Burning off the fog

blogDSCN8213The revolving door at Mama’s Empty Nest never stopped spinning over Thanksgiving.

A whirlwind of activity from last Wednesday until yesterday evening kind of left me in a fog this morning, much like this picture outside my kitchen window.

The door rotated open first when Oldest Daughter and Best Beau drove up from the city Wednesday evening.  BB made the trip up from one of those states down south to spend Thanksgiving with us…well, mostly to spend it with Oldest Daughter.  This one is definitely a keeper, and it has been a blessing to watch their relationship deepen from friendship to something more.

Again the door blew open later that night when Son arrived from his long trek from the state next door.  Mama put some finishing touches on Thanksgiving goodie preparations, and we basked in each other’s company until our eyelids started drooping.

Early Thanksgiving morning, Middle Daughter,  white scrubs clad and surprisingly talkative and chipper despite having just worked a 12-hour nursing shift at her hospital plus a drive home from the city, pushed open the revolving door.  Faithful Fiancé couldn’t join us as he didn’t have much time off from his graduate school studies in the state on the other side of us.

With all of the chicks back in the nest once again, I think Middle Daughter pined a bit for her true love and was too excited to be home with her siblings to want to nap.  But gradually she nodded off on the love seat while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV (another family tradition).

We feasted on turkey and all the trimmings, including Mama’s kids’ favorite, frog eye salad, but not before we each took turns around the table to count and name our blessings, one by one.  As I surveyed the beloved faces gathered at the table and listened to each item for which they were thankful, a realization suddenly dawned on me.

Next year, when I carefully position my mother’s china on the Thanksgiving table, there will be more place settings, but more importantly, there will be more beloved faces.  Middle Daughter and Faithful Fiancé will be a married couple, so our family will increase by one for certain.

Mama’s also alerted to inklings about more exciting news in the empty nest, so I suspect our family will welcome two others, Oldest Daughter’s Best Beau and Son’s Gracious Girlfriend, sometime soon.   As I savored the opportunity to glimpse into the future, it filled me with joy and I silently uttered thanks to the One who ordains our days.

Whoosh!  That revolving door swept open again.  One of Son’s buddies from high school stopped by for a visit and we all commenced a lively game of Qwelf around the kitchen table.   Another spin of the door, and my sister and brother-in-law joined us from their celebration at their son’s in-laws.  The table expanded and Thanksgiving morsels spread out once again.

And just as the door brought them in one by one or two by two, the door opened again to allow their departure.  High school buddy left first, followed by my sister and her hubby.   Son departed to journey to his girlfriend’s family’s home for the remainder of the weekend.

Friday afternoon, more of Mama’s favorite people stepped through the revolving door on their way out.  Oldest Daughter and Best Beau exited to drive south for BB’s family Thanksgiving; Middle Daughter ventured westward to visit Faithful Fiancé.

And Mama and Papa were left with a closed revolving door.  And oodles of Thanksgiving leftovers.  And countless Thanksgiving blessings.

There was no cause for despair though, the door whirled open once more yesterday evening as Son and Gracious Girlfriend visited for a short while on their way back East.

So even though fog crept in this morning, in Chapter 11, Page 28 of my Opportunity book, the love and bonds of family light up my heart and the warmth left there burns off the fog, that misty wrapping of melancholy that once filled the empty nest.  The revolving door will once again burst open because this house, even though it’s the empty nest,  is home.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”  ~ Alexander Graham Bell

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com


12 responses

    • Ha! Frog eye salad is always good for a “WHAT??” It’s a tasty dessert-like pasta salad. I ate it for the first time at a women’s retreat in the Midwest when we lived there back in the day and I’ve been making it every year since because my kids LOVE it. Another family tradition! I’ll send you the recipe via email. And oh yes, looks like the cup is definitely running over and flowing everywhere!! ;- )


  1. I love this post! Love it! Referencing the revolving door is so imaginative. I found myself smiling at the thought of your children, their friends and others visiting for the holiday. Sounds like you have a busy year ahead….


    • Thank you! I’ve been referring to our house being like a revolving door for some time now and this morning as I sat down to write, that image just stuck with me. A busy year for sure, we’re in the throes of wedding planning right now for Middle Daughter’s early June ceremony.


  2. What a joyous reunion er reunions coming and going non stop. These are wonderful times and I know you are enjoying them immensely. What will Christmas bring? Certainly Faithful Fiancé will be around then unless he’s doing a mini-mester. Perish that thought. I’m a bit exhausted from the revolving doors, but can feel the joy. The frog eye salad seems postworthy.


    • They were happy and non-stop reunions, that seems to be the way it goes here at Mama’s Empty Nest. Christmas will bring the same revolving door — in and out — in and out. Ha. Kind of reminds me of when they were little and the door always hung open slammed shut as they would go outside to play, then come back in, then go back out… Yep, it exhausts me too, but it is oh, so worth it! Thanks for the suggestion about that frog eye salad post thing; I’ll have to think on that one. 😀


  3. How beautifully you told the story — from a mother looking out her window, to the revolving door that brings and takes away and brings again, the family you so cherish.

    This part was so poignant: ” the love and bonds of family light up my heart and the warmth left there burns off the fog, that misty wrapping of melancholy that once filled the empty nest. The revolving door will once again burst open because this house, even though it’s the empty nest, is home.”

    I am certain your door is not done revolving yet! Thank you for your heartfelt sentiments about your wonderful family. Best wishes for a continued joyful holiday season.


    • You know, sometimes when I write from my heart, I fear that my readers will just want to gag because I sound so mushy, gushy about my family. Becoming a wife and mother truly was one of the best things that ever happened to me. In this cynical world, I think people may think we’re fake or trying to be perfect, which believe me, we are far from perfect! But we love and respect one another and that’s real, so I go ahead, spill my guts, and click the publish button anyway, hoping for the best. So thank you for letting me know you enjoyed my post AND putting that fear to rest (at least for the time being 😉 ). I so appreciate your comment!


  4. Loved this post, Mama! FOG–perfect description for how I felt, too, the day after. Your quote at the end gave me chills–can’t wait to share this post with one of my dearest old friends. She and I are always talking about doors and windows opening with new opportunities…even revolving doors! 🙂


    • Reeling, I’ve missed you! So nice to log on today and see a comment from my empty nest buddy! I’ve read that quote many times as it is written in my handy-dandy quotes notebook I keep, but when I wrote this post, that quote really connected with me and the meaning behind it made perfect sense. I’ve spent too much time looking at my “closed doors” and not enough time focusing on the open ones and if that means a revolving door, so be it! Glad you could connect with it too.


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