The Quiet House
I arrived at the farm last Monday evening and spent Tuesday working and preparing for the arrival of nearly our entire family. Taylor and his crew pulled in on Wednesday. Melinda arrived on Friday night, just ten minutes after Alan and his kids arrived. Jenna drove in early Saturday afternoon. For most of the weekend nine or ten of us crowded into the house, cooked, ate, laughed, and played. We went to the City Pool in Floresville and swam. We hunted spiders at night, played dolly house, read books, built with wooden blocks, cooked pancakes, colored in coloring books, sat in the porch swing, shot a BB gun, fed the hummingbirds and cardinals, played guitars and sang, read Shel Silverstein poems, ate watermelon and ice cream, and watched the full moon rise. When I woke up each morning, there were bodies in every room. Toys were strewn about the house. Dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen again and again. Greasy, sweaty little boy handprints decorated the sliding glass doors. All three of my children and all of my grandchildren were under the same roof with Melinda and me. That does not often happen. It was somewhat chaotic and wonderful.
You would think that after three days of that, I would relish the return to quietness and order today. But when the last group drove off this morning, leaving just me and the dog, the house felt so empty. I washed clothes, vacuumed floors, cleaned off the little boy handprints, and wished for them all to be back. I was freshly aware of how precious these times are and how dear these people are to me.