My wife, Kathleen, flew to Memphis today to visit her aged parents. We decided it would be simpler for me to stay home with the animals, Ashes the white cat and Happy the miniature dachshund. She won’t be rooming by herself at her parents’ place, though. Her older daughter arranged a few days of vacation time to join her mother and grandparents.
The good news is I enjoy solitude. Those of you who’ve been following this blog may recall the post I wrote about enjoying peace and quiet–something Kathleen and I both like.
But solitude is different. It’s the state of being alone.
Okay, so Happy is sitting in my lap at the moment with her chin across my arm. And Ashes has spent most of the day on top of the rocking chair cushion–right behind my head. So I guess I can’t really claim to be alone.
I can’t say that the animals do a whole lot of talking. Not to me, anyhow. Happy barks at Ashes when she wants (and can’t get) his attention. And Ashes meows ferociously when he wants to be fed. Both animals seem to have the afternoon routine down pat.
But their internal food clock is always off by thirty to forty minutes. To try to maintain some semblance of normalcy in the morning, I hold off feeding them until 4:15. By that time, Happy goes to the door and scratches as if she needs to go outside. As soon as I get up, she heads to her food bowl.
Let’s go back to the original question. How much solitude is enough? And does the company of my two animals preclude my having solitude?
I’ll admit one thing. I’d be a lot lonelier without them. But I still miss Kathleen.
It’s not that I can’t take care of myself. I’ll start fixing sloppy joes for supper in a few minutes, and tomorrow is my normal laundry day. I was a bachelor for a few years before marrying my first wife and didn’t suffer too many ill effects from it.
But a guy does get used to the company, I admit. And the animals don’t cut it. Their company just isn’t the same as Kathleen’s.
I may not have reached the “too much solitude” state yet, but I’ll get there long before Kathleen gets home next week.
Some people can’t stand being by themselves. Are you one of those, or do you enjoy being by yourself? How about leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts with the rest of us.
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I have another blog–“As I Come Singing”–where I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Click here to visit the blog. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here to see the list.