Empty Nest

I took a walk back in the woods today and found the empty nest that I’ve been photographing off and on for a year or more.  During the winter months the nest deteriorated, and no longer resembled a well-formed nest.  Just some mud and straw hanging in the niche of an old apple tree.  Sometime over the past few days, the nest has been repaired.  No one was home when I paid a visit late this afternoon and if it hadn’t been for the rebuilding, I would have thought it an empty nest as there were no other signs of occupancy.

M and I went to Pittsburgh over the weekend to visit with our youngest son (M the Younger) and daughter-in-law.  It was a short but sweet visit.  I am happy to see them out on their own once again, rebuilding their nest now that they’re employed, have their own place, and are working towards goals that were disrupted last year.

I didn’t take many photos while we were there.  Just a few of the wildflowers growing outside their door.  They’re living in a small house that seems to be perfect for them.  Now all they need is some furniture to fluff it all out a bit.  Somewhere along the line they were taught about reusing and repurposing, so they have plans for furniture they will build or paint or otherwise turn into something useful (and, knowing my daughter-in-law, something pretty).  M the Younger has built a few tables and seems to have a natural ability for working with wood (not his field of work, but he’s like his father in that he can read about how to do something and then do it).

During their unemployment sojourn, my daughter-in-law was sweet enough to come up with a design plan for my living room.  Like the rest of my home, it needs freshened up and she knew I was looking to redecorate (or at the very least, move things around, splash on some new paint, and call it redecorated).  I would hire her in a heartbeat if I had the money for an interior designer (not her field of work, by the way, but she’s talented in that area).  I love her plan for my living room.  Unfortunately, we forgot to consult M who has his own ideas about how the room should be arranged, ideas that make sense given the view of the pond.  I’ll be repainting and moving a few things, but the basic layout won’t change much.

The heron spreading his wings

Anyhow.  I’m not sure why I’m rambling on about all of that.  We had a lovely visit with the lovely couple.  It’s good to be home, in that bittersweet way of coming home to the empty nest, one that M and I have been rebuilding for several years now.

From today's walk around the pond.

I sometimes wish we could win one of those mega-million lotteries so we could build or acquire a big enough compound for the whole family.  We would live far enough apart so that we weren’t tripping over each other, yet close enough to say, “I cooked a big pot of soup for dinner tonight.  Come on over if you wish.”

Apple blossoms

Then again, life is good as it is.  Everyone is doing what they should be doing.  Our sons are grown, married, working, and in the case of our oldest son, raising children.  None of them live a great distance away.  We can see them when we like, when time and life and schedules permit.

Rhododendrons at the back of the pond blooming

So rather than be sad that my family is not gathered around me, I will be happy that everyone is doing well (or relatively well as our oldest son has been experiencing some health problems that are hopefully not serious and will resolve on their own).

Violets in shadow and light.

Thanks for listening to me ramble a little on this lovely, very warm, Sunday evening in the Bogs.  It’s been quite windy, but the temperature is near 80 degrees.  I’m heading out to watch the sunset and think about the wonders of life, family, the universe, and everything.  You’re welcome to join me.

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31 Comments on “Empty Nest”

  1. Beautiful photos!! 🙂

  2. Kel says:

    empty nest – the title and visual reflects what you are processing at a deeper level
    nature has a way of helping us process and sort through things

  3. Great light on that first image!

  4. dadirri7 says:

    loved your empty nest ramble, brings my three sons to mind and thoughts of how they are far apart now, though lucky for us one is nearby …and the one is paris just has to be visited … and we are about to see the other in a few days …. spring flowers are looking just gorgeous thank you robin xx

  5. I really felt the underlying sadness that will always be there for us mothers as our children move on with the next stage of their lives. I’m happy for my children as well, but know I’ll be longing for them one day once they’ve left for good..

  6. Sallyann says:

    Mutual feelings here on the empty nest at home. It still feels strange.
    I’ve been watching a wood pigeon nesting in our tree, she’s just sitting there patiently at the moment, and there seems to have been a long stray piece of grass tugged into a gap on the orange pyracantha in the back garden. I’m watching that with interest too.

  7. giselzitrone says:

    Schönes Vogelnest Grüsse lieb und wünsche dir einen schönen Tag und gute Woche Herzlicher Gruss Gislinde.

  8. Kathy says:

    Lovely contemplations on the empty nest, Robin. It’s such a mixed bag–missing our loved ones, happy that they’re in their full life. I LOVE the heron with its wings wide open!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. 🙂

      Mixed bag is exactly what it is, but at least it leans more towards the happy than the missing part, at least for me.

  9. Coming East says:

    Robin, how did you climb into my head and pull my thoughts out and write them down on paper as your own? I know so well how you feel about coming home to a house empty of children, and we’ve always dreamed of that family compound, too.

  10. The empty nest is perfect: texture, colors – and full of emotion. Nice post. (and the purple flowers in #3 – ahhhhh)….glad that bird will be around the blog for a while – great shot – he’s dancing!

  11. Dana says:

    Nice to hear your thoughts on empty nests today, Robin (both those of our feathered birds or of bird-named people such as yourself!) I often miss having my family so close but then again, I seem to cherish my time with them more now that we don’t live in the same city. Maybe I took their physical proximity for granted when we only lived a few blocks away from each other…now I value every minute we get to spend together.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Dana. 🙂

      I’ve lived away from my family since the day after I got married, so I know what you mean about valuing the time I get to spend with them.

  12. milkayphoto says:

    Parents have the difficult task of bringing children into this world, raising and loving them, and then, having the courage to let them go our on their own. I’m sure the feelings are bittersweet. I can sense how so very proud you are of your sons and how much you love their spouses. What a wonderful family you have! You are so very, very blessed. 🙂

  13. Joanne says:

    Although my nest is still rather full, with three out of four of my children still living at home, I’m beginning to miss my son, who is in the USA. He’ll turn 27 this weekend, so can manage his own life and does so very successfully. It’s just that “empty” feeling you can get sometimes when you don’t see them in a while. Oh well, it’s all part of being a parent. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      True, Joanne. It’s the longest part of being a parent — that separation. But it brings other gifts with it, including grandchildren. 😀

  14. CMSmith says:

    I feel the same way about the empty nest, although I wish the children were a little closer. The six hour drive to our eldest’s house, and the seven hour drive to our second son’s does prohibit frequent and spontaneous visits. In my perfect world they would live just down the lane.


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