel bag and backpack, ready to spend his last night at our place before flying from San Francisco to a work week in Chicago. And because his weekend had been busy his laundry came too. The hum of the washer that had barely stopped its rotation with sheets stripped from the guest bed began again.                                          

Energy shifted in the house once more. Peaks and valleys, volts and amps, the flow of people and their electric busyness. Hard to tell our house from a charging station. Plug in, wind down, spin up. Whatever it is you need. 

Things that had been at rest came out to play, to straighten and again to set away. Reminding me of something my hairdresser says. “Women grow hair to cut it, and cut it to grow it again. Always wanting what they just had or maybe will have next time.”  

I’d wanted busy. Only to revel in stillness for not quite long enough before engaged again. I wondered when peace might return so I could put everything in place.

To end a lively weekend we gathered my folks for pizza and cruised to a local spot that had just cleared out after the day’s final football game. Perfectly quiet. Almost. Maybe too quiet? Awkwardly quiet? As though we should all whisper. 

Until fans who viewed from home came in a mammoth wave filling booths and tables. A whole lotta noise. And in its midst we attempted to trade family news. 

I mentioned Sweetie and Boy were leaving for the week. Mom asked if a week alone would be bad or good. I took no time to answer.

“Goo-ood.”

By 7:45 last evening Boy was packed, his laundry drying. Sweetie’s suitcase was zipped, Kindle and iPod charged. I was lying in bed. No noise save the snoring cat and I was mere hours from everything in place. Yet again.

A single LED snowflake shone on my dashboard this morning to warn of icy roads as I took Sweetie to the airport at 6:00. A quick stop for Starbucks. A drop at Delta's door and I returned home in stillness surrounded by dark.

I was already back as Boy rose and readied for his trip. 

The car that came to fetch him arrived at 8AM. Boy was checking email, checked into his world when his driver pulled away.

Laundry began to churn. Maybe I did, too, as I set about my morning chores.

Some tasks completed today will need not be done again this week for they will not be undone by man or boy, or cat, or me. Corners of my house will not be disturbed. Will remain without footprints. Pillows will stay plumped.

I remember my mother asking if the week alone would be bad or good. Now I’m not quite so certain.    

I shoveled ashes out of the fireplace. Remnants of having been surrounded by the warmth of loved ones. All that's left is to fold the last of the laughter when ready from the dryer. And put it all away.

Is it a good thing or bad thing, this week alone? Everything in place? Is everything in place when everything's in place?

I think I am a cat.

Do you know what a door is?  Something that stands between a cat and where he longs to be.

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