Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Cat & Mouse
It's an oddity, but still a truth that you don't know what you are missing until you have some of it. Carol and I had a very nice life during the thirteen months from the time Jasmine died until the time that Quint arrived. We went to work, had some meals together when our schedules permitted, went for walks, talked about politics, and just generally enjoyed another year or so of married life, a year not so very different from the thirty-one years before it.

We have always divided up the chores so that each of us does what he or she does best. I like to cook, Carol doesn't mind cleaning up afterwards, and we both like to eat what I cook. I know how to keep the cars running, so I do what maintenance is needed. Carol likes things neat and tidy, so she cleans and dusts, though I've been known to help out with those kinds of chores on occasion. I have had a tendency to be less than thrifty, so Carol is in charge of the finances, though, lately, I've been helping with some parts of that job. Mostly, we have a fairly even division of labor and life runs on rather smoothly around our house, with only minor complaints, and those are easily remedied. But there was a hole in our lives, something missing, a emptiness that we didn't even know existed, didn't know, that is, until Quint arrived.

Now that he's here, the house is more alive. When we go off to work, we have someone else to say goodbye to, and someone to look forward to seeing when we arrive home. Before Quint, we'd arrive home from work and it was just a house, a place where we keep our stuff. Certainly, Carol and I enjoyed seeing each other at home, but our schedules didn't mesh very well at that time, so, often, Carol would get home when I was already at work and I would come home after she was already asleep. With Quint in the house, there is someone there to greet us as we walk up to the front door. We both look forward to getting home to be with Quint, and we always make sure we say goodbye to him when we leave. Usually, we assign him a job as we leave, such as house guard, bird watcher, or bug catcher, and we try to give him an approximate time when we'll be back. It's just common courtesy, and I believe that he appreciates knowing that he has a job and that we'll be coming back at some predictable time. We're pretty sure that he understands what we say to him. He's an important part of what makes our house a home and we want him to know that we appreciate all that he does to make our lives better. I think most of all we want him to know that, of all the things that he does, making the house feel alive is the thing he does the best.

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