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.

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The Wedding

(Waiting at the altar.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Well.  Here it is.  The wedding post.  I have to warn you:  It’s long.  Very long.  Very, very long.  And I spent entirely too much time on the hair and make-up thing.  It shouldn’t have been a big deal but it kinda’ was so it seemed worthy of the time.  Anyway, enjoy or turn back now.  (I’d turn back if I were you.  If you’re interested in today’s photo and post, scroll down.  It’s there.  And much shorter.)

I did not take many pictures at the wedding or the reception.  I wanted to enjoy the ceremony and celebrations without worries about the camera or good shots or any of that.  Besides, they had a professional photographer they were paying to take care of capturing the moments.  I can purchase photos from him if I so desire.  The few photos I did take are not all that great, but they caught what I wanted to catch (such as my father up there, behind the groom).

To be honest, the wedding and reception are all sort of a blur.  A good blur with lots of wonderful feelings, but a blur nonetheless.  My recall might be better if I start at the beginning of the day when I went off to have my hair and make-up done.

What an excellent idea that turned out to be!  After having my hair washed, cut, and then styled, I blurted out, “I’m so glad I did this!”  My stylist or hairdresser or whatever they call themselves these days looked at me a little puzzled so I clarified it for her:  It was nice to sit back, relax, and let someone else do all the work for me.  I felt pampered, I did.

I loved what Dianne did with my hair.  Then we went off to do make-up.  Scary stuff, make-up.  I don’t wear it very often, mostly because I don’t know how to apply it properly.  When I do venture to put some on I feel self-conscious, as if I just slathered myself with clown make-up.  Dianne started with foundation, something I practiced putting on for a few days before the wedding (precisely because I didn’t want to feel like I’d just been slathered with clown make-up).  Once that was done, she started on my eyebrows.  That’s where things got really frightening.  As a lighthaired person, my eyebrows are almost invisible.  Dianne penciled them in and made them look bigger and wider.  I didn’t quite recognize myself.  At some point I had her tone down the eyebrows a little (she powdered over them) because it was too much for me.

By the time Dianne finished I was pretty pleased with it all.  Then I stepped outside into the sunlight and looked at myself in the car’s rearview mirror.  I was afraid to go home.  Even worse, I was afraid that when I got home I’d end up washing it all off.

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Beautiful day

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I normally upload my photos to Flickr or Photobucket and link to them, but I thought I’d give uploading to WordPress a try. You can click on the photo for a larger view.

We’ve had an unusual August cool down. Storms moved through last night. Once the rain moved past we were left with cooler and drier air. Summer may not be over yet, but it sure feels as though autumn is on its way. Even the birds are feeling it. They’re beginning to flock and chow down on everything in sight, getting ready for their migrations.

As you can tell, I gave up on NaBloPoMo for the month of August. I think I’ll save myself for November. It’s easier to keep up with that sort of thing in the winter (or verging on winter) months.

I spent a week home alone while M the Elder and M the Younger headed west to get M the Younger settled into his new apartment and new job. It sounds as though M the Younger will enjoy Colorado (is enjoying, I should say, as he’s been there over a week now). M the Elder returned home on Tuesday. After a grand reunion, life is now settling back into normal mode.

The house has these empty spots now that M the Younger has left. It doesn’t feel as full as it used to. I went through this a few years ago when we had a practice run at empty-nesting. MTY had moved into the dorm at college and even though he wasn’t far away, we thought that might be it, that the final bird had left the nest. But life took us on another path and, a couple years later, we asked MTY to move back home to take care of the house and property while we were off on our sabbatical adventures. (The commute to the university is only about 20 minutes from here.)  He stayed after our return as we all thought he might as well save up some money during his final year in college rather than spend it on rent.

The first time MTY left we were faced with what all empty-nesters must face: Who are we now? You spend all these years — 18 at least for each child, and we had our children 10 years apart — being somebody’s parent. A lot of your life is wrapped up in this endeavor. When they leave, you are still their parents, but when they all leave you find that parenthood as you knew it has come to an end and it’s now time to be a parent on a new and different level as well as be a person in your own right, no longer wrapped up in that role of Mother or Father. It’s an exhilarating feeling — Freedom! Scary, too, because it’s a beginning as well as an ending.

I suppose this is the point where some marriages fail. I can see how that might happen, especially if the only commonality in the marriage is the children and holding it together for their sake.

When M the Elder and I married, my father gave me a piece of advice that I believe helped with this phase of life. He said that I should love my children, but put my marriage and my husband first because children grow up and leave, and then you’re left with just each other. It’s advice that makes much more sense to me now that my children have grown up and left the nest.

I don’t know where I’m going with this post. Probably nowhere at the moment. Writing this did remind me of a post I wrote after MTY moved out the first time about the abandoned teddy bear. Perhaps I’ll dig it out and post it here.

In the meantime, I have some weeding to do and should probably get to it.  The weather here is gorgeous, and the garden awaits.