I'm navigating the waters of empty nesting pretty well, even for having adult kids (well, kid and spouse) moving in and out of our house while they are visiting the U.S. It's amazing how 2 years of not having to share the house with anyone (except an occasional visitor) can spoil you. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it that we are able to share our house with them, and we're having a relaxing time. I LOVED coming home from a Women's Retreat (at OCC in Joplin) to seeing Jessica cooking dinner in the kitchen. It was AWESOME! I loved sharing the meal with them, talking about things, and occasionally watching tv together or a movie, playing games and laughing. Still, I miss my "empty house" sometimes too. I don't get aggravated that they are here....so it's not a total case of "cabin fever", I think it's just that I got used to the loneliness.
Mark and I got a puppy last week....one of those free ones that is a mix of a few breeds; in this case "Abbey" is Blue Heeler, Jack Russell Terrier and they said (they being the owner of the parent dogs) she has a spot of Retriever somewhere in her bloodline. I don't see it, and I didn't see that in her parents either....they were small for their breeds, and it seems that Abbey will be small too. That's ok, as I want to keep her in the house (although as high energy as both of these breeds are, she'll need a lot of running outside. I think I'm up to the challenge. Mark chose the name, although we have both called her "Trixie"....as she's similar to another pup we had some time ago.
She's supposed to be "my" puppy, but in reality she is Mark's. He is the one that plays hard with her, and she loves to chew on his fingers with those puppy teeth. She will then climb up on whatever purse I have left on the floor, and curl up into a little ball and fall asleep. It's cute, but I will need to keep my purses off the floor....I keep meds in there and would hate for her to get into them. So I'm learning housekeeping from our new pet. :P
In some ways having a pup in the house is making us parents again. The teaching and training, stumbling over toys in the middle of the night, a baby's cry in the night. Yes, it's VERY much like parenting. Of course, as empty-nesters, this is just fine. I think Mark was overdue for a pet in the house, and with Jessica moving out again this summer, he wanted me to be bonded to something that will distract me and keep my thinking and active. It also means that HE is off the hook a little, as I won't be as dependent on him for company while he's swamped at work. The unconditional love that Abbey gives is a real extra bonus! I'm amazed at how quickly she has bonded to our family...even the kids that DON'T live at home all the time!
I had the opportunity to speak at a workshop at a Women's Retreat this weekend, and it went well. The responsibility was shared with my "friend in law" Becky (Jessica's mother in law), and we spoke on how it was important for the church to reach out and minister to the families of those that serve in ministry, especially when that position takes them far from home. The topic was titled "Caring For Those Left Behind" and we enjoyed working on this together. Funny, but as an afterthought we realized that this could have been a title about people left behind after the rapture. :P silly I know.
I will post more later this week about what exactly we spoke about, and what the comments and reactions were to our talk. I am pleased with how it went, and look forward to talking to others about this in the future. Good stuff. It's exciting to see doors opened.
Well, it's really late...I wanted to do some reading tonight, but it will have to wait...I can hardly keep my eyes open now! How funny...to type with your eyes closed...I wonder what errors I'll make. :P This will be fun to proof....NOT. (oh good, no errors!) :)