My love and I had grown accustomed to the empty nest. Our Older Daughter, off in the cold but beautiful Midwest (go Wolverines!) for graduate school, visits occasionally. Holidays. Our Younger Daughter is in college (how is that possible?) in our home town, but living on campus. Our life rhythm has changed; much more volunteering on my part, less formal meals, more reading. We miss the sounds, the fragrance, the laughter that our daughters and their friends brought to the house-ours has been the "go-to" house for many late nights, parties, games nights. We miss the detritus of teenage girls, the visits of favorite local cousins, the anticipation of first dates, the sounds of strange things falling on the third floor. "Was that the cue stick? The futon? WHAT WAS THAT??"
As much as we miss all of it, we sort of like just us. Because YD is here for the summer, and her (fabulous, sweet, kind, calm) boyfriend a lot of the time, too, we haven't had the luxury of just shuffling downstairs, circling our hands around warm cups, and soaking in eachother's company. So off to New Orleans we went. And it was fabulous. We read, we talked, we sang, we swam, we held hands and wandered around in the heat. It was only 4 days, but it felt like a really nice, long treat.