Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Empty Nest

Adorable Jewel
A few weeks ago our house swarmed with life. It practically bulged with the sounds, sights, and smells of two kids, a dog, two cats, ten tadpoles, two chickens, and at least twenty monarch caterpillars.

This morning it is quiet. The girls and cats are asleep. The tadpoles turned frog and are on Roosevelt Island, busily gobbling bugs and looking for protected places to hibernate. The caterpillars sprouted gorgeous wings and flew away (we'll meet up with them in Mexico!). The chickens moved across the alley to live with our good friends Jana and Shawn. And the dog, Honey, even she's gone.
We didn't expect Honey to live to sixteen, yet somehow we also didn't expect her to ever die. For years Mike has been saying, "What about Honey?" For about three years I said, "Don't worry, there's no chance she'll be around when it's time to leave. She's so old. She's so big." But over time I began to question our situation myself.
Over the past few years Honey had had two strokes and one strange period of several days, probably also some sort of stroke, where she lay, unmoving in her bed. (Mike and the girls were away and I feared she'd die and they'd return to bad news.) Yet, for all of these strokes--each time I absolutely knew it was the end--she recovered. In fact, for a dog in her teens she recovered brilliantly.

So it was a surprise when, on a day like any other, with no signs of infirmity, she quietly passed away. And it was sad. I felt no sense of relief, just loss. The girls and I cuddled up and we read The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, which a friend loaned us.
A while back I wrote about our pets and our tentative plans for them as we transition to the boat life. Seemingly overnight our pet predicament is resolved. Even the cats, that we will keep until just before we leave, have a good home waiting for them with Jana and Shawn.
Mexico Bound

Our home is getting quieter. The early morning sounds of clucking hens and the clicking of nails on hardwood floors are gone, soon to be replaced by the creaking sounds of our old boat and the gentle slap of water against her hull.


  1. Oh this post brought tears to my eyes. My house keeps getting noisier...

  2. This must be Jana P. If so, yes, chickens can be loud. Sorry to add to the din. The cats are really quiet, I promise...

  3. We miss you honey bunny! Hugs to everyone.

  4. Hi AJ. Pretty pictures. Would you consider hosting a remote photography course? In your abundant spare time?

  5. Windy,

    I can point you to some great resources. After I finish up the next journal issue I will work on putting something together for you.



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