The imaginary neon "No Vacancy" sign hums and flickers in the warm August night as fireflies flash their "come hither" Morse code in the darkness and moths beat a relentless tattoo against the porch light. The rooms are full for the first time in years. Hotel Hoosierboy is sold out.
The summer has passed quickly and uneventfully. The return of all my children and their families has been marked by the lack of issues. I really have nothing to complain about. The past month or two has passed with a lot of tears (see below) and even more laughs.
Things are about to change. The oldest boy leaves this weekend for Denver, where he will start a new job and a new life far from home. He is scared and excited. I confess I don't want him to go. He is a grown up. It is he who makes his life choices, not me. It is a great opportunity to start over and escape a dead end job. Does it have to be so far away?
My daughter closes on her new home next week. They will move in (and out of here) one week from Saturday. Yes, they will take my granddaughter with them, despite my arguments to the contrary. There was never any doubt. My granddaughter will think it is Christmas when she rediscovers all of her old toys that have been packed away in storage for so long.
That will leave my youngest. He has finally turned the corner economically and can start saving to get his own place. I'm sure he is counting the days until he can move out again. Since he works evenings, we don't see him much anyway.
Very shortly my wife and I can again sit and stare at each other over dinner. The house will be so quiet and empty, I'm not sure what we will do. I'll get my office and closet back. There is that. Perhaps we could take in a boarder. Surely there are no serial killers on Craig's List looking for a couple of old people to torture, rob, and chop into bite-sized bits to serve with A-1 sauce?
I need to flick the neon sign back to "vacancy".