Christmas, New Year, Epiphany - it's all a time for family. And then, it's time to close the door on all the joy, and just be home again. What a relief!
Don't get me wrong - I love my family and all its extended bits, and it's wonderful having the Peanuts at home. All day long. From early morning to late at night. For two weeks. It was a wonderful thing that Oma Nut braved the nasty roads to stay for a while, and it was a wonderful thing that Grandma and Gramps escaped from the snow to visit us, too.
But Reader, you must know what I meant when I said "Oh, thank God!" when I closed (and locked) the front door this morning, waved goodbye to the departing cars, and turned back into an empty and silent house. I meant... oh thank God!
Sometimes, the best part of a party is when the guests go home, and you can finally kick off the pinchy shoes and collapse into a chair. I used to live with a fabulous group of girls in my young and vibrant days; we'd often have house parties (to the great delight of our landlady who lived in the other half of our duplex) and much as we enjoyed the gatherings, what we really looked forward to was sitting up late in the quiet aftermath, having a party postmortem. We'd talk about our guests, and how things went and whatever else came up.
It is just me and the four walls for a few hours today, and I tell you, it is hea-ven-ly. I wasn't wearing pinchy shoes to kick off, and I'm not gossiping about our guests with anyone, but I did truly collapse into a chair. It'll take a while for us to get back into our routine, and the house needs time to recover from all of the recent activity, but I can feel it a little already - this is home again.