Our youngest daughter, Suzanne, spent Wednesday of this week passing her oral comprehensive exams for physical therapy school. These are a big deal, not least because some people fail them. Naturally, we are insanely proud of her.
The only thing standing between Suz and her doctorate is two clinical rotations, one in Roanoke and the other at Wake Forest, so she has bid goodbye to Winchester . . .
. . . and brought all her stuff home.
Now, ten days before Christmas and three days before our annual Christmas party, there is a mattress and box springs in my dining room. No one can sit in the den because every chair is buried under piles of random things — heaters, fans, trash cans, towels. Gigantic trash bags of sheets adorn the stairs, and piles of books, like weirdly academic termite mounds, are gently drying in front of every radiator.
In the downstairs bedroom, the dresser my father made for Suzanne is standing in the middle of the floor. I did not have the courage to see where the desk, chair, recliner, or nightstand ended up. In the kitchen, sad little bags of random groceries have sprouted like mushrooms. They contain things like bottles of syrup and microwave popcorn. A cupcake baker blocks access to the toaster.
And the holiday is gaining momentum. Already we have the Boy and his girlfriend (a tidy sort of person; I wonder what she thinks of the domestic upheaval and decide I can’t go there) and Suz. Suz’s boyfriend, Brent, will be here by mid-day today, and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell will roll in tomorrow. Thank God they are not bringing their cats . . . yet. Those will arrive on Tuesday.
And, as I said, we have a mattress and box springs in the dining room. I am trying to think of a way to turn them in to extra seating for the party.