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Friday, August 31, 2012

A Noisy Empty Nest

There comes a time in most families when the children grow up and begin an independent life.

Having been a first time mom at age 36, I was able to postpone everything about parenting, including the empty nest. But it has happened. No longer do I have my art critic, fashion and technology consultant conveniently living in my household. My husband is great in many ways, but his computer knowledge, although comprehensive, is getting dated. Windows he knows, but Macs leave him in the dust.

So the part about the noise....
I had imagined that things would be quiet at this stage of our lives, but what you may not know is the phenomenon known as live animals left behind!!!

This is the story:
Many of our children finish college and can't land that career job immediately like we did "back in the day". I finished college in 3 1/2 years in the 70's and immediately had several offers for art teaching jobs. I also got married the day I finished college. I could not imagine living home with my parents. Back then we had secret lives and had to protect our parents from knowing too much about our  lifestyles.

My daughter, Shasta, along with many talented young people, with or without teaching certificates, get jobs in the food industry. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except for the low pay. Hence, they live home. And in a perfect world, you enjoy them as a new live in best friend. And that's how it was for us.

You also feel a little pity for the child's sad financial situation and displaced social connections, so you agree to let them have a pet, so they don't get depressed, with the agreement that the pet goes with them when they move out. That sounds good, except the reality is that it doesn't always happen. For instance my friend's daughter moved to the wilds of Costa Rica with her surfing boyfriend and could not take her Beagle, "Cooper". Shasta now has 2 house rabbits. "Rocky", a big French Angora baby, was feeling a little depressed and needed a companion, thus "Rosy" arrived. For now they are here. She is waiting for the new roomies to get to know her first  before she attempts to introduce them. Most people have never even heard of a house rabbit.

The bonded pair live together in a penned area in the upstairs art and sewing studio and use a litter box. They are allowed to run around the room with supervision. Electrical cords MUST be covered for this activity. Just ask Rocky about that. Our bedroom is beneath the studio. Now you would assume a rabbit, being naturally silent, is quiet. This is true. But its movement that creates sound such as smashing, biting and shaking their metal pen, and thumping.

Tuesday night at 3am, after an exhausting day of interior painting, moving furniture, and a long drive, Rosy decided she was pissed about something and kept up a rhythmical THUMP for quite a while. Fortunately Joey the rooster was asleep. So Bill went up and found nothing wrong.

In the morning, because she and Rocky now share everything, the litter box was full.
That was all!

The stained glass rabbit, at the top of the post, was a custom piece made this spring. The violets are fused, and the details are painted and kiln fired. It is 6 inches high.