In a couple of hours, I will head to the train station to pick up The Kitten and the Kittens after their having been away for nearly a month.
In that time, my life went on at a new pace and rhythm, indulging my great capacity for selfishness while simultaneously yearning for human contact. This is a big place to occupy by oneself, even though the five occupants (me, two dogs, two cats) seem to occupy the same space most of the time (though the dogs don't get to sleep on the big bed). They simply aren't much for good conversation.
I have spent far too much time on Twitter in The Kittens' absence, but then also worked far too much because I had little to distract me from either. I transported my work area from the ManCave to the kitchen table in order to make use of the better view and also to not feel completely cut off from the world as I sometimes do out there.
My main housekeeping challenge has been animal hair, the one contibutor to messiness over which I had little control. I wouldn't say I'm frighteningly neat, but there is order where I reign, and as I so infrequently reign in the big house, it has been quite orderly. I will have to fight the impulse to try and maintain this state when they return later, as all it ever does is cause discord (they being not quite as fastidious as I).
When I was courting the Kitten, she used to make fun of my refrigerator, which was carefully and selectively stocked with a few condiments, coffee creamer, diet coke, some fresh vegetables, and leftover Chinese food (there was always leftover Chinese food). It was roomy and all of its contents could be surveyed from a quick glance at the door. She lampooned it as a "bachelor" refrigerator, that it looked as if no one lived there (hmph). This is how our family refrigerator looks today--it still has far too many dubious condiments (what in God's name is "Cashew Butter?), but it will not survive the first post-return trip to the market.
What I miss most is laughter. We all like to laugh, but our own laughter simply doesn't provide the same charge as the laughter of others. The Kitten is pretty clever, and while she is not a fan of my sarcasm, can be devlishly sarcastic herself (mine is sometimes a bit much, as some of you know). The older Kitten has a big, deep laugh, which sometimes seems odd coming from someone her size, but when I hear it, it instantly perks me up. I'll be downstairs doing something and I'll hear it from upstairs--and it will shortly be followed by the younger Kitten joining in. I wonder if my parents ever sat around by themselves and just listened to the laughter of their six kids, or smaller subsets thereof? It really is quite renewing.
We have a few weeks as a foursome before school starts, including another attempt on my part at a "staycation" (went into DC/Pentagon for three meetings that week). I have begun informing folks that I'm actually going to make this one stick, but we'll see.