The girls are 19 and soon to be 18, have independent lives and are searching and exploring their own adventures.
The house isn't full any more with hungry teenagers and their friends coming and going, no more breakfasts for 30, no sing-a-longs that made the windows bulge and vibrate, no couches caving in from the compounded weight of too many bodies.
The days of cooking for hundreds, making bread dough to fill a 5 gallon bucket is past. Sit down dinners for 22 and gingerbread houses for the same are just pictures in my albums. Fire pit gatherings with Craig's best gourmet hotdogs and high tea for 35 are over. Old fashioned taffy pulls and other messy things like homemade caramel apple parties. Sand castle building contests and trips to the zoo. Picnics at the park or the beach with any kids that wanted to come.....emptying shoes and the car of sand unbegrudgingly.
Someone told me once that when women can finally afford the professional big kitchen-aid mixer, they don't even need it any more. When all we've worked hard to create to accommodate big crowds and serve lots of fun and food and fellowship is finally finished, there's only an echo and memories.
Don't wait to have friends over until you have perfect furniture, expensive food, and a house with room. Do it now with what you hold in your hands. A postage stamp yard or a hallway kitchen. Most of our best memories include people, music, games and easy, cheap things to fuel the fun like; popcorn and cider, toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, potato soup with cornbread, roasted marshmallows and cocoa, a cup of tea or coffee, iced tea with simple sandwiches, lit candles. Cheap, fun, personal, intimate, cozy, simple, cluttered, imperfect and crowded is what you will remember best, and only the good parts....hopefully, so will they.
When will the page turn to the next chapter? What will it be like? I wish I knew what to be enthused for.....what to look forward to. It seems like a blank page, but maybe I just need new glasses to see it. Surgery? Or maybe completely new vision.....