Back in August, I proudly proclaimed to the world (or at least the part that reads my blog) that my wife and I are now Empty Nesters. Over the holidays, our nest became full again for a short time period. The son returned from college, our oldest came for an extended visit with her hubby and our beautiful grandchild (note: our grandchild happens to be her daughter). Another daughter was in and out a few nights, some friends came over, more relatives and then we ended the year with the birth of our second granddaughter.
While we were happy to have everyone come home, we are also glad to return to empty nest status. I thought I would take these few pixels and bytes to explain some of the differences we've noticed. Despite the somewhat-racy subject line, I promise to keep this "G" rated. (Note: for the rest of this post, Empty Nest will be abbreviated E.N.)
1) An E.N. generates less trash. We're not sure why this is true. All summer, our weekly trip to the curb was with a full and often overflowing trash can. Now our trips are with a partially full can. One week we even forgot and the next week wasn't overflowing. It wasn't that the youngest son generated that much trash. Maybe we've just gone green?
2) An E.N. runs the dishwasher less. Ok, this is easy. We have 1/3 less dish usage. Actually, it's probably more like 50% less as he never used the same glass twice. And he eats like a horse, so the plates and silverware were always needing washed. Previously we ran the dishwasher at least once/day, now it's 2-3 times a week.
3) Milk stays colder in an E.N. refrigerator. This surprise came up over the holidays. I noticed that the milk was warm and seemed not as fresh. After fearing our relatively new fridge was dieing, I realized that we keep the milk in the door. During the holidays, the door was opened and closed A LOT more than usual. Being the avid CSI fans we are, we deduced that the door openings were not allowing the milk to stay as cold as before.
4) An E.N. doesn't generate as much laundry. This makes sense. In fact, last night, we had a towel party. We went through every towel in the house and rated them as 1) our bathroom, 2) guest bathroom or 3) donate. Our "towel party" as I called it, resulted in nice neatly organized bathroom closets.
Which brings me to my final point. Seven years ago, my wife and I combined two households into this nest. We kept just about everything and then added to it all. Our closets extend into another dimension of time and space, just like the twilight zone. Over the next few months, our goal is to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we can to clean out this empty nest. Expect to see a few blog posts on this subject over time.