Empty nester buys quart of milk

by Gary Torres

Well, we finally took Daniel to college and we are now officially “empty-nesters”.  The reality of that did not really sink in until we went to the store and we actually bought a quart of milk. 

Before, when we had kids at home, we could have brought home a cow and it wouldn’t have been enough milk. 

Now we bought a cute little quart of milk which is just one size bigger than the cartons you get when you are in grade school.

Another noticeable thing since Daniel left is that my parking spot is now available.  I tried to explain it to him in simple terms when he was here. 

I get to park on cement; he is free to park any where else except on the grass.  I get cement, he gets dirt.  I get the garage, he gets a scraper.  I get close to the door, he gets somewhere in the neighborhood. 

We had this little discussion at least a couple of thousand times; probably as many times as Mr. Shakespeare tried to explain to him that the “Bus Zone” was not his personal vanity parking spot. 

I suspect we are both pretty thrilled that we won’t have to have that discussion again.

Another thing that has happened since we dropped him off on the door step of Southern Utah University is that I am starting to find that things are exactly where I left them. 

That is really weird because prior to this I was pretty sure that I was suffering from Alzheimers or had a very bad memory. 

Gone are the days when I get in the shower and find that my mirror that I use for shaving is gone.  Or when I go to find my flashlight and it isn’t there.  Or when I go to use my 100 foot extension cord and it is nowhere to be found.

Yup, gone are the days when these things weren’t found where I put them.  I knew where I could find them. 

The solution to this game of hide-in-seek is that they were in the back of Daniel’s friend’s truck.  Besides as Daniel explained, “Dude, you worry too much Dad. I’ll get it back…I always do, don’t I?” 

The obvious answer that I wanted to scream at least a million times is “NO!” 

The reason I know this, is that I actually have a place in my garage where I store all the things that are not mine that other kids have left in one of our cars. 

Someday, we should all have a big “trade yard-sale” where we can bring stuff and find the matching pair or reclaim what was rightfully ours.

I am finding that our food bill is dropping considerably and some of those “special treats” are actually there when I open the fridge door.  I remember my daughter complaining to her mother that Daniel’s friends always ate all the popsicles, so we needed to hide them somewhere. 

I think her exact words were, “They’re pigs!  They’ll eat anything you throw in the trough, and besides, they eat all the banana popsicles, which are mine!  Did I say they stink too?”

The only thing I have noticed is that it is very quiet around here now.  I feel like a shut-in.  I guess while we were raising kids we forgot to work on making friends.

I don’t think we have had a single person “knock and walk in” and look in the fridge since Daniel left.  There was always someone coming through the garage with a quick knock and stopping to look in the fridge and say to my too kind and loving wife, “Hey Mrs. Torres is DT home?  Hey, you need to pick up some more popsicles; there aren’t any banana ones left.”

I really miss him.  I didn’t think this day would come so quickly.  He is probably having fun and doing things that all college freshmen can’t wait to do once they are away from their over-bearing, over-protective parents. 

We thought about trying to make friends, but everyone in Monticello is busy with family or working three jobs, so they can live here. 

I guess I’ll look on Facebook. Maybe I can write a catchy profile, something like, “Old married boring couple with all our teeth, still kicking around and can play card games or board games until 9 p.m.  Looking for same to enjoy quart of milk with.  Dogs are okay.”

San Juan Record

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PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

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