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An empty room.
We have an empty room in the
Glancing at it on the way from
upstairs to downstairs, I get just a
faint twinge of “empty nest syn
drome” feelings on occasion.
“So, how does it feel to have all
your kids gone?" inquired a smil
ing young farmer friend recently,
his own two children of elemen
tary school age.
“I really miss them on days like
Christmas and Easter; and you
miss them a little bit all the time,”
was my reply, tacking on with a
grin, “Except when the flu is
It was nearly a year ago dial the
youngest packed up a limited
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amount of belongings to move
into his own apartment near Penn
State. Over the ensuing months, a
flow of other possessions fol
lowed. The bikes, the skis, the
skateboards disappeared from
miscellaneous corners where
they’d been kept.
Though the eldest departed
more than four years ago, her
room had been pretty much left as
it was. On visits home, she sorted,
pitched, gave away and stored
items in die attic against the day
when she could move it into her
own home somewhere.
So there was no rush to. change
the rooms of either. Hers gradual
ly became more of a storage room
for Christmas gifts, off-season
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clothing, favored upstairs snooz
ing place for the cat and an over
flow office once in awhile.
New possibilities were pre
sented when the youngest
announced he was not returning
home this summer because he so
enjoyed his apartment, college
campus life, and his job. With
some furniture shifting, we now
had not one, but two spare rooms
of sorts. Guests were forewarned
that they could have a cat jumping
onto their bed in the middle of the
Then came his recent
announcement that he was moving
out of his apartment and into a
house out in the country in a beau
tiful, isolated mountain valley. A
rather large house, as it turns out,
with lots of rooms. Empty rooms.
“Mom, can I• have my bed
back?” said the voice on the other
end of the telephone. “I need fur
niture any furniture. And do
you by any chance have a spare
washer and dryer?”
We tore down the bed. Packed
up bedding. A piece of carpeting.
Spare odds ‘n ends of furniture.
The Farmer gathered some mis
cellaneous tools he figured might
come in handy in settling into a
country house. Grandma contri
buted some unused curtains. The
decor will be what most of us
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started out with and may still
have to some degree. A blend of
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and Contemporary collected from
So, now. What to do with this
No, we are NOT housing excess
baby calves in it.
A sewing-crafts room has
always been a wish of mine, but
the upstairs is unheated. Ever tried
to sew with frozen fingers? Same
reason nixes it as a permanent
office or a library/reading room.
Wait. For two years, I haven’t
been able to easily access our
stored, back-years business
records. Or been able to reach my
supply of computer paper without
clunking my head. Or even gotten
close to a cupboard filled with
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lor moro Information
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, October 23, 1993*89
photos, miscellaneous fabric
and frankly. I’m not sure anymore
what else is in there.
Building the miniature railroad
layout in our original only spare
room had, admittedly, been an
idea of efficiency. The youngest
had engineered the .layout at chest
high level, leaving the space
beneath for continued storage. But
it literally covered the whole
room, with only a tiny walkt
hrough along the wall to the attic.
And, guess who was left to crawl
into the packed storage space and
search for whatever it is you want.
Ah ha! Finally. A room for all
the stuff I lost a room for before.
Someday, the railroad layout
will get a new home in the
youngest’s own home.
Then I’ll figure out what to do
with a real spare room.
Rlnoto only, cal