Mornings are my favorite time.
The house is quiet, the neighborhood is still sleeping, and the day stretches ahead, hours waiting to be filled.
In our empty nester-hood, days have fallen into a certain rhythm. Up with the pups for breakfast (for them) and a walk, then coffee and breakfast for us, sometimes accompanied by the morning news.
With the whole house available, we usually find ourselves in front of the fireplace in our “secret” chairs, two wing chairs that gained their names while we were still digging out of packing box hell. Surrounded as they were by boxes, you couldn’t see the person or the chair they were sitting in, hence the name secret chairs. Now, of course, they’re right out in the open, but the name stuck.
So the secret chairs are where we sit in the morning, and again in the evening once we return and are catching up on our days. It’s not unusual for us both to end up with a dog in our laps as we do this, both having decided they are lap dogs after all.
Dinners are casual affairs - rice bowls or salads or soup made with the same big batch of chicken we cooked and shredded on Sunday. It saves time and saves us from the old “what are we going to make?” game on a nightly basis. And the pre-planned meals are usually a lot better, so bonus!
These days, we watch TV together every night, a big change from the his and hers TV watching (him downstairs, me upstairs) viewing of the past. And almost everything we’re watching is streaming.
While we favor mysteries (we’re currently watching “Bosch” on Amazon and finished “Broadchurch,” “Marcella,” “ Murdoch Mysteries,” “The Five,” “ Safe” and many more), we’ve also binge-watched all five seasons of “When Calls the Heart,” the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (not as good as the first) and are catching up on “Outlander” and looking ahead to the next season of “Stranger Things.”
We each have our spots on the sectional, and a pup to go with them, and a soft throw blanket we get to share with them.
Usually, a few episodes in, I’m ready to call it a night. Dave, more of a night owl, will stay up for a bit to watch a car show, while I’ll head to bed with my book. Lately, I only make it a page of two in before I conk out. Dave doesn’t fare much better, and many a night I have to shake him awake on the couch, and convince him to come to bed.
On weekends, we’ve been tackling house projects. All of Christmas is down and packed up now, and we’ll take the last few totes downstairs on Saturday. I’m hoping to carve out a linen closet from the second bedroom’s closets (I’m going to have to evict Sarah’s purses), and move some summer clothes to another closet in there as well.
Next on my list are whitewashing the fireplace and painting the mantel, and getting new curtains and shades for most of the rooms. It’s nice to be checking things off our to-do list!
What’s even nicer is that there are now two cars in our garage. Two! It’s the first time in our 30-plus year marriage that we’ve had any cars in a garage, so this is something like a miracle to me, one that still makes me giddy each time I see them in there. Two!
We have two of a lot of things now: secret chairs, stools at the new counter, pups, cars in the garage, new throw blankets for the couch, extra bedrooms and more. I think those changes, and celebrating the holidays at the new house, have been tough on the girls. They haven’t ever lived here, so it just doesn’t feel like “home” to them.
But home it is for us, and we are loving it.
Especially in the morning.
Laura Dolce can be reached at Laura.email@example.com.