I’ve been gone for almost two weeks, tucked away at the lake, working on a novel. It has been a dream come true but it is time to return to the Bay Area, manage the homestead, and see for myself what plants survived. I have been thinking about the scene that will greet me upon my return, the rumpled rooms, overflowing laundry, and a sink full of dirty dishes. Did the cat lose weight or just move in with a neighbor? How many wine glasses broke? Did anyone sleep in my bed? But what if something unforeseen has occurred? What if I walk into a totally different situation then when I left?
I could walk into a manically clean house, which would send me in search of dead bodies, and a thorough inspection of the recycle bin. The last time I walked into a strangely tidy house, part of my patio furniture had burn holes, and an entire outdoor lighting fixture went missing. It has never been found. My children hosted an unapproved party and clearly things got out of hand.
I could use my women’s intuition, hunt around for an undercurrent of latent activities, but I fear I will never know the truth. If only the walls could talk. I’m lucky, or insane, because I live within a ten mile radius of all my kids. This can be a blessing in disguise, because I take our time for granted, we’ll always have tomorrow. And the truth is one never knows. But most likely life went on as normal in my absence. It’s the stuff in-between that I miss, the talks over morning coffee, my granddaughter’s first step, an impromptu gathering on the patio. You can’t get those moments back. Life is happening too quickly. I haven’t watched the news for a week. I don’t know what Greece is using for money, if El Nino is still planning a visit, or if Tom Selleck is really stealing water? So what do I really fear? Like old news, I don’t want to be forgotten, I want to be part of it all, and I don’t want to miss a thing.